Urban planning community

Poll results: Are your ordinances gender neutral

Voters
17. You may not vote on this poll
  • No, men rule the planet, period.

    9 52.94%
  • Yes, we're P.C and our codes are neutral.

    6 35.29%
  • We didn't stop there, we've incorporated "womyn"

    0 0%
  • I have a different explanation, that you'll see below.

    2 11.76%
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Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Gender neutrality

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Gender Neutrality

    I thought the thread title might get some attention. Here's the scoop:

    Our esteemed City Clerk (a female) want all new Municipal Codes and code revisions to be gender neutral, as in amending "....the Planning Director of his designee..." to read
    "...the Planning Director of his / her designee..."

    This generated alot of discussion at a recent staff meeting. I (a male) think it's unnecessary, and my Prentice Hall Handbook for Writers says the male gender is proper written form.

    So...what is everyone else doing with their codes??

  2. #2
    Cyburbian El Feo's avatar
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    How to deal with documents written in languages with words that actually have gender? I mean, I'm pretty sure women in Spain watch "el television" even though the word is masculine, without really thinking about it. I know I can type using "palabras" without taking offense.

    It's me, I guess. I need to face the fact that I'm a hopelessly backwards man in an aggressively progressive world.
    "The fanatical Muslims despise America because it's all lapdancing and gay porn; the secular Europeans despise America because it's all born-again Christians hung up on abortion; the anti-Semites despise America because it's controlled by Jews. Too Jewish, too Christian, too Godless, America is also too isolationist, except when it's too imperialist." -- Mark Steyn

  3. #3
    According to our code:

    Developers are only men
    Land owners are ony men
    Any Chairmen on any board or a committee is a man

    However, all City employee positions are listed with the his/her option.

    I think the policy here has been to change it only if there is another revision to that particular section of the Code. I would imagine it would be very expensive just to change it for such a small item.

    We do have a female elected official who demands to be called an Alderperson
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

    - Homer Simpson

  4. #4
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Oops... I had already responded to the poll when I realized I was remembering the codes from the last City I worked for. Oh well.

    In the last City I worked we were in the process of rewriting the Zoning Ordinance when I left, and we were moving toward a male gender in the text, but having a defintion of "his" or "he" or something like that so the definition included female gender references. So it was a little bit of both.

    In reading the Land Use Bylaw for my current municipality, I have yet to find the word "his" in the text. All regulations referring to a person's discretion in making decisions etc, lists instead the name of the position (such as Development Officer). But the bylaw does refer to "Aldermen" as opposed to "Alderperson" (which sounds lame), so I guess it isn't totally gender neutral.

  5. #5
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    I don't use "his," "her," "his" or "her" interchangably, or "his/her." I use "their." Gramatically incorrect, but acknowledged by some to be an adequate substitute for referring to someone of unknown gender in the third person singular.

    You can also eliminate the third person singular. Consider ...

    "The Planning Director or his designee may do something."
    versus
    "The Planning Director or designee may do something."

    As an aside, we still have this in our Municipal Code. #14 is gender-specific. The rest are just ... well, quaint.

    Sec. 50-20. Vagrants.
    (a) The following shall be deemed vagrants:
    (1) Rogues, vagabonds, idle or dissolute persons who go about begging;
    (2) Common gamblers;
    (3) Persons who use juggling or unlawful games or plays;
    (4) Common pipers and fiddlers;
    (5) Common drunkards;
    (6) Common night walkers;
    (7) Thieves, pilferers, traders in stolen property;
    (8) Lewd, wanton and lascivious persons;
    (9) Keepers of gambling places;
    (10) Common railers and brawlers;
    (11) Persons who neglect their calling or employment or are without reasonable continuous employment or regular income and who have not sufficient property to sustain themselves and misspend what they earn without providing for themselves or for the support of their families;
    (12) Persons wandering or strolling around from place to place without any lawful purpose or object, habitual loafers, idle and disorderly persons;
    (13) Persons neglecting all lawful business and habitually spending their time by frequenting houses of ill fame, gaming houses or tippling shops;
    (14) Persons able to work but habitually living upon the earnings of their wives or minor children; and
    (15) All ablebodied persons over the age of 18 years who are without means of support and remain in idleness
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
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    vagrants

    Originally posted by Dan
    I don't use "his," "her," "his" or "her" interchangably, or "his/her." I use "their." Gramatically incorrect, but acknowledged by some to be an adequate substitute for referring to someone of unknown gender in the third person singular.

    You can also eliminate the third person singular. Consider ...

    "The Planning Director or his designee may do something."
    versus
    "The Planning Director or designee may do something."

    As an aside, we still have this in our Municipal Code. #14 is gender-specific. The rest are just ... well, quaint.

    Sec. 50-20. Vagrants.
    (a) The following shall be deemed vagrants:
    (1) Rogues, vagabonds, idle or dissolute persons who go about begging;
    (2) Common gamblers;
    (3) Persons who use juggling or unlawful games or plays;
    (4) Common pipers and fiddlers;
    (5) Common drunkards;
    (6) Common night walkers;
    (7) Thieves, pilferers, traders in stolen property;
    (8) Lewd, wanton and lascivious persons;
    (9) Keepers of gambling places;
    (10) Common railers and brawlers;
    (11) Persons who neglect their calling or employment or are without reasonable continuous employment or regular income and who have not sufficient property to sustain themselves and misspend what they earn without providing for themselves or for the support of their families;
    (12) Persons wandering or strolling around from place to place without any lawful purpose or object, habitual loafers, idle and disorderly persons;
    (13) Persons neglecting all lawful business and habitually spending their time by frequenting houses of ill fame, gaming houses or tippling shops;
    (14) Persons able to work but habitually living upon the earnings of their wives or minor children; and
    (15) All ablebodied persons over the age of 18 years who are without means of support and remain in idleness
    Remind me to be careful If I ever go to Orlando. At one time or another I have fit a number of these criteria.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    I have never fiddled or piped in a common manner.


    As to gender neutrality. It wears me out. Too much time/money on our hands when a juristiction spends all that money to reprint/changes ordiances like this.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Originally posted by gkmo62u
    I have never fiddled or piped in a common manner.


    As to gender neutrality. It wears me out. Too much time/money on our hands when a juristiction spends all that money to reprint/changes ordiances like this.
    Thank you and I agree, but I'm really trying to be open minded and not come off as a (total) chauvenist.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    I dont have a big issue with he/she etc. its a word-they only have as much power as we give them. We seem to use all male gender words here in Fairfax.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I try to be open minded and, though I think that many of the terms some people complain about (mankind, etc) are really gender neutral, I try to respect other opinions. To a point. I once dated a feminist (i.e., brainwashed to the point of stupidity) who objected to the term history, and thought that reflected a male bias. She thought there should also be a herstory. It wouldn't matter that the Greek root 'histos' means simply, 'story.' But I digress with nightmarish reflections upon my past failed love life. I think the approach Dan uses is best, implemented over time as portions of the code are re-written.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Habanero's avatar
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    Originally posted by bturk


    Thank you and I agree, but I'm really trying to be open minded and not come off as a (total) chauvenist.
    Well, if anyone screams about that, they need to get a hobby. Why don't you tell her if that's what she's so concerned about she should go ahead a quit now and pop out some babies..



    Okay, really kidding on that last part, but if that's all I had to complain about, I'd be loving my job. There are bigger battles to be fought, move on-
    When Jesus said "love your enemies", he probably didn't mean kill them.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Originally posted by TexasPlanner

    Well, if anyone screams about that, they need to get a hobby. Why don't you tell her if that's what she's so concerned about she should go ahead a quit now and pop out some babies..
    Ummm, she's in her 60's..... ew.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Habanero's avatar
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    Originally posted by bturk


    Ummm, she's in her 60's..... ew.
    okay, so then tell her to retire... I was just saying what you should say if you decided to take the chauvenist route..
    When Jesus said "love your enemies", he probably didn't mean kill them.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Originally posted by TexasPlanner


    okay, so then tell her to retire... I was just saying what you should say if you decided to take the chauvenist route..
    Yeah I tried that on a different issue and determined that I would just have to outlive her. However, I am beginning to suspect she is undead and I may need Buffy's help here...

  15. #15
    We (and presumably all Local Authorities in the UK) are sort of gender neutral. The official stuff handed down from the powers that be uses 'one' and 'their', but the stuff that circulates in 'one's own departments and offices tends to use 'he' and 'his' or 'she' and 'her' depending on who wrote it. Most of the women actually use 'he'/'his', too, unless their being awkward, but a few of them genuinely think along the 'she'/'her' lines. Unlike me *hangs head in shame*.

    PS Can I have a picture of Angel, then?
    Glorious Technicolor, Breath-Taking CinemaScope and Stereophonic Sound!

  16. #16
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Originally posted by Journeymouse
    PS Can I have a picture of Angel, then?
    [slight hijack]

    I went to elementary school with Dave Boreanaz's sister, if that means anything. She's now a production coordinator for the Rosie O'Donnell Show.

    [/slight hijack]
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  17. #17

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    Our ordinances are inpenetrable. Since nobody can read 'em, we have no idea if they are gender-neutral or sexist.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
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    pc language

    Originally posted by Michael Stumpf
    I try to be open minded and, though I think that many of the terms some people complain about (mankind, etc) are really gender neutral, I try to respect other opinions. To a point. I once dated a feminist (i.e., brainwashed to the point of stupidity) who objected to the term history, and thought that reflected a male bias. She thought there should also be a herstory. It wouldn't matter that the Greek root 'histos' means simply, 'story.' But I digress with nightmarish reflections upon my past failed love life. I think the approach Dan uses is best, implemented over time as portions of the code are re-written.
    You have my sympathies.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
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    pc language

    Originally posted by biha
    Our ordinances are inpenetrable. Since nobody can read 'em, we have no idea if they are gender-neutral or sexist.
    Impenetrable.....sexist.....hmmmmm.........

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