I've toiled in hostile work environments (mostly civilian). So I feel for this poor guy.
I'm constantly being corrected, chastised, and punished for using the wrong words.He's a young man who works at a non-profit in an office full of women. The Chastiser is his boss, a radical lesbian feminist; the words he uses are those dreaded tools of the patriarchy: girl, lady, etc.
However, I'd like to say this: the political/social demographics under which his boss falls are not the problem. Working in any female-dominated office is the problem--that means the vast majority of offices. In female-dominated offices, one person--the one who is "different"--is singled out for correction or to be driven into resigning. Often whisper campaigns are started to that end.
I'd rather be a Figueroa "street merchant" than work in such an office again.
IMO, this phenomenon is merely a distaff version of the gang-mentality. Whenever you read of someone going "postal," it's probably someone who was ganged up on at work in such an environment and didn't know how to handle it constructively.
I'd suggest that the young man in the "Dear Prudence" letter document the date, time and particulars of every incident and keep that documentation at home. Here's an even better suggestion: start your own business, kid.