In an age where representation is sorely and justly needed, gender neutral language has become increasingly crucial—especially with written content.
Traditional writing’s constant use of masculine pronouns, titles, and terms has led to an impression that women are incapable of specific roles. Titles, especially leadership positions, such as “chief” or “chairman” as well as affiliations like “anchorman” or “businessman” push these outdated narratives even further.
To help break this norm, the University of the Philippines Center for Women’s and Gender Studies (UPCWGS) has partnered up with design agency <amplab> to create Equal Writes, a web tool that rates page content based on their gender fairness and neutrality.
“We strongly believe that gender representation is important,” says Josser Quilendrino of <amplab>, one of the minds behind the project. “And we believe women are sorely misrepresented. We’ve been used to a lot of terms and pronouns being gender biased. We want to help change that.”
Equal Writes checks webpage copy for gender biased terms and scores it a gender fairness rating. All users have to do is paste a page’s URL on the Equal Writes website.
The percentage rating also comes with singled out words from the page that are masculine, feminine, or gender-neutral. For non gender-neutral terms, users will be provided with alternative gender friendly titles and pronouns.
“We want Equal Writes to stand by those who speak out and speak up for gender equality. We want this tool to grow and learn with those people,” Quilendrino shared.
Currently, the web tool is in beta mode and therefore still in the process of improving its identification of gender biased terms and expounding its gender fair vocabulary. The more that people use it, the more it learns.
“With this tool, we want to normalize gender fairness and inclusivity. We do this by starting to neutralize the way we refer to each other,” Quilendrino said.
“We want to make ‘equal’ feel natural.”
Write it right and try the free tool by visiting equalwrites.com.ph. Share your results online using #EqualWritesPH and tagging the following: UP CWGS (@upcwgs on Facebook and Instagram); Amplify (@AmplifyPhilippines on Facebook and @ampupph on Instagram); and Amplab (@amplabinc on Facebook and @amp_lab on Instagram)