Skip to content

What’s your favorite Berkeley banned word? “Manhole”? “Pregnant woman”? “Heir”? “Sorority”? “Female”? “Craftsman”? “Brother”?

July 25, 2019
Image result for craftsman house berkeley
Photo: Curbed
The “craftsman house”–the woodsy bungalow that debuted around the turn of the 20th century–may be the signature architectural style of Berkeley, California.
Except that in militantly gender-neutral Berkeley. you’ve now got to call it a “craftspeople house.”
Yup, the craftsman house just went the way of the manhole–and also the singular personal pronoun.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

In an effort to be more inclusive, the Berkeley City Council adopted an ordinance Tuesday to replace gendered language in the city’s municipal code with neutral terms.

Personal pronouns like “she,” “he,” “her” and “him” will change to “they” and “them.”

No more “he said/she said” in Berkeley!

And the “manhole” in the street is now the “maintenance hole.” Which sounds vaguely off-color, but whatever.

Also on the list:

“Heirs.” The new word is “beneficiaries.”

“Men and women.” You gotta say “people.”

“Fraternal.” The word is now “social,” as in: “They is my social twin.” Plus, no more “fraternity” or “sorority.” It’s “collegiate Greek system residence.”

“Brother” and “sister.” Say “sibling,” as in: “They’s not heavy; they’s my sibling.”

And please no “pregnant women.” It’s “pregnant employees.”

And while the Book of Genesis might say, “Male and female created he them,” in Berkeley it’s “People of different genders created they them.” So much more poetic.

In total, more than two dozen commonly used terms will be changed in the city code after the measure unanimously passed.

“Gender-neutral language creates a lot of room to acknowledge that it’s not just men running the country,” said council member Rigel Robinson, who sponsored the ordinance.

Critics have suggested the council should spend time on other things, Robinson said, but he pointed to the other items he considered important on Tuesday’s agenda, which included an ordinance to make Berkeley the first city in the country to prohibit natural gas infrastructure in new buildings.

“We are capable of doing more than one thing at a time,” Robinson said. “We’re not just looking at symbolic things.”

Berkeley: The first city in America where it’s illegal to have a gas stove in a craftsman house.

Posted by Charlotte Allen

From → Uncategorized

3 Comments
  1. They’s not heavy; they’s my sibling. So funny.

  2. Who is keeping the lights on and the water running in Berkeley? Why are still doing it?

  3. Liz Starr permalink

    Berkeley Big Brothers better organize a MARCH on WSJ, hand out posters: “Delete ‘YOUNG’—TOO SUBJECTIVE!” . . . . . “NO MORE MANIS!” . . . “HANDIPEDIS FOR ALL!” . . .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: