I have recently realised that facebook has permitted it’s users to change their gender between 50 different choices! The reason I realised this so late is because I have my settings in Catalan, which brings me to the first point in my criticism post. Why is this only available in US English? They could open these options in UK English, NZ English or Aus English, to state a few examples, since the terms are pretty much the same.
I can half get my head around them not translating them into other languages other than English because that would mean finding these words, that aren’t usually common in everyday cis conversations, in these other languages. But while they are adding lovely features to the United States’ facebook version, they could make an effort to find somebody who knows the equivalent to the terms in other languages. I myself could help them with the Spanish and Catalan terms. Maybe even a bit with the French ones.
In second place, there are only 50 terms, and half the lot of them are synonyms for “man” and “woman” (like cisgender man, transgender man, trans man, cis man… they are all men!). It’s as if someone asked you what your favourite food is, letting you choose out of 50 options of course, where 20 of them include different ways of cooking cheese. With the gender option, there are many terms missing, such as the well-known butch and femme, or less known like trigender or demiguy. A person’s gender identity isn’t that easy to categorize; some prefer options that many people have never heard of. They should give you a gap to fill in. The other day they put up the new “add another term” button, in which you send the word to facebook headquarters for them to check, but the time they take to review it –let alone accept it- is a very long wait.
And they’ve made a step forward in the gender identity process, but according to your facebook profile, you’re not allowed to be attracted to anyone that isn’t a man or a woman.
Though it seems I am angry about this new feature, I’m actually relieved that we are finally getting some visibility on non-binary issues, especially coming from a site like facebook. Also, with Conchita winning Eurovision recently, I’m hoping that when our next generation grows up they will be able to meet somebody knew and tell them they are actually neutrois and only get an “oh, ok. So which pronouns do you prefer” as an answer. Talking about Conchita; a male assigned at birth that presents as female who happens to be bigender and prefers different pronouns depending on the day , who also has a beard! Talk about messing with gender!
One last thing; these days I won’t be writing much because I have the final exams coming up. I need to get good marks to be able to get into the University I want. I’ll leave you a comic strip by Sarah Anderson that resumes my mood these days.