I found this article really interesting: Why People are Calling the Oxford Dictionary Sexist – And Why It Matters
That last bit is really important.
— Michael Oman-Reagan (@OmanReagan) January 23, 2016
That’s the key here: people look to the dictionary for definition and explanation. If the dictionary’s definitions are sexist, then they are perpetuating that offensive language. I’d never really thought of it that way before, but it makes perfect sense.
I try to gently correct people when I hear that sort of language (I’m a woman working in IT with an all-male team, so I hear it fairly often). Guess it’s time to correct our dictionary definitions as well.