Saturday, February 18, 2012

Like a Boy

I've noticed that most of the names I choose when representing myself online are male:  James, Thomas, and so forth.  Perhaps it's because I actually have a rather gender-neutral name?  Or maybe I'm going in the direction of Charlotte Brontë, previously known as Currer Bell?

Clearly, I'm not male, but I do wonder how it changes the reader's perspective if they think me so.  One T.A. in a college English course assumed that I was indeed a man.  Not because of my face, thankfully, but because of my writing.  She called out my name to return the paper I had written, aiming her attention at one boy on the other side of the room.  He seemed to notice, which furthered his confusion and her frustration.  Eventually I raised my hand and uttered "here".  She was surprised, I could tell.  Her already large eyes widened and in her embarrassment she said, "Oh, from your writing I thought you were a boy."

I can't say that I was offended, since I didn't know what it was about the paper that made me sound like a man.  If I ever decided to publish, that could work in my favor.  Unless she meant that I wrote like a ridiculous college boy...

I'm pretty sure she didn't.  Yeah, pretty sure.

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