There was a point in time where many people were surprised to find out women had opinions. At that point in time, women dressed like this.
Conventional wisdom has not been surprised at women having opinions since at least the 1970s.
While mistake #3 and #2 may seem like an either/or situation, women who expect to be treated better on the Web are often more likely to accuse anyone who disagrees with them of being afraid of a "strong opinionated woman." Not only is this as bad as playing the race card, it insults all the other ladies in that online community who haven't been bashed, since it implies that they're not intelligent enough to be persecuted by your imaginary conspiracy.
You are not Rosie The Riveter.
If you're really insecure, you might catch yourself doing numbers two, three and four almost at the same time--basically ascribing any response you get, positive or negative, to your gender. If you find yourself doing that, just take a step back and consider if it might not have anything to do with you at all, but the content of what you said. Maybe, just maybe, people praised you for something because it was actually done well, or criticized you because you said something very stupid.
Or no one likes your weird boat drawings.
And if not, do you really want to care about what those people think anyway? I mean, anyone who likes you better just because you're female - where are they going to be when you have your sex change operation, hm?
Those are all pretty embarrassing behaviors but how many of us have really never done them or been tempted to? Which of us hasn't made some kind of avatar designed to hint that we are sexy, sexy people who think about sex (and happen to be female), or one that shows just a little part of our body like our lips or one eye, because we are not camwhores or anything, oh no, we are very dignified and secure women who are certainly not seeking compliments. We just want people to know what our left eye looks like and then a week later, our pouty, moist lips. I certainly have never done anything like that.
And which of us hasn't tried to drop some kind of hint about our femaleness in a comment about something completely unrelated? "I loved 300! Even though I was the only girl in the theater!" "Those are all very clever T-shirts. Do you think the ironic LOLcat one would look good on me, a girl? It would have to go over my boobs."
One of my earliest topics on the PWOT (now Cracked) forums was called, "Do you think I'm fat?" with a picture of me attempting to look cute. See, it wasn't attention whoring because it was a joke, get it? Because girls always ask if they're fat. I was totally just being ironic, right? I think everyone's forgotten about it by now, but I'm still living that down in my head.
Rough approximation of that photo give or take 50-pounds.
And what woman hasn't gotten upset when someone referred to her as a "he" and then went overboard correcting it? "I'm a `he'? Well my boobs, vagina, ovaries, higher risk of osteoporosis and potential ability to bear children all seem to disagree with you! I just checked, and all of those things are still there! Hell, I am scanning in a birth certificate and my passport as we speak. You sexist dumb shit."
If we don't do it now, I'm sure we all did something like it when we were younger. Everybody's got self-esteem issues, everyone needs attention. validation and to feel special. It's hypocritical to pretend women who screw up and make fools of themselves online are a separate species completely disconnected from you. In fact, the worst way to get stuck in those behaviors is to pretend you're completely past it or never experienced it.
Sure, some people do these things way too much, and need to be reminded to rein it in. But when we start acting like we're above it and forget that's where we all come from, we're going to end up as self-righteous bitches. And that's worse than any attention whore.
Do you have something funny to say about a random topic? You could be on the front page of Cracked.com tomorrow. Go here and find out how to create a Topic Page.
To further understand denizens of the Internet, check out 5 Ways to Stop Trolls From Killing the Internet and The 11 Most Common (And Sad) Internet Argument Techniques.
And stop by our Top Picks (Updated 04.23.2010) to see see an actual woman. On the Internet! Shit!