California City Bans Gender-Specific Language From City Code Such as 'manhole' and 'firemen'

Members of the Berkeley City Council in California voted to update their municipal codes with more inclusive language last week. The new regulation will abolish gender-based language, such as "manhole", but these terms replace with gender-neutral alternatives such as "maintenance holes". Man-made will now be “human-made,” “artificial,” or “manufactured.” Manpower will be referred to as “human effort.” Gendered pronouns like “he” and “she” will be replaced by “they” or “them.” Sororities and fraternities will now be called “collegiate Greek system residences.”  




The changes were first proposed by council member Rigel Robinson. "There is power in language," Robinson tweeted after the ordinance was approved. "This is a small move, but it matters."

In March, member of the board Rigel Robinson, who graduated UC Berkeley last year, and the 23-year-old, the youngest member of the City Council, first introduced a decree stating that it is time to change the municipal codex of Berkeley, which sound as though "men are the only ones that exist in entire industries or that men are the only ones on city government”.

“As society and our cultures become more aware about issues of gender identity and gender expression, it's important that our laws reflect that,” Robinson said.

“Women and non-binary people are just as deserving of accurate representation.”


Berkeley is not the first city to change its gender-specific language, while Maine and Washington DC have also taken steps to recognize gender-neutral individuals on driving licenses.

Likewise, in 2017, California became the first state to provide non-binary gender markers on birth certificates.



You can check out a full list of the new proposed terms here.

2 comments:

  1. Can someone explain to me what a "non binary gender" is? Next how can a newborn baby tell you what gender it feels like? When addressing a chairperson (from my understanding) you are supposed to say something like "Mr Chairman" or "Madam Chairman". What now? Just "Chairperson"? When this subject hits the high government will the President go from Mr President to just President?

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  2. This is tremendously funny. We can't call people make or female but we HAVE TO identify people as "African American" even though they may not even be American or have ever been in Africa. There is a debate between calling people "Hispanic" or "Mexican American". We are no longer supposed to call people "Oriental" the term is "Asian". I have met many people in these "groups" and they all hate these titles that they are supposed to be called. So the funny thing that I see is we are being told to drop a "derogatory" term for another term that does the same thing. Why? Who are making these new rules and have they actually done real research on what they want done or did they just ask a bunch of people that feel underappreciated and want change? In the end I this this mess up will be considered a racist remark and down will also be considered a racist remark so no matter what "we" end up doing everything will be wrong.

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