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Thread: New Required Profile Field: Gender

  1. #41
    Member Ursula's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Required Profile Field: Gender

    Quote Originally Posted by harley mama View Post
    Well said LG.

    If gender a required profile field now, shouldn't it either be male or female as a choice?
    Just me .
    Well, just "male" or "female" as a choice might make sense when one could opt out, but we do have people of other genders here, so making it mandatory without having other options would put them in the position of having to lie.

    Although, if it is going to be "transgendered MTF" and "transgendered FTM" shouldn't it be "cisgendered M" and "cisgendered F" for consistency, rather than "male" and "female"?
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  2. #42
    Happy to be Home CountessDeJager's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Required Profile Field: Gender

    Part of the reason we need multiple options is to fit the multiple needs of our members. Of course you can never have enough drop down menu items to match the ways people self-identify gender but we at least have a range.

    The information can be helpful, if a member is getting anti-longhair remarks and their hair is still above their shoulders knowing if they are a man or a woman helps shape the advice toward bumping up against gender expectations if a man or if a woman that they know people with short hair obsessions or age assumptions.
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  3. #43
    metamorfose ambulante Bene's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Required Profile Field: Gender

    the thing is, like, let's say someone posts in a non-hair section. let's say it's in a TMI kind of thread about "plumbing". and let's say someone posts. but it's a man.


    but let's say this man grew up with a million sisters and female friends, and has a wife, and like 8 daughters, so maybe he does have some valid advice, but his opinion will be disregarded because "oh, he's a man, he can't possibly understand"


    likewise, in another thread, perhaps about children, and one female member doesn't like children (which is a matter of personal choice) but her opinion will be completely disregarded as well because she'd be an anomaly of some sort, with the whole preconceived "all women should have some maternal instinct".


    in these cases, an N/A option would be most beneficial. i tend to disagree that knowing the gender of the person posting should have any sort of standing because sound advice is sound advice, no matter who it comes from.



    in any case, i don't even bother to check to see what the genders are, so it doesn't matter. but i really would like to have the N/A option back.

  4. #44
    Barefoot Guru Wind Dragon's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Required Profile Field: Gender

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Godiva View Post
    It may not matter so much for hair topics, but it could matter when discussing off-topic subjects. Say for instance a man pops in to comment on a menstrual thread on the Health & Body Beautiful board, but doesn't make clear his gender. It could cause some confusion to the other posters in the thread, or possible discomfort. Even for less sensitive subjects, perhaps commiserating on a pet's death or saying prayers for someone who asks for them, it might help the respondents picture the person or focus on the individual better.

    ETA: I'm not really commenting on the mandatory nature of the recent change, but just how knowing a person's sex might help other members.
    Oh I get that, and figured the reasoning was probably something along those lines, which is why I didn't have a problem playing nice with it (although since the gender field isn't in the info visible in each post and you still have to go looking for it, I'm not sure how well the first part of the argument applies.) But then the "cheese" option showed up, which -- well, I'll take it (on second thought, actually I guess I'll be going back to female unless the field does become one of the up-front ones, in which case I'll go back to being cheese just because I dislike the idea of people making automatic gender-based assumptions about me with only a few words to go on,) but being able to be Cheese just seems to make the mandatory aspect kind of irrelevant.**

    So, yeah. Not really arguing with you LadyG, just trying to clarify my own puzzlement.

    And in the interest of being completely honest, what if I've long suspected that I have some Y-chromosome (just not the part that imparts a guy's plumbing,) but lack the means to indulge in medically unnecessary DNA testing? "Female" or "Intersex," either way I'm kind of guessing (ETA: well, no, I guess the female part's definite, just the intersex would be a guess.) And what about that Intersex category, anyway? That one isn't going to be helpful to anyone, since it says nothing about whether one lives as male, female, or androgyne.

    Okay, still just kind of talking to myself here. Carry on.

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    Last edited by Wind Dragon; August 13th, 2008 at 09:04 AM.
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  5. #45
    Reached terminal length bte's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Required Profile Field: Gender

    Quote Originally Posted by harley mama View Post
    Well said LG.

    If gender a required profile field now, shouldn't it either be male or female as a choice?
    Just me .
    That's really the point I was making. I have no objection to letting anyone know my gender, and having a DW who had a hysterectomy some years ago and is now going through the menopause, I might well add a comment to a discussion on either at some point in the future. I wouldn't want to see the choice restricted to male or female, as there are other 'real' choices, but I am a little concerned that some alleged chesses or kitties in the future might be trying to disguise something not entirely innocent.

  6. #46
    mythical equestrian Lady Godiva's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Required Profile Field: Gender

    Quote Originally Posted by Bene View Post
    in any case, i don't even bother to check to see what the genders are, so it doesn't matter. but i really would like to have the N/A option back.
    I can understand the N/A thing, although the same respondents in my first scenario may wind up directly asking the member, and if the member continues avoiding answering, the rest may get their guards up all the more. Bte explains why:
    Quote Originally Posted by bte View Post
    That's really the point I was making. I have no objection to letting anyone know my gender, and having a DW who had a hysterectomy some years ago and is now going through the menopause, I might well add a comment to a discussion on either at some point in the future. I wouldn't want to see the choice restricted to male or female, as there are other 'real' choices, but I am a little concerned that some alleged chesses or kitties in the future might be trying to disguise something not entirely innocent.
    My bold.

    This site, as part of the larger long-hair subject represented on the internet, has a history of attracting certain sorts of people who seek to exploit the goodwill and camaraderie of the membership, which is largely female. Long hair has a way of drawing out such people who don't have a PG-13 approach to long hair, let's just say, and a fair share of these people seek to deliberately misrepresent themselves and their motives to get within the trust boundaries of the membership.

    There also is the fact that this is a Community, and as such, there is give-and-take on the part of both individual members posting and all those responding. We all fit into both classifications, hopefully. It's not just about the interests of the individuals over the interests of the Community.
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  7. #47

    Default Re: New Required Profile Field: Gender

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Godiva View Post
    It may not matter so much for hair topics, but it could matter when discussing off-topic subjects. Say for instance a man pops in to comment on a menstrual thread on the Health & Body Beautiful board, but doesn't make clear his gender. It could cause some confusion to the other posters in the thread, or possible discomfort. Even for less sensitive subjects, perhaps commiserating on a pet's death or saying prayers for someone who asks for them, it might help the respondents picture the person or focus on the individual better.

    ETA: I'm not really commenting on the mandatory nature of the recent change, but just how knowing a person's sex might help other members.
    Valid point. I guess I'm confused then as to why the "other" off-gender options are available? If gender is the requirement, why all the other stuff?


  8. #48
    Member Ursula's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Required Profile Field: Gender

    I'm not sure that it doesn't just give us a false sense of security. If someone wants to play mind games, all that is needed is for them to lie about their gender - for example, for a man to sign in as a woman. There is no way to double check. I wouldn't expect to see such people among the "cheeses."

    There is security, and there is security theater. Making everyone declare their gender, with or without having cheese-type options, strikes me as security theater. It's a hoop to jump to, and it gives a superficial feel-secure feeling, but it doesn't really do anything to keep people from misrepresenting themselves. Unless the mods plan to do a background check to verify the declared gender of each member - which would be an excessive amount of mod-work that could be applied to greater good elsewhere, and probably quite an invasion of privacy.

    (It may be a useful thing for other purposes - although I find the gender ambiguity, and the default-to-female mindset, to be beneficial - but it isn't useful for security.)
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  9. #49
    Admin in Absentia Dianyla's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Required Profile Field: Gender

    The whole point of this field is to allow users the opportunity to share something about themselves. Multiple options have been provided so that people can describe themselves as accurately as they wish to. Making the field mandatory is no different from making the Biography field mandatory.

    The Other option exists for people who feel that the existing list of genders does not fully describe theirs.

    The Cheese option exists for people who do not wish to share their gender information. It equates to the "N/A" type of option.

    This field will never be displayed in a visible "next to each post" location, for the exact reasons already discussed - people making automatic gender-based conclusions. If someone wants to know my gender, they may as well also click into my Profile and read my Bio and learn a little bit about me while they're at it. This will let them form a more complete and hopefully objective opinion of me as a person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ursula View Post
    Although, if it is going to be "transgendered MTF" and "transgendered FTM" shouldn't it be "cisgendered M" and "cisgendered F" for consistency, rather than "male" and "female"?
    You are correct, those terms would create the most consistent parallel structure, and I did consider filling the fields out that way. However, most cisgendered people are unfamiliar with the term and I felt that it would promote unnecessary confusion. It is a word that the minority uses to describe the majority, and the majority is generally not aware of. I think it's slightly out of scope for a humble profile field to be the vehicle to reeducate everyone on majority privilege.
    Last edited by Dianyla; August 13th, 2008 at 08:17 PM. Reason: moved one sentence to a different paragraph
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  10. #50
    Not in Ohio Ohio Sky's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Required Profile Field: Gender

    I don't care one way or another about the gender options, but I wanted to say thanks for that link, Dianyla. I think I learned something new today... or started to question my identity, not sure which...

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