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.

Making Changes

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!

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“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.

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  • They would be far better making meaningful changes instead of spending time and money on this

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  • Things get more and more ridiculous the more ‘open minded’ and ‘liberal’ and ‘aware’ we supposedly become.

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  • Really making it easy for a bad opportunity for crime! Who raped you i am not sure I can say equality.

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  • I’m really not sure about this. It’s a big change to cater for those few that don’t identify with a gender. I’m all for equality… Maybe we should invent a new word that means he/she, that is not plural like ‘they’

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  • What a complete waste of time and money. This will not change how people act towards each other.

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  • Blah Blah Blah. Just more crazy outrage. It’s getting ridiculous. Who even thinks of these things?

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  • Things are really starting to get out of control.

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  • this is just a waste of taxpayer’s dollars

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  • Great idea, now lets get rid of Miss, Master, Mr and Mrs.

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  • I’m all for equality and inclusion but I feel this may make things a tad confusing. If ‘He’ and ‘She’ is now always ‘They’ or ‘Them’ it may make some conversations a bit puzzling. Eg Instead of ‘He handed Her the milk and She smiled, then He walked away’ it would be ‘They handed Them the milk and They smiled, then They walked away’. It doesn’t really explain who smiled, or who walked away. You would have to use people’s names to differentiate in conversations but it makes it hard if you don’t know the persons name :/ Time will tell to see how things go.

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  • Seems like a waste of their time and money that could be better spent on community awareness

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  • I can understand it in some circumstances like police officer etc but not sure about all. Personally I don’t care that it’s called a manhole. Each to their own I guess.

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  • I don’t mind either ..

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  • Good intentions, but will it really make a difference? Not sure on that score, but pleased they are making the effort.

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  • As long it’s clear what it means I don’t mind. Obviously these changes are nade because some people are offended by gender specific words and it’s good to i take each other into account

    Reply

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