[Air-l] Making gender complicated on Friendster

Paula pmg at gmx.co.uk
Mon Dec 12 06:37:15 PST 2005

Kinda interesting - I'm often accused of "making gender complicated" in
FLOSS circles whenever I challenge the biological women-have-crap-brains
thesis as an explanation for everything. As though gender was sitting
there innocently transparent until I came along.

Clearly, the gods and wizards have difficulty imagining a non-binary
model of gender - but  i'm quite happy to have a gender option which
"doesn't compile" - yep, it's complicated, and I'd prefer that on a
dropdown to the ever-increasingly tongue-twisting
les-gay-bi-trans-blah-blah stuff?


Lauren Squires wrote:

>Hi list,
>Not to keep bringing up Friendster, but I noticed something that may be of 
>interest to people working on gender-related themes as well as social 
>networking sites.
>There's currently a bulletin board post going around Friendster that is a 
>petition to get Friendster to add an "it's complicated" option to the gender 
>choices (which are just "male" or "female."  "It's complicated" is a 
>recently-added option for relationship status).  The bulletin board head 
>reads "Gender-make it "complicated" on friendster."  I have no idea how 
>widespread this is - my hunch is not very, but I only have access to the 
>bulletins of my friends, and three of them have posted it, so I'm curious if 
>it's out there elsewhere.
>1) Has anyone else seen this post or heard about it?  Do we know of any 
>similar instances of user-driven system changes toward a >2-gender norm? 
> Has this happened before on Friendster or other networking sites? (I 
>haven't seen it on Myspace, for instance, and I pretty much have the same 
>friends on both sites)
>2) Is "It's complicated" the best phrasing for an addition of more gender 
>Interested in any and all thoughts (take a break from grading/writing 
>Lauren Squires
>Linguistics Program
>University of Virginia
>The air-l at listserv.aoir.org mailing list
>is provided by the Association of Internet Researchers http://aoir.org
>Subscribe, change options or unsubscribe at: http://listserv.aoir.org/listinfo.cgi/air-l-aoir.org
>Join the Association of Internet Researchers: 

More information about the Air-L mailing list