Soon, there will be no more “manholes” in the city of Berkeley. There will also be no “chairmen”, no “manpower”, and no “policemen.”
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.
Soon, in the Bay Area city, all instances of “he” and “she” in the city code will replaced by the gender-neutral “they.”
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 effort was spearheaded by City Council member Rigel Robinson, who said:
“It is Berkeley being Berkeley, and what that means is it’s Berkeley being inclusive. A male-centric municipal code doesn’t reflect the reality of the city of Berkeley.“
Robinson said the change to the city code, which will cost $600, is important because “language has power.”
The ordinance to make the changes will be reviewed again next week, and would go into place in late August.
Berkeley’s efforts aligns with California’s broader effort to include people who don’t identify as men or women into state policy.
In 2017, California became the first state to allow nonbinary gender markers on birth certificates, and the second state, behind Oregon, to allow residents to be identified by a gender marker other than “F” or “M” on their driver’s licenses.
Let me see if I understand this, they want ‘Manholes’ and ‘Policemen’ Gay?