EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN: “Gendered Language Like ‘Manhole’ Will Soon Be Banned From Berkeley’s City Codes,” CBS’s Sacramento affiliate reports.
The city voted Tuesday night to replace gendered terms in its municipal codes, like “manhole” and “manpower,” with gender-neutral ones like “maintenance hole” and “human effort.”
The item passed without discussion or comments and was not controversial, said Berkeley City Council member Rigel Robinson, the bill’s primary author.
“There’s power in language,” Robinson said. “This is a small move, but it matters.”
The revised city documents also will replace instances of gendered pronouns, such as “he” and “she” with “they,” according to the ordinance.
Berkeley’s municipal code currently contains mostly masculine pronouns, the office of the city manager said in a letter to the mayor and city council.
“Having a male-centric municipal code is inaccurate and not reflective of our reality,” Robinson said. “Women and non-binary individuals are just as entitled to accurate representation. Our laws are for everyone, and our municipal code should reflect that.”
That topic was mentioned in passing during Ronald Reagan’s very last radio address before announcing his candidacy for the White House way back in 1979:
In Woonsocket, Rhode Island, the City Council has ruled that from now on those metal-covered holes in our streets we’ve long called manholes will henceforth be known as person holes.
And in Missoula, Montana, a Peeping Tom ordinance is now a `Peeping Person’ law.
No one will benefit from Berkeley’s dip into the Newspeak Dictionary, except for the city’s uber-woke bureaucrats. They’ll now have yet another reason to chastise the blue collar workers who have to go down what will now be called “maintenance holes” to help keep the city’s infrastructure running. And Gaia forbid that a sewer worker slip and call them manhole covers when dealing with his boss, who is more interested in pronouns than keeping the city’s plumbing working.
Or as Victor Davis Hanson wrote a few years ago when asking why Sacramento was increasingly beguiled with high-speed rail, even as its own highways were crumbling, “It is almost as if California answers back: ‘I am too bewildered by your premodern challenges, so I will take psychological refuge in my postmodern fantasies.’”