Thursday, May 20, 2010

Take Away Gender and What do We Have...

Continuing in the line of gender indeterminacy, what if we had no gender? Think about it for a second, what truly defines you? Is it that 6th toe no one knows about which gives you a secret thrill knowing you're separate, distinct and definitely an individual? Or maybe it's the fact you are the only person you know of who can search for "wet haired monkeys" and actually get a good picture! Does gender define you? I would say yes, it's a fair assumption to say gender is a major factor as we interact with others, both in terms of how we act and how we react to others and how others act/react to us. Isn't that funny? Roughly 1/2 the population shares the exact same quality which we claim "defines" us as separates from others.

Gender is an easily accessed safe-haven which we retreat to in order to define our, as well as others', actions. Example: My sister crying in her room and my 16 y/o brother comments "Girls" yet he can't possible think of admitting I can beat him in arm wrestling because a girl beating a boy in arm wrestling is not a feminine thing to do and would "swipe his man card" or masculinity (note: I do recognize that the biological sex factor of muscle mass does play a part in that thinking. The example is simply used to make a comparison).

Again with the online identities. What about my blog tells you I am a girl? Perhaps the strikingly PINK nature of it along with the beautiful flower and picture of me (clearly distinguishable as a girl I hope! If not, I don't want to hear about it!). Well what if I suddenly admitted to being a boy and changed my blog to a dark blue color, no frills or flowers? What if I was Del Julio Hernandez from upper-state New York and this was a project I explored to see how readers respond to a blog based upon the projected gender? Would you comment on this one question: how would you answer this question for both a male and female and honestly tell me, did gender or sex play a part in that response?

Question: I need a fun night out! What should I do??? Any suggestions?


  1. Sorry, I'm a bit confused about what question you want us to answer. :) But I will tell you that as a girl, it's easy to identify with your projected blog identity. I automatically assume you will be writing in something I'm interested in. If I then found out that you were a guy, I'd automatically assume that you were TRYING to get more girls to read your blog... for whatever weird reason. So I guess I'd say that I subconciously expect gender to always play a role in interactions between people and my responses to other people, and I also acknowledge that others can adroitly manipulate gender expectations.

    Now I have a question: Can I call you Del Julio Hernandez from now on?

    Fun night out? Be a girl. Go shopping. :)

  2. I was reading an article that Amanda posted, and a certain quote from it made me think of your ideas about nobody being the wiser about your online identities. It's more about social networking tools in general than avatars, but it calls into question once again how anonymous we can actually be.

    Here's a teaser quote:

    “If anything, it’s identity-constraining now,” Tufekci told me. “You can’t play with your identity if your audience is always checking up on you. I had a student who posted that she was downloading some Pearl Jam, and someone wrote on her wall, ‘Oh, right, ha-ha — I know you, and you’re not into that.’ ” She laughed. “You know that old cartoon? ‘On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog’? On the Internet today, everybody knows you’re a dog! If you don’t want people to know you’re a dog, you’d better stay away from a keyboard.”