We have seen the world gradually becoming more and more politically correct, with those who don’t facing backlash and repercussions. Berkeley, California, is one of the most progressive areas in the United States, so it should come as little surprise that they recently announced that they feel the term “manhole” is sexist. They’ll begin using a new term in its place.
The City Council announced the plan to change the name Tuesday night in an effort to remain “gender-neutral.” The city-wide change will see terms like “manhole” changed to “maintenance hole,” CNN reported.
In 2008, various European countries slowly began to adopt gender-neutral terms with many of them citing the change was needed to be “more respectful” and “more accurate,” NBC News reported. The following chart contains a list of terms to be replaced.
Rigel Robinson, a Berkeley City Council member, spearheaded the implementation of the terms as he acknowledged that the city has many nonbinary individuals. “It is Berkeley being Berkeley, and what that means is it’s Berkeley being inclusive,” Robinson explained. “A male-centric municipal code doesn’t reflect the reality of the city of Berkeley.”
Robinson announced the change in ordinance would cost the city $600. “In recent years,of transgender and gender-nonconforming identities has brought to light the importance of non-binary gender inclusivity,” Robinson’s ordinance reads.
He added: “Therefore, it is both timely and necessary to make the environment of City Hall and the language of city legislation consistent with the principles of inclusion.”
Social media was flooded with Americans who were split on the issue with many not seeing the point of using gender-neutral language, while others praised the idea.
“I gotta say as a female engineer in Seattle,” one woman wrote, “I really don’t give a crap what you call a utility access point.”
California has also become one of the first states to stop defining genders on official documents such as driver licenses in an effort to be more “inclusive.”