13 7 / 2011
So recently google threw its hat into the social networking phenomenon with Google+. The social networking site has only been off the ground for two weeks and is still working some kinks out, but the most recent issue was relating to gender.
When you’re creating your Google+ profile, part of filling it out means you have to pick your gender.
Online critics and bloggers were bothered not just the limited choices but the fact that choosing a gender was mandatory to creating a Google+ profile.
Jumping quick on the criticism google plus posted this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wzsHdwmuxE&feature=player_embedded
Similarly to Facebook, Google+ is going to allow users to keep their gender private. In order to deal with the personal prounouns that comes with personal dialogue google+ has decided to use Gender neutral pronouns like their. Instead of “Greg added you to his circle”, it will be “Greg added you to their circles.”
I’ve had limited experience with gender neutral personal. My initial reaction was critical, I thought it was just a lot of work for no particular reason. But as a personal experiences have gotten me closer to gender debate and the pronouns that come with it, I think it’s not so bad after all! What is really cool is institutions like Google stepping up and realizing that gender isn’t as black and white for people. It can be a tricky issue. But instead of forcing them into making a choice that may change for them on a daily basis, they allow for their gender to be THEIR gender (hehe no pun intended!) until they decide other wise by using language that is neutral. I think that is very progressive and very cool. Kudos to Google!