A city council in California has voted to ban the use of all gender specific words in its code, changing the way they appear in city documents.
The city council of Berkley in California has voted earlier this week to ban gender specific words in all its documents in an attempt to “promote equality”.
Under the changes, put forth by council member Rigel Robinson, the city’s municipal code will be altered to ensure that the language used avoids masculine and feminine pronouns where possible.
Throughout council documentation, words such as ‘policeman’ and ‘craftsmen’ would be replaced with ‘police officer’ and ‘craftspeople’, and simple pronouns such as ‘he’ and ‘she’ would be removed in favour of ‘they’ and ‘them’ Yahoo7 reports.
Other common terms are also set to change, with ‘manpower’ substituted by ‘human effort’, and ‘sorority’ and ‘fraternity’ replaced by ‘collegiate Greek system residence.’ Now that’s a mouthful!
“Whenever a personal pronoun is used in neutral gender, it shall be deemed to include the feminine and masculine also,” the amended code said. “They/them shall indicate a singular individual unless the context includes the contrary.”
The cost of implementing the changes is estimated to be around $600 which councilors say is a small price to pay for a more equal and inclusive community.
While this move is obviously motivated by good intentions, we are not sure that simply changing the use of gender specific words in council documents will create any real change.
What do you think of Berkley council’s decision? Let us know in the comments below.