California city set to ban gendered words like “manhole” & “manpower”

The new ordinance would eliminate the use of masculine and feminine pronouns in the municipal code


The City Council in Berkeley, Calif., voted this week to ban gender-specific words in the liberal city’s municipal code, clearing the way for the changes to become official.

As a result of the vote on the proposed ordinance, the word “manhole” would be changed to “maintenance hole” in city documents, the news site Berkeleyside reported. “Human effort” would be substituted for the word “manpower,” and “sorority” or “fraternity” would be changed to “collegiate Greek system residence.”

When introduced, the authors of the new ordinance wrote that they were putting the measure forth so as to “promote equality.”

“Amending the municipal code to include gender-neutral pronouns by eliminating any gender preference language within the municipal code will promote equality,” according to text explaining the rationale.

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