I remember when I first started posting on message boards some time in my early teens, how people, by and large, always tended to assume I was male unless I told them otherwise. My usernames were usually on the gender-neutral side, and my writing style back then was very concise and to the point; those factors, combined with the statistical likelihood of most forum posters in my spheres of interest being male, were probably what made people default to such assumptions about me, even though I don’t recall anything about my approaches being particularly masculine. It seemed like the only time people would really call someone’s gender into question was when they had a particularly feminine-sounding username or choice of words.
I find it interesting that, back then, whenever people referred to me by the wrong gender, my instinctual reaction was to correct them. Although I’m far from stereotypically feminine, it never occurred to me to keep my gender ambiguous, or even to pretend to be male, as several people I know have done mainly for safety reasons. I’m not sure why this is, but I’m hypothesizing that it may have to do with me wanting to “prove” certain things about my gender, that it’s okay for a girl to like video games and other geeky pursuits instead of clothes and makeup and the like.  And as I’ve likely expressed before, I haven’t really experienced all that much misogyny, particularly over more recent years, as I’ve become known for my tendency towards sarcasm and a general I-don’t-care-what-you-think attitude.
What spurred this post was a friend’s discussion as to how a person’s gender/race/class/other defining physical characteristics holds far less weight than their ideas and opinions. In a sense, I agree, but at the same time, many of those ideas and opinions are, in and of themselves, formed by how we’ve been treated with respect to these characteristics we possess. There are many assumptions that people make about me when they find out I am female, and in truth, I mostly wish they wouldn’t. At the same time, however, my being female has given me many important perspectives on issues I likely wouldn’t have even blinked at had I been born male. That, in itself, balances out all the disadvantages.