Digital Gender (and Unicorns)

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Digital Gender (and Unicorns)

Postby Emperor Gum » 01 May 2009, 11:29

I think we probably all agree that race and age are pretty much irrelevant on the interwebs, however something that always catches me out is gender. Take this forum for example, we've all mistaken a new (or regular) female forum member for a guy and ended up correcting ourself. I know I have. That should be the end of it, but I must admit that I treat females differently. I'll almost never make fun of them and generally treat them and their opinions with more respect. I'll admit I often wished there was a gender icon by each forum members info and I confess that it would affect my response.

This goes beyond too. In video games, I'm always reluctant to kill female characters regardless of whether they're trying to ram a sickle down my neck. Give me a male opponent and I'll turn his limbs into quadrants. Again in real life, I'd never mock a female friend's physcial appearance in the way I'd mock a guy's. So, is gender irrelevant on the internet, is that one of its strengths? Am I being outdated and chivalrous or just being a male chavonist pig?

TLDR: Gender, discuss.

Also, I'm taking a preemptiveness strike against this thread turning into anything aproaching an argument. Every post MUST contain a picture of a UNICORN!

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EDIT: changed my unicorn pic because it wasn't showing up. Fail.
Last edited by Emperor Gum on 01 May 2009, 11:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Digital Gender (and Unicorns)

Postby Brad » 01 May 2009, 11:46

I'm attending a bachelor party for a guy who's blushing bride takes the idea of 'gender is a choice' and runs with it. She dresses up in drag (the persona's name is London), quite convincingly and a good number of her friends I just avoid eye contact with because I just don't know how to talk to them. I say they have the right, and I'd defend that right of theirs to do whatever they like, but I won't lie: they give me the screaming heebie jeebies.

As to the basic lady/guy gender issues, I think a lot of that comes down to sexuality. I'm taken, but what women think about me regardless matters more to me than what other men do. Or maybe that's just because other men's opinions of me are easier to change than a woman's. Many a best friend of mine began as a bitter rival. A good scrappy doo fixes that. Y'can't do that with the ladies.

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Re: Digital Gender (and Unicorns)

Postby Lyinginbedmon » 01 May 2009, 12:07

Well you can but it's called assault.

I generally act more polite to females, because in my history males have tended more towards being utter jerks, though usually I don't act unkind to males either. Certainly my first impression of most Internet users is that of masculinity, because it's tricky to determine much else and it's the most prevalent gender therefore the logical conclusion.

Obligatory unicorn
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Last edited by Lyinginbedmon on 01 May 2009, 13:01, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Digital Gender (and Unicorns)

Postby Emperor Gum » 01 May 2009, 12:51

Lyingbedmon, go back and put a fucking unicorn in your post like so:

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Ah Brad, such a man of the world you are! It is strange, even though I don't know of any female forum members in my continent, I suspose I do act like that.
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Re: Digital Gender (and Unicorns)

Postby Cureless_Poison » 01 May 2009, 12:58

I hate everyone equally, male or female.

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Re: Digital Gender (and Unicorns)

Postby ptitqui » 01 May 2009, 13:00

Unfortunatly, every girl is different, some will get offended if you mistake them for a boy. I'm one of them, which is why I have long hair and a fairy avatar.

I enjoy it in real life when doors are opened for me, but it drives me crazy when I'm playing CS or whatever, and people don't shoot me as often when they know I'm a girl.



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Re: Digital Gender (and Unicorns)

Postby Alja-Markir » 01 May 2009, 13:28

People are people. Their behavior is entirely their choice. I try to keep my treatment of everyone equal, regardless of sex or any other factor besides merit.

You're all neutral to me until you give me reason to like or dislike you.

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Re: Digital Gender (and Unicorns)

Postby Dave-O_Boy » 01 May 2009, 13:35

Alja-Markir wrote:People are people. Their behavior is entirely their choice. I try to keep my treatment of everyone equal, regardless of sex or any other factor besides merit.

You're all neutral to me until you give me reason to like or dislike you.

~Alja~


Same here.


Also.. I'm against the unicornification of any thing.
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Re: Digital Gender (and Unicorns)

Postby Digital Dolphin » 01 May 2009, 13:43

For online, I think internally I default to thinking that everyone is a guy, but it's not a conscious decision, just something I notice from time to time. I don't trust avatars like ptitqui's, because I know too many guys who use avatars like that because they think they're attractive. But yeah, from time to time I do guess a woman is a guy and have to correct myself (or vice versa). Both are embaressing :P

Speaking as someone who has attended Anime Conventions for about 6 years now, and just generally someone who's lived in Vancouver for nearly all his life, I'm fairly used to seeing people cross dressing, and behaving as members of the opposite sex. In fact, most girls in the anime community I am a part of, dress up as male characters when they cosplay. It's amazing how easy it is to not see it as a big deal when it's in front of your face all the time I guess.

ptitqui: I would never hold back in a game just because I knew my opponant was a girl. I know too many girl gamers to think they need an advantage anyways :P

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P.S. People who don't post unicorns in the unicorn thread are lame :mrgreen:
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Re: Digital Gender (and Unicorns)

Postby notomtolose » 01 May 2009, 13:53

I think it's natural for a straight dude to give more latitude to any ladies he may have contact with, whether IRL or online. It's pure, basic instinct to treat the opposite sex as potential mates, even if consciously you know there is no way at ALL that it could ever happen in a million years. Also, the opposite sex holds a certain mystery for many dudes - we have never been women, so we're slightly less inclined to feel like we magically know everything about such a person.

Or, if you prefer, you could interpret your instinct the opposite way: it's equally natural to treat other dudes as potential competition. None of these instincts make you a chauvinist. A man should be in full control of his actions (and his instincts, when possible), but that doesn't mean you have to squash them - especially if they just make you nicer.

Like ESPN.com last week!!

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Re: Digital Gender (and Unicorns)

Postby Cake » 01 May 2009, 13:54

I tend to tease women more when I find out.

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Re: Digital Gender (and Unicorns)

Postby Digital Dolphin » 01 May 2009, 14:01

Cake wrote:I tend to tease women more when I find out.


Yeah... I've been known to do the same. It depends on the girl though.

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Re: Digital Gender (and Unicorns)

Postby goat » 01 May 2009, 14:21

I tend to treat the lady folk with a bit more respect when I realize they're about. I'd like to think that it's just because their input is usually so radically different from the normal testosterone fueled garbage that lurks around the intarwebs, but I know myself better than that. I don't talk to a lot of people in real life, period, let alone potentially beautiful (and considering the areas I lurk, delightfully nerdy) women.

That being said, the fact that you have tits doesn't preclude me from capping you in the face if you shoot at me. If anything, it probably makes me want to show off a little more =p.

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Re: Digital Gender (and Unicorns)

Postby Alja-Markir » 01 May 2009, 14:21

Someone's compensating...

*whistles innocently*

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Re: Digital Gender (and Unicorns)

Postby Jillers » 01 May 2009, 14:22

I tend to think of everyone on the internet as boys, until proven otherwise (and I'm so guilty of judging people by their avatars and user names). Finding out they're girls doesn't change my opinion of them one way or the other or change how I interact with them.
Talking of gender: I went to a small, very liberal, liberal arts school: we had a fairly large GLBT population, and the GLBTU was always sponsoring some fun event, and you never knew who you were going to run into, and it was odd when I first got there but because it was a small school and a tight community, whatever people gender identified as stopped mattering completely... Admittedly, living in NYC, I probably would have come to this attitude about gender identities eventually anyway.

Though, interesting note about gender in video games: I am hyper-critical of female characters in video games, not is how they look but in their personalities.


UNICORNS!

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Re: Digital Gender (and Unicorns)

Postby TheRocket » 01 May 2009, 14:33

Brad wrote: Many a best friend of mine began as a bitter rival. A good scrappy doo fixes that. Y'can't do that with the ladies.



Well, technically you can. I mean, that's pretty much how Wraith and I fell for eachother. We really did not like eachother. Bitter-rival-scrappy-do's can be kinky!


I don't know, call me un-oldfashionedisted, but I treat all of you as if you had both a penis and a vagina.


Oh and here you go.. this is a friend of mine's tattoo. ( I don't know WHY) But here it is... a MERMICORN shooting FIREEE.

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Re: Digital Gender (and Unicorns)

Postby ThrashJazzAssassin » 01 May 2009, 14:55

One thing I always find annoying about trying to write stuff is that I assume characters are going to be male, because I am and I'm thinking up ideas from their viewpoint. I eventually notice that I've created a small town populated entirely by blokes and, not wanting to write a story about how every woman in the world was abducted by aliens, I adjust accordingly. The trouble is, I generally have a very clear picture of all the major characters as they are, so female characters either have to be made up from scratch, or by reassigning gender among existing minor characters who I've written less about. Either way, there's a pause in other creative activity while I catch up, so that I can give everyone a similar depth to their character.

This is just one of the many reasons why I'm not a successful writer. :(

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Re: Digital Gender (and Unicorns)

Postby empath » 01 May 2009, 16:20

Well, in all honesty I don't care what gender you are if you do not already mention same to me; I DO judge you (we all do, all the time), but by your thoughts and statements...which really is all we can do in a medium such as this.

I had to spend a fair bit of time in thought, and yeah - I really can't see any way in which I treat men/women differently on the Internet; in games, a frag is a frag; in discussions/arguments, compelling reasoning is compelling reasoning; and as for trolls, an asshole is an asshole. :)

For an example, I went and singled out Alja, whom I am reasonably certain is male, but not absolutely definite¹, so this enabled me to do the following: I took a few threads which I wasn't overly interested in, and Alja was taking part in the discourse; the first several, I set an image of a MALE Alja and read his posts. Some I agreed with, others I didn't; he was usually witty and amusing, yet sometimes an utter dick². Then I went through another couple of threads and looked at Alja's posts after purging my thoughts and fixating of this poster as a WOMAN. Result? The same, sometimes 'right' sometimes 'wrong, sometimes annoying, but consistently sly and witty.
{hope you don't take any offense for being an involuntary test subject, A-M!}

Heck, back when it became obvious to the whole froup on alt.fan.monty-python that 'dancer' and 'empath' were getting serious about each other, someone cracked a joke 'wait til he finds out she's a guy', and that made me think deeply about this whole issue. As it turns out, I didn't have to confront the possibility of arranging a gay wedding, but I started to realize how IRL factors of a poster get masked by a text-only communication medium, whether one wants them to be masked or not. One can argue that they see differences in the way boys post as opposed to girls, but if there is any such difference, I never seem to detect it with any consistency³ - I've seen a few 'obviously male' posting traits show up with female posters, and vice versa.

Really, a cyber-person's gender doesn't seem to be of any more import to me than whether a cyber-person lost a leg IRL.


tl;dr version: like others here, I don't care if you're a guy or a gal, just be INTERESTING and/or FUNNY. :)


And just to be a gracious 'guest' to the 'host' of this thread:
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What? You asked for pictures of unicorns



guess what? Yeah...
1. Alja has probably gone on the record about this, but this is ONE instance where having degrading powers of recollection is a BOON :)
2. Interestingly, often he was BOTH AT THE SAME TIME :D
3. Funny story: more than once I thought I detected a 'feminine touch' to an otherwise nondescript cyber-acquaintance's communications...totally backfired in a manner that made me look right foolish! :) He77, I might have even done so on here; that's how bad my memory is. :roll:
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Re: Digital Gender (and Unicorns)

Postby gcninja » 01 May 2009, 16:41

I still put a bullet in their head dude or chick. hell i might tea bag them a little more but hey, its fun.
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Re: Digital Gender (and Unicorns)

Postby RytelCSF » 01 May 2009, 17:27

I've actually mistaken more people for being a girl when they were actually a guy than vice versa. Perhaps that's related to how often people mistake me for a girl, however. I am very much not the pinnacle of masculinity and I like it that way. I've been, among other things, accused of being gay solely for not being a misogynist enough times that I've become quite jaded to whatever the hell manliness is actually supposed to be, and no longer have any qualms about liking something just because it's supposedly "girly." Then again, while I'm aware that not all guys are like that... I'm not really sure how I should feel about the fact that when someone online mistakes me for a girl, I take it as a compliment.

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Re: Digital Gender (and Unicorns)

Postby Cureless_Poison » 01 May 2009, 18:03

RytelCSF wrote:I've become quite jaded to whatever the hell manliness is actually supposed to be

Dictionary wrote:man⋅ly
   /ˈmænli/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [man-lee] -lier, -liest, adverb
adjective
1. having qualities traditionally ascribed to men, as strength or bravery.
2. pertaining to or suitable for males: manly sports.
adverb
3. Archaic. in a manly manner.
Origin:
bef. 900; ME (adj., adv.); OE manlīc (adj.), manlīce (adv.). See man 1 , -ly

Related forms:
man⋅li⋅ness, noun

Synonyms:
Manly, manful, mannish mean having the traits or qualities that a culture regards as especially characteristic of or ideally appropriate to adult men. Manly is usually a term of approval, suggesting traits admired by society, such as determination, decisiveness, and steadiness: a manly acceptance of the facts; manly firmness of character. Manful, also a term of approval, stresses qualities such as courage, strength, and fortitude: a manful effort to overcome great odds. Mannish is most often used derogatorily in reference to the traits, manners, or accouterments of a woman that are thought to be more appropriate to or typical of a man: a mannish abruptness in her speech; She wore a severely mannish suit.


Manliness is a strait forward thing, you are obviously not manly if it doesn't some to you naturally.
Citation: Androgyny is very un-manly.
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Re: Digital Gender (and Unicorns)

Postby TheRocket » 01 May 2009, 18:05

People mistake me for being a girl all the time.

Fucking internet.
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Re: Digital Gender (and Unicorns)

Postby Dave-O_Boy » 01 May 2009, 18:29

Cureless_Poison wrote: Citation: Androgyny is very un-manly.

Oh but you free yourself in your androgyny.
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Re: Digital Gender (and Unicorns)

Postby Alja-Markir » 01 May 2009, 20:22

The solution is obvious. We must all become non-gender-identified spivaks.

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Re: Digital Gender (and Unicorns)

Postby Interruptor Jones » 01 May 2009, 20:55

I've mistaken the genders of people that don't exist! For example, when catching a bit of Naruto in passing, specifically Gaara, I've been known to remark, "Damn that is a hot girl!" only to have others try and convince me that he is, in fact, a dude. I guess right on the internet maybe half the time, and the only reason I'm that successful is that if I make a guess, I usually have a lot of things lined up that seem to support it.

Whenever people on the net assume I'm a dude, I find it hilarious, no offense at all. I'll correct them if need be, but it is fun to watch as they come up against their own assumptions of how people behave and try to apply that to me. I am many things at once! SUCK IT, GENDER BINARY
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