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November 15, 2012

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if the commenter meant "feminine" == "not a blatant obnoxious asshole", then I can see their point.

but otherwise, it's just not clear at all what clues they were picking up. To me, tonedeaf and all that stuff.

la femme n'existe pas

And Bobs are not boring, either

Gender confusion

+

"Sound interesting? Well, it's below the fold."

=

Unintended meaning

I remember that there were people who thought hilzoy was male, and yet, to me, her writing was clearly female. The markers? Well, if I list them I wil come off as a sexist pig against men, but here goes: she wasn't out to win, just to explain herself; she was calm and funny and serious, but not bombastic, or pompous; she was humane.

Obviously I equate those indicators with the writing of a feamle.

Even though my writing has none of thoswe positive q

....positive qualities.

You rant like a man, Laura. But I like it. ;)

I'm just stunned by the assumption that "mental illness" is defined by what "would not fly in an infantry company." My experience of the US Army - not, admittedly, an infantry company - would tend if anything to suggest the opposite.

LJ, I honestly sincerely thought you were a woman. I did not confuse you with Dr Science.

Why did I think that? Dunno exactly, but I suspect it was something like what you wrote in your post (above). You "sound" feminine to me. Your interests, perspectives and approach to communicating them "feels" feminine.

"I'm just stunned by the assumption that "mental illness" is defined by what "would not fly in an infantry company."

That's not what I did. Two separate thoughts, unrelated. 1. IMO it is a mental illness 2. It would not fly in an infy unit.

Yet these two "separate thoughts" are related not just by juxtaposition, but by their underlying macho insecurity. Implicit in (1) No real man would ever want to be mistaken for a woman; (2) Infantry is my automatic go-to place for real manhood. (Otherwise, why mention it? Why not ask what would "fly" in a corporate boardroom, or a hospital, or a college classroom, or a theatre company, or a grocery store?)

In your terminology you "sound" insecure to me. Your vocabulary and interests "feel" like those of someone whose "masculinity" is at the core of his self-definition and who feels constantly at need to defend it.

Of course I may have misinterpreted your "sound" and "feel" - something I am told happens from time to time on the Internet.

Robert McManus: And Bobs are not boring, either

Sheesh, it's supposed to be ironic.

Wait, isn't that what these "i" tags are used to denote?

I think I'm doing internet wrong.

Bob McManus, I don't think any has ever accused you of being boring...

Julian, I wish I could say that was planned.

Laura, that's an interesting can o' worms, and I'm glad you brought it up. The problem with saying that Hilzoy's writing is clearly female is that it is a bar that very few people, regardless of gender, could get over. They do seem to be feminine traits, and it seems that a lot of men feel that the absence of (some of) those traits indicates that they are really men. More's the pity.

Blackhawk, I appreciate you separating those two thoughts, I assumed that one followed the other. Dr ngo's reading was the same as mine, but, as I said, this isn't about you. If you want to try and make the case that taking on feminine characteristics like those that Laura mentioned (or others that can be seen in the comments around here) is somehow related to mental illness, you are welcome to, but I don't think that's right, and I think that you'll probably wind up getting kicked more than a bit in the comments. I hasten to add, that's not a threat, it's just a prediction.

IMO it is a mental illness

The salient aspects of this whole series of exchanges, to me, are as follows:

LJ, and everyone else who reads him on this blog I will wager, are perfectly clear about his "gender identity".

One and only one person is not. That person is you.

Make of it what you will.

I think I'm doing internet wrong.

No man, I think you're nailing it.

Carry on.

I am an occasional reader here, and even I knew that liberal japonicus was male. Not from writing style but from information about himself which he has included in his posts.

Even without conclusions from content, LJ's moniker is male (otherwise it would have to be japonica*). Not a proof but a strong hint.

*admittedly hat sounds like a potted flower ;-)

Marcellina,
I would note that Blackhawk has not been around so long so he may have just missed me talking about myself. I'd also add I'm not trying to fool Blackhawk or anyone else. It just seems to me that taking up those traits helps make this a better place.

Hartmut,
Thanks for noting that Latin grammar. It's a homage to Wile E Coyote, whose Latin names are always masculine.

would not fly in an infantry company

How about airborne?

;)

Your interests, perspectives and approach to communicating them "feels" feminine.

I've noticed he swings his sword like a girl, too. It's a tell...shhh, don't give it away.

Probably if I were stupid enough to get in the ring with Gina Carano, she would mop the floor with me in an unmistakably feminine way.

Which wouldn't be notice by me until I woke up, later.

I wonder...

">http://www.tofugu.com/guides/japanese-gendered-language/">
omgomgomg, am I speaking like a girl?? ...not the best article, doesn't mention pitch, politeness level, or vagueness enough

Inoue Miyako explains it all for me. Tokyo Standard?

Like Peter Barakan, or Kitano Takeshi on a very bad day? Actually Barakan works very hard at being relaxed, sometimes, and Kitano is trying to be funny.

A few things for Bob.

Probably old hat for you, but I often give my copy to students to think about how language forces a certain perspective, Cheryl Kittridge's book Womenswords: What Japanese words say about women

I've given this pdf to some exchange students interested in figuring out what is going on with JWL (Japanese Women's language) I especially like the point she makes about the strategic use of keigo.

And the reference list for this article might interest you. My ear is not good enough to catch when my students (or my daughters) are using 'men's language', but I would observe that women tend to be more talented than men linguistically because they have to have control over not only the 'women's language' but also over men's language, whereas us guys only master boy talk.

I think the problem is that there are stereotypes, "ideal types" if you will, for how genders behave. The details differ between cultures, but pretty much all cultures have that kind of gender-role-based views of how the world ought to be.

Some people realize that real people are somewhere between the two ideal types. Others assume that, if they observe any features of one in someone of the other gender, there is something wrong with the individual. What Blackhawk labels as "mental illness."

On a side note, isn't it interesting how much earlier we got comfortable with the idea of a tomboy -- a girl who had at least some interests similar to what are expected of boys. And how much longer it is taking us to deal with the idea of a boy who has interests which are closer to the image of what girls are interested in. I wonder how much of that is due to the relative status of the two genders as we went into that adjustment in our culture's view of the genders....

I've noticed he swings his sword like a girl, too. It's a tell...shhh, don't give it away.

slarti, in my experience (and I spent a quarter of a century teaching people how to swing a sword effectively), that's indicative of lack of training rather than gender. It's like "throws like a girl," has nothing to do with physiology -- everything to do with how much time the individual has spent learning how to throw a ball. So perhaps he just needs more practice....

"Yet these two "separate thoughts" are related not just by juxtaposition, but by their underlying macho insecurity."

Ugghhh. Such a tired old trope. If you're macho then it's because you're actually insecure about your masculinity. If you see something wrong or distasteful in homosexuality then you're actual a closet homo. It's facile, it's shallow, it's passive agressive and it misses some obvious alternatives. Though I suppose it does help some people feel better about themselves.

" Implicit in (1) No real man would ever want to be mistaken for a woman."

I think that is generally a true statement.

"(2) Infantry is my automatic go-to place for real manhood."

Dr Ngo, it was discussion about veterans day. The veterans that sacrfice the most and, therefore merit the most thanks, are those in combat arms (most pogues are not giving up that much other than being away from families during deployments).

Furthermore, your point goes to the heart of the discussion as far as I can see. In our post modern society masculinity is passe. It's actually a liability. One of the few bastions of respectable traditional masculinity is in the armed forces in infantry. Non-respectable masculinity might be found in the realm of the lumber jack, the oil derek rough neck.

Otherwise it is all about "soften", "qualify", "feelings", "acceptance". All good things *in balance*, but currently out of balance (i.e. way over-emphasized) in many areas of life. And this is a style that does not come easily to a naturally masculine male. Also, these are attributes that can take hold in a protected affluent society, but that would be a weakness and liability else where. I think people forget that.

Some people at least subconsciously recognize what I am saying. That's why we have an intense dislike for the association between liberals and PC and the nanny state and all of that, which results in angry white guys voting against their economic interests. The white guy is angry because he intuits that he, at some primal level, is an outcast. To adapt to the new way he must fundementally go against his nature.

"admittedly hat sounds like a potted flower ;-)"

Funny you should mention that because I did think assume that the name was a reference to a plant. I guess if I really cared I would have looked it up.


I just noticed lj's link contains "womenswords", which made me LOL a bit. But only because it kind of resonated with my suggestion that lj cuts like a girl.

Which I wasn't in the least bit serious about, to be clear.

Japonicus does appear as the species name for a variety of flora and fauna (esp flowering plants)

Ex: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lathyrus_japonicus

BTW: Isn't there an unspoken value judgement behind some of this discussion that feminine is *better* - and, if not, why not move to be speak more "man talk"?

what was it russell wrote yesterday about every thread eventually ending up being about Blackhawk* ?

If you see something wrong or distasteful in homosexuality then you're actual a closet homo.

Yes, what a preposterous idea.

One study asked heterosexal men how comfortable and anxious they are around gay men. Based on these scores, they then divided these men into two groups: men that are homophobic, and men who are not. These men were then shown three, four-minute videos. One video depicted straight sex, one depicted lesbian sex and one depicted gay male sex. While this was happening, a device was attached to each participant's penis. This device has been found to be triggered by sexual arousal, but not other types of arousal (such as nervousness, or fear - arousal often has a very different meaning in psychology than in popular usage).

When viewing lesbian sex and straight sex, both the homophobic and the non-homophobic men showed increased penis circumference. For gay male sex, however, only the homophobic men showed heightened penis arousal.

Heterosexual men with the most anti-gay attitudes, when asked, reported not being sexually aroused by gay male sex videos. But, their penises reported otherwise.

Homophobic men were the most sexually aroused by gay male sex acts.

If you see something wrong or distasteful in homosexuality then you're actual a closet homo.

Or, if you see something wrong or distasteful in homosexuality then maybe it's your issue, not anybody else's.

This all comes up because of your bon mot on the veterans day thread:

They rape young boys and the boys have to take it (LJ might find this to be paradise in this regard).

Seriously, WTF was that about?

You later retracted that, explaining that you were tired and annoyed or whatever, but most people don't express their annoyance by speculating about whether somebody else would find a culture of rape to be paradise. Sarcastically or otherwise.

It's weird. And I mean, weird enough that if somebody needs to do a reality check on the state of their mental health, it's probably you.

You have been very clear, at numerous times and in numerous contexts, that you don't like gays or homosexuality.

Fine, noted. Your prerogative.

It's also been pointed out to you, at numerous times and in numerous contexts, that repeatedly expressing that point of view isn't really welcome here.

So maybe you want to either keep it to yourself, or take it some other place where it's not considered offensive.

OK?

Thanks.

what was it russell wrote yesterday about every thread eventually ending up being about Blackhawk* ?

No kidding. Let's make this about me. First, I had a colonoscopy yesterday which the headliners could have, BUT DID NOT, ask me to write a guest post about. Second, all this gender role stuff has me thinking: if I'd been born a woman, would I have been a lesbian? But, since I wasn't born a woman, could I be a lesbian trapped inside a man's body?

Back when John Thullen commented here, I would have addressed this question to him. John had unusual insight in these kinds of things.

No, no, russell, remember, he has gay friends, he just doesn't invite them to parties.

McK, I know you're being facetious, but there are in fact MTF transsexuals whose sexual orientation is towards women.

McK, I know you're being facetious, but there are in fact MTF transsexuals whose sexual orientation is towards women.

I hadn't thought about that and was, in fact, poking a bit at you-know-who. No offense intended to anyone. Except maybe to you-know-who. Perhaps not 'offense', just low level ridicule.

Let's make this about me.

Please, let's. I'm actually much more interested in hearing about your colonoscopy than spelunking through Blackhawk's gender/sexuality issues.

if I'd been born a woman, would I have been a lesbian?

I have a friend who realized they were trans after being getting married. She's now doing the transition and she and her wife remain very much in love.

Non-respectable masculinity might be found in the realm of the lumber jack, the oil derek rough neck.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiVOG199X2c

Counting google hits there are about 5 times more japonica than japonicus. Not surprising since plants are traditionally female* and male terms an aberration. I guess the animals have the lion's share of the -us.

*even many ending in -us (esp. trees). But that does not affect the attached adjectives which then have to end -a.

Might be an urban legend but I have heard of a case where both partners underwent a sex change. That way the partnership stayed traditional (no, that was not the reason) ;-)

Please, let's. I'm actually much more interested in hearing about your colonoscopy than spelunking through Blackhawk's gender/sexuality issues.

Finally. Jeez. Ok, I went a day and half without food, drank some nasty stuff and took some pills, spent a lot of time in the bathroom and then they gave me versed. I woke up and ate Mexican food. Thanks for asking. The end.

That's...a bit anticlimactic. No drug induced hallucinations? Was the mexican food any good?

But I am glad you're OK.

"One study asked heterosexal men....."

One study a body of science does not make. Heck, I can find dozens of references to the NSA's yottabyte processing capacity with a quick google serach. Does that make it true?


"McK, I know you're being facetious, but there are in fact MTF transsexuals whose sexual orientation is towards women."

"I have a friend who realized they were trans after being getting married. She's now doing the transition and she and her wife remain very much in love."

And you say *I* have issues?

It's disturbing that you don't even realize how insane and generally f'ed up all of that sounds; that there are actually "communities" of people that think all of that just life as usual.

How about people that think they are werewolfs? You know, a wolf trapped inside a human body? Is that psychotic? Would it be a mental illness if the person holding that belief had themselves surgically altered to appear more wolf-like; perhaps having a tail and fangs implanted, maybe their jaw protruded to be more canine.........

Ot how about people that think they are possessed by demons or other entities?

Or is it only people with gender confusion (i.e. female in a male's body or vice versa that are "in" with this crowd?

Maybe threads end up being about me because people here can't stop talking about me. Observe the % of comments that refer to me on this thread.

face it, you guys would be lost without me to kick around; just twiddling your thumbs and echoing each other in a big lib love fest (albeit with an occasional mobbing up on Brett to break the tedium).

"On a side note, isn't it interesting how much earlier we got comfortable with the idea of a tomboy -- a girl who had at least some interests similar to what are expected of boys. And how much longer it is taking us to deal with the idea of a boy who has interests which are closer to the image of what girls are interested in. I wonder how much of that is due to the relative status of the two genders as we went into that adjustment in our culture's view of the genders...."

That is an interesting observation and should certainly be more worthy of discussion than me.

One study a body of science does not make.

Very true. Tell us more about how psychics are real.

And you say *I* have issues?

No, I don't think you have issues.

I think you have bound volumes.

rimshot.wav

That's...a bit anticlimactic. No drug induced hallucinations? Was the mexican food any good?

But I am glad you're OK.

A big part of making it all about me is dealing with the anticlimactic. Steady nerves are essential. Perhaps someday we can have an extended discussion about me and anticlimacticism. Unless you are an anticlimactic denier. In which case you are a lot more like you-know-who that you would want to admit, if you were being honest with yourself. And by 'you' I don't just mean you. I mean everyone who answers to 'you'. Which is a lot of people.

Did I mention that the versed was really nice?

Did I mention that the versed was really nice?

OK, so, a story about Versed.

For many years - like, 25 - I would not fly. It bugged me to even go to the airport.

A few years ago I turned 50 and doc said "time to get a colonscopy".

So, I had the procedure done, under the pleasing and beneficent influence of Versed.

As McK describes, they gave me the drug, I woke up, I had lunch. Somewhere in that interval, rude things were apparently done to my bowels, but as far as I'm concerned it's all a fairy tale.

So, I say to myself, if a med can make that seem like a non-event, how bad could a plane ride be? They have meds for plane rides, too, right?

And so, I am now once again a semi-frequent and quite happy flier.

Silver linings, y'all.

Before I delve into McT's colon, one point, Blackhawk

Maybe threads end up being about me because people here can't stop talking about me. Observe the % of comments that refer to me on this thread.

face it, you guys would be lost without me to kick around; just twiddling your thumbs and echoing each other in a big lib love fest (albeit with an occasional mobbing up on Brett to break the tedium).

You may sincerely believe that you are like Reggie Jackson's 'straw that stirs the drink', but you aren't. I note that you (only) recently apologizes for the 'embassy prick' remark and you also apologised for what you wrote in the veteran's day thread. That's good, and everyone has both bad experiences that trigger comments and bad days that lead them to state things poorly. But the time between problematic comments and you standing down on them needs to be reduced if you want to keep commenting here. And (and please note this is a warning) if you make a comment to another commenter similar to the one you made to me that started all this off, you'll be banned. I hope that's clear.

Now, back to McT's colonoscopy. Let the lib love fest begin!

Speaking of colonoscopies...

I have what is known in the trade as a pretzel. AS I was lying there semiconscious on drugs I overheard the colon doc chatting with the hurse:

"I'm having some trouble getting around the corner"

I could feel it. It hurt.

"Ill try again" siad the doc.


Jab,jab, jab

"That hurts!" I coomplained. The nurse ran around to make soome adjustments in the med levels.

"I'm lost," said the doc, " I think I'll go back to the beginning and start over."


My lower abdomen hurt like hell the next day. It was worth it though becuase they found something and a month later I had a colonectomy.

Being a sporadic reader (and even more sporadic commenter), I may be repeating something someone else said in an earlier thread; if so I apologize.

But this notion that transgender and gay people have mental health issues really strikes a dissonant chord with me. Being attracted to the same sex? Happens. Uncommon but normal. Being born in the wrong-gendered body? More uncommon, definitely a need for therapy, but the best therapy seems to involve adjusting the body to match the mind.

Believing you are the scum of the earth, totally unloveable (although there are people who love you), completely stupid (though managing to perform well in a high-functioning position), and being so totally without merit it would do the rest of the world good if you had the courage to take your life -- THAT'S a mental health issue.

Worry not, I've been on good meds for several years and am quite stable. But Blackhawk shouldn't go around flinging the "mental health issues" label so easily.

Was the mexican food any good?

Turbulence,

May I inform you that the post-colonoscopy meal is automatically delicious? You will learn this the first time you undergo the procedure.


Did you hear the one about the restaurant critic who had a colonoscopy?

My experience was rather different; They stuck a needle in my IV, I woke in recovery. Doctor walks in, says, "Slick as a garden hose, see you in ten years!", and home I go.

But I can confirm the first meal afterwards being a treat. Didn't make up for sitting on the toilet until 3AM the day before, but it did rock.

Now, the prostate biopsy, that was rather different. Preparation wasn't bad, the actual experience was being violated with nail gun. 18 times.

And the local wasn't really doing much...

But, HA! No prostate anymore, so I never have to go through that again. And I'm no much more sympathetic with women who cross their legs when they cough...

Second, all this gender role stuff has me thinking: if I'd been born a woman, would I have been a lesbian?

And how would it have affected your handicap? What is it, anyway? I'm guessing 10-12.

Karen,
thanks for delurking and commenting. I really appreciate it.

And how would it have affected your handicap? What is it, anyway? I'm guessing 10-12.

I asked you your handicap several times and you've always sidestepped it. You go first. Now, if I was a woman and could hit my current distance from the forward tees, I'd just be that much further out of play.

Brett, prostate biopsies are brutal from what I've heard. The nailgun analogy sounds about right.

That was a big part of my decision to have the surgery; If I'd opted for "watchful waiting", the "watchful" part would have involved occasional biopsies, and I never wanted to go through that again.

Saved my life; They found my lymphoma during the pro-operative physical!

On the gender bending front, me and my wife use the same pad now... Drew the line at wearing panties, though. ;)

Re: wj - "On the other hand..."

Am I the only one here who immediately recalled the long Western tradition of boys wearing dresses prior to their official "breeching"?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breeching_(boys)

Yes I know this doesn't really map to 'tomboyism' per se, but it's still fascinating how jarring this tradition that spanned centuries appears (feels?) to me when looked at through my modern eyes with as much accompanying baggage (as an awkward mixed metaphor like that can support).

I've been a semi-regular lurker here for the last little while and for some reason though I did pick up on his southern Mississippi origins (maybe my ears pricked given I too am part of the southern diaspora), I also assumed a female writer. Honestly I think it's due to LJ's consistently accommodating, respectful tone and his sincere efforts to keep the comment threads from going off the rails. The only good explanation is that I'm as steeped in gender expectations as the next fella. And so the commenting style reflects an approach that I stereotypically associate with women (the flip side being that I generally take responses falling on the "go fnck yourself you stupid smoochknob" continuum to be a solid marker for maleness. Rightly or wrongly as reality bears out.

I write the above a single data point, not indicative of anything other than my own biases, be they conscious or not.

I still recall my parents' over-blown reaction to my, on a bet, bicycling around the block in a dress at the age of 12. I didn't have a clue then what they were going on about.

I think gender stereotypes are not entirely unreasonable: They track, imperfectly, reality. Their flaw is that even bimodal distributions have members in the middle. But they still have some correspondence to reality.

We should not forget that traditionally totally effeminate skirt wearing nation of Scotland. ;-)

Skirt vs pants is a pretty arbitrary assignment, IMO, like long vs short hair. Less arbitrary are gender associations with things like aggressive/passive, where there's some neurological basis for the behavioral differences.

Though it may be argued that skirt wearing becomes less effeminate the further you get from the equator...

Skirt vs pants is a pretty arbitrary assignment, IMO, like long vs short hair.

I agree with that...

Less arbitrary are gender associations with things like aggressive/passive, where there's some neurological basis for the behavioral differences.

...but have a lot of qualms about that. Historically, most claims about gender associations have been proven to be complete garbage. Women obviously can't do math, science proves it, etc. So I think we should look with skepticism at such claims.

Moreover, a lot of claims about how various observed gender differences can be traced to neurobiology are just garbage too, and that includes many that show up in pop-sci books or David Brooks' columns in the NY Times. See here, here, or the long list of posts here. Plus there's some pretty horrific statistics problems with a lot of the fMRI-associational studies.

Finally, note that we expect socialization to alter brain structure, so even when we do find reliable neurobiological correlates with gendered attributes, we can't generally assume that those are "natural".

At least in the Western culture (although this specific element came from the Orient originally) the question of gender appropriate clothing was seen as fundamental until relatively recently. Fundamental enough to treat a violation as a capital crime for many centuries. And at least up to WW1 it could mean a jail sentence for 'gross indecency'. Of course this was primarily a question of power (in the case of women; pants prove power) and of doubtful sexuality (in the case of men; crossdressing = gay). Both abominations and threats to the 'natural order'. Btw for the fascists effeminacy began with long trousers (real men wear shorts even in freezing conditions).

Well, we DO know that testosterone levels effect psychology, and they are rather different between men and women.

Keeping in mind that men have had this chromosome, the Y, that women don't have, for over 100 million years, long before even primates originated, it would hardly be shocking if there were neurological differences encoded in the genes. We've had these separate chromosomes since long before the evolution of intelligence.

What little evidence there is, IIRC, indicates that men have a higher variance than women, (Which would be perfectly understandable in light of the shared genes we have only one copy of, and women have two of.) while the averages are pretty close to the same. More male geniuses AND morons, IOW.

But there are clearly some genetic differences in behavior; I don't think you can attribute the fact that men are mostly attracted to women, and visa versa, entirely to socialization, considering that this is seen in animals so primitive that they probably don't HAVE socialization.

Brett, do you think that women are more empathic than men are, and if so, do you think that difference is due to genetics rather than socialization?

Is there any reason it couldn't be some of each?

I honestly don't know if women are more empathic than men; I've never been one.

I honestly don't know if women are more empathic than men; I've never been one.

Um, ok. But then why would you write about how men are more aggressive than women? You've never been a woman...so how could you possibly know that?


In my experience, most people believe that women are naturally more empathic than men, and they also believe that difference has a purely biological basis. But the studies done to date fail to find any significant difference.


Is there any reason it couldn't be some of each?

No, but that raises the question of how we'd tell. And there's always the very real danger that we'll just attribute all differences to genetics no matter what the evidence actually says. Historically, that's exactly what we've done and we continue to do now.

"Um, ok. But then why would you write about how men are more aggressive than women? You've never been a woman...so how could you possibly know that?"

Well, as I mentioned, testosterone levels are clearly linked to aggression within a given sex, and male testosterone levels are generally much higher than in women. So why wouldn't you think it?

Anyway, "aggression" is a much more objectively observable trait than "empathy"; It could be, couldn't it, that women aren't any better at picking stuff up, men are just less interested in acting on the data.

"And there's always the very real danger that we'll just attribute all differences to genetics no matter what the evidence actually says."

There's also the very real danger we'll assume humans are infinitely plastic, and cause horrible suffering trying to create "The New Soviet Man", or some such.

My own attitude is that the genders clearly differ, and why give a fig why? Since the curves extensively overlap, knowing the average tells you essentially nothing about any given individual you encounter.

The only reason I'd see for caring why the genders were different, is if you were determined to change them. I don't particularly have any interest in doing that, I'm fine with letting the genders be different.

As you-all may have noticed, from time to time over the years a commenter will assume that I'm male. I just laugh and straighten them out, or the commenteriat does.

The surprising and unexpected thing about being a front-pager here is that I have *not* had the experience of almost every other woman blogger I know of, of being harrassed and threatened. It's actually kind of odd, and definitely not what I was expecting -- I had mentally armored myself against it beforehand.

Anyway, my experience is that most of the time people can't tell from my interests or writing style whether I'm male or female. In majority-female online environments, people think I'm female; in majority-male environments, they assume I'm male.

But I think my nom de net (and not using photos of myself) is what deflects "normal" levels of misogynistic harrassment. Basically, the kind of people who harrass are the kind who can't hold an image of a female "Doctor Science" in their heads, it just shorts out the harrassing circuits. Or something.

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