Often when people complain about political correctness, what they really mean is that they object to being unable to indulge their prejudices, and they don't like being made to feel uncomfortable about holding prejudiced opinions and views.
Thank you for that analysis, slowster. I've struggled to find a framework within which I can respond to the term "politically correct", since it doesn't mean "politically correct" at all. This helps.
Language is always in flux, and change is rarely comfortable or simple, even when the outcome is a worthy one. With the best of intentions I still struggle to make my terminology non-sexist, non-racist, inclusive, and so forth.
It's been easy to replace "wife" with non-gender-specific "spouse" or "partner" depending on context, but it's the use of the possessive "my" that still seems wrong to me. "The spouse of me" or "the person to whom I am espoused" are more than a little clumsy. With St. Valentine's Day just around the corner there's always "my love", I suppose … but there's that annoying possessive adjective again. Usually the best way around it is to refer to her by name, but this is only satisfactory if people already know who she is. "Mrs. Mistik-ka" (or better yet "Ms. M-k") is the perfect solution, but it has little application outside this forum.)
"Her Upstairs" gave both Ms. M-k and me a chuckle because of its economical portrayal of social relationships. When we're on the tandem I could refer to "Her on the Back", probably with a dismissive flick of the thumb, but that would only invite well-deserved retaliation from an undefended direction for the next hour of pedalling.