From 'Manholes' to 'Maintenance Holes': Berkeley Adds Gender Neutral Language to City Code

by | July 19, 2019 AT 6:56 AM

By Blake Alsup

At long last, the city of Berkeley, Calif., shattered the glass manhole -- ahem, "maintenance hole."

The Berkeley city council voted on Tuesday night to update it's municipal code with gender-neutral language. It passed unanimously on the first reading, Curbed SF reported.

And manhole is not the only term that's been changed.

Man-made will now be "human-made," "artificial," or "manufactured." Manpower will be referred to as "human effort." Sororities and fraternities will now be called "collegiate Greek system residences."

And there are plenty of other words the council is replacing as well. See the full list below.

The proposal originally appeared on the city's March 12 agenda. From there, a procedural plan to revise the code and "replace all instances of gendered pronouns with the singular 'they'" pronoun was created.

"In recent years, broadening societal awareness of transgender and gender nonconforming identities has brought to light the importance of non-binary gender inclusivity," the council wrote, saying the code previously contained "mostly masculine pronouns."

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