This past year, social media sites were making many progressive strides in social justice. Specifically, Facebook made a lot of people very happy by expanding their options for gender from two possible selections to more than fifty different options. For those people out there who thought fifty was a lot, I’m happy to let you know that the Facebook gender options have expanded to whatever your little heart desires. As in, you can now list whatever you want under the section for gender, even if Facebook doesn’t have a specific option for it. How cool is that?
Of course, Facebook still offers the gender options they added last year, like Trans Woman, Gender Fluid, and many many more. However, users can now type into a small white box whatever other gender identity they want to. Even if Facebook doesn’t have it listed as one of their standard options, you can simply add in your own. In addition to this, people can also list more than one gender identity at a time. There is absolutely no limit. With this, Facebook just keeps the gender inclusivity rolling.
Overall, the move is an acknowledgement of the fact that gender is WAY more complex and multi-faceted than society generally makes it out to be. Society treats gender as a binary and that simply is just not how it is. There are so many variations of gender and gender experience that expecting all people to fit into any set of labels — even if you make every effort to list as many as you can — is ridiculous. If we start looking at gender as a spectrum, the world will be a much better place. Even though fifty options is infinitely better than two, having unlimited options is best of all. It’s really the only way to make sure that everyone is definitely going to be included.
So what are some possible gender descriptors can you try out under the new system? Well, you can do whatever you want. For instance you can change gender from just female to adding “Cis” before it. This is more specific and gets approached very positively by people who understand and are educated about gender stereotypes and norms. You can also use signifiers and adjectives if that tickles your fancy. This is infinitely more fun than the boring old male vs. female debate that we all had about Facebook before.
So, this means it is definitely time to update my Facebook page. I think I am going for “badass” “feminist” “activist” “cis gendered” “woman.” What are you all going to do?