I note with a politically incorrect growl of displeasure that Facebook now offers no less than 58 gender self-classifications. According to ABC News:
Previously, users had to identify themselves as male or female. They were also given the option of not answering or keeping their gender private.
User’s can now select a “custom” gender option.
“There’s going to be a lot of people for whom this is going to mean nothing, but for the few it does impact, it means the world,” Facebook software engineer Brielle Harrison told the Associated Press. Harrison, who worked on the project, is in the process of gender transition, from male to female.
Facebook will also allow users to select between three pronouns: “him,” “her” or “their.”
I must admit, the logic behind this escapes me. I disagree profoundly with the trend to permit – even encourage – people to define their own gender and/or self-perception in this way. As far as I’m concerned, facts override feelings. If chromosomes say you’re male or female, it’s pretty logical that that’s what you are. In the very few cases where chromosomal gender identity isn’t clear, that’s a ‘gray area’ where I’m open to suggestions; but I doubt that such cases amount to even 1% of the general population. In most cases the individual’s sexual classification is chromosomally beyond question, irrespective of what he or she may think or feel about it.
I’m prepared to admit that I’m old-fashioned when it comes to this aspect of modern living. I’ve run into the gender-challenged crowd on far too many occasions, and generally find them to be so confused about life, the universe and everything that it’s no wonder they’re confused about themselves! Frankly, I’ve been disgusted by some of the things I’ve seen and heard. I’ve met very few cases where I’m prepared to accept that the individual concerned was really serious about identifying themselves as one gender whilst physically being a different gender. I have the greatest sympathy for those genuine cases . . . but as I said, I’ve encountered very few of them. Most of the gender-conflicted individuals I’ve met have been so screwed up in so many ways that their gender has been the least of their problems as far as I was concerned!
However, I may be wrong, and if I am, I’m willing to do my best to change. To that end, what say you, readers? Should I – should all of us – be more tolerant towards this sort of gender confusion? When does reality trump compassion – or should compassion always color our response to reality?