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The "Pronouns" Feature in Invision Community


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Posted (edited)

Recently, Instagram has implemented a new self-expression feature. They added a "Pronouns". LinkedIn added the same field a little earlier.

More and more users feel the need to inform which gender they identify with. Transgender people in particular do this for understandable reasons. Pronouns are not obligatory and Instagram users can decide whether the pronoun will be visible to all visitors to its profile or to those who follow it.

In the UK, for example, Instagrammers can choose between his, he, him, she, her, hers, hir, e, ey, em, eir, they, them, theirs, thon, thons, per, pers, fae, faer , ze, zir, zie, xe, xem, xyr, co, cos, ve, ver, vis, vi, vir, ne, nir, nirs, nee, ner, ners, mer and mers.

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Of course, we can use our own built-in profile fields, but they are not translatable and will not be displayed at the top.

Edited by SeNioR-
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Love this!! 

5 minutes ago, SeNioR- said:

Of course, we can use our own built-in profile fields, but they are not translatable and will not be displayed at the top.

What if the option was to manually input versus selecting from a dropdown? 

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25 minutes ago, Jordan Invision said:

What if the option was to manually input versus selecting from a dropdown? 

It's not a bad idea, but I think it's better to let users choose pronouns from a list, instead of typing them by hand.

Unfortunately, IC does not have a drop-down list in the profile fields. We can only use a checkbox or a select box fields, which are not 100% adapted to this.

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I think this is better as a plugin.

It's a seriously infected issue that will cause division in the user base. Personally I would never add it, unless my community is based around a community that think this is important. The reason for that is that it is pretty much a safe bet that people will behave just as bad as on Twitter and I think we have enough trolls to worry about to not add strife amongst our members if we can prevent it.

I am all for expressing yourself and adding whatever labels you feel is appropriate to your community, but this is what custom fields are for and this is what plugins should be used for in my opinion.

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Posted (edited)

Until society as a whole agrees to stop communicating primarily in the masculine form and chooses to fully embrace feminine and gender neutral pronouns then listing one's pronoun preference is unlikely to cause people to change their communication style in a meaningful way.  Maybe in a hundred years or so communication styles will become more inclusive but today being inclusive is the exception rather than the rule. 

I am in favor of improving upon the field that @SeNioR-is illustrating to show the pronoun He/Him so that it might be used for a variety of different use cases.  Having a plugin created that meets multiple needs is more likely to interest a developer as it will likely yield a few more sales.  

 

Edited by Chris Anderson
Revised pessimism level to reflect community reaction to feature request
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Posted (edited)
On 5/21/2021 at 6:32 PM, SeNioR- said:

In the UK, for example, Instagrammers can choose between his, he, him, she, her, hers, hir, e, ey, em, eir, they, them, theirs, thon, thons, per, pers, fae, faer , ze, zir, zie, xe, xem, xyr, co, cos, ve, ver, vis, vi, vir, ne, nir, nirs, nee, ner, ners, mer and mers.

Please keep this madness out of IPB.

Edited by Interferon
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Posted (edited)

I vote no. Leave it to a plugin.

If there were one I'd like to put my true identification which is none of the above listed. I identify as a "Rainbow Princess Unicorn of the Fourth Order" in which I would feel both left out and angry because my identification isn't listed there.

I feel that this is a niche need and therefore needs a niche solution. Plugin. Plugin. Plugin.

 

Edit: To be clear I joke because I believe that this opens up a pathway for people to attack others because of their gender preference. I have removed gender options completely from my community and people can choose to identify in their introduction, in their about me or not at all. It is up to them to make that choice, not me.

Edited by Morrigan
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It's respectful to use the appropriate pronoun when it's use is called for.  This was difficult enough when it was a choice between using a masculine or feminine pronoun as it is difficult to determine which an individual might be based on their choice of username.  Pronoun choice becomes even more difficult when someone like "Morrigan" identifies as being a "Rainbow Princess Unicorn of the Fourth Order".  If that makes Morrigan happy, who am I to judge <insert unknown pronoun>.  It's a tough social issue to address as people are resistant to change, there are a boatload of value judgements that are likely to come into play and way too many exceptions being offered up to know how to deal with them all.

Unfortunately some individuals are skipping the advocacy phase and went straight into the implementation phase.  This will likely engender even more resistance to change ensuring the effort has no chance of being universally accepted.  It will likely take many years before conditions are right to try a more disciplined advocacy approach.  It will require an extremely gifted team of advocates and access to lots of money to have even the remotest chance of encouraging even the slightest of changes.  

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I feel like just having a field makes it seem compulsory. Even if its not. Even if you can leave it blank. I'm a completionist. Seeing a blank field that I CAN fill out makes me feel icky (blame games) but then what if you make it a part of profile completion? Even if its not required if its not filled in then it is forever at 99% complete.

I also tend to X out of sites that have this sort of thing because it means that my gender or my gender identity is more important than my contributions to the community when it means very little to me what you identify as.

For me this sort of thing reminds me of the call centers that are in the Philippines or India where they are all named Steve or Julia. You know that's likely not their real name but at the end of the day does it matter?

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34 minutes ago, Morrigan said:

I also tend to X out of sites that have this sort of thing because it means that my gender or my gender identity is more important than my contributions to the community when it means very little to me what you identify as.

Its all about context and how a site structures the interactions between its members and the content being shared.  It can take a member awhile to get a feel for a site and whether there might be any value to identifying their gender identity to others or referring to someone's gender correctly.  I agree that prompting a new member to identify themselves before gaining access to a site is grounds for me to not join. Empty fields give me a moments pause but there are times when those fields may provide value add to a site.  A good site admin will highlight their value to the community which should prompt more members to fill them out.  

I haven't found value in knowing for sure what gender anyone might happen to identify with here.  On the other hand I do see value of properly identifying and addressing people on LinkedIn as it can matter to some people.  As one doesn't know which person may be more sensitive than another its best to make an effort as that person could have a positive impact on my life or other's I care about.  

 

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Posted (edited)

Everyone here has great points to make, and I'm leaning more to the side of it just being a custom thing that the few communities who would need it could take advantage of it rather than it being suite-wide.

While my community has thousands of members on the LGBTQ+ spectrum, I wouldn't want this or have it enabled either. I've seen first hand what these pronoun labels invite on social media, such as Twitter and TikTok.  It basically puts a target on the person's back for anyone who disagrees with anything that isn't cisgender or heterosexual.  No amount of tools, staff, or community management style can effectively suppress that behavior. There are numerous studies that show how toxic social media in general is and how despite best efforts, this will never change until people themselves change. This will never happen because, well, humans.

Right now, we have a couple custom fields that invite members to provide information about themselves in a broader sense.  If they're comfortable enough to add that in, great, but I don't want them to feel pressured in any shape or form by having multiple fields for individual traits.

Edited by ahc
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