Frequently Asked Questions
I have a great story in mind. Can you add it to the library?
We welcome others to participate. If you follow the instructions and respect copyright, you can modify texts and share them with the project.
What kind of stories are here?
Our library includes fiction, written in English, from a range of genres, lengths, points of view, and time periods. There are stores written for children, stories for general adult audiences, and even stories containing explicit sexual content. All works adapted for this project are either in the public domain or are used with permission from the copyright holder.
What is gendered text?
You can see the list of words the project has indentified as gendered, as well as gender-neutral alternatives on the project word map. For example, cowgirl/cowboy/cowhand. These words are tagged using the preparation tool and can be gender-swapped later when reading the story in the project library.
Who runs this operation?
The project is run by volunteers and is open-source. Emily Parkhurst is geek, gamer, genetic counselor, and an avid reader of all genres, including fanfic. Mark Fullmer is a poet, musician, communications teacher, and coding guru. Maggie Anton is the author of several novels, including award winning historical fiction and non-fiction.
Where did this idea come from?
The idea was inspired by the Writing Excuses podcast with special guest Shannon Hale. The assignment was to gender-swap all the characters to see how it changed the story.
How is this similar to gendering readings of a text?
When we read for gender, we might look at:
- the way ideas of femininity and masculinity are normalised (or interrogated) in a text.
- how our own expectations of how men and women should act lead us to react or respond in particular ways.
- which characters are depicted as passive and which as active.
- how femininity is often portrayed as a weakness, and masculinity as an asset.
- the way that social structures reward or punish particular sexes for their physical features and abilities.
- whether a particular sex might be omitted from a text.
- how the portrayal of women or men have become features of genres.
- From Katie Fielding