>Now, not being an expert on child development I can only say that one of the earliest steps we make on our path to self knowledge happens around the age of 2 (ish), namely, a recognition of our gender. I am not suggesting that we know what gender is, but, shortly after we learn our Name we learn that we are a Boy or a Girl….. our first step (or second, after Name) towards an Identity….and probably well before we are conscious of our Race.
As one two year old said to me…”I know who is a Boy and who is a Girl”…..”oh” I replied “how do you know then?”….”it’s very easy, girls have hair slides and boys don’t.”
Now, as a child we realise these are two exclusive clubs you belong to, one or the other, it’s easy. There are those in later life who would like this easy state of affairs to continue as was seen recently with the attempt to outlaw same sex marriages. Some religions and cultures are very keen to segregate these two clubs, one or the other…it’s easy.
Cross-overs are rarely welcomed, some are tolerated. Of all the cross-overs, a ‘tom-boy’ is probably the most internationally tolerated gender subversive. Boys that play with dolls or dress in girls clothing are possibly the least welcomed in a community or household.
Now, coming into Second Life where ‘anything is possible’ there are those who decide to do a bit of experimenting with their identities, fair enough. No one gets very excited about a dragon in SL if they find out that he/she is not in fact a dragon in RL. This is not the case with gender experimentation.
I have two avatars, one male, one female, so, in one incarnation I am role playing a gender specific ‘game’. Unlike the dragon, I have heard gender role-play referred to as ‘deceitful’, ‘dishonest’ and other generally negative connotations. This interests me, as does anything that excites a rather illogical response.
Why does this disturb people more than the dragon?
Now, being an amateur Jungian, I always refer to the good doctor for words of wisdom as he has helped me often sort out my ideas. Jung is of the belief that the gender we are not, the opposite gender, is repressed and hides in our personal unconscious. That means…. if I am a girl, all the male parts of my psyche are forced ‘underground’ where they coalesce into an archetype he called the Animus…..and for a boy, his unconscious female psyche, Jung called an Anima.
These unconscious elements, because they are beyond conscious control (by definition as they are unconscious) are autonomous. They appear in dreams and fantasies (though we often call them by names of people we know in waking life) and take on various helpful or demonic qualities depending on the circumstances.
That means, in easy speak, Girls have boy psyches and Boys have girl psyches.
That means, in easy speak, we are both sexes…. one is conscious (biological) and one virtual (psychic).
Is this what disturbs us when people gender role-play? It shakes our (2 year old) belief that its easy to tell the difference?
For, in reality there are, one assumes, exactly the same proportion of deceitful dragons, foxes, lesbians and robots. The playing of a role does not make one more deceitful than someone who is glued to their personna.
I have a friend who has 30 alts. For me she is a sort of hero because I firmly believe that the psyche is that diverse and fragmented that choosing to represent the whole of our psyche with just one or two avatars is a poor show, the psyche is richer than that.
I would have more alts (I have 3 currently) but I forgot where I put that invitation to that Memory Enhancement Seminar as I would forget all my passwords…… that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.
I can tell you from my experience of 3 years of being female and male, sometimes at the same time, that it is quite possible under periods of extreme ‘immersion’ to experience oneself as male and as female. This may sound illogical or impossible, but I assure you this is my honest experience.
So, lighten up people… it’s a game, and a research laboratory for the psyche if you so choose.
…get more alts……. you’ll like em…