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Media: More genders on Facebook, still the same pronouns

Submitter: Dennis Baron

Submitter Email: debaron@illinois.edu
Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics
Anthropological Linguistics

Media Body: For years Facebook has allowed users to mark their relationship status as
“single,” “married,” and “it’s complicated.” They could identify as male or
female or keep their gender private. Now, acknowledging that gender can
also be complicated, the social media giant is letting users choose among
male, female, and 56 additional custom genders, including agender, cis,
gender variant, intersex, trans person, and two-spirit.

Facebook users now have so many gender choices that a single drop-
down box can’t hold them all. And they’re free to pick more than one. But
to refer to this set of 58 genders Facebook offers only three tired,
conventional pronouns: he, she, and they. A Facebook user can now
identify as a genderqueer, neutrois, cis male, androgynous other, but
Facebook friends can only wish him, her, or them a happy birthday.

Read the whole post on the Web of Language: http://bit.ly/weblan
Issue Number: 25.1041
Date Posted: March 03, 2014

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