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Jailbreak the Matriarchy
November 11, 2011 2:46 PM   Subscribe

Jailbreak the Patriarchy genderswaps the world for you. A new Chrome extension by Danielle Sucher swaps pronouns and other gendered words on most sites.

The author warns: There is a known bug with the English language itself that I’m dealing with imperfectly at the moment. See, sometimes “her” should translate to “him”, and sometimes it should translate to “his”. There are a lot of tricky edge cases here.
posted by tarheelcoxn (46 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
fascinating. "Make no little plans, they have no magic to stir woman's blood". i've only had in going for a few minutes but it's already eye-opening.
posted by facetious at 2:55 PM on November 11, 2011


So would it rename me to madcapalto?
posted by madcaptenor at 2:55 PM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


interesting. the copy/paste retained the original. it showed up as "woman's blood"
posted by facetious at 2:56 PM on November 11, 2011


No, facetious, that's just jailbreak swapping it back when you view it after having pasted. Try toggling whether it's on or not.
posted by tarheelcoxn at 2:59 PM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


*doink*
posted by facetious at 3:04 PM on November 11, 2011


See, sometimes “his” should translate to “her”, and sometimes it should translate to “her”.

Can someone explain this sentence to me.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:04 PM on November 11, 2011


Also, why do so many extensions *not* work with text in gmail messages?
posted by mrgrimm at 3:05 PM on November 11, 2011


chrome extensions, that is
posted by mrgrimm at 3:05 PM on November 11, 2011


I had her (his) book so I gave it to her (him).
posted by 2bucksplus at 3:06 PM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Her" is both the objective and the possessive form of "she". However, "he" has different possessive and objective pronouns. The possessive form of "he" is "his", the objective form of "he" is "him".
posted by 2bucksplus at 3:09 PM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks. So more logically (to me):

sometimes his translates to her; sometimes his translates to hers.

(heh, like facetious, i've got the extension on, and the preview panel shows the opposite of what i type. rather confusing.)

there are some stark examples on our site:

Instead, they let her keep the office and keys. They let her putter around the training room. They gave her odd jobs running youth camps and clinics. They gave her bowl tickets. And they continued doing it for over a decade.

that simply would never get written about ANY woman.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:10 PM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


So would it rename me to madcapalto?

Nah, I know lots of women tenors.
posted by Doleful Creature at 3:10 PM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


lol. once again the extension caused all my confusion. good stuff regardless.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:10 PM on November 11, 2011


See, sometimes “her” should translate to “him”, and sometimes it should translate to “his”. There are a lot of tricky edge cases here.

Those...those aren't edge cases. Those are grammar.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:11 PM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Forgot to add: I was going to say that a pretty trivial level of parsing should take care of most of the problem, but I'm not sure how easy that sort of thing is in Javascript.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:14 PM on November 11, 2011


It's amusing he considers the possessive of her a "bug" in English, software has bugs, languages evolve. It'd be funny seeing this tried in Spanish or French
posted by jeffburdges at 3:16 PM on November 11, 2011


Instead, they let her keep the office and keys. They let her putter around the training room. They gave her odd jobs running youth camps and clinics. They gave her bowl tickets. And they continued doing it for over a decade.

that simply would never get written about ANY woman.
posted by mrgrimm at 6:10 PM


Huh? Why would that never be written about a woman? Am I missing something here, or are there plenty of women in very high level sports positions?
posted by lazaruslong at 3:18 PM on November 11, 2011


Am I missing something here, or are there plenty of women in very high level sports positions?

There aren't, which was kind of my point, and that even if there are, those women don't get the same treatment and respect men do.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:21 PM on November 11, 2011


madcaptenor: So would it rename me to madcapalto?

No, but Mr. Bad Example does become Ms. Bad Example.
posted by tarheelcoxn at 3:31 PM on November 11, 2011


I have installed this, activated it, and now I'm heading to reddit to see what I can see.

I also anticipate becoming slowly more and more confused sometime next week when I forget it's on.
posted by postcommunism at 3:36 PM on November 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


No, but Mr. Bad Example does become Ms. Bad Example.

My mighty wang is not so easily erased by something as trivial as Javascript.

Python, now...Python might just do it.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:49 PM on November 11, 2011


So would it rename me to madcapalto?
posted by madcaptenor


For many months I read your username as "madcaptenator" and then a few weeks ago I reparsed it. But I wasn't sure I'd interpreted it right.

I appreciate this joke on multiple levels, is what I'm saying.
posted by DU at 4:14 PM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, my username is tricky. Apparently some people think I'm some sort of capten.
posted by madcaptenor at 4:22 PM on November 11, 2011


Mad Capt. Enor, the risers on the d and t make my mind break it up that way: mad/capt/enor
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:37 PM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Doesn't this also sorta reinforce the idea that gender is an absolute binary?
posted by clockzero at 5:17 PM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


The author warns: There is a known bug with the English language itself that I’m dealing with imperfectly at the moment. See, sometimes “his” should translate to “her”, and sometimes it should translate to “her”. There are a lot of tricky edge cases here.

Reading this thread with the extension installed makes no sense.
posted by blue_beetle at 5:21 PM on November 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Doesn't this also sorta reinforce the idea that gender is an absolute binary?

No.
posted by moss at 5:30 PM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


YOU GUYS, we are gonna FREAK OUT the ESTABLISHMENT
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:34 PM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


madcapcontralto ?

/also, my name would shift.
//But it is a quote!?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:37 PM on November 11, 2011


Doesn't this also sorta reinforce the idea that gender is an absolute binary?

It could replace all pronouns with a unisex made-up word, but that wouldn't do much to make people notice "usually a word that explicitly excludes women goes here."

You can't really get from "male is the norm" to "gender doesn't matter" if you don't make a stop at "female is equally normal" first. Otherwise "other" is just going to get classified as "as weird and questionable as female."
posted by Adventurer at 5:53 PM on November 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


NPR's interview "The Story Of A Guy And His Buffalo"-------------> "The Story Of A Girl And Her Buffalo". ATC host Guy Raz becomes Girl Raz. Hee.
posted by book 'em dano at 6:09 PM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's not turning me into Halloween Jill.

*pouts*
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:24 PM on November 11, 2011


It even catches words like lady (which becomes gentleman), ma'am, niece, and bride.

But it does not catch lord, duke, king, queen, prince, princess or maid. The last oversight produces words like bridesmaid and groomsman.

Anyway, this will open up new realms of confusion as I reread Twelfth Night.
posted by incandenza at 6:33 PM on November 11, 2011


...Make that groomsmaid and bridesman.

After clicking preview, the site went with the extension-approved rearrangement instead of what had been in the text field.
posted by incandenza at 6:37 PM on November 11, 2011


I went through and did this on Wikipedia for a while a couple of years ago (since almost all articles use male pronouns generically). My changes kept getting reverted back almost immediately. The justification? By using "she" the articles were no longer gender-neutral.

...
posted by OverlappingElvis at 6:51 PM on November 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Last year I made a post about a text adventure game called Choice of Broadsides that allowed people to play through a Patrick O'Brian style story of high seas derring-do in somewhat Napoleonic setting. You could choose to play either a betesticled human or an ovaried one (it's an interesting exercise to write in a way that the script won't change). Choosing the first, everything was normal in terms of language and gender, but the latter had gender roles reversed, and the language changed to reflect that. It was very interesting, and makes more of a difference than you'd think.

[Note: Should you want to play the game without spoilers, click the latter link in this comment]
posted by Kattullus at 7:24 PM on November 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Anyway, this will open up new realms of confusion as I reread Twelfth Night.

Ow.
posted by Jehan at 8:38 PM on November 11, 2011


But does it pass the [Frank] Miller Test?
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:41 PM on November 11, 2011


What a good idea - looking forward to the firevixen version!
posted by metaman livingblog at 8:46 PM on November 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Hmmmm.....
posted by Confess, Fletch at 10:27 PM on November 11, 2011


ATC host Guy Raz becomes Girl Raz. Hee.

Under JtP, that becomes:
ATC host Girl Raz becomes Boy Raz. Hee.

I dunno if it's just some weird quirk, or if you can make an argument that it's a commentary about the infantilization of women. Maybe Guy should just go to Gal.
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:12 AM on November 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is becoming one of my favorite plugins :) Thanks for posting it! Although, it doesn't seem to work on Reddit comments. Too bad!
posted by rebent at 9:26 AM on November 12, 2011


Just when you thought ask.me's human relation questions couldn't get more confusing...
posted by ch1x0r at 11:36 AM on November 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Doubleplusgood!
posted by TSOL at 1:17 PM on November 12, 2011


I've been running this since Saturday morning and I am really liking it.
posted by subbes at 3:26 AM on November 13, 2011


It's amusing he considers the possessive of her a "bug" in English, software has bugs, languages evolve. It'd be funny seeing this tried in Spanish or French yt
posted by jeffburdges at 3:16 PM on November 11 [+] [!]


Danielle Sucher is not a "he".
posted by endless_forms at 11:18 AM on November 13, 2011


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