Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Why do people here think that I’m a guy?

  1. Oct 5, 2009 #1


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    now it doesn’t bother me, but why do they instantly assume whoever is helping them with their home work is a guy? :confused: and I’m thinking this is not my problem alone, is it?

    why does the word racist come to mind!! :grumpy:
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 5, 2009 #2
    "Racist" because they assume you're male? How about "sexist"? Being male or female isn't a race. :wink:

    My guess? (Because I too assumed you were male and you haven't even helped me with my homework.) Because you have a gender-neutral name. And given that there are far more males on this board than females, as a shot in the dark, it's fair to assume that you'd be male rather than female just based on percentages.
  4. Oct 5, 2009 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    What is the context of this gender referencing? Notice in English that the male third person pronoun is usually used as a gender neutral third person pronoun also
  5. Oct 5, 2009 #4


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    well, they just can say thanks drizzle instead of thank you sir!
  6. Oct 5, 2009 #5
    Maybe they think you're male because...let's face it, the vast majority of physicists are male. Heck, out of forty professors in my department, only 2 are female. Off hand I can only think of one American female grad student in my department, and that's out of 100!

    If it makes you feel better, some people think I'm female simply because my user name ends in an a. I only use it because an old ISP gave it to me, based on my first name (Arun) and a couple of random letters.
  7. Oct 5, 2009 #6
    Drissia are more female names than drizzle

    But here are top 24 female names

    Name % Frequency Approx Number Rank
    MARY 2.629 3,991,060 1
    PATRICIA 1.073 1,628,911 2
    LINDA 1.035 1,571,224 3
    BARBARA 0.98 1,487,729 4
    ELIZABETH 0.937 1,422,451 5
    JENNIFER 0.932 1,414,861 6
    MARIA 0.828 1,256,979 7
    SUSAN 0.794 1,205,364 8
    MARGARET 0.768 1,165,894 9
    DOROTHY 0.727 1,103,652 10
    LISA 0.704 1,068,736 11
    NANCY 0.669 1,015,603 12
    KAREN 0.667 1,012,567 13
    BETTY 0.666 1,011,048 14
    HELEN 0.663 1,006,494 15
    SANDRA 0.629 954,879 16
    DONNA 0.583 885,047 17
    CAROL 0.565 857,721 18
    RUTH 0.562 853,167 19
    SHARON 0.522 792,443 20
    MICHELLE 0.519 787,889 21
    LAURA 0.51 774,226 22
    SARAH 0.508 771,190 23
    KIMBERLY 0.504 765,118 24

    I like Kimberly name.
  8. Oct 5, 2009 #7


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    haha, no thanks I’ll stick with drizzle
  9. Oct 5, 2009 #8
    Maybe they think you're in the military, sir.
  10. Oct 5, 2009 #9


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    ahh... maybe you’re right missy!
  11. Oct 5, 2009 #10
    Drizzle seems sort of masculine to me, or at least reminds me of "fo shizzle" which reminds me of young guys coming up with silly 'ebonics' type words.

    I have an online friend whom I thought was female when I first started talking to him because his name seemed feminine (apparently a lot of people thought so). The fact that he was talking about kissing cute boys in the first blog post of his I read didn't help much either.
  12. Oct 5, 2009 #11
    Kimberly IS a nice name, and 2 of my 3 daughter's names are on the list as well as my wife, 5 aunts, my sister, and a great aunt - good list!

    I agree with SA, Drizzle seems sort of masculine to me also.
  13. Oct 5, 2009 #12


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I have long learnt to not assign any sex to any nicks - especially as intuition from Polish is different from intuition in English.

    But nicks are usually not designed to reveal the sex, so this is not a problem. Problems start when I see the real name and I have no idea if it is feminine or masculine.
  14. Oct 5, 2009 #13


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Maybe you should end every message with "hugs and kisses, drizzle" :biggrin:
    I changed my nick, because it was annoying to be referenced as a male all the time.
  15. Oct 5, 2009 #14
    How come everyone assumes I'm a male?
  16. Oct 5, 2009 #15
    I think there is a fine distinction in code of conduct and nettiquette in inter genderal discussions :smile: I have seen severe accidents happen elsewhere because the guy had no idea he was quarreling with a girl. This could have been prevented if there was a m/f flag visible somewhere.
  17. Oct 5, 2009 #16


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    If you are serious about folks getting it right, perhaps changing your username to one that expresses your gender would do the trick.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2009
  18. Oct 5, 2009 #17
    This is a bit weird even for me.
  19. Oct 5, 2009 #18


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Druzilla would work very nicely.
  20. Oct 5, 2009 #19


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Take it easy, man!:biggrin:
  21. Oct 5, 2009 #20


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Just for the record, I agree that your username is rather gender neutral and I can imagine that people conveniently assume that you are therefore a male.
    On the other hand, is it really relevant? If it bothers you that people say "thank you sir" (which, I must admit, bothers me a little too just because it makes me feel so old :) ) you can change your username into something more intrinsically female. But then again people may also look upon you differently as a person, as seems to happen sometimes to girls in (some areas of) science.

    Speaking of unfounded prejudices, I always have this irrational feeling that people that say "sir" are from India :tongue:
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook