Gender Swap

I’m sure you’ve heard: The Doctor is now a woman! Neat! I’m not here to talk about that, because I saw this tweet in response:

SO I DID.

Animaniacs, Pinky & the Brain, Freakazoid

Yakko and Wakko as girls and Dot as a boy? It totally works! You really don’t even have to change anything. No, technically, you don’t have to change their reactions to attractive people.

Pinky & the Brain also super works too and the show kinda needed more female characters so yeeeah. I even once wrote a story in the past with a character who was basically a female version of The Brain so I can confirm it still works.

Freakazoid was the only one I had a bit of trouble with at first but then I got over it. Actually would female Freakazoid be a Manic Pixie Dream Girl with no guy to be a supporting character to? (I know Steff was his girlfriend later but he’s still the main character?) I guess he (she) wouldn’t really be pixie. I guess Freakazoid is more of a Cloudcuckoolander. Look I don’t organize tropes I just write them and then people tell me what tropes I’ve used, or at least they would if they’d put me on TV Tropes. Someone go do that.

Sheep in the Big City

I’ll wait a moment for you to look that up.

Anyway just reverse the entire Secret Military Organization. Which really just means they’re all female now, except maybe the Plot Device, who is still a robot but with a male voice. It still works, except it again took me a bit on General Specific, but I think I got it conceptualized. Also, Ben Plotz. Have a female narrator!

Actually I recently realized I missed a great opportunity to give Wally in the Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos a gender-neutral name. There’s no reason they should be male, and in fact good reason for them to be neither, so Wally is officially a gender-neutral name and Wally is referred to with a they pronoun. Anyway! With those two shows considered I started thinking of other forms of media!

Discworld

Why haven’t we had a female grim reaper?

I mean I wouldn’t be surprised if something has had a female personification of Death but I don’t know of one.

Also I don’t know if The Luggage counts as male but if it does there wouldn’t be much of a difference as female.

Despite what Granny Weatherwax might say, I could not only see the wizards and witches be swapped, I’m not sure there’d be a difference!

And there’s no reason the Night Watch couldn’t be swapped. Sam Vimes, Sergeant Colon, and yes, even Nobby.

Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos

wait these are mine. and top is neuter. Okay actually if the CCC is ever adapted into a media with sound Top should definitely be voiced by a female voice actor.

Super Mario

Female Fawful? Works for me! Male Cackletta? That’s just Antasma. Female Waluigi? wa. (That’s Waluigi for “yes”) Female Count Bleck, female Dimentio? YES

Banjo-Kazooie

Why is it so hard to imagine a male Gruntilda? Maybe it’s because she’s such a figgin awesome female villain and those are always precious. Anyway, as soon as I imagined her not as a witch but as a wizard or warlock or something IT STILL TOTALLY WORKS

Sonic the Hedgehog

okay i draw the line at eggman losing his mustache

JUST KIDDING FEMALE EGGMAN WOULD BE COOL TOO

I’d also be super down with female Tails and Team Chaotix.

Nedroid

Female Reginald and female Beartato would also be cool and I want to see Anthony Clark do that actually.

Homestuck

Let’s be honest, there’s probably enough fan-fiction out there that every character is gender-swapped at some point, and I’m okay with this. Female Spades Slick!

Anyway I hope none of this is offensive, or maybe I hope all of this is offensive. It’s hard to tell!

Random chance in writing

I actually randomize a…n almost bizarre amount of stuff in the Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos. Some events I randomize–I’m pretty sure the initial setup of the four battles in chapter 17 of Darmenzi had the participants of the four fights randomized, and from there I just wrote how it would naturally play out. I hadn’t planned how they would turn out (though the orb then got nabbed by someone else anyway so it wasn’t that critical, I guess).

But that’s not all. Every time I develop a new character, whether premeditated for a future book or someone written in as I’m writing, I’ll open up a random number generator and randomly determine a number of features for the character, gender/sex being a big one. Regardless of any preconceived notions I have about a character, I’ll randomize what sex they are. (A lot of older characters I didn’t do this for because they’ve existed in such a way for so long.) Another datapoint: glasses. It turns out a lot of people nowadays need corrective eyewear. It’s not really such a nerd accessory anymore, and you can’t remove the need for vision correctiveness by just being cool (although you can just wear contact lenses, I guess).

Oh yeah, and sexual orientation. That’s randomized.

(Not all of these things are fully randomized, and some of them could be subject to change as I get to know a character. One character just had to have eyeglasses. Another character I simply realized, as I worked out the plot for a future story, was certainly homosexual.)

Anyway, my point here is that I randomly determine so much in writing that why don’t I try to use it to help me write blog posts? TO WIKIPEDIA’S RANDOM ARTICLE FEATURE

ong what if someone wrote a story with wikipedia’s articles as the characters, and there’s a group of article characters that are orphans ong

Er… there are a lot. Like, more than the population of a big town. More than the population of the town I used to live in.

And they’re all on a deserted island alone. There’s a Wikipedia war or something, probably like an edit war, and the orphaned articles get stranded on an island filled with pies, and only one of them can be Lord of the Pies, coming this fall to Reality Show TVision.

It and They and Thon und Es; Pronouns, Pronouns! What a Mess.

So gender-neutral pronouns. English kind of failed at this; I blame Christianity. But I’m not here to blame things, I’m here to talk about solutions!

Anyone who’s read some of my stuff might notice I use “it” as a gender-neutral pronoun, used for when things don’t have a gender, have a single-gender structure, or people just don’t know the gender (though for the last one I’ve started going off what the main character assumes it is.) This works particularly well for robots because they’re machines. “It” also seems to work well for non-human characters because, well, hey, they’re not humans, clearly they are animals then so “it” is totally fine.

But this means if I did have humans appear, the possibility of using “it” would come into play. I try to stay consistent with it, but of course it is impersonal. At this point, allow me to break out Dinosaur Comics. I got to thinking this actually after watching this interview on The Colbert Report with Janet Mock (no idea who she is, by the way).

Yeah, okay, look back at the talking dinosaurs. “They” does not have to be plural, but let’s talk about grammar. My professor for a Philosophy class in college pointed this out, actually. You can say “They ate the pizza,” and it’s all fine, maybe it’s a group of friends, maybe it’s a real hungry individual. Fine. Everyone’s fine. But if “they eat the pizza,” then that has to be a group of friends. If it’s one real hungry individual it’s, “They eats the pizza.” This, of course, is because it would otherwise be “He eats the pizza,” or “She eats the pizza.”

So the problem with “they” is to be grammatically correct, you have to totes sound like you’re being grammatically incorrect. If we then go with Thon like in Dinosaur Comics, well, it’s just rather jarring in normal reading.

So why don’t we do what English does best and steal words from other languages? Let’s steal German’s “Es”. Hex, we can even just dump the dative and genitive cases like our other pronouns and just have “es” and… “es”. Wow. That’s another problem with “it”: there’s just it, it, it, and it, whereas with he and him/she and her we at least have some semblance of what we’re talking about.

What’s the solution? I haven’t gotten a figgin clue. These four (it, they, make it up, and steal foreign words) seem the best solutions, or at least the four I can think of right now. I might stick with “it” because it’s (or they’s) (or thon’s) (or es ist) the least disconcerting–I demand myself to stick with grammar unless I don’t want to, and since I want to in this case, I would use singular grammar for they, making it look weird. Then thon is, again, just jarring, and foreign words might scare people. I dunno. ES IST BEÄNGSTIGEND!

But maybe someday crazy writers can change language to better suit the world. Shakespeare did, or at least to suit himself. For now, I’ll stick with “it”, probably, but does anyone out there who doesn’t read this use a certain pronoun? (If you do read this, you can comment, too.)