From the New York Times news section:
When ‘Sir’ and ‘Ma’am’ Miss the Mark: Restaurants Rethink Gender’s Role in Service
A dinner out can be discomforting for nonbinary and transgender people. But efforts are afoot to change that.
By Rax Will
March 28, 2022
LOS ANGELES — As Anaelia Ovalle stood outside a restaurant here deciding whether to go in, the host extended a friendly greeting: “Hello, sir.” But the phrase didn’t feel all that welcoming to Ovalle, 27, who identifies as nonbinary and uses the pronouns “they” and “them.”
Ovalle has an androgynous appearance. And as they asked for a menu, they could see the wheels turning in the host’s head, registering the pitch of their voice and noticing details like their eyeliner and painted nails. The host quickly retreated, calling them “ma’am.”
“It’s just funny that they resort to flipping it,” said Ovalle, a machine-learning researcher.
There’s nothing more heartwarming than seeing yet another disagreeable 145 IQ on-the-spectrum with Complicated Needs individual using the now dominant transgender ideology to bully waiters and waitresses and to feel self-righteous in stiffing them on the tip.
Oh, wait, this person is a grad student focusing on “ethical ML,” so knock that IQ estimate down about 20 points:
Anaelia Ovalle (they/she) is a computer science doctoral student at UCLA. They are currently obsessing over the intersections of representation learning and algorithmic fairness. Elia is conscious of context-sensitive impacts and implications upon deployment, with particular interests in improving health equity and empowering historically marginalized populations. Able to see the big picture, they have hands-on experience as a data scientist leading teams to build end-to-end machine learning solutions for internal and external stakeholders.
They lead the UCLA Graduate Women in Computer Science organization, passionate about supporting womxn engineers in their industrial and academic endeavors.
Multimodal Machine Learning
“Ethical ML” is a focus for people smart enough to get into grad school but not to get out.
New York Times commenters are unenthusiastic. Here are the top 3 most popular comments:
Orange County N.Y.
I’m all for you being you.
However, as a server for a long time, I’m just not interested in your non binary life. A 100 things are in my mind (Extra ranch table 6, get bill table 5, prebus the screaming kids in table 3)..so if I get your pronoun wrong. its because we are not friends and I am working. I am not here to validate your life choices.
Hi, drinks, order, bill, next.
Sorry, you just the next person in a long line.
21 Replies 1128 Recommended
“You bringing up the question even now makes me think this is something we could certainly surface to the product team.”
This is a perfect example of tortured corporate speak drowning out English. Instead of making the whole world gnarl a language into tortured knots trying to keep from offending every single person, how about those inflicted individuals grow a little spine and not be offended by stuff that doesn’t matter. I’m an older person, I’m regularly asked if I’m a senior….I don’t feel like a senior, I feel like I’m 22, but I apparently look like a senior….should I be offended? Maybe, but I’m glad to be reminded of the discount. Everyone is just too sensitive and ridiculous in my opinion. People who use ma’am and sir are being polite and there’s too little of that around lately.
11 Replies 706 Recommend
If someone is not identifiable as a male or female, that’s their problem, not a problem for the other 99.9% of human beings to be held accountable for. Every functional convention cannot be abandoned in a vain attempt to accommodate absolutely every person in the world. Society would cease to function without minimal conventions. This current fad to make sure group behavior accommodates every single human being’s personal circumstances is mathematically unworkable and irrational. I have a friend who can’t use normal, round doorknobs. The solution is for him to carry around a device that gives him leverage on doorknobs—not for everyone else on the planet to add levers to their doorknobs in case he visits. Outliers need to accept their status as outliers, and quit guilt-tripping the world into ridiculousness.