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07 Maj 2004 @ 19:36
Gender petition  

In support of diversity here in this little corner of the hinternet:

As things stand now, the "Gender" field in one's LiveJournal profile is a menu with three items in it:

  • (Unspecified)
  • Male
  • Female

Personally, I think it ought to be a text field, into which one can type whatever one chooses. (Given the choice, I believe I'd fill mine in as "Mostly harmless.")

w1ldc47w1ldc47 on 7. Maj, 2004 22:58 (UTC)
I think it simply oughtn't be an issue. Why bother asking at all?
parodieparodie on 8. Maj, 2004 09:01 (UTC)
Because people are curious about who they're talking to? I mean, the "gender" info is on the same page as all the other info about a user (where they're from, etc.) provided the person choses to list it. I think it's a reasonable question, and a text box would lead to more entertaining answers (and more insight into the person you're interacting with).

Oh, and LJ collects the info for statistical purposes, which is why they want options rather than a text box. In case that's what you were asking. :-)
w1ldc47w1ldc47 on 8. Maj, 2004 15:04 (UTC)
Accepting, for the sake of argument, that it makes sense to want to know things about the people you meet online, why is their gender important information? Why would that make a difference? Don't experiences matter more?
Q. Pheevrq_pheevr on 8. Maj, 2004 17:10 (UTC)
  1. Not all the information in a LiveJournal profile is necessarily important.
  2. Some people might want the option of listing their gender so that others can select pronouns accordingly.
  3. Eliminating the "Gender" field altogether is, in fact, one of the options being entertained by gender_petition; the text field idea is just another possibility (and, imho, the most flexible one).
  4. Yes, experiences matter more, but there's a place for those in the blog proper. The profile's for stuff like one's name, address, birthdate, and other trivia.
parodieparodie on 9. Maj, 2004 17:36 (UTC)
Well, I think gender is information that is short & sweet, easier to convey than experiences (which supposedly that's what you're discovering in your conversations). Also, LJ gives you the possibility of providing info (in a big text box) and asks you to list interests. That's a reasonably vast amount of info.
Along the same lines, why ask where someone lives? Etc. Random info that makes you feel like you know the person (that's how I see it, at least). So you don't feel like you're talking to a complete stranger, or to a robot...