WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Berkeley, California will soon ban language that implies a gender preference from the city’s codes and replaced with gender-neutral words.
- On Tuesday, the city voted to replace gendered terms, including “manhole” and “manpower,” with gender-neutral terms like “maintenance hole” and “human effort.”
- Councilmember Rigel Robinson, the bill’s primary author, said “There’s power in language” and “by eliminating any gender preference language” will “promote equality.”
Berkeley, California on Tuesday voted to move forward with an ordinance that would remove gendered terms from its city’s codes, replacing it with gender-neutral language.
According to CNN, the city council of Berkeley voted on the measure on Tuesday. Councilmember Rigel Robinson, the bill’s primary author, said that the measure passed without argument or controversy.
All gendered pronouns like “he” or “she” would be replaced in Berkeley’s city codes with “they,” “them” or the specific title of the person. Berkeleyside said the city code currently uses predominantly masculine pronouns.
Moreover, gendered words like “manhole,” “manmade,” “salesman” and “policewoman” would be changed to a gender-neutral term. The proposed change to “manhole” is “maintenance hole.”
Robinson praised the passage of the measure on Twitter, writing: “There is power in language. This is a small move, but it matters.”
Authors of the bill explained that they believed updating the city code “by eliminating any gender preference language” will “promote equality.”
According to Berkeleyside, it will cost the city about $600 to change the code.
“Having a male-centric municipal code is inaccurate and not reflective of our reality,” Robinson said, according to CNN. “Women and non-binary individuals are just as entitled to accurate representation. Our laws are for everyone, and our municipal code should reflect that.”