Stick-Figure Sexism
December 29, 2009, 6:33 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Quick quiz: what is the gender of this figure?

It’s a trick question of course, since this is a stick figure with no features that would indicate its gender. If your first thought was that the figure is male, you just exhibited Stick-Figure Sexism, which is a term I just made up to mean that if you are given no information about someone’s gender, you assume they are male. In the twisted world of Stick-Figure Sexism, being male is normal, while being female is a special and unusual state of affairs.

xkcd is a serial offender: the characters with no features to indicate their gender are clearly intended to be male, while the female characters are given long hair to indicate their femaleness. Being male is the default, while being female is an added-on extra.

Fun fact: xkcd’s Attribution-NonCommercial license means it is perfectly legal not only to copy and share xkcd comics (so long as no money changes hands) but also to detourne them.

Original version of this image


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