(I originally wrote this quite a few years back, but having recently read Greta's blog "Fashion Friday: Menswear, and Some Thoughts Anout Gender Roles" made me think that I really should put this back up, so here it is.)
I recently tried a little experiment. I created an account inside the 3D role playing game "Second Life", however instead of creating a male avatar, I decided to try out my "second life" by experiencing the other side. My avatar was female. Interestingly, this opened up a whole new world immediately. I decided that if I were to have a female avatar, I may as well have a good looking one! I spent a lot of time tweaking with the visual appearance of my avatar and then started searching for nice clothes. I found myself going to shopping malls inside the "game", looking at all of the dresses, trying things on, and even looking at matching shoes! Why the sudden change? Why the sudden interest in fashion when I never searched out such things before? Well, maybe that's a topic for another blog entry at some point. Personally, I think it has a lot to do with, "since I could be beautiful, I felt as though I should," or something like that.
The topic of this entry, however, is related to other parts of my experience. I noticed, very quickly, that male avatars were drawn to me. As a matter of fact, if there was a male avatar anywhere around, I could pretty much bet that they would at least try to talk to me. I must say, I found it annoying! I couldn't go anywhere, do anything, without guys trying to hit on me! And what did they want? A good conversation? Nope. They wanted "Second Life" sex. (Yes, there are places you can go in "Second Life" where two avatars can be moved in such a way as to make it appear as though they're having sex.) Why do so many guys seem to want this? Ok, I know what you're thinking. You're wondering if I let my avatar have sex with a guy. No, I didn't. That just seemed wrong in so many ways. As a matter of fact, I found myself doing exactly what women do a lot. I found myself hanging out with the girls because at least I knew I wouldn't be targeted for one single-minded purpose.
So, having experienced a little "life as a woman", I can tell you other guys a thing or two about it. Women want to do other things than just have sex. They want to pursue their intellectual interests. They want to experience life. They want to have a good conversation, have an interesting experience, and they don't want to be pursued by guys everywhere they turn! (Of course, when it comes down to it, guys don't always want sex either. No, really! Sometimes they want to go for bike ride, read really good book, play a great video game, do some programming. Really, guys don't think about sex all of the time. But when they see a beautiful woman, thoughts do go right there; it's built in.)
Girls enjoy looking beautiful and, let's face it, guys want them to look beautiful. However, just because they're beautiful, or even sexy, doesn't mean they want to have sex with any guy who just happens along. Maybe they're busy learning about a future world. Maybe they're learning how to create their own buildings. Maybe they're building their own buildings. Maybe they're just reading an interesting article in a magazine. If some guy comes along who has similar interests and if we can work both together, then maybe things will develop, but it's also possible that the woman isn't interested in starting a conversation at all and simply wants to be left alone!
I finally realized that if I wanted to investigate the "Second Life" world without being bothered, I needed to select an avatar which was totally un-gendered. I purchased a small blue sphere. That works quite well! I wonder what would happen if I started a conversation as a woman and then suddenly changed to a man? :)