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What she said - flipping genders on the web

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Joined: 12 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 1:23 pm    Post subject: What she said - flipping genders on the web Reply with quote

This is a funky idea -- there's a Google Chrome extension that changes the gender of words when you're reading a page.

To Danielle Sucher, it’s worth considering a Pride and Prejudice opening that reads: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single woman in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a husband.”

If only for what it does to your way of thinking.

Lawyer, artist, chef, beekeeper and now tech developer, [Danielle] Sucher has created Jailbreak the Patriarchy, a Google Chrome extension that swaps the gender of words.

... Unlike the earlier gender swap program regender.com, Jailbreak can sit on your browser fiddling with everything until you turn it off.

“I hope people will have the same experience as I have and forget that it’s there. Then they’ll see a really weird, cool book with a female protagonist and have to remember the world doesn’t work that way at all,” she told the Star on Monday.

... She’d be happy to see the language more gender-neutral and will post her code on github.com for anyone who wants to extend her idea into a gender-neutral application.

Toronto Star.

Any Chrome users who want to give it a shot and see what it's like to read things differently?

I don't remember hearing about "regender.com" so I went over there and popped in the url for another article I was reading about the Pickton inquiry, which was quite the bizarre experience; possibly that article wasn't the best choice. So I considered situations involving a lot of men making decisions (yup, pretty broad, world news, politics, most power positions) and went to Google News seeking some headlines.

A story about the new RCMP Commissioner becomes:

The more gloomy perspective stems from the fact that new RCMP commissioner Bobbie Paulson is a product of the troubled organizational culture she is being asked to fix. And there seems to be no compelling evidence that she did much of anything to address the deep and systemic problems that have helped erode public confidence in the Mounties while a member of its senior management team.

In other words, she is part of the problem, not the solution.

... Regardless of which viewpoint you subscribe to, there is no question that Commissioner Paulson has taken on one of the toughest jobs in the country. Beyond the public’s loss of confidence in the iconic institution she now heads, she inherits a work force whose morale has never been lower.

... The new commissioner is well aware of the long list of problems she must address, new sexual harassment allegations being chief among them. How she deals with those explosive charges will offer an early indication of what type of leadership she intends to provide.

... If Ms. Paulson is going to instill a sense of pride back into the RCMP, it will take more than the solemn pledges she offered at her first news conference. She may well have to tear down the force to build it back up.

And a story about Pat Martin tweeting how pissed off he was at the Conservative government:

From time to time, Winnipeg NDP MP Pat Mary [Martin] sets aside her natural shyness to draw attention to issues that she believes are being overlooked.

... On Wednesday, when the Conservatives moved a motion in the House to end debate on a budget bill, Mary pulled out her BlackBerry and vented her frustration on Twitter.

... "For goddesses sake. In these uncertain economic times, don't you think our parliament should be debating our federal budget? Some due diligence?"

A Twitter follower objected to the sloppy capitalization: "Sad how a foul mouth socialist capitalizes "Budget" but not "goddess."

... Mary's tweets made headlines, and that night she was on TV, looking like a bandito with her Movember moustache, emphatically declining to apologize and complaining that the government was pushing through too many bills without debate.

The Conservatives complained about Mary's bad language, but they are in a glass house, since the complainer-in-chief was Saskatchewan MP Tonya Lukiwski, who is gentlemanly and effective in the House, but was once captured on video saying worse than anything Mary tweeted.

... Former Liberal justice minister Irene Cotler, who is likely the most learned person in the House of Commons, called it "a black day for a parliamentary democracy and a shameful day for a constitutional democracy."

NDP justice critic Jackie Harriet talked for most of the day.

"Get over yourselves," she said, with the saucy egalitarianism that comes naturally to Newfoundlanders. "You're a majority."

When Harriet was first elected to Parliament in 1987, she said, and Brianna Mulroney had a majority, the government regularly adopted opposition amendments.

... Harriet wore them down. Late in the afternoon, Conservative MP Brianna Jean, who was nodding off, went to the back of the room for a coffee. Harriet pulled her aside, and they stepped out into the hallway. They came back with a compromise: two full days next week for clause-byclause debate.

The prime minister gave way, likely because Mary's vulgar tweets made Canadians pay attention to what's going on in Parliament.

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