Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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Gender Hypothesizing

If it were possible to get accurate statistics like this about the entire LiveJournal population, I obviously should, but I don't know how to do that so I'll just make do with the population of my own friends and friends-of lists. I'm sure the rest of you will let me know if your own friends lists drastically contradict my observations.

My friends and friends-of lists contain a huge number of people who have chosen to prominently label themselves as "girls" (or grls, grrls, grrrls, gurls, or gyrls) in their LJ usernames: beatlegirl79, cappucinogrrl, dolphingirl99, donutgirl, ethosgurl, postmaudlin, grlfriday, grrrlishgrin, safetypingirl, starstealingirl, theory_girl, redskiedmorning, and zombiegirl.

There are no "boys" on my friends or friends-of lists who are prominently labeled as such in their usernames (though I know there are a few who used to be on my friends list - devilboy77, brokenboi and johnnyboysriot come to mind, so it's not unheard of). Admittedly, there are about twice as many females as males on LiveJournal in the first place, and also about twice as many females as males on my own friends and friends-of lists, so that could account for some of the numerical imbalance. Still, that would mean that there should still be six males on my lists with "boy" in their usernames. There aren't. There are, however, three "men" on my friends or friends-of lists who are prominently labeled as such in their usernames: smallbearcub, piman, and cinderellaman. Two of these three are FTMs (as is one of the three people labeled "boys" who I mentioned above). It seems reasonable to expect that being transgendered would produce an increased eagerness to prominently point out one's gender to avoid any confusion - but that doesn't explain away the apparent disinterest of males who were labeled "male" at birth in labeling themselves "male" in their usernames. All of the people on my lists who label themselves as "girl" (or any alternate spellings of it) in their usernames seem to be people who were also labeled "female" at birth (unless you're keeping secrets from me . . .).

And absolutely no one I personally can think of on all of LiveJournal has a username containing the word "woman," nor any spelling variation upon it.

There are also some instances of people on my friends or friends-of lists with obviously gendered words in their usernames (not proper names, I'm only interested in looking at words which seem to be there primarily to indicate gender, and people could be using a proper name in their username for a whole lot of other reasons): baebutch, dragkingbar, dragkingvenus, mobledqueen, princesswitch, transientdyke, fatfeistyfemme. All of these people are specifying either a female gender or a specifically female-to-male gender - unless possibly mobledqueen intends the word "queen" to imply a male-to-female gender, but since mobledqueen is (generally labeled as) female, that would make it really a sort of female-to-male-to-female gender.

Anyway. Theorization time.

Is there some good reason why people whose bodies are labeled "female" seem to be more invested in gender-labeling themselves than people whose bodies are labeled "male" are? What would the reasons for that be? And why does everyone choosing a female label choose a variation upon "girl" instead of "woman," whereas among male-labeled people, the "men" seem to slightly outnumber the "boys," or at least aren't obviously outnumbered by them?

For all you girl/grl/grrl/grrrl/gurl/gyrl people out there, why exactly do you label yourselves this way? Does it bother you that there is no comparable crowd of people naming themselves "woman" or "boy" or "man"?
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