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

Falling but not fast enough to meet goals. City of Berkeley

"Cigarettes and other tobacco products will remain legal in the city, along with recreational marijuana", reports Bloomberg. In addition, gendered terms in the existing code such as he, she, him, her, himself, herself would be switched to specific nouns such as the architect, the attorney, the council member, the clerk, the driver and more. "It's not only timely, but necessary to make sure that our laws really speak for everyone".

"Language has power. The words we use are important", 23-year-old council member Rigel Robinson, author of the proposed changes, said. Manholes will heretofore be referred to as "maintenance holes", and the words "fraternity", "sorority", and "fraternal" will all be nixed with regards to the UC campus's Greek system - these will be replaced with "Collegiate Greek system residence".

"Revising the Berkeley Municipal Code to include gender-neutral pronouns by eliminating any gender preference language to indicate that whenever a gender-neutral personal pronoun is used, it shall be deemed to include the feminine and masculine also". Manpower will now be "human effort" and pregnant woman is now pregnant employee. That would be "maintenance hole", CNN noted. "I'm sure it wouldn't hurt anybody", said Erin Davis of Berkley.

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"I don't, by any means, think this is the great championing for gender equality, but you gotta start somewhere", Baker added. "Come on. Enough is enough", Andrew Haits remarked.

One Berkeley resident, Sara, told NBC that she thinks "they should put their time into figuring out homelessness". "Enough is enough", he snickered. Few people deploy words like "manhole" or "ombudsman" as exclusively male terms, even if they are technically gendered.

Now, the city of Berkeley is taking it a step further. Berkeley was among the first cities to adopt curbside recycling in the 1970s and more recently, became the first in the U.S.to tax sugary drinks and ban natural gas in new homes.

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