I reread this entire thread just because I haven't had a headache in a while and I thought it might be as fun as I remembered--I was wrong.
With respect to all, I think the overarching point is fair when considering the use of a more inclusive term to refer to a group. IMHO, there is certainly nothing wrong in trying to avoid inadvertently excluding a group of people by our published words. Mr. Ross seems like a good dude, and I think these suggestions come from a good place. In fact, I doubt that those posting so far would disagree with this notion.
However, what I think some folks are pushing back on is the implication that if you have a different take on the issue, you are a foul ignorant creature indeed. You hate and denigrate women and are nothing but an archaic troglodyte fit only for the wood chipper. While I've used over-the-top language to make the point, it's hard to deny that there is certainly a whiff of this notion implied in this thread, whether it is specifically stated or not; hence, some of the reactions. Other push back may be coming simply because people don't like it when they perceive they are being told what to do or at what they perceive to be disproportionate outrage. That doesn't necessarily make them evil, uncaring, condescending, or stupid, IMHO. Rather, they may be potential allies who are coming at this from a different angle.
Secondly, (and please bear with me here) as part of a small ethnic minority where I live, it kind of irks me to hear opining from the majority population that Asians are like this, or Asians get offended at that, etc. Really? As if Asians are one hive mind with monolithic traits. It's gotten so bad that my when my child at university introduces herself by her given name, frequently the woke people will ask her: "No, what's your real
(meaning Asian) name?" They frequently explain they don't want to offend her by "forcing" her to use her "Anglo" name. While this is, I suppose, laudable in some sense, in another, it's completely wrong-headed. It, in fact, accomplishes the very thing the well-meaning presumably wish to avoid--making the minority feel singled-out and out of place.
I obviously cannot speak for all minorities (ethnic, gender, or otherwise), but IMHO, if you want inclusion then just please treat us with the same level of respect and courtesy as everybody else. We just want to be recognized and appreciated as individuals
, not patronized by those around us, burdened with weird stereotypes, or treated with kid gloves. Many of us are quite capable of speaking up for ourselves and don't really need people to be offended for us. Most of us are not weaklings, unlike how some TV talking heads portray us as. Rather, we have to survive in the real world, which in my case, requires a thick skin, and a willingness to overlook most day-to-day offenses, lest I spend all my time bent out of shape.
That's why I can see where Jackpot and Roger M are coming from. The lack of input from women on this issue makes these discussions essentially a bunch of (self-identified) guys sitting around arguing over a subject that the allegedly-offended may or may not care a whit about. Therefore, I'd encourage publishers to ask their women readers how "cardman" makes them feel and base any editorial decisions off of that. (It sounds like RK has already done so, and kudos to him).
That said, I strongly suspect that the stuff that really needs to be cleaned up are the sexist ways women are treated on stage, at conventions, and in person. To Mr. Ross' and Mr. Henderson's point, that doesn't mean we guys should not try to improve the way we speak, and I think discussions such as this which prompt us to consider our implicit biases are useful. I just think they need to be put in context of the overall issues of the current magic meta, while avoiding biting and devouring each other in the process.
Let the flames begin!