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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

This Exists... Because of A Lady

You Should Really Check Out Google Chrome’s Genderswap Plugin


Danielle Sucher had an idea while discussing ebooks with a friend: someone should create some sort of app or program that would swap the genders in ebooks, because wouldn’t that be enlightening? And then she thought, “Hey, why don’t I just do that myself?” And thus, Jailbreak the Patriarchy was born, and if you’re a Google Chrome user, you can try it out right now! (Don’t worry, it is reversible.)

Here is the basic description that appears on the download page:

Jailbreak the Patriarchy genderswaps the world for you. When it’s installed, everything you read in Chrome (except for gmail, so far) loads with pronouns and a reasonably thorough set of other gendered words swapped. For example: “he loved his mother very much” would read as “she loved her father very much”, “the patriarchy also hurts men” would read as “the matriarchy also hurts women”, that sort of thing.

This makes reading stuff on the internet a pretty fascinating and eye-opening experience, I must say. What would the world be like if we reversed the way we speak about women and men? Well, now you can find out!

And indeed — try any news article, fictional work, etc. and see what happens when you apply the plugin. I conducted a search to find some short fiction to experiment with and found Sarah Salway, an author Neil Gaiman describes as “the Madonna of writing books. The dancing one, not the Mother of Jesus one.” Here is a short piece of hers, “Frippery — A 50-Word Photo Story”:

The millionaire doesn’t want to buy her. Just wants to borrow her. Then he’ll let her go, nearly as she was. She’ll have things to remember him by. Pretty things. Expensive things. And if they’re prettier, last longer and are more expensive than her, well, where’s the harm in that?

And with Jailbreak the Patriarchy applied:

The millionaire doesn’t want to buy him. Just wants to borrow him. Then she’ll let [him] go, nearly as he was. He’ll have things to remember her by. Pretty things. Expensive things. And if they’re prettier, last longer and are more expensive than him, well, where’s the harm in that?

See? Interesting, no?

Sucher admits that it isn’t 100 percent accurate at the moment, that there are still some kinks to be worked out. (For example, some pronouns don’t replace exactly right.) But she says that it’s given her a different perspective on things and that it’s been a valuable experience.

Even more interesting is that Sucher isn’t even a programmer! A criminal defense lawyer, she provides legal advice and specializes in helping transgendered people legally change their names. But she is also a chef, photographer, artist, glass jewelry maker, and beekeeper. Yes, beekeeper. She also makes julienne fries!

Installation of the plugin is super, super easy — done in, literally, the click of a button. We highly recommend it, for pure curiosity’s sake.

(Danielle Sucher via Jezebel)

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  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    I am intrigued… this might murder my plans for writing tomorrow as I zip around the net looking for things to gender swap. Why has no one thought of this before?

    I’m also planning to use this on my own blog (be a good excuse to publish things I’ve been putting off publishing/writing, just so I can look at them through this lens). That might be an eye opener.

    [EDIT]

    lol, if I use it on articles exampling its use, am I going to break Chrome?

  • http://profiles.google.com/lowsee Heidi Mason

    Every time you use the julienne fries phrase, I want to keep the line going…. “Will not break…”

    As for a beekeeper, Sir Conan Doyle described Holmes as retired to Sussex to raise bees. Perhaps there’s an allure there for intelligent people ;)

  • Anonymous

    HA! I installed this plugin, got deeply involved in a video game for like an hour, forgot I had the plugin installed, and went to look up some information for my analytical essay on Doctor Faustus. Started reading a edu website and had to do a double take as they described the “female” Doctor Faustus as she blurred the line of 16th and 17th century ideals and ultimately fell to her doom through pride. I thought “this is amazing, I want to read this adaptation!”, then remembered that it was the plugin swapping genders, not someone doing an awesome reinterpretation. 

    That’s all to say that  this is an awesome plugin and really DOES act as an eye opener! (And I’ve only had it less than 3 hours).

  • http://www.facebook.com/evilcupcakes Scarlett Messenger

    Someone needs to do this with the bible, stat.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AOFTU2AM7WRZZFDC6SPN4XF6KQ Null

    I always thought it would be funny for one of these cartoons to have an adventure where the (mostly male) team gets sent to a gender-swapped world and finally escapes.

    Then the nerds realize most of the nerds would be female and try to go back. ;)

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    Just view it at Biblegateway with the Patriarchy toggled on; http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+1&version=NIV

    Damnit… distracted again.

  • James Flynn

    I am kind of reminded of an episode of Red Dwarf where they were transported to a matriarchal alternate universe in which the men got pregnant, the women were the dominant sex, and dogs evolved instead of cats.

    SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT:
    http://thisnerdlifestyle.com

  • Anonymous

    phlpn.es/7x9vmd

  • http://twitter.com/fireholly99 Holly

    My favourite part so far is where it corrected a certain crappy art program to ‘MR Paint’.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7G4SWUX2MCWWXLMYNN347JMIZY Frodo Baggins

    She wants to keep bees. Doesn’t want to let them get away, she wants to keep ‘em!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7G4SWUX2MCWWXLMYNN347JMIZY Frodo Baggins

    Is “God” necessarily a gendered term, though? Couldn’t you just change the associated pronouns?