Monday, February 24, 2014

YIKES Facebook Now Has 58 Different Gender Classifications

By Ralph Benko

Facebook very recently introduced a drop-down menu with 58 gender identity choices to embellish the classic Male and Female.  It includes arcane categories such as “neutrois” and “two-spirit” and takes one over the 6-colored rainbow Gay Pride flag.  Facebook now takes us somewhere very far over the rainbow.

“Lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for” is a thought frequently (although not correctly) attributed to Clarence Darrow.  And the case for traditional values is not, quite, a lost one.  It can be won if the traditionalist proponents claim the high ground … of happiness.  Happiness derives from a close-knit social fabric.
We have seen, over the past century, the dissolution of the tight-knit village structure.  My great-grandparents grew up in close-knit villages (in Poland, Germany, and Croatia) in which all were closely connected from birth with the entire village.  This was followed by the dissolution of the tight-knit clan structure.  My Old World born grandparents, in New York City, lived within a clan in which they socialized, almost exclusively, among matriarchs and patriarchs, parents, children, aunts, uncles, cousins and siblings.

This in turn was followed by the dissolution of the tight-knit extended family structure.  My parents closely socialized with their family members and spent every Thanksgiving with my mother’s sisters, their husbands, and their children.  Both of my grandmothers died in the home of one of their children.  That was followed by the dissolution of the tight-knit nuclear family structure.  I grew up in a nuclear family: father, mother, brother.  My own children, of divorce, grew up in what used to be called a “broken home,” beloved yet shuttling between their father’s and mother’s homes.

Now, as Facebook so vividly demonstrates, we confront the next step.  The deconstruction of gender implies nothing less than a splitting of the personal atom: social nuclear fission, where the cohesive gender identity of the individual is broken down.

It is easy to romanticize the social bonds of village, clan, extended and nuclear family.  Of course, anyone who dutifully sits through an annual extended-family Thanksgiving dinner may be forgiven for harboring doubts.  And the small horrors of nuclear family life were nicely displayed on The Wonder Years (the perfect antidote to the sentimental Leave It To Beaver).

Yet social nuclear fission, at critical mass (which we have not yet reached and may never), leads to a chain reaction which could lead to the unleashing of catastrophic energies.  Could widespread gender deconstruction lead to a social Hiroshima? The proposed deconstruction of gender is not to be undertaken cavalierly, as, currently, it is.[...]

That the long, slow, unraveling of the social fabric has been so little addressed politically helps explain why so many of our political arguments have become, apparently, intractable.  In this columnist’s view our arguments over important values issues —the right to life and gay marriage as most prominent — are more about effects than causes. Arguments about effects, rather than causes, inherently are futile.  Time to consider the bigger picture.

This columnist is persuaded that the proponents both of the traditionalist and cosmopolitan values are nobly intended.  He, also, is persuaded that the formula for achieving happiness can be found in reweaving, rather than abetting, the unraveling of, the social fabric.

What if a tight, traditional, social fabric — notwithstanding its real “Wonder Years” flaws — actually proves to be the optimal prescription for personal and social happiness? Malcolm Gladwell’s bestselling Outliers opens with a chapter describing the small, Old World, Pennsylvania village of Roseto.  Page 7:
For men over sixty-five, the death rate from heart disease in Roseto was roughly half that of the United States as a whole.  The death rate of all causes in Roseto, in fact, was 30 to 35 percent lower than expected.  … ‘There was no suicide, no alcoholism, no drug addition, and very little crime.  They didn’t have anyone on welfare.  Then we looked at peptic ulcers.  They didn’t have any of those either.  These people were dying of old age.  That’s it.’
This was discovered, upon close investigation, to be due not to diet, healthy lifestyle, or genetics.  It was solely due to a close-knit village social structure.

This is not merely anecdotal.  As reported in Berkeley’s GreaterGood,
The upshot of 50 years of happiness research is that the quantity and quality of a person’s social connections—friendships, relationships with family members, closeness to neighbors, etc.—is so closely related to well-being and personal happiness the two can practically be equated.
So much research supporting this proposition has been conducted as to make this observation irrefutable.  Its implications are too little politically discussed.

Social traditionalists can, then, make their case politically by taking seriously America’s mission statement — as set forth in the Declaration of Independence — ofLife, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness and making the argument that the pursuit of happiness best can be achieved — personally and socially — by a gentle yet purposeful suite of policies dedicated to the reweaving of the social fabric.[...]

Where, then, shall our political future lie?
Somewhere over the rainbow?
Or, There’s no place like home.

To read the full column, click here


  1. -- Now, as Facebook so vividly demonstrates, we confront the next step. The deconstruction of gender implies nothing less than a splitting of the personal atom: social nuclear fission, where the cohesive gender identity of the individual is broken down. --

    I think this is an exaggeration. I am hard-pressed to understand how would a silly menu of genders is going to deconstruct the concept of gender identity. Since one is not obligated to choose a gender identity at the point of a gun, and 500 million years of evolutionary push has established the natural gender for each half of the population, I am willing to bet that 49% of people will choose MALE and 49% will choose FEMALE, with the rest choosing to fool themselves.

  2. This is the typical Libertarian response - if it does not violate the NAP there must not be anything wrong with it!

    1. Not at all its a business catering to its customers, some of whom maybe a little odd but facebook has decided its going to do business with those people so why annoy them?

    2. Actually this is Facebook succumbing to pressure groups from the Idiot Left. The only reason why this kind of stuff happens today is because people are so thoroughly indoctrinated into this kind of crap. That and courts allowing people to sue over the slightest offense, whether it's real or not. There's a reason everyone LOOKS to be "offended".

      For those without a brain let me educate you: There is male and female. That's it. Anything else is PC boloney.

    3. Anonymous... wrong!

      Saying that it doesn't violate the NAP doesn't mean you can't make any judgments about it, whether moral or otherwise.

  3. This is just facebook trying desperately to remain relevant in the face of ever evolving new and hipper social media like twitter and instagram and wharever comes up next. Facebook will last another 5-7 years.

  4. I am proud to say as a one eyed, trans-gender, hunchbacked cross dressing, Keynesian, I have finally found a home on Facebook...

    Jerry Wolfgang