A few days ago, I posted a few polls, and while the questions about which posts people liked were put in, what I was really interested in was what people thought I was. You see, I’m a girl, and for whatever reason people keep thinking I’m a guy (like here, or here, or here). At first, I thought about reason that people would think that I was a guy, and justify the things I do with reason, while providing examples to why people should think I’m a girl. I thought of things like Choux is a very versatile type of pastry, which can be used to make cream puffs; It says that every writer here is a girl in our about page; I gush about BL once in a while, etc etc.
Then a few days ago I decided that that was just a waste of time. I do what I want and the rest doesn’t matter. But then I asked myself why some people would assume I’m a guy, and just why I felt so obligated to correct them.
The first question has an easy answer: porn and violence is manly. So, because I play visual novels while loving giant robots and blood, society laws dictate that people assume I’m a guy. On the flip side, it can also be said that people don’t think I’m a girl because I DON’T SQUEAL ABOUT SHOUJO MANGA WITH CAPITAL LETTERS!!!!!! KYAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!, I’m not BL crazy, etc etc. I also believe that people will believe that others with similar interests will be of the same gender and similar age to themselves. This can be proven if I put out another poll for reader ages and the results look the same as the one for how old I am. However, my second question doesn’t have such a clear answer.
This isn’t the first situation where people thought I was a guy, there was an unfortunate incident which led to me sporting something close to a buzz cut for a while in Kindergarten. Also, more than one guy friend on more than one occasion mentioned that I acted/talked like a guy, leaving an awkward silence as I pondered on how to take the comment. I asked him about what he meant, how exactly I was guy-like, but he didn’t know how to explain it, leaving me more than a little bit confused.
What makes a person seem like “a guy”? I mean this now just about blogging and what a person chooses as their subject, but in life in general. I have absolutely no idea beyond a few stereotypes off of the top of my head. Is it the things they do? Are guys supposed to have a completely different world view? Different habits?
Is there still that line between the genders where one can’t take on the traits of the other without being homosexual? I’d say there is, at least in the eyes of the general society. I know a guy who enjoys shoujo manga and cared more about Lelouch and the rest of the male cast than the girls while watching Code Geass. I never put on make-up, I like eroges, I’d prefer nailing things together than putting on nail polish. Wouldn’t many people say that the guy is gay (he isn’t)? Wouldn’t I be labeled as at least a tomboy? Ritchan said something to that effect which shocked me somewhat: “I had no idea you were a girl. You should probably make that more obvious…” He probably meant that I should be more obvious if I wanted everyone to know right away that I was a girl, but if you look at it another way, doesn’t it also mean that what I happen to like can’t be accepted as feminine?
Girls grow up with what my english teacher calls “nicey nice training”, where it is only right to be expressively feminine. Dancing, flowers, dolls, frilly dresses, all that stuff was there in my childhood, though the number of helocopters and cars outnumbered my dolls. I remember things like playing with the girls (staying sternly away from the boys), and being in love with the disney princesses. Maybe it’s because of this whole idea that girls are supposed to be feminine that I feel the urge to prove that I’m female.
Or maybe it’s just because of the culture that I’ve immersed myself in that I’ve come across this conflict? On one hand, I’m heavily influenced by North American media, where popular culture focus on materialism (that is, the philosophical materialism, with the symbol of a woman being their physical body). On the other hand, I’m shown these Asian images with moe. I use that particular word here because of its connotation. Just look at any image, moe is related to childish innocence and therefore powerlessness, even if the characters themselves are powerful. The sole existence of moe anthropomorphisms should be enough of an example. Maybe I’m trying to go against 2 annoyingly repetitive sets of images presented to me, and wanting to be presented as feminine is to prove those images false?
Another thing I want to note is just how similar the supposedly different things are. Looking at Asian pop culture, you can see that the popular guys look very feminine. And of course, women have been moving away from their traditional roles for decades now. But, it’s things in media that really shock me. The stories in eroges and shoujo manga are so similar sometimes, despite their completely different market (well, maybe not, seeing as there are people like me). What difference is there, in the eyes of someone who doesn’t know the story, between eroge girls and Disney princesses, other than a prince?
No matter why I am how I am, I can say two things. Firstly, it is often amusing to see other people’s shock when they realize their image of you is completely different from what they expected. Secondly, I am definitely not the only girl on the blogosphere that gets mistaken for a guy.
I can’t define feminism, not for myself and not for the readers. I can’t change what so many people in the world believe either, but can I just ask you to keep an open mind about the people in this world? The web makes it easier for people to be annomyous and judge one another, the things that many people decide without basis isn’t just gender, but also age, race, and beliefs. You remember the last time you thought about someone because of their age and race, don’t you? I can say that most of you don’t have the “right” image of me, because what most people voted for was wrong. I’m only 16.