No ‘manhole’: Berkeley bans gender-specific words in code

National News
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — An ordinance has been adopted in Berkeley, California, to replace some terms with gender-neutral words in the city code.

On Wednesday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that “she” and “he” will be replaced by “they.” The words “manpower” and “manhole” will become “workforce” and “maintenance hole.”

The City Council unanimously passed the measure to replace more than two dozen commonly used terms on Tuesday. There will be no more “craftsmen” in city code, only “craftspeople” or “artisans.”

Berkeley has a long history of leading on politically and socially liberal issues.

Councilman Rigel Robinson, a 23-year-old recent graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and the sponsor of the ordinance, says his time in college expanded his awareness of gender issues.

Robinson says critics suggested the council spend time on more important matters.

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