Berkeley Bans “Manholes”

Good luck trying to find a manhole in Berkeley. Such terms are now expressly banned in all municipal codes as “male-centric.” People are now expected to refer to “maintenance holes.” Of course, you also cannot ask for more “manpower” to work in the “maintenance holes.” Instead you are to refer to “human effort” rather than “manpower.”

I think it is generally a good idea to try to avoid the use of gendered pronouns in regulations and laws. However, there are also some terms like manpower which are considered by most people to already be gender neutral in common use. “Human effort” is pretty awkward in sentences like “the emergency fund can be used to increase human effort under exigent circumstances.” Other terms like “chairman” can more easily replaced with “chairperson” but again the term is not taken literally by most people.

Nevertheless, this is a popular cause with those who police language. Berkeley City Council member Rigel Robinson, the bill’s primary author declared “There’s power in language. This is a small move, but it matters.” My guess is that it matters more politically than anything else.

Moreover, the change is meant to also bring regulations and laws in conformity with “non-binary individuals” by removing pronouns. Again the assumption is that common terms are literal when most people already treat them as neutral. As Robinson stated “Having a male-centric municipal code is inaccurate and not reflective of our reality. Women and non-binary individuals are just as entitled to accurate representation. Our laws are for everyone, and our municipal code should reflect that.”

What do you think?

41 thoughts on “Berkeley Bans “Manholes””

  1. These folks need some sort of catastrophic event to knock some sense into them. They have WAY too much time on their hands.

      1. mespo…… thank you for asking. He is still in shock that he almost died.
        Recovery is slow, but there’s been an outpouring of support and kindness from the legal community, even judges! 🙂 which makes him feel good.
        I did not give him his smart phone for a week!…I made the calls to all clients and attorneys and judges regarding his calendar and deadlines. It was especially fun talking to the judges. All you have to do is call them “judge” as many times in a sentence as you can and they are yours! LOL! just kidding, though I did that. but, they’re great guys..
        Thank you, mespo.

  2. This is just as silly as “freedom fries.” Now I’m going outside to look at the dog in the moon and read a book about a Portuguese ma’am of war.

    1. This is just as silly as “freedom fries.”

      No, it isn’t. ‘Freedom fries’ is a minor protest against the occidental world’s most abrasive people.

      Here it is. Liberals cannot criticize something inane without sideswiping third parties. Because systemic character defects.

  3. What we need instead of this nonsense, is something like the French Academy, to decide what is English and what gibberish. Of course, the existence of such an institution presupposes at the very least, a working knowledge of one’s own language. To begin, I recommend H.W. Fowler’s: Modern English Usage (1926). Eschew the revised editions.

  4. “Horse power” marginalizes other animals. And why should we distinguish between manpower and horse power? Isn’t that speciesism at its worst? I say we go with Beastpower which will cover all beasts, whether two-legged or four. 👷🏻‍♀️👷‍♂️🐎🐂🐘🐐🐑🐈🐓🐿🐇🐀🦔

  5. Let’s just all learn Spanish. It’s all there for us. The words, nouns, used are clearly identified as male or female. “Agujero,” for example, is an abbreviated masculine name for “manhole,” whereas “Aqujera” is easily recognized as being female. WaLa! Each can have his/her own, and call it what they wish. You’re welcome.

  6. “Human effort” does not mean “manpower.” One might have manpower even if the people who constitute the manpower make no effort to exercise it.

  7. It will not happen in my lifetime. I am an old guy. We simply won’t do it, and you can’t make us. Such nonsense. All ships are “she.” Must we now refer to them as “SheHes?” “Well, Captain, SheHes listing to starboard pretty much.” Or something?

  8. There will still be lots of manholes in gay Berkeley, San Francisco, and other wacky California cities………they will be walking the streets and not in the streets……..if you know what I mean.

    1. Call them Buttholes. Men and women have them. The workers : Butt Workers. The legislators in town: Buttheads. The voters: Dumbdorks.
      Frisco: Fly over and flush.

  9. JT: “Berkeley City Council member Rigel Robinson, the bill’s primary author declared ‘There’s power in language. This is a small move, but it matters.’ My guess is that it matters more politically than anything else.”

    Just like the military’s use of “collateral damage” matters more politically than anything else. I’ll agree to retain the use of “manhole” if you’ll agree to dispense with that military euphemism.

  10. It is said Caligula longed to name his favorite horse, Incitatus, consul of the Roman Empire. He was deemed mad. Berkeley makes Caligula look like Diogenes.

    1. Caligula’s horse would provide leadership, I dare say, than some of the yahoos on the Hill. Horse sense n’ all, ya know.

  11. Lists of prohibited words, speech police…the erosion of the basic human right to choose your own words.

    There are universities who give incoming freshman long lists of prohibited words…like “freshman.” It’s supposed to be “first year” now. Non conformists to be punished.

    Language evolves naturally, rather like a free market. If you have to force it, the words are not effective.

    Statistically, a man is going to go down a man hole to work. Physically demanding jobs tend to be filled with the stronger gender. Women need the self esteem to accept the realities of biology.

    Man hole is clear. Person hole is just weird. Municipal access port is too long.

    Why do people waste their time on the manufactured crisis of the gender of common words?

    Activists are in search of a crisis so they can puff their chests out in pride, having defended women against the unfair use of…words. Why do women need protection from the longstanding use of mankind or man hole?

  12. I think it is generally a good idea to try to avoid the use of gendered pronouns in regulations and laws.

    Really. And you’ve thought this a generally good idea since when, breakfast?

    What do I think: When the autopsy is performed on the “old” Democrat party, they’re going to have a lot to choose from trying to figure out the cause of death. It’s probably going to read like What Happened? II.

  13. The Pinkos are getting sillier by the day.

    Good.

    America needs to see what kind of idiots are vying for power.

    1. Michael A, I almost offered the female version but dismissed it at once as obscene.

      This whole speech police must be both comedic gold and make comics afraid at the same time.

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