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zensky's avatar

How important for you is it to know the gender of the jelly with whom you are conversing here?

Asked by zensky (13272 points ) December 12th, 2012

The age?
Their geographical location?
Their religion or lack thereof?

At what point do you require more info about them?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

71 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Not really that important, but it helps me understand their point of view sometimes.

gailcalled's avatar

I appreciate knowing info at the extremes…particularly the very young. The knowledge tempers my responses (much of the time).

The rest is fun to know…it it also fun to try to deduce. Some people are very cagey; others so transparent that I could do a medical, financial, educational, social and sexual history without much effort. i have been curious at the need to share so much so often.

Coloma's avatar

I agree with @gailcalled and I also like to see real faces in avatars.I haven’t put mine up in some months again, but I really enjoy “seeing” the face behind the keyboard.

zensky's avatar

Not too many people put their real faces online. Especially in a forum like this. I’d venture maybe 5% do. Usually newbs.

Coloma's avatar

@zensky I dunno…I’m not paranoid about showing my face, but understand those that choose not to.

Judi's avatar

I don’t really care about gender (although I do get a picture of people in my head and am often surprised that they aren’t the gender I had assumed.)
As far as region, it depends on the question. Sometimes someone asks a real estate question and the state is important to the answer. I have answered real estate questions before and then found out they were in another country. Also, questions about illegal discrimination will be answered differently depending on the country. It could be harmful to tell a woman to take her kids and flee an abusive husband if they are in a country where he has a right to execute her. Same is true for someone struggling with their sexuality. Advising someone to “come out” in a culture where homosexuality is illegal could get them killed.

Judi's avatar

I decided a long time ago that if I had anything so secret to say that I can’t make it public I should not be putting it on the internet anyway. I’m an open book.
<<<<<<<<< that really is me and my hubby in the pic. :-)

janbb's avatar

I enjoy the gender mind fucks (to use a vulgar but apt phrase) but I would often like to know a bit of other info about posters.

Coloma's avatar

Well…guess it’s time to spill the beans.I am really NOT a middle aged heterosexual blonde woman, I am a talking goose, a trans-gander female. lol

zensky's avatar

Yeah, join the gaggle.

ucme's avatar

It’s sometimes necessary, if a post dictates it so, but generally it’s mainly words on a screen for me.

Seek's avatar

I enjoy not knowing. Mostly I get a kick at the regularity with which I guess incorrectly.

syz's avatar

I’d just be happy if folks filled out thier profiles (don’t necessarily need their age, gender, location, religion, would just be nice to know something about them).

ucme's avatar

I’m actually a saucy maid from below stairs, my master would spank my bare bottom with a lukewarm bedpan, but only if I let him (giggles bashfully.)

marinelife's avatar

It isn’t. I have made several wrong assumptions about that.

Leanne1986's avatar

@Judi I’ve always loved how happy you both look in that picture. You’re definitely one of the “faces of Fluther” for me!

I can’t think of any occasions where it has been really important for me to know someone’s gender, age or location. Sometimes a person’s answer will spark my interest and I will wonder if their gender, age or location has influenced it, that’s when I might ask.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

A long time ago, there was this question and I think there was a good discussion. Maybe you can find it, if you want. Gender isn’t important to me and there is no point at which I need to know.

Bellatrix's avatar

Unless it’s relevant to the question they have asked – I don’t really care.

AshLeigh's avatar

I like to know so I don’t say “she” when it’s a he…

tranquilsea's avatar

I spent a long, long time thinking everephebe was a girl. That was mind fuck when I realized he was guy especially because that realization came from him with a “um, I’m a guy” lol. So I think I do like to know.

zensky's avatar

I ask, because I can’t say how many times I’ve been mistaken for female. Like, what?

However, I’m totally secure in my masculinity.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@zensky I have had a bunch of jellies think I’m female. Doesn’t bother me either.

Bellatrix's avatar

Really @zensky? You don’t come across as feminine to me at all. Neither do you actually @Adirondackwannabe. I think there have only been a couple of people whose gender I have got wrong from what they write. One was quite publicly but I can’t remember who it was now. There could be more but I am still ‘in’ that delusion. I think in most cases, it really doesn’t matter at all.

zensky's avatar

It may have to do with all my recipe questions.

Bellatrix's avatar

Ohhhh! I rarely cook these days. My husband does most of the food prep and cooking! :-)

zensky's avatar

It could be my fondness for wearing dresses and tights.

Bellatrix's avatar

Hmmmm but I bet you have lovely legs….

Judi's avatar

@Zensky, I thought you were a man, then you said something that made me think you were a woman. Now I’m totally confused. You ARE a man?

zensky's avatar

I’ll never tell.

wundayatta's avatar

No one knows what I am, really. And I don’t care what anyone else is. I’m pansexual. I like to have sex with pans. You can keep your bis, homos and heteros. But give me all the pans.

augustlan's avatar

Unless it’s necessary in order to answer their question, I don’t need to know. I’ve been wrong a number of times, and used to be mistaken for a male pretty frequently. My avatar used to be a plain old “A”, and for some reason that confused people.

gailcalled's avatar

^^^ Probably because you are neither plain nor old.

zensky's avatar

Auggie’s a babe.

augustlan's avatar

A plain old babe.

linguaphile's avatar

More than once, a few jellies thought I was male. One of them even got upset with me for being female. Oookay. Must be old Speedy here as my avatar, maybe?

janbb's avatar

Only another penguin can tell the gender of a penguin. Just sayin’. (And it usually doesn’t matter even then. :-))

glacial's avatar

It doesn’t matter to me at all, though often I do conjure up an image of who I think the person is while reading a post. Sometimes I get it wrong and then revise. No big deal.

janbb's avatar

@glacial I actually have found that situation interesting and kind of fun. Makes me question on what basis I ascribe gender.

glacial's avatar

@janbb I’ve often been mistaken for a male on other fora… makes me question on what basis people ascribe me gender!

janbb's avatar

@glacial You’re not? I thought you were! Now why is that?

glacial's avatar

@janbb I should be asking you that! :D

janbb's avatar

Will pm you.

bookish1's avatar

Gender’s not that important, and if it is, it is usually revealed or apparent in the Q I am answering.

I would say that age is much more important (for the same reason that @gailcalled said. Once she mentioned to a new jelly that people on Fluther try to be tender and understanding with the young ones, and I appreciate that and try to do the same. I had a lot of kindness shown to me on other fora online when I was a youngin’ and I try to pay it forward.)

Geographical location and native English status are important to me as well. As someone from a bicultural household, with much experience with non-native English speakers, I am very sensitive to this. I have seen newbies chased off here because someone didn’t like the way they posted a question, when it was quite obvious to me that the OP was not a native English speaker. Obviously we need to be able to understand roughly what someone is asking, but I think people should make allowances for people trying to communicate in an English language forum if their command of the language is less than perfect.

wundayatta's avatar

Slow and overwhelmingly strong—traditionally male traits, @glacial. A glacier is about as far from femininity as anything I can imagine. I’m surprised you are surprised. It’s really hard to think of you as a woman.

glacial's avatar

But @wundayatta, glaciers slowly mould brash young mountains from sharp peaks to soft, well-rounded hills, with a quiet, patient strength. I can’t think of a more feminine process.

But seriously, my username and avatar were chosen basically at random from things that were near me at the time. I never expected them to define me in people’s minds. :D

janbb's avatar

It was your style more than your avatar for me.

wundayatta's avatar

Not to get too involved, but molding mountains is what men do, almost exclusively. They use their big machines to do it. I don’t know you seriously see that as a feminine process—I guess I could see it metaphorically, like molding character—but not physically. But if you are serious, then it is just interesting how people see metaphors differently. It helps us understand why communication canbe such a bitch sometimes, and perhaps also why or why not gender is important in understanding each other.

Which I guess, is what this question is really about. What do we think we know about a person when we know their gender? What kind of mistakes have I been making in understanding you since I thought you were a man. And will no doubt go back to thinking it because my memory is for shit.

Although, sometimes people think I’m a woman. I kind of like that. I like being difficult to pin down. I feel it makes people think more if they are uncertain. So I never correct anyone who makes that mistake. Sooner or later, someone else will do that for me.

gailcalled's avatar

@janbb: Can I hold a baby penguin up to a candle and determine its sex?

janbb's avatar

@gailcalled If you can get it away from one of its fierce protective parents!

gailcalled's avatar

^^^My penguin costume is pretty convincing.

glacial's avatar

@wundayatta I just strung together the first images that came into my mind after reading your post – I’m not genuinely serious about the metaphor, as I said in the small print. But my more general point is that I don’t think there are ways to tell men from women on a forum like this – or at least I don’t think it’s very productive to try to tell the difference based on indirect cues.

janbb's avatar

@glacial But it is interesting to examine the ideas about a person that come to your mind and find out you were wrong.

Are you melting?

glacial's avatar

@janbb Not in this weather, I’m not! Check back with me in April. :)

augustlan's avatar

Totally thought @glacial was a dude. I like being surprised like that. :)

wundayatta's avatar

@glacial Well, I always get a sense of gender from a person’s presentation—avatar, bio, things they say, etc. Usually I get it right, but sometimes not. Would it bother you if I thought of you as male?

My job is to look for the subtle cues that people are unaware they are providing. You’re interesting because I missed them completely. Or misinterpreted them. Oh well. More data for the model.

zensky's avatar

Question: once you’ve discovered someone’s identity, having been surprised by this finding, do you then retrace your conversational steps?

wundayatta's avatar

Usually I have not had any serious conversations with someone whose identity I don’t know. There’s nothing to retrace.

augustlan's avatar

@zensky I don’t think so. Like I said before, it’s generally not relevant unless it’s pertinent to a specific question.

Blackberry's avatar

I need to know their gender to decide if I want to send them creepy PMs.

wundayatta's avatar

oooh, @Blackberry, can you send me a few copies of your creepy PMs? I could use a few pointers.

augustlan's avatar

Man, I hardly ever get creepy PMs. :(

Bellatrix's avatar

I never got a creepy PM from @Blackberry either… Hmmm.

augustlan's avatar

@Blackberry is dissing us, @Bellatrix. Hmph.

glacial's avatar

@wundayatta It doesn’t bother me that you thought of me as male… what I suspect might bother me is which “subtle cues” you are looking for to detect a female poster. What is on that checklist?

bookish1's avatar

@augustlan : I could fix that for you… Just keeding! :D

wundayatta's avatar

A female face is a fairly good indicator, although sometimes men use a feminine face. There also seems to be some indicators of femininity in an avatar. Flowers are used more often by women than men. Furry animals are more likely to be women, although sometimes men use them. Some names seem more feminine, but I’d have to look through examples to tell you what I think and why. Easy things are if someone puts “girl” in the name, like Tarrytowngirl or something like that. It’s generally fairly obvious stuff. Although it doesn’t always work, since whitetigress is male (or so I remember reading once). Go figure. And glacial is female. Again. Go figure.

augustlan's avatar

@bookish1 Mmm, yes please.

blueiiznh's avatar

zero importance. I don’t care if they are martians or zombies either.

zensky's avatar

I wish there were some of those.

Shippy's avatar

I like to know, even gender. As gender based questions are in relation to living in a society that is run on gender. So in that way it is very relevant.

I like to know age too, as I will perhaps answer differently. Say for example, the question is “My boyfriend says having sex once a day is not enough”, If asked by a married, woman I would give a different answer than I would to a girl under 16.

Country is also important, I have been told to “Just get therapy or get food stamps” I wish !!

So yes, and also knowing first language is important. Due to little errors in word choice, or grammar.

Paradox25's avatar

Yes, because many times it helps you understand the intent behind a post better.

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