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Kissing “sex enum(‘m’, ‘f’) not null” goodbye.

The german constitutional court just created a major database upgrade problem, for good: They mandated a positively stated third gender.

That basically makes this code illegal:

CREATE TABLE t (
...
  sex enum('m', 'f') NOT NULL,
...
);

as this would force a decision between the only alternatives male and female. Also, code like

CREATE TABLE t (
...
  sex enum('m', 'f') NULL,
...
);

is now illegal, because leaving it empty is also not an option according to the ruling. There must be a third option.

For many systems the easy way out might be “Do we even need to know”, deleting the existing gender information and stop collecting.

For many others it might be “This is not about Gender, but about your desired mode of address”.

That leads back to a necessary language and grammar update for German, as the language does have three grammatical genders (male, female, neutrum), but it lacking a truly gender neutral mode of address. German “Es” (“it”) is understood to be derogatory or offensive by many, because it conveys a meaning of thing, it objectifies.

Published inDeutschlandMySQL

8 Comments

    • Rudolf Polzer

      Am besten als Deklinationstabelle.

    • Herr und Frau als “Anrede” ist schon vom Konzept her Käse. Das wird dann ja zu “Herr/Frau Schlamuffel” verwurstet. Wenn ich aber nun mal gerne mit “Eure Durchlaucht”, “Hochwohlgeboren” usw. angeredet werden möchte wäre es runder wenn der Nachname da gar nicht erst auftaucht. Wobei “Zauberhafte Frau Schlumpomski” der Charme nicht abzusprechen ist.

  1. towo

    AFAIK NULL is an option since 2013; the ruling says that persons should be allowed to have a _positive_ connotation with their gender, instead of just “I’m not with these two”.

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