Dec. 14th, 2009 11:09 pm
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[personal profile] nebulia
From [livejournal.com profile] synecdochic, your new rage stroke for the week:

* Gender will be a mandatory field at account creation, and it will be able to appear public on one's profile. (I can't tell if people with existing gender specification will be defaulted to "nobody can see it" or "everybody can see it".) (Subsequent changelog reading indicates that the public specificity has since been removed. It is unknown whether this is to require public specificity in the future or if it will remain private.)

* LiveJournal is removing the Unspecified option for the gender field. That's right: you get to be male or female. Period. That's it. (Source.)

If this pisses you off as much as it pisses me off, go to Edit Profile and select Unspecified for your gender option. Then, go to http://www.livejournal.com/contact/?dept=feedback and politely register your displeasure. (The people who read and process Feedback are not the people who make the decisions. They are often the people who are yelling internally about the decisions.)

(This will likely take place at the next code push, which given LJ's history will be either this Thursday or next, so spread the word fast, especially to the genderqueer community. After that point, you will no longer be able to pick "Unspecified" as your gender.)

Here is what I wrote; copy and paste as much as you'd like:

Hi there,

I read http://community.livejournal.com/changelog/7932846.html and subsequent commits with dismay, particularly the part where gender is now a) a required field and b) a binary option. Gender is not a binary; there are many people who do not identify as either male or female.

LiveJournal always received high marks from the transgender and genderqueer community because it didn't require people to specify, and didn't require people to choose either/or, when it came to the gender field. LJ also received heavy pressure to offer an "Other" option in addition to the "Unspecified"; you can read the early history of the "gender_petition" community for details. (http://community.livejournal.com/gender_petition/38651.html and earlier entries)

I am particularly dismayed by this change, because LiveJournal under both Danga and Six Apart said, repeatedly, that a). the Gender field would never be a mandatory field to fill out, and b). if it became so, the options would be expanded to include "Other". (http://community.livejournal.com/feedback/9967.html)

A simple interest search on "transgender" or "genderqueer" will illustrate how many people are aware of this issue, and you can review suggestions going back to 2001 (http://community.livejournal.com/suggestions/36453.html) about it.

Transgender and genderqueer individuals experience discrimination every day when they are forced to identify themselves with the gender binary when it doesn't apply to them. Please do not contribute to this oppression.

Please keep the "Unspecified" option for gender, and add an "Other" option, if you are making the gender field mandatory. Please do not contribute to the oppression of others. While I recognize that having a user's gender makes advertisers happier, collecting revenue at the expense of human suffering is not the action of a company I want to do business with.

[Your Name Here]

To also reach someone who's higher up the food chain than the poor staff members who have to read and reply to Feedback, also email anjelika@livejournalinc.com who is Anjelika, GM of US operations.


This is BULLSHIT, guys. There is no other way to put it. LJ is someplace I love and I frankly want to keep it that way.
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