Facebook is joining the twenty-first century, offering multiple options when users select "Gender" in their profile. Recognizing that not everyone self-defines as strictly "male" or "female," Facebook now provides more than 50 labels in its drop down menu:
On its diversity page, Facebook explains the change:
Users also can select the pronoun by which they would be referred on the site: he, she, or they. Students of business communication know that "they" isn't standard as a singular pronoun, although "one" is dated, "she/he" and "she or he" are clunky, and other variations haven't stuck. But considering the large number of gender labels, I wonder why more pronoun options aren't available.
- What's your view of Facebook's new options?
- What could opponents of the move say? What would be their rationale for limiting gender options?
- Why don't we have a common, neutral singular pronoun. If you were to invent one, what would it be?