by Dr Gonzo
Usernames can be tricky, and if they fail to correct us on gender, isn't wrong? Or is it?
|I know...check the bio. And if there's nothing there, or, like me, you take people on face value (there's a sucker born every minute), then the conversation will give them away sooner or later. Or so I thought.
There are certain usernames that create an image in the mind (at least in my mind). What guy would use Daisy Duck, or woman He-Man? But there are some usernames that are right there in the middle of these two extremes, and dare I say some are deliberately done to preserve the gender of the person who, for their own reasons, don't want gender to become involved in the conversation.
Now, I get that in a perfect, politically correct world, I have no right to know this information, especially if the person wants to remain gender-neutral. But, the thing I have a problem with is this...why anyone would want to begin or continue a conversation when it is based on a lie?
Well, it isn't REALLY a lie...at least not straight away, and besides, whose business is it except the person who feels they have something to hide in the first place?
Is gender reveal important in the context of things here on WDC?
I would assume that if we were to take a vote, we might see if this is, or is not the case. But, in all fairness, and to get a true reflection of how each individual feels about this, it would be imperative the vote was held as a confidential ballot. The reason being is that political correctness doesn't like any form of...well, any form of anything, unless it assists a minority or underrepresented group or gender.
Look, I'm not here to debate that contentious issue anyway, and in all seriousness, I wouldn't touch the issue with a barge pole.
No, I'm here writing this because this gender non-disclosure has happened to me...twice. Where I have been talking to a fellow, who has kindly reviewed something of mine, or visa versa, and we have stuck up a conversation. Then, after several, or a lot more than several emails later, I discover that my new bro isn't in fact a brother at all, but a sister.
Should I have anything to complain about here? I guess if the conversation is brief, and there are no direct lies (omissions aren't lies, they just aren't truths) going on, then perhaps not. What about a year after meeting someone, and believing this friend, a mate as we call a close friend here in Australia, isn't a man at all, but a woman?
I'm almost embarrassed to say that this was the case for me. How could I not know? The bio was correct, and I have no excuse except I am naïve and didn't think to check. And the BIG question is, should it matter?
The answer is no, it shouldn't matter if who I am speaking to is male or female, but the reality is, that to some people, myself included, it very much does matter. And the real problem isn't a male/female thing, it's that they lied to me.
The first time I found out about this male/female deception, it was very short-lived, and, when this person placed a pink heart to sign off an email, the proverbial penny dropped. And even though we had only exchanged six or seven emails over the course of a couple of days, I still felt a little...well, it's a hard thing to describe, to be honest, and therein lies my problem I think.
For someone who doesn't, in general, tell people things that are not true, and would definitely point out that, "Ummmm, sorry, I'm not a girl, I'm actually a boy" when being referred to in an incorrect gender association, makes me not only gullible, but sets me up for the catfish.
I say this with tongue firmly in cheek because this isn't a person trying to be deceptive in a mean way, or to take advantage (although I imagine it may be a bit of fun for someone being spoken to BY a man, towards a misconceived perception of a man...and so, finding out what we men REALLY get up to when no women are around), and in reality, I am the fool for not looking further than the end of my nose.
Lying by omission, then realising I am not that clever, and in fact am so stupid, that I didn't even check their bio (if they have entered their gender, of course), so why not string me along and call it their right not to clarify?
Of course, there are two sides to every coin, and to take a quote from one of my favourite movies, 'Pulp Fiction, '" Allow me to retort." S L Jackson (Jules).
When I meet someone here on WDC, and we have a rapport, my naive little brain thinks it could be a friendship that lasts a lifetime. Perhaps I have my head in the clouds on this, and in reality, is just a pipe dream. I mean, no one ever meets people online and develops a REAL friendship, do they? (read sarcastically).
The best we could possibly hope for, is something superficial...a type of here today and gone tomorrow association. And, like ships in the night, we meet, exchange a few kind words, and never speak to each other again.
So, does this make it Ok to lie to people about who we are?
Is it Ok for me to set up a fake email, use a female username and pretend that I am a woman? For God knows what reason anyone would want to do this?
And so, is it Ok for women to confuse men in the same way? For God knows what reason anyone would want to do this?
I went to the port of the first person who pulled the wool over my eyes. Let's call her Mx Pink Heart (am I doing something wrong in identifying her as a she?). Ok, let's change the terminology to the more gender-neutral, politically correct, no-gender specific honorific. And 'they' had a whole essay/monologue based on the right of a person to remain gender-neutral.
Now, besides the fact that little they wrote made any sense (to me or my mom). I had to read the sentences aloud and very slowly, not because she has bad hearing or is stupid like me, but because she is blind AND we simply couldn't understand the message that was being conveyed.
To put it bluntly, I can't for the life of me see why a woman would want to pretend to be a man. I mean the loss of possible free drinks and the abundance of married men willing to spend a small fortune on a fantasy fling aside, what could a woman possibly hope to gain by this tactic?
From the few sentences we could make hide or hair out of, the gist was something about it not being important because we will never meet or have any relations (thanks Bill) with the author of said piece...point taken...but what makes a person assume anyone would want to have relations with them (gotta keep it within the boundaries of political correctness or I might find myself in a higher content rating here) in the first place?
I mean, isn't that a little presumptuous and might I say, ridiculous? To think that any and all men who might come across any and all women here on WDC will want to have relations with...well, with them all...seriously?
A lie is a lie...we call it whatever we feel comfortable calling it in order to look ourselves in the eye and like what we see.
Or, we embrace who we truly are, male, female or somewhere in between...and in my opinion, that's how it should be...and the only thing I take offence with, is when someone leads me up the garden path because of their own doubts and fears, which while understandable, does not excuse lying to someone, especially when it is done over a long period of time or when it is done in an investigatory way...or purely for a few laughs.