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Female Attleboro Official Wants ‘Councilman’ Out of City Charter

February 22, 2019

“Councilman” and “committeeman” have to go from the city charter of Attleboro because they are gender-specific, a city official says.

Laura Dolan, a member of the Attleboro City Council, wants the council to ask the Massachusetts Legislature to get rid of the terms, replacing them with, respectively, “councilor” and “committee member,” according to The Sun Chronicle.

She also wants “him” removed from the city charter, to be replaced by “him/her.”

Supporters of making such changes say gender-neutrality in language promotes equality and that gender-specificity promotes sexism.

Opponents of making such changes say “man” and “him” in certain terms refers to the species homo sapiens, and not to males or females in particular. Some opponents also don’t see merit in gender-neutrality.

Changing the Attleboro city charter would require a special act of the state Legislature.

Attleboro is a city of about 44,000 people in Massachusetts on the Rhode Island border, about 39 miles south-by-southwest of Boston.

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