Members of the Harvard Computer Society wanted to have some fun for Valentine's Day and created an app called 'Datamatch' which would help students find companions. Sounds cool, right?
Being sensible technology-focused students, they decided to include only two genders, which naturally set off a firestorm with whining social justice warriors losing their minds.
According to The Harvard Crimson, “Twenty-six members of the Undergraduate Council signed a letter admonishing Datamatch’s restrictive gender choices.”
The report goes on to say the application “forced students to choose 'male' or 'female' without offering options for genderqueer or gender non-conforming students.”
Attack helicopters everywhere must have felt very discriminated against.
As expected, Javier Cuan-Martinez, co-President of HCS, apologized at the Undergraduate Council. “I, on behalf of the Harvard Computer Society and on Datamatch, take full responsibility for the exclusion that we have created on campus,” he said.
One seemingly offended student, Darius A. Johnson said, “I saw that the options were male, female, and then you had to put any other gender identity markers into this ‘extra’ section that was at the end of it.”
“That wording—or that separation—was super disconcerting to me, of the two binary options being the ‘normal’ options, and anything else being the extra. I thought that was a huge oversight on their part,” he added.
Notice how he (I'm going to assume Darius is a 'he' and not a starfish) said 'binary'. As in binary code. As in a 1 or a 0. As in male or female. Is it any wonder a computer society would only put male and female?
Heat Street reports that Harvard’s BGLTQ+ Caucus chair, Nicholas...
Okay, hold up. Seriously. Wait a bloody minute. What is BGLTQ+? You have more letters here than most North American sports leagues combined. I had to google this acronym and it seems almost if not entirely exclusive to Harvard.
I literally just spent about five minutes on this alphabet soup Harvard website trying to find what this means. Hidden deep on the site, I found the following words in order “bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, queer.” Isn't this just LGBT, but with an added Q and a plus symbol? Why rearrange all the letters? It's not even an alphabetical letter thing as Q comes before T – don't believe me? I sang the whole song.
Why rearrange the letters? It would be like if the NHL became LNH, which it is – in French. But why mix things up? Anyway...
Nicholas Whittaker presented this letter ans said, “I’m proposing an undersigned letter, a statement of support with the gender non-conforming and gender queer community after Datamatch implicitly excluded them from the experience.”
He went on to say that, “The idea of it being romantic does not necessitate the idea that it be stuck upon strict gender bearings.”
Meanwhile in the real world, straight and gay couples celebrated Valentine's Day or stayed home and ate Kraft Dinner. In wonderland aka university life, gender queers and atypical asexuals dressed in leather, read Marxist literature and continued to rack up ridiculous quantities of student debt because they decided to major in 14 century feminist basket weaving instead of something remotely useful.
The Valentine's Datamatch program is a tradition for the Computer Club dating back to the mid-90s, but Heatstreet reports that the offense was so dire, if HCC didn’t commit to changing the algorithm next year, Whittaker's group would consider making it a condition of their continued funding.
HCC member Raynor Kuang pointed out on Facebook and Heatstreet simplified, “in order to create matches, the program has to separate users into specific categories and then compare the data they input into the system. Without some categories, the program simply won’t work —but it’s also impossible to make enough categories to encompass everyone of every gender, particularly those whose gender is highly individualized.”
So, here's my solution for the computer society: you'd be better off to just scrap this application than give in to the insanity of whatever the hell a BGOTRQQS~VBBQMLB++ Campus Chair makes sense in his/her/xis world.
Because it doesn't anywhere else.