www.whyville.net Mar 25, 2012 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

Whyville Gender Stereotypes

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Believe it or not, stereotypes take place in Whyville. Do you ever seem to change up your avatar into the opposite gender? Or maybe just switch things up for a bit? I know I have! But the thing that really makes me wonder, is the reason why we get judged and criticized based on our virtual faces, I like to call, "avatars".

I feel that whenever I change my avatar into the opposite gender, I always get an insane comment from a few people. For example: "Aren't you a boy?" or, "Pick one gender!" I mean, why does it matter what look I chose to wear? As long as I know who I am, is it such a crime to have a little fun?

To spruce up my concern on Whyville stereotypes, let's hear from a few Whyvillians.

Funkchik1: Should real gender have an impact on the way your avatar should look?

Mitsuy: No, not really. People can let their gender impact their style if they want, but I see it more as an option than a requirement.
DibIsHot: No, people can wear whatever they like. You don't even have to be human!
Bibi4evr: No it should not, as long as the people you interact with know your actual gender.
BObami: I think any person can make their avatar look like any gender they want, but it makes it easier for people to know whether you're a boy or a girl when you make your avatar look like a boy or a girl.

Funkchik1: What do you think about other Whyvillians dressing their avatars as the opposite gender?

Mitsuy: I love fun people, who dress up as the opposite gender. It shows they're comfortable with who they are.
DibIsHot: It's fine by me, I don't believe gender is black and white.
Bibi4evr: I don't really think much of it. It's actually pretty interesting to see what they make their avatars look like.
BObami: I don't really mind, it's their avatar and they can do what they'd like with it.

Funkchik1: Should one's avatar stick to their real gender, or have the freedom to choose?

Mitsuy: Choosing is the more accurate way of letting people express themselves. I think people would be happier with the freedom to be themselves.
DibIsHot: Freedom of choice.
Bibi4evr: They should have the freedom to choose.
BObami: They definitely should have the freedom to choose, it would be extremely silly to restrict people from changing their avatar genders.

In summary, I feel that it is our own decision as to how we choose to personalize our avatars. Boy or girl. Cat or dog. We are all the same, but unique in our own way. Now that's a fact!

Author's Note: Thanks to my interviewees for answering so quickly, on such short notice!


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