Re: Gender symbols

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Mon Jun 26 2000 - 10:51:53 EDT

Herman Ranes <> wrote:

> In biology U+2640 is used as a 'female' symbol, and U+2642 as a 'male'
> symbol, as reflected by their UNICODE names...
> Occasionally, I have seen these on toilet doors, in Germany and the
> Netherlands I think.

I have sometimes wondered why these two useful, pre-existing symbols
are not used in the U.S. to denote 'male' and 'female' on e.g. restroom
doors. One possibility is that, because they are frequently associated
with 'sexuality' or 'relations between the sexes,' they are somehow felt
to be inappropriate for other types of male/female distinctions like
restrooms and locker rooms. It may not make much sense, but after all,
we are talking about American customs.

11-Digit Boy <> wrote:

> How about male and female Nidoran at a Pokémon convention?

In case anyone missed this, the male and female varities of the Pokémon
named Nidoran are identified with U+2642 and U+2640 respectively.
Apparently the Japanese (who invented Pokémon) don't feel the need to
restrict the use of these symbols as we do.

-Doug Ewell
 Fullerton, California

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