>Of course there is risible hypocrisy detectable in the PC movement, but at least some of it comes from urban legends industriously spread about by its opponents.
I agree. I have posted before on this subject - it is somewhere in the archives!
As far as I can see the term "political correctness" was coined by those people who object to it. It is a reaction to the political movement which pushed issues of equal opportunities into the limelight. It is a simple conflict between those who would like to see change and those who would not. Inevitably, those who would not like to see change are/were in positions of power. Those who feel that they are less well represented in the corridors of power are those who are likely to want to see change.
The key term for me is “equal”. Not more, not less but equal. Equal Opportunities has been through many incarnations and has contributed a huge number of words to the English language in its wake. Some things are largely accepted as the norm: It really isn't great to boast about beating your wife any more; In many areas of the Western world if you threw someone out of your shop because of their colour, many of the rest of your customers would walk out too. Others are still matters of dispute. Some are trivial personal likes/dislikes of certain words. Others are less trivial attempts to re-define roles in society. Here the big issue seems to be choice. In some families both parents have no choice but to work (or not to work). In other families it is possible to choose who carries most responsibility for earning/childcare/cleaning. In many Western countries it is no longer automatically expected that people run their lives on strict gender demarcations.
As long as we live in a world with involuntary female circumcision or where unwanted girl children are left to die or where very young boys are sent out with firearms to play their part in war ….. the examples are sadly numerous then we live in an “unequal” society.
If changing our language is one small chink in the wall, then I’m with it.
So what I'm saying is that "political correctness" is more than just a few words. Its a whole way of life and is part of a bundle of other things. If one disagrees with the other political changes then it must be irritating to be
expected to change one's language.