I assumed from his writing that he was female. I just now followed some links to his website and realized that I was wrong. I went back and read the piece where the protagonist seemed female (to me) and even though, in the comments, the author had used "he" to describe the character, I had somehow missed that - so convinced I was of the character and author's gender.

When I saw the character as a boy not a girl, the story seemed a little different -- but it really wasn't. My opinion of the writing did not change. I was just a little stunned at my own assumptions.

Of course I knew that 95% of active Hubski contributors (from a study six months ago) were male and I usually assume that everyone (with some notable exceptions) are male - still I was surprised at my mistake.

Someone referred to me as "he" in a post some time ago. I was amused.

What about you?

Have you assumed the gender of an author on hubski or elsewhere only to discover you were wrong?

Can you tell from a person's writing if they are m or f or some variation?

Do we co-create an identity for other people if they are minimally self-presenting?

Did you deliberately choose a gender-ambiguous online name? Some of the people I follow have, what I would describe as a womanly name, even though I KNOW this person is male.


I always assume people on the internet are male unless I'm on twitter or facebook or something with an avatar or I know the user. I don't really assume too much and tend to focus on the story or point without their gender coming into play. Even though I'm female and it mildly annoys me when people make this assumption, I have yet to figure out a way to break this habit. I agree it is a bit disorienting when you come to the realization that their gender is something you didn't expect.

I remember reading something on some forum years ago that was a girl talking about her boyfriend. About halfway through they mentioned something about gay stereotypes and I remember thinking that was odd and irrelevant. Couple sentences later it FINALLY penetrates my thick skull that it was a gay guy talking about his relationship. I felt idiotic and had to reexamine everything I had read and assumed with this new information. I remember not that much changed. Turns out relationships have their ups and downs and struggles and amazing moments whether it's between the same or opposite sexes.

I used to get upset when people would say "Thank you sir" or refer to me as a "he" but it doesn't really bother me anymore. On reddit, if I'm trying to make a point or say something in a bigger subreddit, I kind of like it if it is assumed I'm male because I feel like my real point comes across more and the "OP is a female" distortion glass doesn't come into play. This might mostly be my imagination.

posted 2369 days ago