Members profile: Why was info about profession and gender removed?

  • Rallino

    Moderatoúrkos
    Turkish
    Sure they could, it's just I really find it difficult to take the "pronoun issue" seriously. But if the majority wants it, so be it. My language is gender free, so, as you said, good luck bienvenid@ing people if that's implemented:p
     

    DearPrudence

    Dépêche Mod (AL mod)
    IdF
    French (lower Normandy)
    I understand it is common in the US, but I doubt many languages have this flexibility and choosing your pronouns is not something that French people would generally understand.
    So if you don't speak English (well), it's a bit baffling to know what you're supposed write in this field if it reads something like "choose your pronoun".
    If a member did write "they" and posted in the French only forum, I wouldn't quite know what to write when addressing them.
    I did ask earlier but the debate got so heated that the thread had to be closed (and I still don't have my answer, because I don't think there is one at this point):
    he/she/they (preferred gendered form of address)

    (and if someone wrote free text like "его" or "ëe", "άντρας" or "γυναίκα", that would definitely not help me more)

    I don't know. I guess nothing is simple nowadays.
     

    mkellogg

    Administrator
    English - US
    This is getting to complex. The English pronoun thing that has become popular recently rubs a lot of people the wrong way. I want the site to be welcoming and not scare people off.

    I hadn't anticipated that the emoji would seem to be signifying a race or skin color in addition to gender. :eek: I think it is time to go back to the uncontroversial "bathroom" signs.

    BTW, you can use tú/tu with me in Spanish :)
     
    he/she/they (preferred gendered form of address)
    I'm glad I had French in high school, so I could get the gist of that post.

    I don't know. I guess nothing is simple nowadays.
    No. The world is evermore complicated, and the world of words follows suit (leads(?)) in that. We are groping in the dark a bit these days when it comes to gender references, but I have faith that we will find a way forward. And it will be called progress :)(among progressives, at least)
    So if you don't speak English (well), it's a bit baffling to know what you're supposed write in this field if it reads something like "choose your pronoun"
    I would suggest Pronouns (optional) for the field name

    I think it is time to go back to the uncontroversial "bathroom" signs.
    Okay, that would be a kind of progress -- MWRGA (Make WR Great Again). I would prefer that our profiles be purged of any gender symbols, as I've already mentioned (over and over), but I want the option to specify M/F/- to stay (provided a write-in field is not in the cards).
    I want the site to be welcoming and not scare people off.
    It had never occurred to me that people could potentially be scared off :eek: How unfortunate that would be! That is to be avoided at all costs, I fully agree. I'm content with going back to bathroom symbols, although it's a bit touchy (scary (?)) when you stop to think of all the controversy -- and litigation -- over bathroom use these days on the part of trans people and others whose gender identity does not tidily fit into the binary categories 🚹🚺

    I hadn't anticipated that the emoji would seem to be signifying a race or skin color in addition to gender.
    Mike, I am shocked to learn this, although I should have inferred it. You are in the company of many others. I was offended by the emoji as soon as I noticed it -- so white bread, and young. Thank you for "coming out" as in the dark :thank you:
     
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    lauranazario

    Moderatrix
    Español puertorriqueño & US English
    It had never occurred to me that people could potentially be scared off :eek: How unfortunate that would be! That is to be avoided at all costs, I fully agree. I'm content with going back to bathroom symbols, although it's a big touchy (scary (?)) when you stop to think of all the controversy -- and litigation -- over bathroom use these days on the part of trans people and others whose gender identity does not tidily fit into the binary categories 🚹🚺
    This is a perfect example of hot-button issues that are present within certain societies (like those of the USA and certain countries) —and totally absent in other societies around the world.

    So I understand Mike wanting to be as neutral as possible... allowing WR users to choose to display one of the two universally-recognizable 'bathroom symbols' on their profile —or no symbol at all.
    In other words, if a person doesn't feel any of the two symbols represent them, they can opt out of the symbol system. After all, revealing your gender is not mandatory. ;)
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Just checking: is this what is meant by "bathroom symbols"?
    1636998423054.png
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Looking at the way Mike's got things now, I see that if you hover over the 'bathroom symbol', you see
    Male
    or
    ♀ Female

    That looks like a clever solution :thumbsup:
     
    What many linguists on Twitter do is put their pronouns in brackets next to their name, e.g., Jane Doe (she/her).
    New member Attxx0001 (whose biological sex is unknown to us) is offered 3 options upon registration:
    MALE
    FEMALE
    NO SELECTION

    What tangible difference would it make if the options were

    HE
    SHE
    NO SELECTION
    ?

    Please enlighten me as I can't see any.
     
    Which won’t work on mobile devices. 🙃
    Nor do they even appear on my iPhone, nor those pesky emojis, nor, alas, does it specify female

    After all, revealing your gender is not mandatory. ;)
    No, not mandatory, but potentially helpful in interpreting translations and explanations of text, as would be profession, or age. Where do you draw the line? Well, while the fact that I have blue eyes and brown hair may influence my translation and/or interpretation of blonds have more fun, or influence the way others' respond to it, it really shouldn't affect it much. I have a grown son, an only child, and a dog named Woof. Oh, and did I mention that I live in a Cali modern house in the middle of a vast inland empire with an abundance of dust, heat and sun, but a dearth of culture? TMI? Already?

    You get the picture. I just don't want to be confused with (or by) a sweet, young, cherubic, female image or a ⚤ in a skirt when I've worked hard to become a jaded, jeans-wearing, wrinkled, wonky woman, who won't shy from a good debate 💪, whence our fantastically lively, immensely pleasurable (for me) discussion
     

    swift

    Senior Member
    Spanish – Costa Rica (Valle Central)
    I did ask earlier but the debate got so heated that the thread had to be closed (and I still don't have my answer, because I don't think there is one at this point):
    iel, iels pronom personnel RARE Pronom personnel sujet de la troisième personne du singulier et du pluriel employé pour évoquer une personne quel que soit son genre. L’usage du pronom iel dans la communication inclusive. (Le Robert)
    Je te conseille de lire les travaux de Kris Knisely, dont voici une liste ! ;)
     

    swift

    Senior Member
    Spanish – Costa Rica (Valle Central)
    The truth of the matter is that WRF is not the place to have academic discussions about gender from a linguistic perspective, let alone from an intersectional standpoint. The earlier you realize it and accept there are safer places where this type of conversations are not shut down with blatant bigotry and sexism, the less pain it will cause you. A lot of people get away with outright transphobia because they’re ‘polite.’ 🤷🏻‍♂️
     

    siares

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    The "way it is" is a form of pigeonholing: door #1 (male), door #2 (female), door #3 (no selection)
    I don't think of the first two as pigeonholes but as useful categories, whether for coroners or herbologists. Other categories may be added without those two being changed for one specific species.
     

    lauranazario

    Moderatrix
    Español puertorriqueño & US English
    No, not mandatory, but potentially helpful in interpreting translations and explanations of text,
    Wait... what!!!???
    You would interpret translations differently depending on whether said translations (or thread replies) come from a male or a female?
    To me, that sounds dangerously close to selective discrimination...

    as would be profession, or age.

    Not all members who populate our community are linguists or translators. Even educators don't have a corner market on the correct way to say things!
    What I mean to say is that I believe everyone —regardless of age and/or occupation— can contribute something of value.

    In my mind, sharing knowledge freely and willingly is key, without the need to flaunt occupations or indirectly promote ageist notions ("Susan knows shit because she's only 22, but Ethel is 55 so she must know what she's talking about").

    Anyway, it's just my two cents on the matter. ;)
     
    Wait... what!!!???
    You would interpret translations differently depending on whether said translations (or thread replies) come from a male or a female?
    To me, that sounds dangerously close to selective discrimination...
    I did use the word potentially. But it is good that you call me out on potential discrimination (it's the world we live in). I'm going to sleep on my point of view and see if I find it defensible tomorrow. Thank you as always for shaking me up, LN
    Not all members who populate our community are linguists or translators. Even educators don't have a corner market on the correct way to say things!
    What I mean to say is that I believe everyone —regardless of age and/or occupation— can contribute something of value.
    Well said. I couldn't agree more :thumbsup:
     

    Nanon

    Senior Member
    français (France)
    I understand it is common in the US, but I doubt many languages have this flexibility and choosing your pronouns is not something that French people would generally understand.
    So if you don't speak English (well), it's a bit baffling to know what you're supposed write in this field if it reads something like "choose your pronoun".
    The other day, LinkedIn prompted me to "choose my pronouns". The prompt was in French ("précisez vos pronoms"). Therefore, I assume that some (but of course, not all) French speakers are supposed to understand what this is all about. There is an explicative post on LinkedIn explaining why LI users should make their pronoun choice visible in their profile, here: Pourquoi préciser ses pronoms sur les réseaux sociaux et autres signatures de mail ?
    To be honest, I felt that the prompt was mildly intrusive, and I feel that I relate when Mike says that

    This is getting too complex. The English pronoun thing that has become popular recently rubs a lot of people the wrong way. I want the site to be welcoming and not scare people off.
    I also felt that the prompt was not really inclusive, culturally speaking, as if I was requested to align with an English-speaking (or was it US?) behaviour (the article makes constant reference to why it is important to state your pronouns in English). And, ahem... I haven't updated my LI profile for the moment (not sure I will) :p. in any case, I am not absolutely convinced that stating that you can say elle when talking about me in third person makes me LGBTQI+ friendlier...

    iel, iels pronom personnel RARE Pronom personnel sujet de la troisième personne du singulier et du pluriel employé pour évoquer une personne quel que soit son genre. L’usage du pronom iel dans la communication inclusive. (Le Robert)
    Je te conseille de lire les travaux de Kris Knisely, dont voici une liste !
    There may be other options although the neologism iel seems to be the "trendiest" (and possibly the most "politically neutral") one. For instance, Monique Wittig uses on as a gender-neutral pronoun in some of her works.
     
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    swift

    Senior Member
    Spanish – Costa Rica (Valle Central)
    I’m not sure that there will be a message prompting currently registered users to choose their pronouns. The new options would be available as a choice for new members and for those current users who feel that the previous options did not represent them accurately. Those who are happy with their current choice won’t need to change anything.
     
    I’m not sure that there will be a message prompting currently registered users to choose their pronouns. The new options would be available as a choice for new members and for those current users who feel that the previous options did not represent them accurately. Those who are happy with their current choice won’t need to change anything.
    Swift, do you have insider information? Is this really going to happen?!
     
    I’m imagining what is possible. :)
    Ah, very diplomatic of you :)
    Some practical advice:
    avoid saying "preferred" pronouns. Despite the popularity of the term, it's incorrect, since "preferred" implies someone's gender is a preference.

    Ultimately, using gender-neutral pronouns doesn't require too much effort on your part, but it could make a huge difference in creating a warmer, more inclusive workplace environment for everyone. --Marketing, "Gender-Neutral Pronouns: What They Are & How to Use Them
    I take this to mean that the proposed field should ideally not be headed by "preferred pronouns" but rather simply by "pronouns". The write-in field will, of course, be optional
    I also felt that the prompt was not really inclusive, culturally speaking, as if I was requested to align with an English-speaking (or was it US?) behaviour (the article makes constant reference to why it is important to state your pronouns in English). And, ahem... I haven't updated my LI profile for the moment (not sure I will) :p. in any case, I am not absolutely convinced that stating that you can say elle when talking about me in third person makes me LGBTQI+ friendlier...
    I get why you felt bullied by LinkedIn, Nanon. That is intrusive of LI to urge you to the point of practically coercing you into stating your pronouns. I hope you will agree that there is nothing inherently wrong with giving LI users the opportunity/option to state their pronouns. Not only not wrong, but up-to-date, generous and inclusive.
    This forum is supposed to be friendly to people from many different cultures. --velisarius #77
    Indeed it is, @velisarius. Would you find a write-in field in "Account Details" that gives you the option to state your pronouns unfriendly. If so, why?
     
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    I don't think of the first two as pigeonholes but as useful categories, whether for coroners or herbologists. Other categories may be added without those two being changed for one specific species.
    Yes, we're hoping for something more flexible than that -- a write-in field where you can opt to state your pronouns. Naturally he/his/him and she/her/her are out there as options. But limiting the number of categories to choose from would not be inclusive enough. Lists of non-gender-binary pronouns are growing longer every day. Imagine being able to choose your pronouns! It's so fundamental -- critical, really -- to one's identity.
    Here are some examples of (not necessarily) English-language pronouns
    HE/SHEHIM/HERHIS/HERHIS/HERSHIMSELF/HERSELF
    ziezimzirziszieself
    siesiehirhirshirself
    eyemeireirseirself
    vevervisversverself
    teytertemtersterself
    eemeireirsemself
    Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Plus (LGBTQ+) Resource Center, UW Milwaukee
     
    Finally (sorry for hogging the stage, here), I wish to reply to @lauranazario's post #77 calling me out on my discriminatory (snobbish?) attitude about how data in a member's profile (gender, age, profession, etc.) might influence my receptivity and/or evaluation of their posts in the forums. That's a sad thing to contemplate. It's impossible to avoid, however. Information influences our points of view and our opinions. This is why, in interviewing a job candidate, it is illegal to ask for data such as gender, age, or marital status. What I had in mind when I wrote my post #64 was a scenario such as this: A member needs a translation of a term having to do with hen's eggs ("huevo huero de gallina"). I read the post and, intrigued by the challenge, set about doing some research into the term, also known as "embarazo anembrionado". A few minutes later and several iterations of translations of Wikipedia pages, I come up with "blighted egg". The member thanks me profusely, says it's exactly what they were looking for, etc. I feel rewarded, and I move on. Then comes the notification that another user has replied to the same thread. "Blighted egg" is not the correct term, it reads; it's "addled egg". At this point I check out the member's profile, only to discover that he (already specified) is a retired farmer. Feeling then entirely convinced of his translation, I give him a thumbs up.

    I'm not necessarily advocating for more fields for personal data such as occupation (better occupations, as I have a long history of switching gears and switching careers. [Never a dull mo_Oment.]), I'm only pushing for the option to state one's pronoun because we do address one another in the course of communicating both publicly in the forums and privately in letters and conversations. Good friends from around the globe with which you have much in common are to be found in WR :) It's an important social medium for many of us. But I digress....

    I'll be silent for a little while now and give others a chance to comment. Hope to hear from you!

    Paula
    ♕♛
     

    Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    American English (New England and NYC)
    The problem with adding your occupation as testimony to your expertise is that people here (and everywhere) have knowledge that has nothing to do with their occupation. In addition, it might unfairly privilege linguists and translators. It seems to me that at least half of the regular commenters on the English Only site are not linguists or translators. Yet those of us who are native AmE or BrE speakers rarely make an outright mistake. Our discrepancies come from our regional dialects more than from our lack of knowledge of grammar. If someone wants to know what 'lobster pot' means in a novel, they'll be confused if they accept the linguist's answer "it's a piece of kitchen equipment used for cooking lobsters" and then go back to reading without scrolling down to see the New Englander's comment that it's the same as 'lobster trap.' If a linguist from Kansas says "I've never heard that," it doesn't make it wrong; it makes it something that someone from Kansas would not be likely to know.

    Indeed, choosing your pronoun would strike someone as odd if their native language has nongendered pronouns. A few years ago a couple of members of my family started using 'she' and 'they' instead of the 'he' that they would have been stuck with if they were born in the 1950s. I still find it slightly ridiculous for me to have to pick -- I've been checking F for millennia, it seems, without bothering to think about what it means that I like power tools and never wear the stupid dresses in my closet -- but if those folks whom I love need to be able to choose their pronouns, they should be able to. And there are a lot of ridiculous things in the world today; this is pretty low on my list.

    I have often wondered how people would view my posts if I left out my gender, picked a screen name like Travis or Ryan, and posted a photo of a Ford F-150 as my avatar.
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    The point is that people who
    a) would like to disclose their gender
    and
    b) do not identify as either "male" or "female"
    should have the option to do so.

    They should not be forced to choose "Do not wish to disclose" if they do in fact wish to disclose.

    This reminds me of most forms in the US that ask you for your race/ethnicity. They almost never include "Middle Eastern," so I don't have the option of actually disclosing my race/ethnicity if I'd like to (unless there's a fill-in option). "Other" forces me to be unspecific, and "Do not wish to disclose" doesn't apply if I actually do wish to disclose.

    It really matters naught what those who identify as "male" or "female" think about this. This doesn't concern them. Disallowing this option because it makes some of them "uncomfortable" (or "upset" or whatever) would be like disallowing any other demographic identifier (native language, age, etc.) because other people don't like it. Being "welcoming" or "friendly" to people who have a problem with non-traditional gender identities by restricting the latter's options is simultaneously being unwelcoming and unfriendly to the latter. Tolerating intolerance is not tolerance.
     

    swift

    Senior Member
    Spanish – Costa Rica (Valle Central)
    @elroy, thanks for your thoughtful and powerful summary of the actual opportunity WRF has to be welcoming to all.
     
    I have often wondered how people would view my posts if I left out my gender, picked a screen name like Travis or Ryan, and posted a photo of a Ford F-150 as my avatar.
    :D Well if it helps you to know, I was afraid that if I ticked off the Female box, I wouldn't be taken as seriously. But lo and behold, it has not turned out to be the case -- witness this thread, for example :)
    if those folks whom I love need to be able to choose their pronouns, they should be able to.
    I'm glad you recognize that. A person's pronouns are (or can be), as I mentioned before, an important, even critical, part of their identity
    The problem with adding your occupation as testimony to your expertise is that people here (and everywhere) have knowledge that has nothing to do with their occupation. In addition, it might unfairly privilege linguists and translators.
    You are absolutely right in this. I'm not going to argue in favor of a profession field (although I take an (prurient?) interest in people's backgrounds, and something like a profession can be a very important aspect of a person's identity. It's "Nice to meet you, Roxxxannne. What do you do?" not "Nice to meet you. What do you think about...? Tell me more about you"). Of course if such a field were to be reintroduced, it would, as it was before, be entirely optional
    I don't see why the gender even matters. I don't know the gender of probably 90% of the people I 'know' on the forum, and it was never a problem when I asked a question and got an answer.
    I'm glad it's never been a problem for you, Rallino. But it has occasionally turned out to be an issue for me. Speaking generally, gender matters. Speaking exclusively about WR members, well, let each individually decide whether it matters to them by giving them the option to specify, or not, their pronouns
     

    Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    American English (New England and NYC)
    :D Well if it helps you to know, I was afraid that if I ticked off the Female box, I wouldn't be taken as seriously. But lo and behold, it has not turned out to be the case -- witness this thread, for example :)
    I think having a female name has caused me to be treated less seriously, on a few occasions, than I would be if I had a male name.

    It doesn't surprise me that there's resistance these days to pronoun choice. The first time I ever noticed someone listing their pronoun choice was on the psych counseling pages of a university website less than ten years ago. When we're in the middle of it, it seems like attitudes about gender and sexuality take forever to change and that the people who are dead set against change will always be that way. But when we look back it seems crazy that things were any other way. Don't get me started. I'll just say that birth control pills for unmarried women were illegal in the state where I went to college until after I had graduated.

    I don't mean we should all just sit back and wait for things to happen. Dare to struggle, dare to win.
     

    lauranazario

    Moderatrix
    Español puertorriqueño & US English
    The other day, LinkedIn prompted me to "choose my pronouns". The prompt was in French ("précisez vos pronoms"). Therefore, I assume that some (but of course, not all) French speakers are supposed to understand what this is all about. There is an explicative post on LinkedIn explaining why LI users should make their pronoun choice visible in their profile, [...]
    To be honest, I felt that the prompt was mildly intrusive, and I feel that I relate when Mike says that


    I also felt that the prompt was not really inclusive, culturally speaking, as if I was requested to align with an English-speaking (or was it US?) behaviour (the article makes constant reference to why it is important to state your pronouns in English).
    Thank you so much for this anecdote!
    I will use it to express something that's been on my mind for a while now. A personal opinion.

    The whole pronoun thing has become almost a craze in the US. Companies left and right are jumping on the trend (like LI, as per Nanon's experience). Online platforms asking (demanding? passively forcing?) members to choose their pronouns — whether or not you reside in the all-too-woke US.

    What if your culture or country has different standards?
    What if this kind of topic (or nearly-forcible choice) seems inappropriate to you?
    What if this type of situation (suddenly bringing your gender and everyone's gender to the forefront) is taboo in your society or culture?
    What if your language doesn't accommodate any of this?

    I feel that these companies are foisting/imposing an American concern on a worldwide audience... and I find this extremely objectionable.

    I certainly hope that our beloved WR remains impervious to this pronoun-storm (because ours is an international community)... and continues being a place where all contributions coming from all corners of the world and from people of all genders are welcomed and appreciated.

    A girl can dream, right? ;)
     

    siares

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    I think the resistance to pronouns comes not only from damaged communication (where you don't name what you see), but also from a dictat which is predicated on faith. Non-believers ('atheists', who don't believe in the existence of gender identity) are required to do the same as the faithful.
     
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    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    No one is talking about forcing anyone to reveal their pronouns.
     

    swift

    Senior Member
    Spanish – Costa Rica (Valle Central)
    Reducing the issue to a caricature and belittling a legitimate request with words like craze exemplifies precisely why I was saying the other day that WRF is not a safe space to have academic discussions about this particular topic. It’s no wonder the forums have such a bad reputation in academic circles, especially with specialists on gender issues.
     
    I certainly hope that our beloved WR remains impervious to this pronoun-storm (because ours is an international community)... and continues being a place where all contributions coming from all corners of the world and from people of all genders are welcomed and appreciated.
    I'm not sure what you mean by impervious to this pronoun storm". Of course WR is part of the bigger culture of language and it's usage. Pronouns of all kinds are (sorry) here to stay. Once someone has decided they're a ze, there'll be no going back to he or she for ze. It's a done deal.

    Let us once and for all be convinced that the proposal to specify one's pronouns in WR is not destined to be required. People will not be coerced into revealing their gender(s), and there will be no subtle pressure to "conform" and tell all. Far from it: this would be an optional, write-in field where a person can specify or not their pronouns. If you consider it exclusive, offensive, or confusing, move on to the next field (profession;))
     
    Atheists, who don't believe in the existence of gender identity, are required to do the same as the faithful.
    Huh?? Since when has this been true. I'm an atheist. No one told me gender doesn't exist. siares, I right now have chill of horror thinking of what misinformation people may be exposed to. Have you a reference for such an assertion?
     
    Reducing the issue to a caricature and belittling a legitimate request with words like craze exemplifies precisely why I was saying the other day that WRF is not a safe space to have academic discussions about this particular topic. It’s no wonder the forums have such a bad reputation in academic circles, especially with specialists on gender issues.
    That's sad to hear. So far, I haven't taken offense at any comment in this thread. It's okay for me if someone wants to comment on the "pronoun craze" in the "all-too-woke US". I have confidence in those who are making the important decision of whether or not to include a pronouns field to be woke to the many factors that may influence that decision
     
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