[cyuu@cat]# _

[Posts] - December 20, 2023 - GIRL ON THE INTERNET


The general assumption is that there are no girls on the Internet, especially on Fedi. So, when I first started using it and had a little Arch badge, people just assumed I was an anime-obsessed, possibly femboy guy, and I was fine with that. If anything, I deliberately leaned into it at some points in order to keep a few more eyes off me (which was stupid as hell when my username was dommy mommy, but I figured people would care less if the dommy mommy was actually not a girl). I suspect that over time, the way I write and interact with others gave away that I wasn't a guy, and enough strange things had started happening at that point that it became one of the many reasons I stopped using Fedi altogether. I don't think that's a problem with Fedi, though. It's more of a problem with how girls are seen when doing anything masculine.

When I was younger, I deeply struggled to accept that I was a girl. I hated anything stereotypically feminine, like pink or dresses or emotions, mainly because my primary example of a woman was someone who had used these traits to manipulate those around her. I wore tons of guy's clothes, struggled to talk to my female peers, and deluded myself into thinking that I had good control over my emotions and that I only relied on logic. It wasn't until right at the end of high school that I realized that feminine and masculine traits can coexist, and most of what I was doing was an image thing. I swung wildly the other way for a bit, leaning into all the feminine traits I had that I had rejected for so long, but as I went into college, I evened out and realized I was the one assigning all these gendered qualities to certain traits. I achieved freedom! I did what I wanted! And then I started talking on the Internet more than usual, and uh oh, no one believed I was a girl because I used Linux and was majoring in computer science. I must have been a transwoman, or just not a girl at all and lying for fun, or any other range of things. Me and a few other friends online swapped pictures of ourselves for fun, and one fully expected me to be a fat, balding 30 year old guy despite hearing my voice multiple times. (They thought I had excellent voice training, and still were convinced I was a really well passing transwoman.)

In the real world, it's much harder to deny I'm a woman, but I'm treated pretty weirdly from it. My best example of this is a time I was invited to a robotics team. They wanted someone with Linux experience to join the team and help set something up for them. This would have looked absolutely fantastic on a resume, I must add. It was a paid experience, would have gotten me great connections, and still counts as an extracurricular. I knew a few of the people on it already due to work, so one of the guys sent me a message asking if I'd be interested in joining. The catch is that they were just looking for girls. When I declined, they asked if I knew any other girls that would be interested. Despite knowing quite a few people, I only know two other people that have any interest in Linux outside of what was required for classes. It should go without saying that they are both guys. I straight up asked him why they were looking for girls, and he said he's just looking for girls to join the team because the rest of the team is guys. I didn't want to be recruited based off of my gender, so I declined what was an otherwise great experience. I still kind of regret this, but I wouldn't be able to accept being put on the team for that reason alone.

I had struggled for years to accept that I can do anything regardless of gender. However, I forgot to accommodate for the fact that others still thought that your gender was more relevant than your skills and interests. Girl gamers are overvalued for simply having what is seen as a stereotypical guy hobby. Girls are pushed to go into STEM fields, and those who do can apply for scholarships on the sole basis of being female. Girls who dress in boxy outlines that hide their figures are seen as cool and trendy. One of the ways a woman can have the overall opinion of her raised is to take on masculine aspects in some way.

I guess this is why I tried to pretend I was a guy on Fedi. I didn't want to be seen as cool for being a girl on it, I just wanted to be a cool person on Fedi. I ultimately don't think I was able to achieve my goal.