The Google Inc. Chrome icon is reflected in water droplets for an arranged photograph in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Oct. 15, 2012.
Photograph by Andrew Harrer—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Jailbreak the patriarchy!

By Valentina Zarya
May 30, 2017

There’s an app for everything these days—including fighting the patriarchy.

On Tuesday, a Reddit user with the handle breadditor_ described an experience many working women will find familiar: “I was sick of being referred to as a girl instead of a woman in the workplace.”

It’s a common gripe, but this particular woman found solace in an original way; she created a Google goog Chrome extension that changes the words “man” and “men” into “boy” and “boys” on the Internet. She writes about her plug-in: “In a dream world, I would love to be able to have the more misogynistic men in my workplace install it on their laptops to recognize how belittled I sometimes feel with some of the language that gets used to describe me.”

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This is not the first time women have turned to browser plug-ins to illustrate how powerful language can be in promoting—or undermining—gender equality. Here are a few other helpful applications that any tech-savvy feminist will appreciate:

Just Not Sorry: A Gmail plug-in that underlines common qualifiers (think “sorry,” “just,” and “I’m no expert but…”) and gives the writer additional information about how the phrase will be perceived.

Feminist News Feed Eradicator for Facebook: This handy app will block out your entire (you read that right) Facebook mini-feed and replace it with an empowering quote by a woman.

Jailbreak the Patriarchy: Installing this app will reverse the gender of everything you read in Chrome (other than emails). If you’ve ever been curious about how differently we speak about men and women, this is the app to try.

Gender Blinder: Exactly what it sounds like, this plug-in neutralizes gender-specific words (e.g. changes “he” to “they”).

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