It’s Complicated…

Jane Fae on the Facebook gender option revamp:

Two cheers for Facebook, who have just expanded their personal gender options from the somewhat limiting binary of male and female to an eye-watering 50 plus descriptions.

No. That’s not an exaggeration, as S Weasel points out.

Has that finally satisfied the gender-obsessed? Reader, of course it has not…

Of course, there’s criticism already. The first I heard of this was courtesy of a comment by an online friend, who expressed frustration that Facebook had not included their preferred gender option: non-gendered identity.

No, me neither…

In addition, Facebook still gives precedence to the gender binary: its online presentation takes the form of male, female or the choice of 48 “custom” categories. Others have objected that its attempt to provide equal personalisation when it comes to pronouns is rudimentary – one can choose to be referred to as her, him, or them – and the relationship options (both romantic and familial) remain steadfastly gender normative.



I foresee trouble too with Facebook’s insertion of various categories of cis(gender), a term more frequently used by some in the trans community to define non-trans people than an identity opted for: a few non-trans people actively object to it. Though presumably if someone does self-identify as cis, that’s OK.

Oh. Right.

*even more baffled*

Analysis of data use in the UK suggests that gender is rarely helpful – except in a marketing context. It would be unkind to suggest that Facebook has opted to garner politically correct headlines, while not even contemplating removing gender altogether, which might interfere with its commercial activities, wouldn’t it?

Yes, well done for noticing Facebook is a commercial identity. Maybe if that made that a 51st option you’d be happy?

And why oh why don’t FaceBook realise what they might be unleashing..*?

*Via Patterico

9 comments for “It’s Complicated…

  1. ivan
    February 28, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Don’t these people realise that there are only two base genders – male and female, everything else is either in the mind or made up, in some cases literally!

  2. February 28, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Best not to say anything at this end on this one – it would contravene some law on bad language.

  3. Ed P
    February 28, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Which lavatory he/she/it uses is the giveaway. Or would Arsebook prefer every employer to provide 50 separate ones, in case the delicate little flowers are (more) confused?

  4. Bunny
    February 28, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    I used to think I was a bunny but now I realise I was a penguin.

    • Bob
      February 28, 2014 at 8:10 pm

      “I used to think I was a bunny but now I realise I was a penguin”

      So you WERE a penguin? Are you now, finally (phew!!!) a bunny? 😕

  5. Viscount Rectum
    February 28, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    I try to live up to my title examining rectums inside and out, great fun male or female they feel just the same inside or out, I like to think of myself as a mid gender person.

  6. March 1, 2014 at 5:43 am

    Get rid of the gender thingo altogether. Just ask them to tick a box telling whether they get their knickers/underpants from the Lingerie Dept or from aisle #5 next to the dried peas. That should cover the arses of pretty well every distinction.

    • Viscount Rectum
      March 1, 2014 at 7:31 pm

      Sometimes I wear my wife’s knickers sometimes I wear my boyfriends underpants but I really prefer corsets with nothing over my bottom,

  7. Tatty
    March 1, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Seems to me the problem here is that some individuals object to others…who are evidently more suited economically, emotionally and financially to living in a collective…defining them.

    Just give em a box marked “Other:” and the space for self-definition.

    A cardboard one about 6×4 on a remote island should suffice.

Comments are closed.