Berkeley Adopts Gender Neutral Language, Bans Terms 'Manhole' and 'Fireman'

The City Council of Berkeley, California, has formally dropped the use of terms with gender-specific words in the municipal code, such as “manhole.”


According to local news reports, “workforce” and “maintenance hole” will replace “manpower” and “manhole” while “fireman” will be dropped for “firefighter.” The words “they” or “them” will take the place of “she” or “he.” Under the changes, the terms “brother” and “sister” will become “sibling.”

“Amending the municipal code to include gender-neutral pronouns by eliminating any gender preference language within the municipal code will promote equality,” said the city council.

The city council approved the gender-neutral changes on Tuesday.


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