Hoo boy, you ain't jus' whistlin' Dixie by openin' up that can o' worms, there, Bud! Here we go! I am anticipating
MUCH back-and-forth and round-about on this one!
Since no one else seems to have found this yet, I'll start with my two cents' worth. My opinion frankly varies according to the term used and the situation. I don't mind the use of the word 'Flagger" in place of Flagman in road
construction areas--a great many are women. On the other
hand, the word 'chairperson' seems to me not only cumbersome, but a bit ridiculous. (In this particular usage, I think a new, neutral title would be the best solution.)
There was a similar discussion here quite some time back, where a question was asked (to the best of my recollection) whether changing the language would actually result in
attitudinal changes. I said then, and still believe, that
using non-hurtful language is a matter of taking one small step at a time, as individuals become educated about what others think and feel.
"Political correctness" may or may not involve a real change in attitude. It is often used for the sole
purpose of avoiding retribution. I suppose this is better than uttering insults, but I'd prefer to see
genuine caring as the reason behind the change!
I can think of one example of how political correctness has asserted itself in television. I saw a re-run of a very old
show, where a famous line by the alleged comedian was, "To the moon, Alice, to the moon", as he raised his fist threateningly to his "wife". Apparently audiences thought that was riotously funny back then, but I was shocked. We don't hear that kind of thing any more, or rather, not so