I cannot say my role in resisting this tiny tyranny has been or is an heroic one. On the contrary: I now simply avoid the use of certain ways of putting things so that the question does not arise. I do not want to have a blazing argument with editors or sub-editors each time I use the word “Mankind” and it is changed without my permission, nor do I not want to stop writing altogether; and the matter, after all, is a very small one. How petty one would look to argue about it, how foolish to cut one’s nose off to spite one’s face if one refused to write any more because of it!
And so the censors have achieved a small victory. They will seek out new locutions to conquer.
It boils down to the simple fact that if you give a little ground in the small, seemingly inconsequential, areas of life, you grant a foothold to those that would gladly use your neck (or language or belief system) as a stepping stone to conquer something much more vital, whereas if you put your foot down and shout “STOP!” the bullies/censors/cognoscenti might not only think twice before trying it again but they might be put off from tackling larger game in the process.1
1 I can dream, can’t I?