Published: Fri, July 19, 2019

No more 'manholes' in California city as it removes gendered language

No more 'manholes' in California city as it removes gendered language

The ordinance, which was originally proposed on the Council's agenda in March, takes a fresh look at standard language in the city code, and aims to make it less gendered.

There will be no more "craftsmen" in city code, only "craftspeople" or "artisans".

The complete list of terms to be changed is here, and it includes switching all gendered pronouns to "they" and "them", and instead of using pronouns where various roles are mentioned in the code, "he" or "he or she" will become "the architect" or "the respondent", etc.

Such changes will include the term "manpower" being eschewed for "human effort" or "workforce", while "man-made" will be substituted out for "human-made, "artificial", "manufactured", 'machine made", or 'synthetic'. "Why change it?" said Athena Addison of Berkeley. For example, the word "master" must be replaced with one of the following: "captain", "skipper", "pilot", "safety officer", or "central". Ombudsman is to be replaced with "investigating official".

No longer will "he" and "she" be used by the workers of the local government, male and female workers will instead be referred to collectively in the third-person as "they" and "them", as a result of the ruling. Therefore, it is both timely and necessary to make the environment of City Hall and the language of city legislation consistent with the principles of inclusion.


Public support was also unanimous during 45 minutes of comment from community members and representatives of the University of California's Office of the President (UCOP), energy giant PG&E and the Sierra Club, among others who spoke.

'Gender-neutral language creates a lot of room to acknowledge that it's not just men running the country, ' Robson said of his sponsored motion.

"They come up with these cockamamie things all the time", said one unidentified older resident. They can change it to maintenance hole. Then-Governor Jerry Brown signed SB179, also known as the Gender Recognition Act, which allows people to identify as non-binary on driver's licenses and birth certificates, and eases requirements for transgender people to change their gender on identification documents.

It will cost the city about $600 to make the changes.

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