Handwriting and Indian Cartoonists

25 Mar

There are lots of gender markers people worry about, beyond the physical; how ya move, your voice, and handwriting. Those are the big three I hear about. It’s easier to talk about handwriting since it’s more static. Movement and voice are sort of IRL things.

Once upon a time there was a pseudoscience called graphology. People thought you could find out a lot about personality just by looking at a person’s pen strokes. This is often contrasted with forensic handwriting analysis, which looks at whether the author of two documents is one and the same. This, too, more recently been called into question. Feel free to read more about all of this (here). The long and the short is it’s hard to figure whether one person authored two documents, and telling anything about their personality is a glorified guess akin to Miss Cleo. Just ’cause they do it on CSI doesn’t mean it’s real, ya know. We do assess gender by handwriting, though, accurately or not. Tsroadmap (here) also has a good page on this, here. Frankly, it’s hard for me to say anything “new” that’s not been said before, so I’m going to stick to myself.

I don’t know how feminine my handwriting looks, just that by it, everyone who sees it assumes a woman wrote it. Good enough for me. I tend to write pretty fast, and pretty sloppy, so that it’s gendered female is probably a small miracle. Yes, neat handwriting is generally a gender marker, as much as that sucks. Gonna write something down now so I can upload a photo.

Okay. This was authored by my executive helper, Cody the shih tsu. Apparently he’s unafraid of plagerism charges.

So, anyway, my handwriting gets read female. Apparently my script also gets read as Indian woman. Not sure how that works out, I wasn’t aware Indians wrote… uh, in some particularly unique fashion. Anyway, close enough. The other comment I get, in guy mode at school, is if I draw cartoons. Yeah, stick figures, I draw those professionally. What I’m really saying is, people still look into your writing as if it’s indicative of something about you, whether or not it is. What, you wanna be thought of as an Indian woman with a fixation on Marvel comics? You’ve come to the right place. More seriously, handwriting to me means taking your time writing and writing plenty. As Gertrude Stein said, “To write is to write is to write…” and so on. I’m sure that’s good advice, even if I don’t follow it.

And, of course, all this is about moving from one rigid gender model to another. That has it’s own problems, no doubt. Feminists rightly point out that there’s a middle ground I’m not here acknowledging. And, ya know, that anti-essentialism bit where being a woman doesn’t mean having a woman’s handwriting. That’s true, too. So, all those disclaimers.

1 Comment

Posted by on March 25, 2011 in Uncategorized


One response to “Handwriting and Indian Cartoonists

  1. Evelyn

    March 31, 2011 at 12:49 am

    My that’s a good look shih you have there


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