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You are in my Breeding Territory

The World of Cyber Gender Bending and Computer Cross-Dressing

October 25th, 2009 · Written by · No Comments

Computer cross-dressing sidesteps these issues because it renders genitals and gender plastic. One’s body is, to some extent, left at the door as he/she/other takes on a new form, which is precisely how four-year-old children in Wisconsin can so easily decimate muscled US Marines in a game of Halo. This does not merely collapse gender; it collapses biology itself. As Sandy Stone, professor of media at the University of Texas notes:

The change in the permeability of the boundaries between nature and technics that these accounts suggest does not simply mean that nature and technics mix – but that, seen from the technical side, technics become natural, just as, from Rainbow’s anthropological perspective on the culture side, culture becomes artificial. In technosociality, the social world of visual culture, technics is nature. When exploration, rationalization, remaking, and control mean the same thing, then nature, technics and the structure of meaning have become indistinguishable.

Cross-dressing is an act of performance off and on-line; however, the performance without a penis or scars is far less likely to invite questions. Even when gender masking does not work, it still provides individuals with a higher degree of perceived self-efficacy over the control of their identity. The performance of another gender might increase the offline acceptability of various groups that defy mainstream social standards. According to a study conducted by Miranda Mowbray for Hewlett-Packard, most Internet users who masked their gender did not do so with the intent to conceal it; rather, they attempted to express an aesthetic or philosophical concept. This may actually open the door to “consensual hallucinations” between straight and gay men; it would resemble a sexual relationship that would otherwise be impossible in the real world. On the other hand, it might actually reveal that one can be “straight” and engage in gay sex, challenging sexual identities entirely.

Individuals can upload and download pleasure. They simultaneously alter the shared space of sexual understanding, even as they are altered by it.

The rapidly expanding use of the Internet breaks down geographic barriers and connects increasingly specific demographics that could not otherwise find one another. This often takes place through the creation of online communities. Bulletin boards, chat rooms, and social networking sites enable identity-challenged individuals to search the planet for likeminded peers to cultivate a community that is more likely to survive in the vacuum of digital space. Individuals can upload and download pleasure. They simultaneously alter the shared space of sexual understanding, even as they are altered by it. This could easily give birth to entirely new concepts of identity – indeed, it already has. Sexual revolutions can take place without a shot (of any kind) ever being fired.

Online communities make the proliferation of social identities inevitable. One of two things will happen as a result. In the first scenario, the explosion of diverse identities means that social groups will be splintered or operate under a banner too broad to allow for the formation of coalitions. In the second scenario, the weight of thousands, if not millions, of new identities will crush the social norms that construct traditional identities.

The healthiness and virility of Lancer the Romancer’s digital avatar is functionally irrelevant when he is about to die at the hands of the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

The common criticism of these digital cultures is that they encourage individuals and society to forget the body, which has deadly consequences for the physically oppressed. The healthiness and virility of Lancer the Romancer’s digital avatar is functionally irrelevant when he is about to die at the hands of the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. From the perspective of academic theorist, artist, and performer, Allucquere Rosanne Stone, the fact that individuals live through the body – something Westerners tend to ignore – means there are inevitable consequences to being the world’s fattest man. This criticism becomes increasingly dangerous if the Western obsession with mind body duality actually leads people to neglect the physical world entirely.

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Tags: Essays · · ·

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