My appearance in 1996Wayne Stegall

Copyright 2010
March 13, 2010

Critical Thinking Required

While watching a documentary on Americans who had been imprisoned abroad, I found myself paradoxically sympathizing with an American imprisoned in Brazil for dealing drugs.  How powerful an effect the media has on our minds!  Are we being programmed, and if so, is it deliberate or an accidental side-effect of the medium?

An essay from a college literature book I read, giving authors guidelines advocating politically correct writing,1 seems to suggest some deliberation.


Henry Harris is a shrewd lawyer and his wife Ann is a striking brunette.
The Harrises are an attractive couple.  Henry is an attactive blond and Ann is a striking brunette.

the girls or the ladies (when adult women are meant)
the women.

lady as a modifier, as in lady lawyer

female gender word forms such as authoress, poetess, Jewess
author, poet, Jew



Housewives are feeling the pinch of higher prices.
Consumers are feeling the pinch of higher prices.

Pioneers moved West, taking their wives and children with them.
Pioneer men and women moved West, taking their children with them.

humanity, human beings, human race, people

artificial, synthetic, manufactured, constructed,

I have long thought that to call a women lady was a compliment, a term infering that she carried herself with dignity.  Is it now an offense?  It is probably well that wench is no longer in common use.

Many believe this kind of agenda pervades all liberal publishing.  It is good that there are conservative and small publishers as well.  This particular publisher is known for technical educational books, especially for college.  A statement in a Christian writing guide suggests these guidelines are more universal

Gender Accurate Language
Since the 1970's, an awareness of subtle sexist messages in the English language has demanded that writers and editors develop a new sensitivity to the implications of common words.2

After making this statement they give a similar but perhaps less extreme list of politically correct dos and don'ts.  To some it might seem only a matter of politeness,  but it is rather an insidious complicity with liberal activism of a kind that has subverted the long-held values of America.  That this agenda is dealt so subtly that many would be affected unknowingly is an abuse of free speech.

Recently, the media was discussing a politically incorrect blunder made by a liberal politician.  They railed against him for a while, then said this was a "teachable moment."  Does the media presume to be our teacher?  Have they been teaching us overtly or slyly?

If a person is liberal, they have the right to make such a choice.  I have to wonder if someone else made that choice on their behalf for many of them.  And I thought social engineering ended with Hitler.  (Ha, I'm not that naive!).

Whatever you do, think for yourself, and think critically.

1Anonymous, "Guidelines for Equal Treatment of the Sexes in McGraw-Hill Book Company Publications", from The Norton Reader (New York, 1977)
2Robert Hudson, The Christian Writer's Manual of Style, (Michigan, 2004), p. 212.

Document History
March 13, 2010  Created.
July 28, 2011  Corrected a grammar error.