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-   -   Do the pros of Berkeley's gender-pronoun-ban outweigh the cons? (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=879070)

Velocity 07-20-2019 02:24 PM

Do the pros of Berkeley's gender-pronoun-ban outweigh the cons?
 
Don't want to start a debate on LGBT/genderism/non-genderism itself (we have many other threads,) but just want to ask about the practicality of this:


Does this mean that police will not be allowed to describe a suspect as a man or a woman, and can only say "person of interest" or something non-gendered like that? That wouldn't help the public in identifying the suspect. Are medical professionals allowed to say that a patient is a man or a woman? (makes a big difference if a patient needs a vasectomy or hysterectomy, for instance.)

If a child goes missing, are the authorities allowed to say that it's a boy missing or a girl missing, or does it have to be non-gendered pronoun child? Again, that wouldn't help the public in finding the missing kid at all. If a school prided itself on increasing its representation of women (i.e., "our student body used to be only 12% women, but now is 45%!") then doesn't this mean they couldn't convey such a fact anymore?

It sounds like from a practical standpoint, the cons significantly outweigh the pros, especially in light of all the names, policies, practices that would have to be changed.

Thudlow Boink 07-20-2019 02:32 PM

Is there a link missing from the OP?

Kimstu 07-20-2019 02:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Velocity (Post 21761028)
[...] just want to ask about the practicality of this:

Does this mean that police will not be allowed to describe a suspect as a man or a woman, and can only say "person of interest" or something non-gendered like that? That wouldn't help the public in identifying the suspect. Are medical professionals allowed to say that a patient is a man or a woman? (makes a big difference if a patient needs a vasectomy or hysterectomy, for instance.)

If a child goes missing, are the authorities allowed to say that it's a boy missing or a girl missing, or does it have to be non-gendered pronoun child? Again, that wouldn't help the public in finding the missing kid at all. If a school prided itself on increasing its representation of women (i.e., "our student body used to be only 12% women, but now is 45%!") then doesn't this mean they couldn't convey such a fact anymore?

It sounds like from a practical standpoint, the cons significantly outweigh the pros, especially in light of all the names, policies, practices that would have to be changed.

:confused: :confused: If this is what you're talking about ("Berkeley plans to remove gendered pronouns from its municipal code"), then I fail to see how it would affect any of your examples at all.

AFAICT, the purpose is simply to make Berkeley's own code of municipal regulations non-gender-specific in its language. That is, the code would presumably refer to "firefighters" rather than "firemen" and "firewomen", "mail carriers" rather than "mailmen", "meter readers" instead of "meter maids", singular "they" rather than "he" or "she" as a gender-indefinite singular pronoun, and so on. Nowhere, AFAIK, is it proposed to restrict what municipal employees can say about the gender of individuals when it's pertinent to what they're talking about.

Is there some right-wing huffery-puffery making the rounds claiming that Berkeley police henceforth won't be allowed to mention the gender of a suspect, or something? If so, that sounds extremely implausible, but please link to it so we can check if it has any discernible merit (and if not, at least we'll get a good laugh out of it).

elucidator 07-20-2019 03:20 PM

Ah, Berkeley! Or Berzerkly, as it is fondly known to us on the conservative wing of the extreme left! First city in America to have a foreign policy!

Northern Piper 07-20-2019 03:41 PM

I know lawyers who do legal drafting here in Canada. They've been doing non-gender vocab on statutes for 30 years.

iiandyiiii 07-20-2019 04:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Velocity (Post 21761028)
Don't want to start a debate on LGBT/genderism/non-genderism itself (we have many other threads,) but just want to ask about the practicality of this:


Does this mean that police will not be allowed to describe a suspect as a man or a woman, and can only say "person of interest" or something non-gendered like that? That wouldn't help the public in identifying the suspect. Are medical professionals allowed to say that a patient is a man or a woman? (makes a big difference if a patient needs a vasectomy or hysterectomy, for instance.)

If a child goes missing, are the authorities allowed to say that it's a boy missing or a girl missing, or does it have to be non-gendered pronoun child? Again, that wouldn't help the public in finding the missing kid at all. If a school prided itself on increasing its representation of women (i.e., "our student body used to be only 12% women, but now is 45%!") then doesn't this mean they couldn't convey such a fact anymore?

It sounds like from a practical standpoint, the cons significantly outweigh the pros, especially in light of all the names, policies, practices that would have to be changed.

It sounds like you have no idea what you're talking about with respect to Berkeley's policies. No link, no description of what Berkeley is actually doing... nothing.

CarnalK 07-20-2019 04:13 PM

This is crazy! How are they gonna make babies if they neuter everyone! This is political correctness gone mad.

Eta: or, what iiandyiiii said.

Ravenman 07-20-2019 07:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Velocity (Post 21761028)
Don't want to start a debate on LGBT/genderism/non-genderism itself (we have many other threads,) but just want to ask about the practicality of this:


Does this mean that police will not be allowed to describe a suspect as a man or a woman, and can only say "person of interest" or something non-gendered like that? That wouldn't help the public in identifying the suspect. Are medical professionals allowed to say that a patient is a man or a woman? (makes a big difference if a patient needs a vasectomy or hysterectomy, for instance.)

If a child goes missing, are the authorities allowed to say that it's a boy missing or a girl missing, or does it have to be non-gendered pronoun child? Again, that wouldn't help the public in finding the missing kid at all. If a school prided itself on increasing its representation of women (i.e., "our student body used to be only 12% women, but now is 45%!") then doesn't this mean they couldn't convey such a fact anymore?

It sounds like from a practical standpoint, the cons significantly outweigh the pros, especially in light of all the names, policies, practices that would have to be changed.

Why didn't you ask if Berkeley was going to impose the death penalty on anyone who wears gendered clothing, like pants or a skirt?

iiandyiiii 07-20-2019 08:14 PM

Velocity, are you planning on explaining what the hell you're talking about with this OP? Maybe with a link?

Ronald Raygun 07-20-2019 08:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iiandyiiii (Post 21761490)
Velocity, are you planning on explaining what the hell you're talking about with this OP? Maybe with a link?

Berkeley is removing gender-specific language from its municipal code. This only affects about 40 or so words. "Fireman" is now "firefighter", "manhole" is now "maintenance hole", and so on. The updates will cost the city $600.

A police officer can certainly refer to someone as a man. I don't see why they wouldn't be able to.

iiandyiiii 07-20-2019 08:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ronald Raygun (Post 21761505)
Berkeley is removing gender-specific language from its municipal code. This only affects about 40 or so words. "Fireman" is now "firefighter", "manhole" is now "maintenance hole", and so on. The updates will cost the city $600.

A police officer can certainly refer to someone as a man. I don't see why they wouldn't be able to.

Velocity, is this what you're referring to? If so, where did you get the fear-mongering nonsense in your OP?

Snowboarder Bo 07-20-2019 09:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iiandyiiii (Post 21761157)
It sounds like you have no idea what you're talking about with respect to Berkeley's policies. No link, no description of what Berkeley is actually doing... nothing.

Srsly.

Smapti 07-20-2019 09:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CarnalK (Post 21761192)
This is crazy! How are they gonna make babies if they neuter everyone! This is political correctness gone mad.

Just wait until you hear what they're planning to do to Manfred Mann.

Monty 07-20-2019 10:20 PM

nm

I Love Me, Vol. I 07-20-2019 10:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elucidator (Post 21761089)
Ah, Berkeley! Or Berzerkly, as it is fondly known to us on the conservative wing of the extreme left! First city in America to have a foreign policy!

That's the People's Republik of Berzerkley to you, bub.

Chimera 07-20-2019 10:42 PM

Typical right wing fear mongering over-reaction.

1. Do something minor.
2. Have Republicans take the issue to it's farthest, illogical conclusion and insist that this is what is happening.
3. Have it get distorted, further exaggerated with a pile of outright lies on top as the story makes its way through the right wing media and blog circus.

"We're changing Fireman to Firefighter in our policies and documentation."
becomes
"You won't be able to refer to someone as a man anymore, they're making it illegal."

Bryan Ekers 07-21-2019 08:24 AM

Can I call bullshit, or by Berkeley rules is it now cattleshit?

running coach 07-21-2019 08:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bryan Ekers (Post 21761945)
Can I call bullshit, or by Berkeley rules is it now cattleshit?

Ungulateshit is a lot more inclusive.

Vinyl Turnip 07-21-2019 10:43 AM

Orderist.

doreen 07-21-2019 11:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chimera (Post 21761688)
Typical right wing fear mongering over-reaction.

1. Do something minor.
2. Have Republicans take the issue to it's farthest, illogical conclusion and insist that this is what is happening.
3. Have it get distorted, further exaggerated with a pile of outright lies on top as the story makes its way through the right wing media and blog circus.

"We're changing Fireman to Firefighter in our policies and documentation."
becomes
"You won't be able to refer to someone as a man anymore, they're making it illegal."

And "Robinson’s office estimates it will cost only $600 to implement the change to the municipal code." prompted a long discussion on a local radio station about how that must mean $600/per taxpayer- because $600 total makes no sense ,according to one of the hosts and a bunch of callers.

Of course $600 total is perfectly reasonable total for what amounts to a search for : "he, she , him ,her, his , hers" and replacing them with " “the Title" , "“that Title” or "“the Title’s” as appropriate. My guess is that Berkeley went from "fireman" to "firefighter" years ago, so actual titles wouldn't need to be changed now.

blindboyard 07-21-2019 01:10 PM

I feel like I should point out that "fireman" and "women" are not pronouns, they are nouns.

bobot 07-21-2019 01:20 PM

No conservative Bingo card is complete without a "Berkely" and an "AOC".

allyn 07-21-2019 01:38 PM

I'm surprised Berkeley hadn't already done this. Wasn't the gender neutral pronoun debate done years ago?

Acsenray 07-21-2019 01:49 PM

For right wing demagoguery being wrong, even egregiously wrong, I irrelevant. Just drop a Bombay characterizing “the libs” as idiots and no after what the truth is, the targets’ “feelings” have been successfully reinforced.

It’s trolling as a political strategy and a way of life.

iiandyiiii 07-21-2019 01:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acsenray (Post 21762286)
For right wing demagoguery being wrong, even egregiously wrong, I irrelevant. Just drop a Bombay characterizing “the libs” as idiots and no after what the truth is, the targets’ “feelings” have been successfully reinforced.

It’s trolling as a political strategy and a way of life.

I think autocorrect may have murdered your post.

Ludovic 07-21-2019 02:53 PM

Maybe it's Cockney rhyming slang ... lemme make something up .. okay, it's a shortening of "Bombay Duck" to rhyme with clusterf*ck.

leahcim 07-21-2019 02:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acsenray (Post 21762286)
It’s trolling as a political strategy and a way of life.

And the goal of the trolling is not to convert liberals. The intended audience is backsliding conservatives, who need reassurance that the outside world is full of crazies.

Left Hand of Dorkness 07-21-2019 04:06 PM

Good lord. Can this thread be put out of ēs misery, please?

thorny locust 07-21-2019 04:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by allyn (Post 21762272)
I'm surprised Berkeley hadn't already done this. Wasn't the gender neutral pronoun debate done years ago?

I'm also surprised Berkeley's just getting to it; maybe they haven't rewritten the relevant sections of code in a while? I got male-specific pronouns pretty well out of the town zoning book in, it must have been the revision done somewhere in the 1990's; though each time we go through the book again I seem to find an instance or two that got missed. (It's slightly more complicated than just doing a word search, as some sentences become awkward if not changed a bit otherwise; but I'd still expect $600 to have been used mostly for reprinting any needed hardcopies. It shouldn't cost much for what actual rewriting would be necessary. Changing text is otherwise a lot cheaper than it used to be.)

This is overall a very red area, full of conservative rural people, a number of whom are on the board. Back in the 90's I had to argue with the oldest planning board member, while everybody else on the board just waited for me to argue him down and then voted for the changes. Since he retired there hasn't even been an argument, just 'oh we did miss that one, didn't we? everybody approve [thorny's] rewrite of the sentence? OK then.'

Guinastasia 07-21-2019 05:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kimstu (Post 21761054)
:confused: :confused: If this is what you're talking about ("Berkeley plans to remove gendered pronouns from its municipal code"), then I fail to see how it would affect any of your examples at all.

AFAICT, the purpose is simply to make Berkeley's own code of municipal regulations non-gender-specific in its language. That is, the code would presumably refer to "firefighters" rather than "firemen" and "firewomen", "mail carriers" rather than "mailmen", "meter readers" instead of "meter maids", singular "they" rather than "he" or "she" as a gender-indefinite singular pronoun, and so on. Nowhere, AFAIK, is it proposed to restrict what municipal employees can say about the gender of individuals when it's pertinent to what they're talking about.

Is there some right-wing huffery-puffery making the rounds claiming that Berkeley police henceforth won't be allowed to mention the gender of a suspect, or something? If so, that sounds extremely implausible, but please link to it so we can check if it has any discernible merit (and if not, at least we'll get a good laugh out of it).

Considering they've been doing that kind of thing since the 1980s, why would anyone be so upset over this now? I can't remember the last time anyone freaked out about "firefighter" or "mail carrier"?

Yeesh.

Acsenray 07-21-2019 06:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness (Post 21762451)
Good lord. Can this thread be put out of ēs misery, please?

Heh. (But, "es" is for people)

Left Hand of Dorkness 07-21-2019 06:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acsenray (Post 21762607)
Heh. (But, "es" is for people)

I see your trap, I am NOT calling for putting Velocity out of ēs misery. Nice try, but no warning for me!

Acsenray 07-21-2019 06:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iiandyiiii (Post 21762287)
I think autocorrect may have murdered your post.

Well, certainly bruised it, anyway.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness (Post 21762627)
I see your trap, I am NOT calling for putting Velocity out of ēs misery. Nice try, but no warning for me!

:D

UltraVires 07-22-2019 01:08 AM

It is still a waste of $600. Doesn't change a single thing and only makes liberals feel better. What is the pressing need for it?

Smapti 07-22-2019 01:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UltraVires (Post 21763058)
It is still a waste of $600. Doesn't change a single thing and only makes liberals feel better. What is the pressing need for it?

It only costs $600 and makes liberals feel better. That's reason enough.

Northern Piper 07-22-2019 01:23 AM

Do the pros of Berkeley's gender-pronoun-ban outweigh the cons?
 
Actually, legislative drafters tell me it provides greater precision. Sometimes "he" and "him" can be ambiguous when there are several individuals or positions being referred to. If the statute always says things like "the complainant", "the licence-issuer", the "applicant", it's always clear exactly who is being referred to. If that greater precision prevents even one lawsuit, that will pay for the $600 cost.

UltraVires 07-22-2019 01:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Northern Piper (Post 21763068)
Actually, legislative drafters tell me it provides greater precision. Sometimes "he" and "him" can be ambiguous when there are several individuals or positions being referred to. If the statute always says things like "the complainant", "the licence-issuer", the "applicant", it's always clear exactly who is being referred to. If that greater precision prevents even one lawsuit, that will pay for the $600 cost.

That is a different issue, but it doesn't seem like what Berkeley is doing simply by eliminating gendered pronouns. They or them is even more ambiguous (as it could refer to the plural) than he or him or "he or she" or "him or her."

My state, whenever it amends a statute, substitutes "he or she" for "he" and "him or her" for "him." There is also a catch all provision that any gendered pronouns shall refer to either sex.

Many statutes also refer to "the county jail" even though we don't have county jails anymore and "the penitentiary" even though we have several prisons and don't refer to them as penitentiaries anymore (at least officially). But again, a catchall provision says basically that anytime you see "county jail" it means "regional jail" and when you see "penitentiary" it means in the custody of the Division of Corrections.

I have never heard a single individual see a statute like "If any person commits murder, he shall be imprisoned for life" and be outraged by it. If a handful of people are, it is not worth the cost of rewriting a code.

CarnalK 07-22-2019 02:21 AM

Why assume outrage is the motive rather than precision? You say your state has catch all's for improper verbiage. Did those catch alls cost less than $600 to write up? Is it a better solution?

UltraVires 07-22-2019 02:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CarnalK (Post 21763096)
Why assume outrage is the motive rather than precision? You say your state has catch all's for improper verbiage. Did those catch alls cost less than $600 to write up? Is it a better solution?

Whatever it costs, the catchall is cheaper that rewriting the whole code. And precision? Are you or anyone you know confused with something like "If a man litters on the highway he shall be fined $500"? Do you read that and believe that a woman can litter without penalty?

If nobody is confused by that, then it is a solution in search of a problem.

UltraVires 07-22-2019 02:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CarnalK (Post 21763096)
Why assume outrage is the motive rather than precision? You say your state has catch all's for improper verbiage. Did those catch alls cost less than $600 to write up? Is it a better solution?

And to be fair, it is not really improper, but antiquated. AFAIK, the French still use the male form of a singular pronoun when the gender of the individual is unknown or generic, and the male form of the plural pronoun when the group is unknown or comprised of at least one male. We used to do that with the singular, and some old people still do it.

Yes, I have no problem changing that to meet with the custom of the times, but we can do that piecemeal without expending any money unnecessarily.

DrFidelius 07-22-2019 06:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UltraVires (Post 21763114)
Whatever it costs, the catchall is cheaper that rewriting the whole code. And precision? Are you or anyone you know confused with something like "If a man litters on the highway he shall be fined $500"? Do you read that and believe that a woman can litter without penalty?



If nobody is confused by that, then it is a solution in search of a problem.

I am not a lawyer, but if that were the law as written, and my daughters were litterbugs, that would be exactly the argument I would use in court on their benhalr.

bobot 07-22-2019 06:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UltraVires (Post 21763114)
... Are you or anyone you know confused with something like "If a man litters on the highway he shall be fined $500"? Do you read that and believe that a woman can litter without penalty?

If nobody is confused by that, then it is a solution in search of a problem.

It's a good sentence structure if the intention is to make it sound like it was taken from the Bible, or an etched sacred stone or something.

Smapti 07-22-2019 06:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UltraVires (Post 21763114)
Whatever it costs, the catchall is cheaper that rewriting the whole code. And precision? Are you or anyone you know confused with something like "If a man litters on the highway he shall be fined $500"?

Is there any compelling reason why such a code should not read "If one should litter on the highway, they shall be fined $500"?

puzzlegal 07-22-2019 06:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UltraVires (Post 21763116)
And to be fair, it is not really improper, but antiquated. AFAIK, the French still use the male form of a singular pronoun when the gender of the individual is unknown or generic, and the male form of the plural pronoun when the group is unknown or comprised of at least one male. We used to do that with the singular, and some old people still do it.

Yes, I have no problem changing that to meet with the custom of the times, but we can do that piecemeal without expending any money unnecessarily.

Perhaps they have been doing it piecemeal, and now there's not much left and they decided to clean up.

Tidier laws that don't rely on "oh, by the way, 'cow' also means other large domestic animals, like 'horse'" clauses are valuable all by themselves.

I re-wrote some internal documentation last year to switch from "he or she" to "the ___", where ____ was the role of the person to do this or that. I did it both to be gender-inclusive and also to read more precisely and gracefully.

There was one clause that was hard to re-word, so I suppose it cost my employer something. But overall, my spending the time to review the documentation and update it was well-spent. For instance, I updated some descriptions of processes that were out-of-date as part of the same review.

Left Hand of Dorkness 07-22-2019 07:02 AM

Berkeley spends way more than $600 to clean the carpets in city hall, for no other reason than clean carpets make people happy.

This is marginally more important than cleaning the carpets.

Ravenman 07-22-2019 07:32 AM

Here's what I've learned in the last few posts:

Berkeley spending $600 to make stylistic edits to its laws: we need fiscal discipline!!!!!

Trump running trillion dollar deficits: [crickets]

Two Many Cats 07-22-2019 07:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UltraVires (Post 21763114)
Are you or anyone you know confused with something like "If a man litters on the highway he shall be fined $500"? Do you read that and believe that a woman can litter without penalty?

If I'm a sovereign citizen, sure.

Gyrate 07-22-2019 07:43 AM

I for one am outraged. Not by this - this* is just stupid. I'm just generally outraged.

Quote:

Originally Posted by bobot (Post 21763236)
It's a good sentence structure if the intention is to make it sound like it was taken from the Bible, or an etched sacred stone or something.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Smapti (Post 21763246)
Is there any compelling reason why such a code should not read "If one should litter on the highway, they shall be fined $500"?

"Woe unto them that cast their litter by the public wayside, for they shall have $500 taken from them."


*thread

Snarky_Kong 07-22-2019 07:43 AM

Imagine having such a deep thirst for hating liberals that you oppose $600 for proofreading.

bobot 07-22-2019 07:55 AM

Yeah, but Berkeley.


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