Disclaimer: Before you ask “Well, what did you expect, it’s Fox News?”, read this. Even if it fails to sway you, remember that asking that is condescendingly pretending that I’m the last person on Earth to understand that Fox News is full of crap.
In case you missed it, Facebook recently launched the ability for users of the American English version of its product to specify gender options other than Male or Female as well as to specify “they” pronouns be used instead of “he” or “she.” This is a long time coming and a huge step forward for people whose identities are erased or ignored. It also helps to prevent dysphoria in those who might be triggered by misgendering.
There are a lot of pros, as far as I can see, and virtually no cons. The only arguments against it that I have heard are Christianity-based (I don’t think the Bible mentions Facebook, either — deactivate your accounts, literalists) or sneers related to “pandering to liberal sensibilities” (one person’s pandering is another’s basic human acknowledgement, I suppose).
Then, there’s Fox News. Their anchors’ main argument seems to be “we do not know what these things are, therefore they could not possibly be legitimate.” Not to be that guy, but how is an argument from ignorance ever close to a sound one to make?
LOL, among the bogus list of new Facebook-approved genders is "Two-Spirit." Truth kicks fiction's ass every time.
— Dan Gainor (@dangainor) February 14, 2014
Two-Gender has been an identity on more continents than that man has ever visited and for longer than he will live.
As bad as the uninformed and racist Dan Gainor is, Tucker Carlson, Clayton Morris, and Todd Starnes take the cake on treating their lack of knowledge as holy edict against people’s identities and realities.
After reporting the story, host Elisabeth Hasselbeck threw to the network’s Clayton Morris, who she called “the male.” “No, I changed mine to intersex,” Morris joked in response. Tucker Carlson told “Fox and Friends” viewers that one of the new options was “intersex, whatever that is.”
Intersex. “Whatever that is.” Which is a medical condition.
As for Starnes? He took to Facebook itself.
Hilariously, it’s the God that he invokes which, if that deity existed, would be responsible for having created the intersex babies that are born every day, as well as the assigned-binary-gender-at-birth people who grow up into non-binary-identified people and those who are assigned one gender at birth but actually are another.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck is a self-described proud person with celiac. Until my second year of college, I had no idea celiac existed. Did her body not suffer the ill effects of gluten consumption until 2006 because I didn’t know it was a thing? My knee disease, synovial osteochondromatosis, is so rare and unknown that my primary care physician wasn’t aware of it when I presented her with my symptoms. Does that mean the bits of cartilage in my knee are figments of my imagination?
Arguments from ignorance aside, it comes down to basic human courtesy, kindness, and respect. Let’s say you, for whatever reason, don’t want to know about the identities of people who aren’t cisgender. Maybe you’re a Christian or otherwise really, really dedicated to the gender binary. You don’t want to look at the myriad guides that have been posted online and don’t care to learn. Even in said situation, how exactly does it harm you that Facebook has more than two options for gender identity? Moreover, what benefit do you stand to gain when you berate and belittle people’s identities on national television because a website moved in a direction you don’t and don’t care to understand?
It appears that when being a cissexist jerk just isn’t enough in some people’s quest to be the worst person that ever lived, adding racism, mockery of medical conditions, and overall scumminess is the answer.