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Facebook Debuts New Gender Options, Pronoun Choices

Soulskill posted about 7 months ago | from the support-enabled dept.

Facebook 462

beaverdownunder writes "Facebook has recognized it's a gender-diverse world — at least in the U.S. In addition to Male or Female, Facebook now lets U.S. users choose among some 50 additional options such as 'transgender,' 'cisgender,' 'gender fluid,' 'intersex' and 'neither.' 'Users also now have the ability to choose the pronoun they would like to be referred to publicly: he/his, she/her, or the gender-neutral they/their.' A post on Facebook's Diversity page said, 'When you come to Facebook to connect with the people, causes, and organizations you care about, we want you to feel comfortable being your true, authentic self. An important part of this is the expression of gender, especially when it extends beyond the definitions of just "male" or "female." ...We also have added the ability for people to control the audience with whom they want to share their custom gender. We recognize that some people face challenges sharing their true gender identity with others, and this setting gives people the ability to express themselves in an authentic way.'"

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What's the difference? (2, Interesting)

schneidafunk (795759) | about 7 months ago | (#46245217)

Honestly, what is the difference between "Trans Person, Gender Variant, Gender Questioning, Bigender, Androgynous, Pangender and Transsexual."?

Re:What's the difference? (5, Insightful)

thesandtiger (819476) | about 7 months ago | (#46245259)

I don't know, but it seems important enough to some people to make the distinction, and it's reasonably easy to accommodate them if they ask, so why not just roll with it?

Re:What's the difference? (-1, Troll)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 7 months ago | (#46245309)

Seems it was much easier back when you had a choice of:

1. You have a dick.

2. You do not have a dick.

Pick one.

Re:What's the difference? (5, Informative)

kimvette (919543) | about 7 months ago | (#46245349)

or:
3. You have ambiguous genitalia

Re:What's the difference? (1)

DeathToBill (601486) | about 7 months ago | (#46245375)

I'm pretty sure I don't want to know the answer to this, but what exactly is "ambiguous genitalia" and how many people actually have it?

Re:What's the difference? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245531)

It can mean a variety of things. It can often mean that the external genitalia between a person's legs seems to be something between a vulva/vagina and a penis. This can take the form of, for example, what appears to be a vulva with very swollen labia majora and a very large clitoris that can physically resemble a very small penis.

Such persons are referred to as 'intersex' and while it's still a minority of humans, it's more common than I thought it was. The condition exist in degrees, and due to social expectations, relatively few intersex people advertise that fact if they can "pass" as one sex or the other.

Re:What's the difference? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245691)

Thanks. A quick scout around reveals some wildly different numbers for incidence - A study by Thyen U et al in Germany found 1 in 5,000; the Intersex Socity of North America cites a study that found 1 in 100; Hughes IA, Houk C, Ahmed SF, et al give 1 in 4,500; Hamerton JL, et al give 1 in 4,200. Given that often parents decide what gender to bring a child up as and then have surgery to remold genitalia to that shape in the first few months of life, I wonder how many people don't even know that they were born with ambiguous genitalia?

Re:What's the difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245613)

Genitals that have characteristics of both a penis and a vulva (see Intersex [wikipedia.org] ). It's about 1% of the population.

Re:What's the difference? (4, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | about 7 months ago | (#46245629)

Or how about:
3. The rest of us really don't want to know any details about your reproductive anatomy.

Re:What's the difference? (1)

phoenix03 (3348193) | about 7 months ago | (#46245379)

What if you have both?

Re:What's the difference? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 7 months ago | (#46245621)

Well from his list you would pick number (1).
Pretty simple.

Re:What's the difference? (5, Informative)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 7 months ago | (#46245391)

Gender is not the same as Sex

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... [wikipedia.org]

Re:What's the difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245501)

Gender is not the same as Sex

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... [wikipedia.org]

I have the feeling that your profound statement means you don't understand the difference either.

Re:What's the difference? (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 7 months ago | (#46245411)

Seems it was much easier back

Easier for you perhaps (actually it's not any harder now). It was much tricker for people who had a dick but didn't want one, or the inverse, or any of the inbetween and/or orthogonal states.

Re:What's the difference? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245519)

" tricker for people who had a dick but didn't want one" Stop whining and just live the life you were given. Stop being the victim.

Re:What's the difference? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 7 months ago | (#46245443)

The human developmental trajectory is a complex system, and sometimes a touchy one. It isn't wildly common; but there are a fair few conditions [wikipedia.org] that result in people in neither category.

The historical reaction usually involves the medical team attending the birth deciding which sex it would be easier to mod them into and operating accordingly, with...variably successful... results.

Re:What's the difference? (1, Funny)

bobstreo (1320787) | about 7 months ago | (#46245533)

Seems it was much easier back when you had a choice of:

1. You have a dick.

2. You do not have a dick.

Pick one.

You probably meant:

1) You have a dick
        a) You want one or more
        b) You don't want another
        c) You don't use it
        d) You take matters into your own hand
        e) Yours is kept in a nightstand

2) You do not have a dick
        a) You want one or more for Valentines Day
        b) You don't want/need one
        c) You're having one surgically installed
        d) It was removed
        e) You don't want one until you're married.

Sorry, but that's just the TIP of the iceberg...

       

Re:What's the difference? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 7 months ago | (#46245601)

You're looking for a "cisgender straight female" (or maybe "cisgender bi female" ;-) ) HTH!

Re:What's the difference? (2)

phoenix03 (3348193) | about 7 months ago | (#46245367)

This is kind of the same feeling I've always gone with. I think the vast number of names can get a little excessive, but I guess if the LGBTQ community needs that level of granularity in how they define themselves, might as well go with it. How other people decide to live their life, as long as it doesn't impact mine adversely, is their own business - as is what they call themselves.

Re:What's the difference? (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 7 months ago | (#46245437)

If all of them are going to become mainstream, LGBTQ is going to need a whole lot more letters. I think it'd be best if we picked a handful of definitions and allowed for ranges within them. Vegetarianism has done this - sure, there's various names like octo-lacto-vegetarian for different degrees of it, but most of the time getting that specific only matters in the context of certain situations. I have no problem with recognizing different genders, but the more you try to granularize it, the more trouble you're going to run into defining them until every person on Earth uses a slightly different definition.

Re:What's the difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245563)

When did they add the "Q"? That's a thing now?

Re:What's the difference? (2, Insightful)

misexistentialist (1537887) | about 7 months ago | (#46245423)

TMI, that's why. It's sexual exhibitionism, and it's gross.

Re:What's the difference? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 7 months ago | (#46245449)

Storing arbitrary strings in my database is hard! *Emo Tears*

Re:What's the difference? (4, Insightful)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 7 months ago | (#46245477)

Because the thing that allows language to be a communicative tool is that words have the same meaning for almost everyone. Rather than providing clarification, this glut of undefined terms destroy the ability of language to convey meaning.

Re:What's the difference? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245285)

The number of personalities the person has, I think.

Re:What's the difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245299)

Do they even have eunuch?

Re:What's the difference? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245301)

Everyone wants to be a god damned special snowflake. All these retard labels are, 95% of the time, just there to grab attention for the person using them.

Re:What's the difference? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245569)

EXACTLY!

Re:What's the difference? (1, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 7 months ago | (#46245669)

Everyone wants to be a god damned special snowflake. All these retard labels are, 95% of the time, just there to grab attention for the person using them.

I'd hardly disagree with the assertion that the demand for specialness far outstrips the supply, especially in people most vocal about it; but (given how joyful being sexually abnormal is in most social contexts) are you seriously suggesting that people are voluntarily choosing to put up with that, rather than just listening to shitty music or attempting to achieve individuality through mass-produced consumer goods?

People have a great many vices; but deliberately choosing the harder, much less pleasant, option instead of the easier one typically isn't one of them. Are you seriously postulating a population so stupid, or so bereft of other 'specialness' emulation capabilities, that they'd choose to pretend to be some wildly unpopular flavor of sexually abnormal? It just seems like you'd have to be really hard up for attention-seeking behavior to do that...

the difference? (4, Informative)

Cruciform (42896) | about 7 months ago | (#46245315)

Transgender vs. Transsexual generally refer to someone who hasn't had surgery, and someone who has, respectively.
An androgynous person doesn't present as one gender or another.
Gender questioning is pretty obvious, with the individual in the process of working out inner feelings and unsure how they're presenting.
Bigender, I'm not sure of. Maybe someone who is comfortable switching gender roles in a culture with 2 or more genders. (Some cultures have several)
Pangender sounds like a lot of work.

Re:the difference? (1)

DeathToBill (601486) | about 7 months ago | (#46245387)

Some cultures have several

Really?

Re:the difference? (1)

phoenix03 (3348193) | about 7 months ago | (#46245401)

I had to look up what pansexuality even was. I agree, sounds like a ton of work to just say 'I would be with anyone regardless of how they identify/what parts they have'.

Re:the difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245415)

Bigender may refer to those with hermaphroditic genitalia.

Re:What's the difference? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245331)

The only real difference is that if you don't acknowledge the existence and the validity of these various identities names, you're going to get yelled at by feminist and equality extremists groups from all over the internet... but mainly tumblr.

Re:What's the difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245341)

It might not make a difference to you or I but to some people it might make a bit of difference so it can only be a positive thing I think.

Re:What's the difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245491)

Sure, let's make up some other descriptors so that people can feel like special little snowflakes, but fuck the straight guy because he can make up his fucking mind on what his identity is. Jesus christ, shit like this drives me nuts. Why the fuck do I need to tiptoe around people that present as one sex visually just because they may identify as another sex mentally? Heaven forbid that I address them as the wrong gender type, their sissy feelings might get hurt Grow the fuck up people and learn to deal with shit. The rest of us aren't here to make sure you feel comfortable in your own skin, we all have our own shit to worry about.

Re:What's the difference? (4, Funny)

tsqr (808554) | about 7 months ago | (#46245343)

Honestly, what is the difference

Obviously, you are one of the 50-odd varieties of insensitive clod!

But what I want to know is, what does "Neither" mean when there are 50 other choices?

Re:What's the difference? (1)

fche (36607) | about 7 months ago | (#46245429)

Whatever "neither" means, it's certainly different from "other".

They should've added "potato" and "potaahto".

Re:What's the difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245397)

Honestly, whats the difference between Red Hat, CentOS, Debian, Gentoo, Knoppix, Ubuntu and Slackware?

it is a non-trivial explanation to people who care.

Re:What's the difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245589)

The difference is a configuration preference of a Linux OS not ingrain in the physical state of ones genitalia.

Re:What's the difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245419)

A trans person is someone who identifies with the sex opposite that with which they were born (biologicaly male, but you feel inside like a woman)

A Gender Variant person is someone whose gender identity is fluid or moves on the continuum between masculine and feminine. If I understand correctly, this is the community that identifies itself as "queer" or "genderqueer", and it sounds like Facebook is too nervous about people mistaking this use of queer for "homosexual".

A Gender Questioning person is someone uncertain of their gender or sex identity.

Bigender is a person who identifies simultaneously as two sexes or genders.

Androgynous is just what it normally means - sort of ungendered.

Pangender is the embracing of all gender identities.

Transsexual is generally generally regarded to mean the same thing as "trans" or "transgendered". Sometimes people use "transsexual" to refer to someone who desires to modify their body and "transgender" as someone who only wants to modify their presentation (clothes, hair, etc) and socially accepted roles.

Hope that helps!

Sex+Gender = Lots of combinations (1)

RobinEggs (1453925) | about 7 months ago | (#46245583)

A lot of this comes down to sex vs gender.

Sex is your biological status: what organs and hormone levels do you have, and how have they developed? Sounds straight-forward, at least at first.

Gender might be defined as a social role and group identity you take on which is influenced most significantly in most people by their sex. So most people pick from one of the two massively dominant genders, wind up pretty content about it, and have organs matching everyone else in their camp.

But what if you have testes and breasts? And hormone levels pretty much in between the standard man and the standard woman? You might end up legally forced to adopt an 'official' sex based on your chromosome data or what went on your birth certificate, perhaps, but does that help you pick a gender? Does that actually reflect your sex? Probably not. Do you identify more with another sex? What about another gender? If you want to change over, how much will you do and what changes are possible?

The organs you have, the hormone levels you have, and how you feel about them all affect what sex you become and what gender you select. People who aren't comfortable being a traditional man or woman and sleeping with the opposite are simply trying to work out all the permutations and nomenclature now that they're somewhat more free to do so.

If a given person is polite about it and doesn't expect you to memorize a bunch of fluid terms to use for them or coddle their sexuality more than you would anyone else, just let it be and don't worry about the variety of possibilities. They'll work themselves out and they aren't likely to affect you. If they're a dick or an irrational activist about it, and there's plenty of those also, just ignore them and/or fight to keep them from defining your life any more than you're allowed to define theirs.

You can look into the definitions in any Women's or Gender Studies website; or you can ignore it for now and simply be a decent human being to the people you meet, ignoring their chosen combination unless they step on your own rights.

Re:What's the difference? (1, Troll)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 7 months ago | (#46245595)

Nothing. They all have mental disorders relating to self image, usually due to being molested as a kid. Oops, did I just drop a big bag of reality on the discussion?

Re:What's the difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245609)

Honestly, what is the difference between "Trans Person, Gender Variant, Gender Questioning, Bigender, Androgynous, Pangender and Transsexual."?

To be honest, I'd say a fair amount of narcissism fractured across this. I honestly expected perhaps a dozen options at most, not four dozen. I mean, c'mon, we can identify ourselves and make ourselves unique in so many other ways. I don't see it as necessary to fracture sexual identity/gender down to this level at all.

I can also see a lot of unfair stereotyping as this data is shared across various organizations. I wonder how you'll feel when you find your transgender insurance rates are higher than the transsexual living next to you, while the bisexual across the street pays less than both of you.

Enjoy your labels.

Who care's (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245221)

If you allow others to "define" who you are simply by a label no matter how diverse they have already won.

Re:Who care's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245663)

Who is "Who Care", what pronoun would I use when speaking about them, and is this their comment or are you referring to a different possession?

Super gender queer (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245247)

But still does not allow you to be in two relationships at a time.

Re:Super gender queer (3, Interesting)

DeathToBill (601486) | about 7 months ago | (#46245361)

Indeed this seems to be almost the last taboo of Western society. We've come around to divorce, adultery, homosexuality, bisexuality, 'free love', transexuality, BDSM, gay marriage...

But promise two women you'll never leave them and it's prison for you, mister.

Re:Super gender queer (3, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 7 months ago | (#46245459)

You forgot about bestiality, at least in certain parts of the South.

Re: Super gender queer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245495)

That's another Christian ideal from after they cooped the business of marriage but before they shoved their moral code down people's throats. Mormonism is Christianity with its own moral twists and turns.

The war against reality. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245255)

Facebook = owned by Jews.
Google = owned by Jews.
Google + Facebook + others = New World Order.
New World Order = Jews.

Jews, or rather sionists (not all Jews are sionists) = evil and sick.

Re:The war against reality. (1, Funny)

ElementOfDestruction (2024308) | about 7 months ago | (#46245277)

You know you're too stupid to even be a racist?

Re:The war against reality. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245317)

Keep calling the ones who tell the truth "stupid" if it makes you feel better, brainwashed sheep.

Re:The war against reality. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245365)

Zionists are not a race.

Re:The war against reality. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245665)

Jews are not a race either.

Re:The war against reality. (1)

Timothy Hartman (2905293) | about 7 months ago | (#46245369)

I'm no expert on irony, but I'm pretty sure calling a troll stupid is ironic.

Re:The war against reality. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245431)

Keep calling people who tell the truth "trolls", "racists" and "stupid" if it makes you feel better, antiwhite scum.

Re:The war against reality. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245557)

Keep calling people who call out your bullshit and tell you the truth, "antiwhite scum" and "brainwashed sheep" if it makes you feel better.

Re:The war against reality. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245511)

But what if I'm not a Jew but drive a Scion?

What about Beta male (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245257)

Hope its not only a Beta Function. F*** beta.

Gender neutral? (-1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 7 months ago | (#46245291)

No, "they/their" is plural. Using it as gender neutral for a single person is just stupid and bad grammar.

Re:Gender neutral? (1)

mjr167 (2477430) | about 7 months ago | (#46245335)

But for some reason people get offended when we call them "it".

Re:Gender neutral? (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about 7 months ago | (#46245487)

"It" is used exclusively to refer to nonhuman objects, and has a long history in writing as a way of emphasising that something ostensibly or previously human is not. If you can't see the reason for offense, you either don't read much or don't encounter human beings very often.

Re:Gender neutral? (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 7 months ago | (#46245673)

But some ambiguity comes in because we refer to many non-human things (pets in particular) as he/she when, grammatically, they should be called "it".

Re:Gender neutral? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245527)

Every choice has a consequence. Want to be gender neutral? Sure, but in our language you'll be called 'it'. Good luck changing the English language just to fit your special world view.

Re:Gender neutral? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 7 months ago | (#46245561)

The day the English language becomes the master of our interactions and not a tool of them, is the day that Orwell's nightmares come true. (It is telling that Orwell was a grammatical prescriptivist.)

Re:Gender neutral? (4, Informative)

tsqr (808554) | about 7 months ago | (#46245407)

No, "they/their" is plural. Using it as gender neutral for a single person is just stupid and bad grammar.

You should try to get in the habit of looking things up, just to be sure, before engaging in ad hominem. From dictionary.com's entry for "They":

Usage note
Long before the use of generic he was condemned as sexist, the pronouns they, their, and them were used in educated speech and in all but the most formal writing to refer to indefinite pronouns and to singular nouns of general personal reference, probably because such nouns are often not felt to be exclusively singular: If anyone calls, tell them I'll be back at six. Everyone began looking for their books at once. Such use is not a recent development, nor is it a mark of ignorance.

Re:Gender neutral? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245421)

Blame English, there is still no acceptable gender-neutral method of labelling people.
They/their is now going to be bastardized like a lot of words have had happened to them.
A good example is "guys", which has recently become a reference to male and female, whereas it used to only really refer to males. The term "doll" or "gal" has really fallen out of favor to refer to females. Some even take huge offence to it.

Let's make a new word up!
Write your best attempt at a new gender neutral label for a person.
No, twat doesn't count, but it still funny.

Re:Gender neutral? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245451)

Prescriptivists are stupid. Language is a means of communication, and English speakers have been using they/their as a gender neutral singular pronoun for hundreds of years without a problem.

Re:Gender neutral? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 7 months ago | (#46245461)

"Singular they" has been a standard part of English for a long, long time.

Re:Gender neutral? (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 7 months ago | (#46245623)

Can't be that long. It was considered wrong when I was in school and that wasn't that long ago.

Re:Gender neutral? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245463)

Yes, but people seem to resent the use of "it" and find it dehumanizing. Which isn't just a problem for people of non-traditional genders, it's just as infuriating when you are talking about a hypothetical person whose gender isn't relevant to the hypothetical scenario. (e.g. This person goes to the store, and then [he/she/they] buy some cheese.)

Re:Gender neutral? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245509)

Just pretend that 'they' is used to refer to a set of people, and that in this particular case, the set size is one.

Re:Gender neutral? (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 7 months ago | (#46245537)

It used to be perfectly acceptable as a gender-neutral singular, but that usage got phased out around the same time "thou" did (thus why modern English lacks a T-V distinction). English now lacks a gender-neutral pronoun, which is a pain in the ass, so this is how people fill it in. Personally, I think writing he/she and his/her makes for much worse reading than using they/their.

Re:Gender neutral? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 7 months ago | (#46245581)

It was still perfectly standard usage when I was born, and suffice to say I am not old enough to have used "thou".

Re:Gender neutral? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245611)

No it's not. It is the official gender neutral word.

Re:Gender neutral? (1)

radish (98371) | about 7 months ago | (#46245653)

"I saw someone running into the street; they didn't stop and now their guts are all over the road."

Re:Gender neutral? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245677)

From: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/words/he-or-she-versus-they

"Some people object to the use of plural pronouns in this type of situation on the grounds that it’s ungrammatical. In fact, the use of plural pronouns to refer back to a singular subject isn't new: it represents a revival of a practice dating from the 16th century. It’s increasingly common in current English and is now widely accepted both in speech and in writing."

Also:

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tomchiversscience/100184652/if-someone-tells-you-singular-they-is-wrong-please-do-tell-them-to-get-stuffed/

So get stuffed and go to hell!

Why not (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245323)

If you are going to make 50 options to say gay, and transgender, and 2 for normal, why not have it be a text box so you can enter what you want.

Glad to see they/their as gender-neutral pronouns (1)

QilessQi (2044624) | about 7 months ago | (#46245329)

I've used these for a long time. It's almost natural to use the neutral plural as a neutral singular: when you say "he or she", you're implicitly referring to two possible states of gender, so using "they" to stand for the superposition of the two makes sense.

Re:Glad to see they/their as gender-neutral pronou (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245631)

What about prosessive pronouns (his/her)?

Open minded (1)

Poeli (573204) | about 7 months ago | (#46245333)

Well, there are open minded when it comes to gender but don't you dare to upload a picture of a mother who is breast-feeding her child.

Beheading, on the other hand are OK.

Marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245353)

And now Facebook can sell targeted ads to these self identified minority groups...

Re:Marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245425)

Ya. I have a friend who is a married Jew but FB has somehow got the idea that he is a gay Muslim. Some of the ads he gets are, well, weird.

Re:Marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245689)

Maybe he actually IS a gay muslim!
Did you consider that?

Oh, Facebook (1)

SailorSpork (1080153) | about 7 months ago | (#46245363)

If you can make it this easy for people to share who they share their gender preferences with, why can't you let me customize which advertisers and apps can and can't see what portions of my data, my friends list, and can post on my behalf? I guess I will continue to not like anything on Facebook and not use apps.

Database Upgrades? (1)

ps_inkling (525251) | about 7 months ago | (#46245371)

I wonder how they are storing the gender in the database. Most databases allocate a single character for gender -- M or F in most cases. I had joked that a company could easily offer Neuter and Transgender and still use the single character space. How are they storing 50 different choices in a single character? Either that, or create another linked table for the multitude of choices, and use X in gender to indicate a lookup in the auxiliary gender table. Would some countries limit what choices their citizens could have?

Re:Database Upgrades? (2)

Shados (741919) | about 7 months ago | (#46245393)

Like you said, 1 to N, then its just the primary key to store.

Even if you only use 1 character, you still need link tables for display text, translations, etc. So this doesn't add much.

Re:Database Upgrades? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245697)

Using a single utf character you can encode about a million genders.

Instead of 50, why not none, or 1 billion? (2)

petes_PoV (912422) | about 7 months ago | (#46245381)

The people you _really_ know (as opposed to merely have "friended") will already know your gender, preferences, propensities and how you wish to be known. For all the rest, it shouldn't even matter. If you want to refer to a person, use their name, initials (e.g. PP) or online nickname.

Either that, or let each individual FB-er choose a unique description for themselves - in their own language.

Re:Instead of 50, why not none, or 1 billion? (1)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about 7 months ago | (#46245447)

For a number of reasons, but I bet search is up there. Either for users trying to locate each other, or for ad targeting.

Re:Instead of 50, why not none, or 1 billion? (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about 7 months ago | (#46245543)

To be blunt, they can't perform demographic analysis for advertising on the basis of a free text field.

Whats Programming if you can't.... (1)

3seas (184403) | about 7 months ago | (#46245427)

....overcompleifabulocation it.

Pathetic pandering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245455)

Male, Female, Other and "Prefer not to say" would adequately cover everything. If someone desperately wants the world to know they chose Other because their genitalia are part human and part mallard duck or that they derive sexual gratification from dolphins they can say so in their profile.

They as gender neutral? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245473)

Wouldn't the gender neutral personal pronoun be 'it/its' rather than 'they/their'. Otherwise you're switching between singular and plural mid sentence... and that's just poor grammar.

Sounds like a bad idea (2, Insightful)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 7 months ago | (#46245479)

There will always be someone claiming to not fit into any of the classifications you supply, and now they can claim you are specifically hurting them.

These new genders are for hipsters, as soon as they become mainstream they will switch to something new and yell foul that you are not accommodating them.

New pronoun? My dog will be happy (1)

cloud.pt (3412475) | about 7 months ago | (#46245481)

So Animals/plants/things in general besides people can be now treated equally too? With the right "it" pronoun?

Yepee.

Disclaimer: This is NOT some ironic comment directed at LGBT individuals

In any case, props to Facebook. More than a reality check, it's good to see persistent stigmata, even for the social web, being treated with the moral worthlessness they deserve. Social web is no place for restriction or judgement. Next step: internationally distributed servers so you can avoid government scrutiny, including privacy violation, censorship, among other idiotic policies that do not support net neutrality, in ways that go beyond bandwidth shaping.

My choice isn't there! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245575)

The ultimate politically correct pronoun is a melding of she he it. Of course the filter won't permit me to my favorite gender non-specific pronoun. It is however for those who are a tad dense, a synonym for waste products from the alimentary tract and that are voided via the ventral orifice.

Is there one for me? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46245619)

I'm a woman trapped in a mans body, but I just happen to be a lesbian... so it's worked out all these years. Is there gender label for me?

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