• We're a fun, friendly, and diverse group of planners, placemakers, students, and other folks who found their people here. Create your FREE Cyburbia ID, and join us today! Use your email address, or register through your Reddit, Facebook, Google, Twitter, or Microsoft account.

Gender neutrality

Are your ordinances gender neutral

  • No, men rule the planet, period.

    Votes: 9 56.3%
  • Yes, we're P.C and our codes are neutral.

    Votes: 6 37.5%
  • We didn't stop there, we've incorporated "womyn"

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I have a different explanation, that you'll see below.

    Votes: 1 6.3%

  • Total voters
    16
Status
Not open for further replies.

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
33
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??
 

El Feo

Cyburbian
Messages
674
Points
19
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.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,550
Points
24
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
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
29
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.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,331
Points
53
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
 

Tom R

Cyburbian
Messages
2,274
Points
24
vagrants

Dan said:
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.
 

gkmo62u

Cyburbian
Messages
1,046
Points
23
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.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
33
gkmo62u said:
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.
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
6,377
Points
28
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.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,078
Points
33
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.
 

Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
Points
27
bturk said:


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-
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
33
TexasPlanner said:

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.
 

Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
Points
27
bturk said:


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..
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
33
TexasPlanner said:


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...
 

Journeymouse

Cyburbian
Messages
443
Points
13
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?
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,331
Points
53
Journeymouse said:
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]
 

biha

Cyburbian
Messages
25
Points
2
Our ordinances are inpenetrable. Since nobody can read 'em, we have no idea if they are gender-neutral or sexist.
 

Tom R

Cyburbian
Messages
2,274
Points
24
pc language

Michael Stumpf said:
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.
 

Tom R

Cyburbian
Messages
2,274
Points
24
pc language

biha said:
Our ordinances are inpenetrable. Since nobody can read 'em, we have no idea if they are gender-neutral or sexist.
Impenetrable.....sexist.....hmmmmm.........
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top