About the concept of genders 2.0

That sounds funny, but it’s already a reality.
There are now algorithms that create music.
Just not one that surpasses Bach. (yet…)

(it might be interesting to take a look at how chess database websites handle genders and computers :wink:

And then there’s the people who walk through the minefield and say “I don’t feel anything. What’s the big deal?”


Yes, gender is a very natural and basic way to classify people. No one is denying that. But the issue here is to ensure that every gender is treated equally by the UI. This means that there should not be some genders that are just listed as “other”, while “male” and “female” get their actual gender label listed in the interface. Even if you ignore the social-equality aspect of this, I think you should care about the consistency of data precision. Right now, certain genders (ie. male and female) are listed with greater precision than others (eg. genderqueer and fluid). There’s simply no justification for this differential treatment in the database.

Edit: grammar.

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“Nonbinary” is now in wide enough usage that even the massive beuraucracy of the State of California has adopted it. I don’t think MB doing likewise would be going too far out on a limb.

In fact, I think it would be a little embarrassing if an artist’s driver’s license was able to reflect their gender identity more accurately than the MB database. :slight_smile:


You mean a muslim country like Pakistan, which began issuing passports with an X in the gender field for their hijra population a few years ago? Using Islam as a shorthand for conservative repression this way is simplifying and xenophobic. Don’t do it.


Can we keep this on topic? The proposal is very clear about not effecting the current ‘male’ and ‘female’ markers.

Almost every modern survey that hits my inbox has better options than male/female/other, and those that don’t go in the trash. If the government and most businesses can step through this supposed ‘minefield’ without a whisper of discontent then I’m sure MB can survive it :roll_eyes:


It wouldn’t say that on MusicBrainz unless there is already a statement by the artist somewhere else on the internet saying that they are genderqueer, or - if we use it as a super-category - a subset thereof.
So they already made the decision themselves to have that info disclosed on the Internet.


Only a few posts back somebody literally said “Just delete genders. We don’t need them”.
And you then ‘liked’ that post.
It’s a bit odd to put fuel on off-topic statements and support them, and then accuse others who don’t agree with it of making it off-topic.

I would have let your comment go too if you had just said your piece and left it like they did. But this kind of back and forth is definitely burying the OP’s intention with the thread and I think it would be better off elsewhere.

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Okay, so step 0.1 is done and people with non-binary genders are no longer put in the same box as non-human entities - that is good. :slight_smile:

So step 0.2 is almost decided.

I hope the community also at least agrees that we should rename “other” and that we can finally put this discussion behind us. But to be sure:

Do we agree the gender option “other” should be renamed?

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

Next we should come up with options for the rename.

I think so far we heard:

  • non-binary/genderqueer
  • non-binary

I’ll add further options to this list if anyone shares one.

Other than that @reosarevok: Would it be possible to limit what type options you can pair with which gender options?

For example the combination person + not applicable should not be possible - same probably for character. On the other hand other should ideally probably only be combined with not applicable or even don’t have the gender option at all like for groups.
To illustrate further, here are the current type/gender combinations with number of entities:

type male female “other” not applicable [none]
person 438k 117k 379 0 205k
- -
character 1.439 3.041 63 2 820
- -
other 262 105 216 98 1.384
- -
[none] 591 393 9 0 322k
- - - - - -

✓… combination makes sense
✗ … combination doesn’t make sense and probably shouldn’t be possible

If your character is, say, a talking book or washing machine, should it really have a gender? I’d probably use “not applicable” there, unless they have been specifically gendered :slight_smile:


My two cents, shaking off my bio background:

I would go for Silentbird’s proposal, if the database can handle that (free text instead of binary).

If a numerical link approach is need (eg 6 = xxxy) then I would propose to follow the list as generated on wikidata.


@michelv I think we have to do this step by step. My original suggestions included free text as an option, but the discussion went haywire.

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IMHO with no disrespect to anyone, I would have no problem with replacing “other” with “non-binary”. I would have a problem with trying to sub-divide n-b further in Musicbrainz. The worlds’ culture is evolving rapidly and with emotional and genetic modification who knows what may be in our future? Let’s leave room for current and future “gender descriptions” to other web sites. If I choose or need to know more about an artist I can and do follow them elsewhere. Let’s be the best at what we do the best. MUSIC!!:sparkling_heart:


The difference is that female and male is clearly defibed and understood. Wheras these other genders are not, mean different things in different communitirs and are in a state of flux, and many of the terms are in reality of interest to a small minority. Cant we just change other to non-binary and that is all bases covered.


Okay so a more than 2/3 majority decided that we should rename “other”. At the same time there are other voices that suggest completely different options.

So I’ll start a new poll with a few options on how to go forward. I’ll keep them rather general, so we can decide the details when we selected one way.

How should we proceed?

  • Rename “other” to something more decent and then leave it at that.
  • Rename “other” to an umbrella term and then add more options.
  • Rename “other” to an umbrella term and then add more options + the ability to select more than one option (So e.g. “genderfluid” + “female” + “male”).
  • Rename “other” and handle more detailed gender identities with free-form writing (e.g. tags, similar to genres).
  • Remove the gender field altogether.

0 voters

Please argument below.

My opinions to each poll-option:

  • Just rename “other”: This would be the least inclusive, but probably most hassle-free option.
  • Rename “other” + add more options: This would be a very inclusive option, but for some artists it will probably be hard to choose one option over another if they identify with both or some.
  • Rename “other” + more options + multiple choice: This I think would be the best option to be able to represent each persons gender identity accurately. It might lead to mistakes from not understanding how to use it though (someone could e.g. leave the “type” field blank and then select “female” and “male” in the gender field for a woman-man-duo).
  • Rename “other” + handle the rest with free-form writing: This could be a very inclusive option, but if any option can lead to (accidental) “abuse” - like some people suggested above - it’s this one (depending on how it’s implemented). If e.g. we handle this with tags like I suggested in the poll above than one problem would be that a word that is a gender-identity for one person might be something else to another (e.g. Like mentioned before most trans people don’t identify with “transgender” as a gender. Or one person could identify as “gender-non-conforming” while another person just looks gender-non-conforming. One person could identify as a “drag queen” or “transvestite” while for another person it could just be a role or character they play sometimes).
  • Remove gender-option: This would in a way be inclusive too - meaning nobody could feel discriminated, because their gender identity is not available as an option, but the Database would loose information that I think is helpful. Also this would probably lead to lots of “woman”, “man”, “female”, “male” and so on in the disambiguation fields.

I’ve voted for “Rename “other” + more options + multiple choice” but I want to comment and be clear that the multiple choice part is more important than the more options part, as far as I’m concerned.

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As this discussion looks so far I think that is something we can do and should do as a first step for any of the above options. We should not skip this part just because we can’t come up with an agreement on a more sophisticated, but also more complex, implementation.

But I also believe we should strive to improve after that


Yes I agree. Renaming the “other” field would be the first step for any option (except removing the gender field all together). But the new name might differ depending on whether we’ll decide that renaming that is all we do or we go further.

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I was at a conference last week and asked for suggestions on how people deal with this.
Someone pointed me to the following as a database of pronouns.

I’d prefer to link out to this or another list.