California city to ban gendered language like ‘manhole’ and ‘manpower’

Soon, there will be no more manholes in the city of Berkeley, California. There will also be no chairmen, no manpower, no policemen or policewomen.

No, that doesn’t mean a whole city will be without committee leaders and law enforcement. It means that words that imply a gender preference will be removed from the city’s codes and replaced with gender-neutral terms, according a recently adopted ordinance.

The city voted Tuesday night to replace gendered terms in its municipal codes, like “manhole” and “manpower,” with gender-neutral ones like “maintenance hole” and “human effort.”

The item passed without discussion or comments and was not controversial, said Berkeley City Council member Rigel Robinson, the bill’s primary author.

“There’s power in language,” Robinson said. “This is a small move, but it matters.”

The revised city documents also will replace instances of gendered pronouns, such as “he” and “she” with “they,” according to the ordinance.

Berkeley’s municipal code currently contains mostly masculine pronouns, the office of the city manager said in a letter to the mayor and city council.

“Having a male-centric municipal code is inaccurate and not reflective of our reality,” Robinson said. “Women and non-binary individuals are just as entitled to accurate representation. Our laws are for everyone, and our municipal code should reflect that.”

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11 comments

  • Wings

    How Stupid, it is just A Word, get over it people
    I am so tired of this gender bull sh##
    I can not even go to the bathroom with out someone staring. Where is MY privacy rights????
    This gender crap has gone to FAR

  • Matt McCartney

    Now wait a minute……..At just over ten miles from San Francisco, I’m sure that “manhole” will still be in common usage, albeit under somewhat different (but no less relevant) circumstances……..

  • Kevin Rahe

    A symptom of the failure or perhaps the unwillingness to grasp the concept of men and women being different but equal in dignity. What a sad, black mark on humanity these folks’ actions are.

  • Kevin Rahe

    I would suggest that real women have no trouble handling the present language. It’s “women” who aren’t really women who need every iota of society to reinforce their inaccurate and fragile image of themselves, lest their bubble be burst.

  • gobluespartyon

    This is ridiculous but only Cal that they would do it since it’s the most PC state in America this is PC Culture & PC Madness.

  • C

    And, in California, if you go to a sporting event where the National Anthem is still allowed to be sung before the game starts, the announcer will say “persons and persons please rise and…”.

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