outdated theory?

As discussed in class and in Cameron Bailey's text, if one does not mention his or her gender or race, it is assumed that whoever it is, this person is male and white.

Is this broad statement outdated? Do alterations of these assumptions apply to certain sites that are aimed at different demographics? Can it be assumed that Brad Pitt discussion forum participants are different from bloggers on Barack Obama's website?

Is it ever safe to make assumptions as to who the general participants are? In Lisa Nakamura's article, she discusses that the new media furthers racial and cultural steretypes. My final question: Would assumptions regarding the general audience hinder one's freedom to declare their interests if the person does not fit the assumed characteristics?

I always have a gender neutral narrator in mind whenever I read blogs / websites. Its just the boring monotone voice in my head. I look for information on the web more than for opinion, so maybe that influences the voice in my head. Does it even matter who we take the author to be? I know I don't look at who wrote an article until after I read, if I ever look at all. The purpose of information on the internet is the information, not the person writing it. I am probably naive, but I don't see gender being an issue on most things i do on the internet. Then again, I am not in any chats rooms, or MUDs, doing whatever it is one does in those situations (namely, portray myself as someone I am not).

I agree with Bumpkins on the gender neutral narrator. I don't think this presumption of "male and white" is necessarily correct (then, or now), and possibly it's not even that important.
I think what's important is how you come to percieve the information/opinions given once you are made aware of who the narrator is. Perhaps the Brad Pitt discussion forum participants are different from the bloggers on Obama's website, does that make their opinions less valid? Are we less likely to read/believe one or the other?

I think because of how society constructs identity, it is sometimes necessary to be able to place/associate different attitudes with different groups/types of people. Whether or not you agree with these associations is a different matter, but you can't wander around without them.