Friday, February 9, 2007

The Gender Genie gets it wrong! ;(


As I think that many -- if not all -- of you are aware, I'm of the female persuasion. After all, as a perusal of the About Me section of this blog will show, I've hardly gone out of my way to hide the nature of my gender.

When I first started regularly contributing to discussions and such on the internet, however, I -- and Brian, the webmaster of Hong Kong Cinema: View from the Brooklyn Bridge (the site where I made my debut as a Hong Kong movie reviewer) -- had thought that it might be safer and such for me to not be all that open about my gender. Hence my writing there -- and in subsequent cyber locales, including originally on the Mobius Home Video Forum (before the institution there of a policy which requires posters to use their real names) -- as YTSL (which, if anyone wonders, are my initials).

At some point during it all though, Brian told me that, the way he saw it, my writing (style) couldn't help but give away the fact that I'm female. And I have to say that e-mails I received from certain of my readers -- specifically, those containing lines like "I imagine that you look like The Bride with White Hair..."(!) or "I have this image of you as like Maggie Cheung in Irma Vep..."(!!!) -- looked to go some ways towards confirming this. ;D

Hence my surprise when I tried out The Gender Genie -- a program designed by a couple of professors to predict the gender of an author -- and on each of the three times that I tested it out (and with three different excerpts from this blog at that), got identified as being male! (Though, in truth, I did have some advance warning by way of a piece about this program by Virginia DeBolt entitled New Data Shows I'm Male and the comments by female readers who had gone out and given The Gender Genie a twirl themselves.)

So...here's asking for some willing volunteers from among this blog's readers to ask The Gender Genie to figure out their gender. And since I thus far only know of females who have submitted samples to be analyzed, here's especially calling on those of the male gender to give it a go and then report back about the results via this entry's Comments section! :b

11 comments:

leo86 said...

Okay, I'm a male and I submitted an old Mobius post I did about movie stars (600 words) and the Gender Genie thought I was...female! Apparently I use a lot of keywords that are considered feminine, y'know, like "with" and "if" and "when" and "be" and "she." So watch out, guys! Choose your words carefully or you'll never get that writing job with Maxim or GQ. (But maybe you ladies can!) :DDDDDD

Anonymous said...

I submitted a 498-word post (http://www.alivenotdead.com/node/1847) and Genie says I write like a girl. All right! Wouldn't want it any other way.

GurlonFilm

sbk said...

I'm female and submitted 3 very different writings- a recent Mobius post about NOMAD, part of a memoir and my Mobius Best 2006 DVD choices. All three said I was a male and by 200-300 points on each entry. So does that mean I can write for Maxim or GQ???

YTSL said...

The latest: I submitted this latest blog entry (the one that begins with "As I think that many -- if not all -- of you are aware, I'm of the female persuasion...") and still got identified as male by the Gender Genie!

So, GurlonFilm, I'd be very worried if I were you about being told by the Gender Genie that you write like a girl! And thanks, leo86, for showing that the Gender Genie doesn't just mis-identify the gender of females like sbk -- whose writing I've always found very feminine, particularly in its modesty! -- and myself. ;D

Anonymous said...

ytsl:
Huh, why should I worry? Please splain... I am female after all. (?)

GurlonFilm

YTSL said...

Hi GurlonFilm --

I was joking that since the Gender Genie has got everyone else's gender wrong thus far, if it guesses that you're female, chances seem to be higher that you're actually a male... ;)

Anonymous said...

ytsl:
haha. Well, the female word count just barely edged out the male word count by 2. Wonder what would happen if the fm and male word count were equal. (!)

GurlonFilm

YTSL said...

Hi again GurlonFilm --

Goodness re the Gender Genie's decision as to your gender being such a close one! And tee hee hee at the thought re what would happen if the female and male word counts were equal... ;D

just me said...

I've tried it several times and each time they thought I was male. The only time The Gender Genie got it right was when I tried a piece which was more nostalgic and then it finally did identify me as female.

alejna said...

I'm apparently a hermaphrodite in my writing style. I tried 4 posts, and got half male, half female.

YTSL said...

Hi "just me" and alejna --

Interesting that the Gender Genie has gone different ways with different pieces of your writing(s)! As for me: When a piece you wrote that begins with "As I think that many -- if not all -- of you are aware, I'm of the female persuasion..." still gets adjudged to have been written by a male, you just want to give up...on the Gender Genie that is! ;D