Follow the link if the excerpt interests you, but first let's consider how political correctness has mangled the English language.
SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany — A Spangdahlem-based airman was sentenced Monday to four months confinement for her part in a sexual act with two other airmen.
Got that? An airman was sentenced for "her" role in a sexual act with two other airmen. You probably won't be surprised to learn that one of the other airmen was a woman, too. The third was, indeed, an air "man." So, at least there was some measure of diversity, though I'm not too sure about equal opportunity -- but, I digress.
Once upon a time, women who saw to the safety and comfort of airline passengers were known as stewardesses, and men performing the same service were stewards. But at some point, the word "stewardess" fell out of favor as somehow demeaning to women and an entirely new term, "flight attendant" was coined. That's fine, but why do we now have to use two words when the concept had previously been expressed more clearly by only one?
In Britain, the terms manageress and doctoress still have wide usage, and why not? Each provides much more information than its sexless counterpart. I, for example, might prefer a doctor or a doctoress in different situations. How handy to know right up front?
I really can't understand the feminist insistence (and this does all stem from seventies feminism) that references to sex be expunged from the language. I mean, they really weren't done away with, the terms for men were simply expanded to include women. How odd.
For example, I work with a woman who volunteers for her village fire department. She's quite proud of that (rightfully so) and her truck even bears a bumpersticker proclaiming that "Real Women Drive Fire Trucks". But don't you dare utter the word "fireman" in her presence or she'll shoot you a withering glare and correct you with the
proper accepted term, "firefighter".
If you were to refer to her as a firewoman -- and none of has dared yet -- she'd likely be deeply offended, probably angry and (we fear) perhaps even refer the matter to HR. But if you're proud to be a woman who drives fire trucks, how could it possibly be insulting to be called a firewoman? It would only accentuate the accomplishment of taking on a job once reserved for men.
I'd have thought that a positive. OK, enough language, class dismissed. Now, go read the story about the three airmen having sex.