Or maybe not.
I have to admit that I am utterly addicted to Facebook. I justify this addiction with the fact I have no family or real friends here, so Facebook is my link to an online social support network of friendly faces that keep me sane. Prior to coming here of course I was still a Facebookophile (totally a word). I justified it because I was either studying via distance or parenting a small child at home, so my online support was still necessary…. Essentially, if there’s an excuse in the (face)book I will find it! We all have our vices and Facebook makes a nice change from all my other ones.
So there I was, participating on a Facebook thread which had devolved into a discussion about whether bikini tops are purely to cover your breasts (yep, pretty much) and if women who have no visible breasts at all can still say they have breasts (no, you strange people. Just no.) During the course of this debate I happened to mention my own breast size in a comment in which that was relevant information – no big deal in a group of women, I thought.
Five minutes later a comment popped up on the thread, addressed to me. “Why are you even here talking about breasts? Aren’t you a man?” a woman was demanding.
I sat there for a moment, confused and slightly offended that people would mistake me for a man (nothing against the lovely men in my life, but that’s not an aspiration for me!).
“Why would you think I am male?” I typed out slowly. I wanted to know why she thought that before I told her that I wasn’t. I wondered what male stereotypes I had triggered for her. I didn’t have to wait long.
“I just checked your profile page and it says you are a MALE from the Maldives!” she replied, triumphant.
It took me a minute… And then another minute to tell Mr C… And another several before I wiped the grin off my face. By that time someone else had already replied for me.
“Wonderful confusion!” they wrote, “I do not think this poster is a male in the Maldives, but that SHE lives in or near Male’, which is the capital of the Maldives.”
Wonderful confusion indeed.