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Facebook Debuts New Gender Options, Pronoun Choices 462

Posted by Soulskill
from the support-enabled dept.
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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Facebook Debuts New Gender Options, Pronoun Choices

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  • by schneidafunk (795759) on Friday February 14, 2014 @10:34AM (#46245217)

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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14, 2014 @10:43AM (#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.

  • by DeathToBill (601486) on Friday February 14, 2014 @10:45AM (#46245361) Journal

    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:Gender neutral? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mjr167 (2477430) on Friday February 14, 2014 @11:17AM (#46245805)

    English (like most languages) has three third person singular pronouns: 'he', 'she', and 'it'. Other languages even have gender identifying second person pronouns and gender identifying plural pronouns. English seems to have gotten jipped on the supply of pronouns. If you do not understand our array of available pronouns and their correct usage, then you obviously do not use language much.

    We often apply 'he' and 'she' to non human objects, however we balk at apply 'it' to people. In fact, in most other languages each object has actually been assigned a de facto gender. English is perhaps the most gender neutral language currently in use.

    We get all uppity about people referring to themselves as 'we' because it makes them sound elitist due to the historic habit of royalty using 'we', so why should we let people incorrectly use 'they'? 'They' implies that there is more than one of you. The misuse of 'they' as a gender neutral person is a terrible abuse of the language.

    The fact that our literature and fiction place so much emphasis on the usage of 'it' to refer to a dehumanized creature is telling about how much importance our culture places on gender. If it is now culturally acceptable to not have a gender, then it should be acceptable to call you 'it' since the removal of the gender is no longer offensive as gender is no longer a required trait of being human.

    If you have no gender and don't want to be called a 'he' or 'she', well we have to call you something so 'it' is the correct choice (unless there is more than one of you). You can't both be offended at me applying a gender to you and then offended when I don't.

  • by Elledan (582730) on Friday February 14, 2014 @11:26AM (#46245915) Homepage
    Ambiguous genitals can mean a lot of things. They can be just variations on what we often refer to as 'regular' genitals, as in female or male, with a gradual transition between these two extremes.

    There's also hermaphroditism - a sub-set of intersex - whereby both types of genitals are partially or fully present. Basically put this means having both a penis and vagina as well as a certain selection of internal reproductive organs.

    Coincidentally I'm also a hermaphrodite, and although I used to have both testicles and ovaries at the same time, I was born fully infertile without a womb. You can find more details about my situation on my (easy to find) site :)

    As for how often it actually occurs, intersex as an umbrella term is something in the order of 1:1,000 to 1:150 individuals who are born with an intersex condition.
  • by Wonko the Sane (25252) * on Friday February 14, 2014 @11:53AM (#46246307) Journal

    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?

    This. I'll never understand why when someone "thinks they're the opposite gender" we don't try and fix their mind to match their body but instead are willing to send them through some incredibly dangerous and life-shortening medical procedures to do the exact opposite.


    Also, there's far too much child sexual abuse in the world, with a disturbingly high fraction of they population complicit in one way or another, for society to talk honestly about the topic. There is a very vocal minority with an extremely strong incentive to divert any discussions away from that area.

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang