[Air-l] Making gender complicated on Friendster
pmg at gmx.co.uk
Mon Dec 12 16:58:36 PST 2005
Hmm - other=negation to my (admittedly ancient) mental processes, so
that wouldn't work for me.
I always thought the great thing about text-based communication was not
having to reveal your gender unless you felt like it. However, dating is
a special case, and I daresay people want to specify which biological
characteristics and sexual preferences they have a yen for. Perhaps
people should be asked, instead, to state the morphology of their
genitals in one box with separate dropdowns for preferred gender-role
and pet perversities as well? Thus: Has: x-genitals/x-role/enjoys-x,
Seeks: x-genitals/x-role/enjoys-x? Then one could do a structured search
with reasonable precision and yet plenty of flexibility and a more
democratic structure since heterosexuals and and us more "complicated"
folk would be asked to supply the same information using the same
OK OK, seriously (well, sort of), if it's just going to be the one
dropdown with male/female and a fuzzy slot, "it's complicated" seems to
cover the bases. It seems to be a sufficient statement of gender all
round, really - in fact why bother with the "male" and "female"
selections at all - are heterosexuals *really* so predictable that their
genital morphology says everything there is to say about their sexuality
and social role? Surely the wonders of technology could produce better
Ingbert Floyd wrote:
>I get these emails digested, so forgive me if I'm repeating something
>someone has already posted.
>However, the gender being talked about here is self-identified gender,
>not gender of the person one might be interested in, correct? Though,
>I guess if you change one, the other will have to change as well.
>I like the "it's complicated", because it provides a space not only
>for hemaphrodites (sic?), but for transgenders, and androgynous people
>as well, and it doesn't force them to define themselves, when in fact,
>many people in such a situation are constantly struggling with what
>they are and how to self-define.
>The reason I make the distinction above, is that a person who
>self-identifies or is looking for someone in the "it's complicated"
>category is one thing, a person who is bisexual is another. A
>bisexual often self-identifies as clearly male or female, but is
>simply interested in partners of either sex, while a person who is
>interested in the "it's complicated", is not interested in bisexuals,
>but interested in someone whose self-identified gender boundaries are
>not so clearly defined.
>Though, this brings up a usage problem with the "it's complicated"
>category. When self-identifying gender as "it's compolicated", it is
>pretty clear what the person is saying. When looking for "it's
>complicated", it is not so clear--it could represent an indecision
>about being bisexual as well as a clear decision about wanting
>transsexual (say). Thus, for the "seeking" usage, it might be better
>to label the category, "other", though that particular word could have
>a negative overtone.
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