As the social landscape keeps changing, and words that have been used for decades, are now considered “gendered” or sexist, are now under fire. Even governments are feeling the pressure to change words in an effort to appease the “liberal or progressive” mindset.
Berkely California, one of the most liberal cities in America recently voted to update its city codebook to reflect more gender-neutral terms.
The Berkeley City Council voted to replace around three dozen terms found in the municipal code. Terms like “policeman,” “policewoman,” “chairwoman” and “chairman” will be changed, as will “he,” “she,” “him” and “her.”
In an effort to “more accurately represent” the wide range of constituents, words like “manpower” will be replaced with “human effort,” words like “chairman” will be replaced with “chair” or “chairperson.” According to the Office of the City Manager, the Berkely municipal code contains mostly “masculine pronouns.”
The item passed without discussion or comments, was not seen as controversial, according to Berkely city council member and the bill’s primary author Rigel Robinson.
“Women and non-binary individuals are just as entitled to accurate representation. Our laws are for everyone, and our municipal code should reflect that,” Robinson told CNN.
Cities and companies across the U.S., as well as the U.S. military, have in recent years adopted gender-neutral language amid a larger debate about transgender rights. The Canadian government in March 2018 also ordered government agencies to stop using gendered terms like “Mr.,” “Mrs.” and “mother.”