Berkeley bans 'male-centric' language in city code, like 'manhole,' 'manmade'

The Washington Times | 7/18/2019 | Staff
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The city of Berkeley, California, is updating its municipal code to exclude gendered words like “manhole” and “manmade” in favor of more inclusive language, according to a new ordinance.

The City Council voted Tuesday night to adopt the new ordinance eliminating “gender preference language” in its code.

Manholes - Maintenance - Holes - Firemen - Firefighters

“Manholes” will now be called “maintenance holes,” “firemen” will become “firefighters,” “manmade” will be “artificial” and all instances of “men and women” will be replaced by “people.” Gendered pronouns, such as “he” and “she” will also be replaced with “they.”

“There’s power in language,” the bill’s primary author, Berkeley City Council member Rigel Robinson, told CNN. “This is a small move, but it matters.

Code - Reality - Mr - Robinson - Women

“Having a male-centric municipal code is inaccurate and not reflective of our reality,” Mr. 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.”

The ordinance, which will cost the city about $600, will be reviewed again next week before it goes into effect in late August, NBC News reported.

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