Berkeley, CA, Orders City Terms be ‘Gender Neutral’

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The City of Berkeley, California, wants to cleanse the language so words that feel "gender-biased" are removed from use in all city applications, including references to manholes and manpower. (Stock photo)

CBS Sacramentao – Soon, there will be no more manholes in the city of Berkeley, California. There will be no chairmen, no manpower and no policemen or policewomen.

It doesn’t mean the city will be without committee leaders and law enforcement. It means words that imply gender preference will be removed from city codes and replaced with gender-neutral terms, according to a recently adopted ordinance.

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 ordinance passed without discussion or comments and was not controversial, said Berkeley City Council member Rigel Robinson, the bill’s primary author.

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