Myriad Genders

As I was wasting my day, I stumbled into Yahoo 360. I’m not sure how I got there. I think I was browsing MyBlogLog and one of the members in my contact list had a Yahoo 360 page, and when I clicked on it, I found out that I had a Yahoo account, but not a Yahoo 360 account. I figured this was similar to having an XBOX but not having an XBOX 360, so I joined up right quick. It’s a simple process, and your avatar transfers automatically.

ummmmmmmm…..

So now what do I do with this? Apparently, from the home page, there’s a page to get you to the news, there are pages so you can set up your profile and check your mail, and then there’s “search”. That’s it…. When you go to search, you can either search people by location and age, or you can search people or feeds by key words. From there, you can read stuff and invite people to your friends list. oh… There’s also a list that someone creates for you called “Interesting Pages on Yahoo 360″… Interesting to whom? Who chose this stuff? I’m not seeing the 360-ness of this aspect of Yahoo.

If you go back to regular Yahoo, there’s a bunch of stuff on the main page. I decided I needed to see what other people found so interesting about 360, so I googled “benefit of yahoo 360”. I got a lot of pages of people that weren’t getting any benefit from it at all. Three pages into the google listings, I spied “dykes do digital”, so you KNOOOOWWWWW I had to click on THAT! 😀

http://www.dykesdodigital.org/yahoo-360-mandatory-binary-gender-choice-sucks/

“… I’m REALLY REALLY disappointed that I have to a) choose male or female as a gender and b) I have no choice about making it public or not.. it’s mandatory that the bit is made public, and searchable.

It stinks.

At the very minimum, I should be able to choose whether I want that info public or not. Better: I could tag my gender, or at least get a text box. Something. Throw us people of complexity a bone here. And, in the best of all possible worlds, *I wouldn’t have to be asked in the first place because no one would give a crap* in some sort of ridiculous institutional put-people-in-boxes sort of way because we feel the need to LOCK DOWN and CONTROL every bit of stray METADATA we think might be appropriate. I love metadata, too. But not when used against people, to fix them down and gloss over things that are really, really important and complex, like how you feel about your gender. In case anyone has been living under a rock since the dawn of time: GENDER IS A COMPLEX, PROBLEMATIC ISSUE. Complicated by the vast long history of sexism, culture, sociology, biology, technology, politics.

You can’t just collapse all of that INTO A LITTLE CHECKBOX.

Okay, I’ve had my tirade, now, thanks. ;)”

Hmm… The title of “her” post was “Yahoo 360 mandatory binary gender choice sucks”. So I needed to go look up “gender”. 😀

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender

So now, things start to get ‘interesting’. “She” was complaining that there was a binary (meaning only two) choice for gender. That would make Male (1) and Female (2). ummmmmm….. How many more genders does she want? What’s she expecting the distinctions to be? Or perhaps her idea is for there to be no distinctions at all. You can just be whatever you feel like being, whenever you feel like being it. Like… if someone engages you in conversation, instead of not declaring a gender at all, you get to say “I’m vague, thank you” or “I’m ambiguous” or “Is it Tuesday? I’m kind of a chick on Tuesdays… but not really”. I suppose if someone walks up to you and accuses you of being a human, you’d like to be able to say you’re a beetle… or perhaps a cow. So I read on to see what wikipedia had to say.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender

“Since the 1950s, the term gender has been increasingly used to distinguish a social role (gender role) and/or personal identity (gender identity) distinct from biological sex. Sexologist John Money wrote in 1955, ‘The term gender role is used to signify all those things that a person says or does to disclose himself or herself as having the status of boy or man, girl or woman, respectively. It includes, but is not restricted to, sexuality in the sense of eroticism.’[5] Elements of such a role include clothing, speech patterns, movement and other factors not solely limited to biological sex.”

Disclose himself or herself as having the status of boy, man, girl or woman? So, if a guy decides to “disclose himself as a girl”, that’s supposed to make him a girl and there’s supposed to be a gender choice on Yahoo 360 for “guys that disclose themselves as girls”? 😕

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender

“Many societies categorize all individuals as either male or female.. however, this is not universal. Some societies recognise a third gender[6].. for instance, Native American Two-Spirit people, and hijras of India and Pakistan[7].. or even a fourth[8] or fifth.[9] Such categories may be an intermediate state between male and female, a state of sexlessness, or a distinct gender not dependent on male and female gender roles. Joan Roughgarden argues that in some non-human animal species, there can also be said to be more than two genders, in that there might be multiple templates for behavior available to individual organisms with a given biological sex.[10]
There is debate over to what extent gender is a social construct and to what extent it is a biological construct. One point of view in the debate is social constructionism, which suggests that gender is entirely a social construct. Contrary to social constructionism is essentialism which suggests that it is entirely a biological construct. Others’ opinions on the subject lie somewhere in between.
Some gender associations are changing as society changes, yet much controversy exists over the extent to which gender roles are simply stereotypes, arbitrary social constructions, or natural innate differences.”

How interesting is THAT? Maybe she’s onto something! 😀

side note: I’m going to have to get back to that “Native American Two-Spirit people” idea…..

So, let’s say Yahoo 360 is released in India… People there should be complaining that there are only two divisions as well. Do you get the extra genders if you register in India?!?! 😀 hehehe Maybe she should make a foreign account and see what happens.

While we’re at it… Where’s the part where we get to declare that we have several wives? Shouldn’t the sultans be up in arms about this? How come we can’t go on Match.com and declare that we have 8 wives and are looking to date? 😀 All we get to put is stuff like “married” “single” “in a relationship”… Isn’t this as bad as *ONLY* having Male and Female to choose from in gender selection? :O Where’s the selection for “I’m screwing several chicks right now, and I’m looking for more women that want to get with this program?” hahahaha

Well… I’m off to research how gender is a social construct and learn about the Two-Spirit people! 😀

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