Gender markers - a good idea?
I was just posting a reply when I had to stop and wonder what pronoun to use for a chowhounder. This happens quite a bit, especially when the username doesn't give any indications.
I think it would be useful to have some kind of feature that tells you whether you should be saying "he" or "she".
Though it can change how one interacts with another (yes, in an ideal world, it shouldn't); I see this happening anyway when someone's assumed the gender of another poster (sometimes incorrectly, which raises interesting ponderments - but that's another topic).
If you had the option, would you indicate your gender so that others know how to address you, or would you prefer to keep them guessing? If the latter, I'm curious to know why? (Just because I'm in a pondering mood)
I am happy to type "s/he" and his/her when a poster's gender is unclear, on the rare occasions when it may be relevant. My first name, which is not a unisex name, is in my profile. So anyone for whom that is important can find out. Since anyone who wanted to misrepresent themselves could easily do so, I see no point in a gender designation.
I use s/he to refer to a poster of indeterminate gender (objective case suggestions welcome - all I've come with so far is him/her, which is inelegant).
I'm fine with s/he and find it amusing when people get my gender wrong. There have been some very funny instances where gender confusion has raised it's head...
Ultimately I'm focused on the information, the sharing and the bits of personality that comes across the 'net is just icing on the cake. The gender of the poster is not of much relevance to me in this type of forum.
I prefer to "keep them guessing"...or, in reality, I don't think it's any of their concern. I like interacting with internet people as just usernames of mostly indeterminate gender, and hey - if you really really wanted your gender known, you'd have chosen a username that makes it plain.
I tend to go with "they" when referring to people, or sometimes default to the masculine *shrug*