The use of vocabulary can be controversial. Whether you are writing poetry, novels or works of non-fiction, you may run up against resistance from certain publishers if you use certain words. These words are regarded as discriminatory.
Well-meaning people in the West often list slavery, homophobia, anti-Semitism, racism, sexism, etc., as principal evils, and maybe think that the first thing they should do is ban words, so that the thoughts behind them will ultimately wither.
This form of vocabulary limitation is not uncontroversial. See:
The phrase Old Masters is sexist, authors and students are told - Telegraph
Is there not a risk that by banning the usage of certain words and phrases you prevent people from having the vocabulary to discuss the problem? Is there not a risk that we end up speaking in constantly updated euphemisms, therefore always gliding away from the problem, by never calling a spade a spade?
Towards the end of the first website referred to above (Appendix B - Sensitive Language), there are lists of what are regarded as discriminatory words. My problem with the lists is that there are two types of words: a) clearly discriminatory ones that are insulting, and have been accepted as such for decades; b) somewhat arbitrary interpretations of words and expressions such as "old master", "West Indian", "minorities", "American", "ethnic", etc., where the list-makers are creating problems where there are none.
How do we tackle the problem of discriminatory vocabulary without turning journalists, novelists and article-writers into neurotics, fearful of being sexist, homophobic, racist, etc., whatever they write? Common sense?
For instance, if you can't say "Third World" and "Developing Nations" because it is discriminatory, and you have to call them "Southern Countries", what about the Inuit, the Saame, the Finno-Ugrian peoples of northern Siberia? By being non-discriminatory, you make a nonsense of the geography involved. "Non-industrial" is one alternative, I suppose, but the list-makers don't like that, either. You are left with a quandary.