Challenging the patriarchy is transphobic

Jailbreak the Patriarchy.” It’s an app for Chrome that swaps gendered words and pronouns. “He” becomes “she” and “woman” becomes “man.” Like the Hawkeye Initiative and other groups that draw male characters in the same way that female comic book characters are drawn (that is, ridiculously, anatomically impossible, hypersexual), its purpose is to highlight stereotypes, sexism, and gender roles by swapping the genders of the people being written about. Jezebel provides a few altered passages  that have a particularly jarring effect.

For the most part, this app has been well received. There is one group of people, though, who are upset by this app: evangelicals, who will not stand for men and women being discussed in any other way other than their god given form.

Oh, did I say conservative right? I’m sorry, I meant trans theorists, for basically the same reason.

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Now,  I can understand your confusion, especially with the second review. Ruthless? Wait—is this app only swapping pronouns for transgender people? Why is there an app for that? For that matter, how did they even do that? I mean, coding wise, that would require a—

This app does not target transgender people. It swaps gendered words and pronouns indiscriminately, and genderists have a huge problem with that.

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According to Rene with the little tilde over the e, there are “wrong pronouns” (and therefore “right pronouns”) for everybody. No, for everybody. Trans theorists care a lot about making sure people are addressed by the “right” pronouns, because in order for them to make any sense, gender identity has to be important to everybody. Trans people experience dysphoria, but non-trans people don’t experience a parallel sense of congruence.  Non-trans people don’t look in the mirror and go “Oh, yes, everything feels right! I’m feeling particularly in touch with my vagina, today!” The opposite of trans’ dysphoria is not congruence, it’s indifference. It’s hard to argue that gender identity is a real and innate concept when 99.7% of the population (“cisgender”) doesn’t feel the congruence between gender and body that they’re told they’re supposed to feel. For a deeper analysis on a related topic, read Liberation Collective’s critique of the term “cisgender.”

The app creator, Danielle Sucher, has responded to some of the trans backlash. You can read her comment on the matter here. Sadly, she defers to genderists, saying that “for once,” non-trans people would experience misgendering. Masculine and nonconforming women are erased from existence, and the transgender experience of misgendering is used to define the non-trans experience of misgendering. Non-trans women don’t usually go into a deep dark hole of dysphoria when someone says “Excuse me, son.” For her part, though, Sucher underscored the voluntary nature of the app: nobody is forced to install it, and if one does not want to change their view of the web, they don’t have to.

You can check out the app on Chrome here and access Firefox and Safari versions on Sucher’s website here.

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