You look at a photograph. You start to think how beautiful it looks. You think the person who took the shot must have a really good eye for details and the knowledge to choose the right equipment and settings. Unconsciously, you imagine yourself in the same position as the photographer was. You imagine yourself behind the lens. Your brain conjures the image of the person behind the camera. You imagine a poetic man. You study his works. You admire his works. Then, a photograph throws you off. A self-portrait of the photographer. It is a she, not a he. You wonder why you even thought it was a he. You start thinking about how you get genders mixed up while reading a book. The author is being mysterious about his characters. He does not tell you the gender. But somehow, you have an image of either a man or a woman. It has to be either. You wonder what it is that makes you assume the gender of the character. You think it might be the language used. Maybe it is the things the character says. Or maybe the things the character does. Your assumption of the character’s gender is based on your perception of the differences between the genders. The different roles they play and the different aura they have about them. You wonder if you could live in a world without preconceived notions. You figure you can’t change your thought process. The writer reveals the gender. You read the writing again.
So, is it a she or a he?