LINGUIST List 25.1041

Mon Mar 03 2014

Media: More genders on Facebook, still the same pronouns

Editor for this issue: Malgorzata Cavar <>

Date: 03-Mar-2014
From: Dennis Baron <>
Subject: More genders on Facebook, still the same pronouns
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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 a gender, 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:

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics

Page Updated: 03-Mar-2014