Well, plenty, as a friend’s wife found out (she probably already knew it, but now she has practical experience plus proof). As a serial joiner of social networking sites, one day she found herself in hot water when she signed up on one specific site; her mailbox was suddenly bombarded with e-mails from dudes wanting to friend, or befriend (for those who are sticklers for authentic English grammar), her.
Finding herself suddenly elevated to the status of an Indian Nobel laureate – and having meagre resources to deal with the issue at hand by herself (her spouse, i.e., my friend, totally distanced himself from the issue, very unlike this dude) – she suddenly had a brainwave. Unlike our friendly Nobel laureate (who could not unNobel himself), she just changed her gender*. Voila! No more e-mails!! 😉
Wait! There is more (history). When I heard her story, an old wound came alive. Almost two decades ago (give or take a year or two), I had struck up a good e-mail friendship with a girl who lived far, far away from where I did. Now, as all you readers are probably (hopefully) aware, I am 100% certified male. However, as a South Indian, my name can be confused as a girl’s name – especially by folks who are not South Indians (and even by some South Indians). In those days before www, there was no way of knowing the gender of a correspondent unless he/she specifically (and truthfully) volunteered that information.
As most of our correspondence was related to old film songs and FOB kinda stuff, I did not see any real reason for me to specifically proclaim that I was/am a male. Not only that, I thought that I had made specific references to my short hair, my moniker (Porcupyn) etc that I thought was sufficient for her to realize my gender.
And so it went on for some time. One day, for some reason, I said something that was specifically male. I have no idea what it was that outed me. Anyway, at that point, it became obvious to me that she had no idea until that time that I was actually a male.
Obviously, I did a ROTFL right there and e-mailed her what I was having a paroxysm. I don’t know whether it was the ROTFLing or the fact that she felt deceived – though I still don’t know why she should have felt that way – but I never heard back from her since I sent that e-mail.
Tejaswini, wherever you are, I think you owe me one big apology! 🙂
* = online profile only!!