Gender Bender

‘What did I ever do that you found such a weird name to give me?’ I remember asking my Mom every single day when I was a kid. Yes, I was the girl who was always asked ‘Why do you have a guy’s name?’

Then I became the girl who was called ‘shakti kapoor’ ‘shakti man’ and what not! The worst day of my school life was my 11th birthday. The school would put up your name on the notice board with flowers to wish you a happy birthday and I was pretty kicked about it. So imagine my horror when they wrote my name as Mast. Shakti Salgaokar on the blackboard! As I stood there in front of the highly decorated notice board, watching my dream wilt through the haze of my tears, every single person passing pointed to me and laughed, ‘They thought you were a guy!’

I went on to be a tomboy who took great pleasure in thrashing ‘stupid’ boys. Of course, terrorizing the ‘stupid’ boys helped. The jokes on my name obviously stopped, but somewhere, the guys all forgot I was a girl.

Of course, through college I continued to be a tomboy and only discovered the joy of being ‘girl’ like recently. That’s a different story (you can read it here). I love my name, it’s different and I have found peace with being myself!

So why am I writing this? Because something happened and I am revisiting my childhood traumas. You all know how super thrilled I am about twitter (In case, you don’t, here’s a post about it). My twitter updates have been regular and random. And I’ve even made a few friends on twitter! So anyway, I suddenly changed my twitter avatar to a nice picture of myself. And immediately, I was flooded with @ replies asking me if that was indeed me. And two tweeple actually were surprised I was a woman!

Of course, I don’t know if they were disappointed I was a woman, but I was in a bit of a shock. Did these tweeple not a get sense of my gender from my tweets? Or am I still that tomboy I used to be? I am a bit baffled. Anyway, is this a side effect of the cyberworld? You can’t see the person you’re interacting with, all you have is the assumption you’ve made about them!

PS: Check out twitter if you haven’t already done so!

7 comments for “Gender Bender

  1. January 16, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    lol 😛 I know how it feels…my name has this “Unni” which is not a tamil in Tamil it evidently means something i used to get pulled around…and those who didn’t know the other thing,used to scrawl “Unni the Panni”(unni the pig) around desks….that pic looks good 🙂

  2. January 16, 2009 at 2:37 pm


    In my defense… 🙂

    a) We discussed about the battle of sexes and how women are like this and that blah blah blah, and you agreed with me and kept referring to women as “they”, “them”, “those” etc! 🙂

    b) I’m from Mizoram, so our names are very different. My name is Kima and I wont be surprised if you think thats a girl’s name. Likewise, the only Shaktis I know are Shakti Kapoor and Shaktimaan. Hence the assumption. I am now able to distinguish a guy’s name from a girl’s name (although I have non-Mizo guy friends called Ashwini and Priya back in college – Tamilnadu)

    c) It didnt matter if you’re a girl or a guy in the end. It was great twitting along with you, regardless of whether you’re a he, a she, or an it (as @rohanbabu aptly said it). But it greatly bothered me when you asked if I was disappointed that you were a girl. I was mentally and psychologically marred. Had to go see my shrink. 😛

    d) You blogged a lot about love and relationship etc, but I didnt find that feminine at all because these days there are a lot of guys doing that too (welcome to the world of metrosexuality).

    So eventually, in the end it didnt matter. But I will be a lot more carefully when discussing about the opposite sex.. err I mean, your sexes, next time on twitter. *GRIN*

    Chill Kima! I forgave u long ago! Its just that these things make my life a little more interesting 🙂 U can still criticise girls, i do it all the time. Wait. Wasnt that why u thought i was a guy in the first place?- Shakti

  3. January 16, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    lol … what a coincidence ! I have a name that is girlish ! infact i have some funny incident of mistaken gender identity coz of name :d and yesterday while driving was thinking that i should make a post out of it !!! and here i see a similar post !!!! I kno how it feels to be but then am happy that i have a unique name for my gender 😀

  4. January 17, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    May be you should have a ‘Ms.’ prefixing your name wherever you write it. Or a feminine pseudonym for the web-world. I won’t come up with suggestions just yet. One post is too little to know one’s personality.

    Good idea! but now i shall make sure my pic is up with my profile. these misunderstandings are very hard on my self-esteem

  5. Neo
    January 19, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    I m not in mood to read any more pages! As m feeling like what Hope is feeling now (Downswing)…So, its better to leave now, to take Rest with Strong Coffee!
    N hey I’ve added ur webpage as blog surfer! May V’ll b in touch!
    Bye, Take Care!

  6. January 20, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Honestly… these things are quite evident by the person’s writing style… And I’ve been called a guy all my life coz m such a tomboy… when I finally started dating someone.. my friends said that I’ve turned gay! Honestly… Now think about THAT!!! 😀

    p.s. I didnt realise Kima was a guy till I actually looked at the pik… and that was AFTER I’d read the whole comment and was on the very last line… Damn! 😀

    Would u be an angel and not tell this to him… *Batting eyelashes* 😀

  7. January 20, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    *Bats eyelashes back at Hope flutteringly, but in a very macho and masculine way while simultaneously spitting paan on top of a land-mine.*


Leave a Reply