New York Times

In Uncategorized on July 4, 2010 at 5:04 pm

It always makes me uncomfortable when I am filling out a form and there is a mandatory requirement to disclose myself as male or female. I recently became an online member of the New York times and I was presented with two options to identify myself: Male or Female. This information was mandatory for becoming a member. I decided to write them an email and I thought I would post their response which was timely and polite. I’m not sure if there is a hint of snarkyness in the reply but maybe the person who is reply is unaware that there are people out there who are “biologically neutral”. It could be a completely sincere reply as well. It is so hard to tell with email. Either way I think issues like this should be pointed out to organizations to heighten awareness for them and, hopefully, to fix the offending issue. I wish wish wish that I had saved the email that I sent to them but I can’t find it because I sent it through their “contact us” form and not directly from my email.

Dear Bethany,

Thank you for contacting NYTimes.com. 

Our registration process is programmed for one entry per category —
gender, zip code, date of birth etc. — to accommodate the majority of our
registrants.

The database cannot accommodate more than one selection per entry; nor can
entries be left blank.

We realize this makes it difficult for you to register as “biologically
neutral” and appreciate the feedback regarding our registration process and will
take your comments under consideration.

Thanks again for writing.

Regards,

Brenda Robinson
NYTimes.com
Customer Care

 

www.nytimes.com/help

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  1. Although I understand the technical problem, having recently learned how to create forms similar to the kind they use, but how hard would it be to simply put a ‘Prefer not to answer’ option? Again, having just recently learned how to create these kinds of forms, not hard at all.

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