Male female I don't know

I think we have talked about this at some point. Tonight, we went out to eat for a shop. There was an individual whose gender I could not determine. I had no idea. It could have been 50/50. And, of course, they had a gender neutral name like Jaime. On the report, it asked if the person was male or female. I said I could not tell.

Last year, as a teacher, I had a girl I was convinced was a boy, and two boys who I absolutely thought were girls. This was in one class. Then, I had a student who appeared male, did not try to look feminine, but said he identified as a girl and was told by administration that we needed to call him by this female name.

Anyway, how do you handle this on a mystery shop that requires a male/female decision?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/17/2019 06:16AM by Niner.

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@Rousseau wrote:

Neither "male" nor "female" are "genders." Thosecare "sexes." Two different things.

I could not tell either.
I handle it on a mystery shop report by making my best guess and explaining if there is the opportunity to do so in a comments box that I found the person's gender to be unclear. I then provide as clear and objective a description of the person as I can (height, age, hair color and length, clothing, jewelry, etc.)

In real life I might handle it differently (or not), but that's what I do when I'm shopping.

Shopper in California's Bay Area


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/17/2019 06:19AM by CaliGirl925.
I just write “gender not determined.” Every shop I’ve done this on has been accepted.
If you have to make a choice, choose "male." My reasoning for this comes from a post a few years back where a male poster wrote that, in general, women who look somewhat like men do so on purpose (and aren't going to be offended with being tagged as male), but men who look a little more like women don't necessarily do so. I found that to be logical, and have confirmed it with a few acquaintances who fit into both those categories.

ETA: Fixed typo

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/17/2019 08:46AM by iShop123.
One poster who says it does not matter, does not matter. Both the client and the subject are entitled to an assessment based on observable facts and if those are ambiguous as to gender, it is up the the shopper to report that.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
I just hate when it's a drop down menu that only has a male/female option and there are no narrative boxes to explain. They really need to add an "unsure" option.
I've seen a few surveys on which an "uncertain" or "unclear" has been offered. And I think I saw an "unable to determine." This is a good thing. There's a grocery store I shop at as a customer and once did a mystery shop at. I was SO glad a particular cashier wasn't on duty that day and/or didn't wait on me. I've been shopping at this store for years, and this cashier has been there for almost as long. It wasn't until recently that I could determine she's a female. Honestly, I was stressed out about this shop because I didn't know what to say about her gender if I had to interact with her.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
Question: if the report provides no opportunity to explain, is it acceptable to send a note to the scheduler or editor so that they can work their wonders with the information?

.. September is dressing herself in showy dahlias and splendid marigolds and starry zinnias. October, the extravagant sister, has ordered an immense amount of the most gorgeous forest tapestry for her grand reception. - Oliver Wendell Holmes
I look for someplace to insert the description: undetermined, unclear, etc. I have never been called out on it.
It is entirely proper to send an email to the scheduler or to add a "Note to Editor" in any comment box available, to clarify the situation.

This saves a lot of angst and/or back-and-forth and/or client challenges over a report.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
When it asked male/female as part of the description, I said that I was not sure. I then included height, and hair color and style, which were the other required items. I don't want to offend anyone.
The subject of the report is highly unlikely to see it. So, my advice stands; admit that it was "undetermined." That is both objective and the truth.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
I'm a teacher as well and was the only out gay kid in the history of my high school back in the early 2000's. The teachers didn't know what to do with me, allowed constant bullying/rape threats, and knew I was kicked out of my home at 15/16 and did nothing. It was a very traumatic time for me. One teacher showing a little extra concern or just being a decent role model for my peers would have made a world of difference. Please if you have a student who is a girl, don't say "we need to call him by this female name". I'm sure you didn't want to have this pointed out & most don't want corrective feedback from a stranger, but it's a big deal.

May I suggest a Netflix show that demonstrates how a grandmother and mom learn about respecting people's pronouns? One Day at a Time, season 2, episode 3.

You can use gender neutral terminology when addressing your students. Why do we need to say "boys and girls"? How about something like "friends", "students", "folks", anything?


As far as the survey, if it wouldn't let me move on to the next question without selecting one or the other, I'd select whichever one and then write in the separate notes section that goes to the MSC (as someone else suggested) "gender not determined".

I hope you have a great day smiling smiley

@Niner wrote:

I think we have talked about this at some point. Tonight, we went out to eat for a shop. There was an individual whose gender I could not determine. I had no idea. It could have been 50/50. And, of course, they had a gender neutral name like Jaime. On the report, it asked if the person was male or female. I said I could not tell.

Last year, as a teacher, I had a girl I was convinced was a boy, and two boys who I absolutely thought were girls. This was in one class. Then, I had a student who appeared male, did not try to look feminine, but said he identified as a girl and was told by administration that we needed to call him by this female name.

Anyway, how do you handle this on a mystery shop that requires a male/female decision?
I got called by the editor on the male female question. I told her I could not tell. It's not that I did not remember. I could not tell. She needs to ask her higher up.
You misunderstood, you should go back and reread the post more carefully. The student was a boy that identified as a girl and wanted to be called by a female name.

@mlzg wrote:

Please if you have a student who is a girl, don't say "we need to call him by this female name".
I did not misunderstand.

@JASFLALMT wrote:

You misunderstood, you should go back and reread the post more carefully. The student was a boy that identified as a girl and wanted to be called by a female name.

@mlzg wrote:

Please if you have a student who is a girl, don't say "we need to call him by this female name".
This is the safest bet if you have to make a binary choice. It is unfortunate that it assumes that women will be more understanding and that men will be more insecure about their gender. I don't agree that a woman who is perceived as masculine is necessarily trying one way or the other. I imagine most people want just to be.

@iShop123 wrote:

If you have to make a choice, choose "male." My reasoning for this comes from a post a few years back where a male poster wrote that, in general, women who look somewhat like men do so on purpose (and aren't going to be offended with being tagged as male), but men who look a little more like women don't necessarily do so. I found that to be logical, and have confirmed it with a few acquaintances who fit into both those categories.

ETA: Fixed typo
I always admit when I AM wrong, but I find it really irritating when others can't do the same (mlzg).

Looks like we aren't going to agree on this point.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/18/2019 11:55AM by JASFLALMT.
@JASFLALMT wrote:

I always admit when I AM wrong, but I find it really irritating when others can't do the same (mlzg).

mlzg didn't misunderstand you - they were saying that they wish there were no gender specific pronouns, which you and others have repeatedly used in multiple posts including the one you reference.

And they were also making the point that gender is determined not by the parts in which you are born, but the whom you chose to identify with - so in the example, the student was a girl, not a boy. They were making a very pointed remark, and your misunderstanding of what their statement meant in some ways proved the point they were trying to make.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/18/2019 05:49AM by MickeyB.
@Niner wrote:

Then, I had a student who appeared male, did not try to look feminine, but said he identified as a girl and was told by administration that we needed to call him by this female name.

Anyway, how do you handle this on a mystery shop that requires a male/female decision?
@JASFLALMT wrote:

@Niner wrote:

but said he identified as a girl and was told by administration that we needed to call him by this female name.

Yes, I read it.

And because I don't know how to quote two people - here is the salient point of mlzg's post:

"Please if you have a student who is a girl, don't say "we need to call him by this female name"

The point mlzg was trying to make is that she is a girl.

My point is that mlzg didn't misunderstand you and wasn't "wrong" in their post, and therefore has nothing to admit.
The recognized (even by, for over a year now, The New York Times style book) non-gender specific pronoun is "they" (singular). Or, "their" (singular. This is also now in common use in many broadcast media and has been used on the forum by some for quite a long time.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
@JASFLALMT wrote:

I disagree, but whatever.

HE identified as a girl is their point.
It should be she identified as a girl.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
Ok, so I'm wrong, though no one knows if this kid is just yanking the chain of authority figures. But what else I know is wrong is for mlzg to send nasty, angry PMs to other forum members.
@JASFLALMT wrote:

though no one knows if this kid is just yanking the chain of authority figures.

I love you but that's the most MAGA thing I've ever heard you say.

Agree on the PMs though.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
Yes I do, I'm just saying that particular statement sounded MAGAlike

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
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