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If you use an avatar of a gender you are not, are you good at portraying that gender?


Gopi Passiflora
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I'm a straight male in real life but I often use female avatars. I don't act that different as my female avis or even try to do so. However, if people want to know my real gender I do not reveal it, I just say my avi's gender - female.

People usually don't suspect I'm male in real life (or they don't comment), so I guess I'm good at it?

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7 minutes ago, Gopi Passiflora said:

I don't act that different as my female avis or even try to do so.

Then you're doing it exactly right, Gopi. There is no "base behaviour" associated with particular genders. No "right way" to be a woman, or man. Just a variety of right ways to be human.

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2 minutes ago, Gopi Passiflora said:

People usually don't suspect I'm male in real life (or they don't comment), so I guess I'm good at it?

Since you say you don't act any differently as a female avatar, several possibilities come to mind:

  • People are pretty unobservant
  • There are fewer differences between male and female behaviors than we think (your AO and appearance may cover most of them)
  • Your natural behavior is androgynous
  • You ARE good at it (consciously or unconsciously)
  • People do notice and are too polite to mention it

In any case, there's no need to fret about it. As we've hashed over here many times, as long as you aren't hurting anyone (emotionally), your choices of avatar and what you tell others about your RL are yours to make.

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3 minutes ago, Lindal Kidd said:

Since you say you don't act any differently as a female avatar, several possibilities come to mind:

  • People are pretty unobservant
  • There are fewer differences between male and female behaviors than we think (your AO and appearance may cover most of them)
  • Your natural behavior is androgynous
  • You ARE good at it (consciously or unconsciously)
  • People do notice and are too polite to mention it

In any case, there's no need to fret about it. As we've hashed over here many times, as long as you aren't hurting anyone (emotionally), your choices of avatar and what you tell others about your RL are yours to make.

Those can be possibilities, I agree.

I apologize if I posted this topic again, it juts came to mind again and there seems to be more limits on what we can talk about....

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I must admit I give about as much consideration to whether I'm convincingly representing my avatars gender in SL as I do to whether I'm accurately portraying stereotypes of my gender in RL, mostly I just try to be the best version of "me" that I can in the hopes that it will be enough to placate people I happen to encounter in either world.

I guess since I've yet to be approached by anyone and told "Hey, that's not your gender! Please turn off the engine and step out of that body with your hands up!" I'm doing well enough that I pass casual inspection. :) 

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I don't mind if people find out if I'm a male IRL or not. I don't hide it from my in world profile in the RL section. 

I sprinkle hints of myself while in world. I look like a metalhead some of the time, or move about in pantsuits and slacks when I TP. As a result, many dresses in my inventory remain unpacked lol (not just freebies BTW)! 😄

So for me, I feel as if I'm role-playing every single time I am in SL (and Open Sim). I love it! 💖

Edited by JeromFranzic
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3 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

There is no "base behaviour" associated with particular genders. No "right way" to be a woman, or man. Just a variety of right ways to be human.

I agree. I have a male avatar that I haven't "used" for years...working on it again to modernize, update. I created it initially to wander around SL and see if people treated me in a different way. First thing I did was take him to a club I went to regularly as my female self. Immediately, some woman started yelling at me. I hadn't even had time to take a seat and there she was, screaming her head off about how I was her ex and I was there to stalk her. It was really strange. I then realized the dj was somebody I knew well and I immediately felt horrible for being deceitful. So, in IM, I told him who I was. Didn't stay there very long, it didn't feel good.  Next time I took him out, it was to a gathering at another club where I knew just about everybody. Stepped into the area, said Howdy, as I usually do, it comes out me automatically. And the person nearest to me said, Howdy Cate!    ...sigh...  After that, I took him out only a few more times to serve as dance partner for a couple of women I knew who wanted a dance partner but not a woman. They knew who I was, just wanted the visual, you know?  Anyway,, when I finally get this guy ready again, I will take him out and about and make no effort to act male..except for my AO animations which I am hoping are fairly neutral. I am  me, no matter what skin I am in and I will be upfront and honest about being a heterosexual female. I have no interest in fooling anybody...but I am interested to see how I am treated. BTW, my male partner did have a female avie years ago and came away feeling appalled by the behavior of so many men toward women. It was a good learning experience for him. Anyway, IMO, the best thing to do, no matter how we look in SL, is to be ourselves. If we are in transition, then we will be reflecting that as well.

 

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9 minutes ago, Cate Foulsbane said:

I agree. I have a male avatar that I haven't "used" for years...working on it again to modernize, update. I created it initially to wander around SL and see if people treated me in a different way. First thing I did was take him to a club I went to regularly as my female self. Immediately, some woman started yelling at me. I hadn't even had time to take a seat and there she was, screaming her head off about how I was her ex and I was there to stalk her. It was really strange. I then realized the dj was somebody I knew well and I immediately felt horrible for being deceitful. So, in IM, I told him who I was. Didn't stay there very long, it didn't feel good.  Next time I took him out, it was to a gathering at another club where I knew just about everybody. Stepped into the area, said Howdy, as I usually do, it comes out me automatically. And the person nearest to me said, Howdy Cate!    ...sigh...  After that, I took him out only a few more times to serve as dance partner for a couple of women I knew who wanted a dance partner but not a woman. They knew who I was, just wanted the visual, you know?  Anyway,, when I finally get this guy ready again, I will take him out and about and make no effort to act male..except for my AO animations which I am hoping are fairly neutral. I am  me, no matter what skin I am in and I will be upfront and honest about being a heterosexual female. I have no interest in fooling anybody...but I am interested to see how I am treated. BTW, my male partner did have a female avie years ago and came away feeling appalled by the behavior of so many men toward women. It was a good learning experience for him. Anyway, IMO, the best thing to do, no matter how we look in SL, is to be ourselves. If we are in transition, then we will be reflecting that as well.

 

Years ago -- like, maybe 2009 or 10 -- I started a thread here with a title like "How Do I Talk Like a Boy?" I was interested to hear if people thought there were differences in the ways that men and women chatted in-world. I got a mixed answer: some people were pretty sure that women used emoticons more, or "giggled," for instance, but for me the real finding was that, no, gender didn't really make much of a difference, and that things like emoticons or more "gushing" chat tended to be used by men who were trying to pass as women, rather than reflecting how women actually talk.

I still sometimes wonder if there are some minor differences: for instance, men "smile" in chat a lot more than women do, in my experience. But there is more variation within each gender than there is between them, I think.

14 minutes ago, Cate Foulsbane said:

BTW, my male partner did have a female avie years ago and came away feeling appalled by the behavior of so many men toward women. It was a good learning experience for him.

I wish more men would do this. I think it would be an eye-opening experience for a few of them. The vast majority of men I meet are wonderful. But some of them? . . . wow.

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I use a male alt sometimes, and have been hit on by women who presumably think that I am actually a guy. I'm just being myself, and obviously not doing anything sleazy so maybe that's a nice change compared to how a lot of male avatars act in SL. It probably helps that my male alt is really nice looking. Am I good at portraying the male sex? Well I can put together a nice avatar but no, I don't think there is anything particularly "male" that I am doing, I am not acting or roleplaying, it is me behind the avatar.

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Obviously we're all just guessing on whether you truly are good at portraying a different gender. The only way to answer this is to send every person you meet to a website with a 20 question multiple choice survey. Foe example, 1) Did you think Gopi behaved like a real female? Choose 1 for not likely ..... 10 for very likely. 2) Would you recommend Gopi to a friend? Choose 1 for not likely ..... 10 for very likely. 

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The behavioural straits of the sexes come from:

  • their build.  It's hard to stand like a guy with my bum and boobs.  This is reflected in the AO for the sexes in SL.
  • their upbringing - how you react is a learned response.  It's hard to mask this in RL, but really easy in SL where we don't have automatic expressions (yet).
  • their acting ability - ...
  • and, of course, other stuff.

I made a few of alts to test some of this out a while ago (I majored in psychology, and it seemed a good idea).  A guy alt who wasn't a gorilloid, and I ended up playing him gay, which was too much fun...   A big guy, and I used a black skin, just to see the reactions which were scary - and really educated me.  So then I made a black female avi, and that was even more scary.  I closed the whole exercise down, but it was educational.  It has changed my reactions in RL.

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At a guess: The RL gender is almost impossible to figure out *unless* people paradoxically start to act like how they think a gender acts (or often in adult sims: how they think a gender should act).

Doing that will often push things into parody and then become noticeable. Then again, even in that case I don't really care and just take it as someone exploring their gender. The only time I do start caring is when said person drifts so far into parody and stereotypes it becomes discriminatory.

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11 minutes ago, ValKalAstra said:

At a guess: The RL gender is almost impossible to figure out *unless* people paradoxically start to act like how they think a gender acts (or often in adult sims: how they think a gender should act).

Doing that will often push things into parody and then become noticeable. Then again, even in that case I don't really care and just take it as someone exploring their gender. The only time I do start caring is when said person drifts so far into parody and stereotypes it becomes discriminatory.

I think this, very much.

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Well you'd need a definition of what "acting like a woman/man" means. Hmm. 

I never say it when it happens, but there have been a few people on the forum whom I suspected were gender bending and I turned out to be right. And sometimes inworld. Sometimes it was because the persona was clearly someone's fantasy, but it's usually more subtle than that.

It's not that men can't enjoy shopping or women can't be interested in cars; clearly that's rubbish. It's sometimes in the way they write, although I accept that's a bit of a blunt instrument, because of course men CAN write a certain way even if they usually don't and vice versa. I've been mistaken for a man online quite often.

But usually, I get the feeling it's happening because, for example, a female-presenting person is very surprised to learn that hormone treatments can affect someone's mood. That suggests to me that this person has not experienced menstrual cycles and has never been prepared for menopause.

In my experience, the generalised differences between men and women (and I do mean generalised) aren't really about hobbies and interests. They're more subtle. I could go into this but it might start a bunfight so I won't. And like I said, it's a blunt instrument.

I'm reminded of Norah Vincent, author of Self Made Man. She is a gay woman (not a transman) who disguised herself as a man for about 18 months and did things like join a bowling team and monastery, and date straight women. When speaking to the women online, she made no attempt to "act male". She simply acted as herself, and many women went nuts for her emotional intelligence and engagement, and the way she wrote. When they met up, though, the women were often not attracted to her physically as she was rather small and not typically masculine, which should come as no surprise, really.

Funnily, she said that in her normal life as a woman, people always found her mannish. As a man, people found her effeminate.

It makes no difference to me as I'm fully in favour of presenting however you want in SL and having the right to keep your RL secret. But since you asked, that's what I think.

 

Edited by Amina Sopwith
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I started in SL in 2015 with a human female avatar, and the Imposter Syndrome was very intense for most of that first year! Over time I changed to being a female android, then a female alien, and now I'm just an alien. 👽 That actually suits me just fine, as I'm fairly androgynous in both RL and SL. Obviously, my voice is unmistakably male, something which trips other folks up occasionally, but in general the gender I'm perceived as seems to vary depending on who is viewing or talking to me. (I'm open about this on my profile, but of course that assumes the other person reads profiles... 😆)

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11 hours ago, Cate Foulsbane said:

my male partner did have a female avie years ago and came away feeling appalled by the behavior of so many men toward women. It was a good learning experience for him.

In my one brief foray with a male avatar, I discovered that men (some of them, at least) exhibit appalling behavior toward men, too.

Or perhaps I didn't "portray the male gender" well enough.

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I never actually tried. I'm just me and I'm very fluid and a huge fan of gender-neutral and "I do what I want" fashion in both lives, which is why I run all of my different avatars on the same account (minus my non-social srs bidness alt whose sole purpose is to transfer money to Aya to spend 😏). My male avies both run around with Ayashe floating above their heads, they share AOs with my female ones, they all share the same wardrobe and shoe collection when I can work enough alpha and foot/chest mod magic to make things fit - some outfits are indeed separate, they all go to the same hairstylist and manicurist, and they all rock far more makeup than I ever would in RL. But they're all me, so my behavior never changes.

I must be doing okay since friends took almost no time whatsoever to get used to my guys strutting all over the place in heels and stylish updos (my answer to the ever so annoying "my back is eating my long hair" issues). I got an "Omg, he is so you," after styling my newest.

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We're all made of stardust and contain infinity, not just multitudes. Set your intent and follow your heart with determination and you'll be led step by step toward whom you're becoming like you're just retrieving your memory and waking up.

Edited by Brightstar7777
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6 hours ago, cunomar said:

I never played the gender game but this made me wonder about a generalization that is perhaps age related ?

Women like shopping and men don't .

Age related?  Possibly as women have been the main shoppers of the world.  I don't know how it stands today with shopping as to who is doing the most shopping in a relationship, for example.

As far as a gender, I've never played a different gender.  And, it's for expense reasons though some of the male avatars are just gorgeous, I can't afford it just for "play" hobby and photographs.  The only reason I'd want to shape a male avatar is for photos, but I've thought about building now.  But, I could do male clothes.  I'm on a wait and hold regarding building right now though as a SL building transition seems to want to take place.  But, don't talk about building transition here, there is another thread about it.  I just mean I would not spend money right now to build.  

Edited by EliseAnne85
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6 hours ago, cunomar said:

I never played the gender game but this made me wonder about a generalization that is perhaps age related ?

Women like shopping and men don't .

Age related..hmm. Interesting. My parents, Americans raised between 1920 and 1940, lived their lives in what I consider to be a narrow cultural bind. Mom did woman things,, Dad did man things. Women shopped,, men paid for the shopping but didn't like doing it, etc. My generation, raised between 1940 and 1960, seem to be a bit more diverse...step outside the lines a bit more so to speak. My partner, in his mid sixties now, loves to shop. I know other men of the more modern generation who love to shop. I love to shop in SL but despise it in RL.. I dunno...gender roles are stupid and confining and I don't like them.

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