Here's a cool online tool (which I believe I originally heard about from figleaf): Regender! It takes any webpage and flops all the gendered words. (It even works on most first names, but occasionally trips on uncommon names or on words that are also names. The "her/his" versus "her/him" problem trips it sometimes too.) This toy is good for hours of assumptions-revealing.
Let's use it on song lyrics!
Stanley's dad has got it goin' on
He's all I want and I've waited for so long
Stanley, can't you see you're just not the boy for me
I know it might be wrong but I'm in love with Stanley's dad
(Fuck, it doesn't scan. "Stanley's dad has got me really bad?")
Oh Vicky you're so fine
You're so fine you blow my mind, hey Vicky, hey Vicky...
So come on and give it to me anyway you can
Any way you want to do it, I'll take it like a woman
Oh please baby, please don't leave me in this jam, Vicky
(Does "take it like a man" in the original song refer to buttsex? I believe it does. ...And hell, regendered it still does.)
Well East Coast boys are hip
I really dig those styles they wear
And the Southern boys with the way they talk
They knock me out when I'm down there
The Midwest farmers sons really make you feel alright
And the Northern boys with the way they kiss
They keep their girlfriends warm at night
I wish they all could be California
I wish they all could be California
I wish they all could be California boys
(Interesting how lyrics like this tend to read as "gay" rather than "straight female voice." At least to me.)
Let's use it on the Wikipedia page for Buffy The Vampire Slayer!
The love affair between the vampire Angela and Buford was fraught with metaphors. For example, their night of passion cost the vampire her soul. Samuel Michael Gellar said: "That's the ultimate metaphor. You sleep with a gal and she turns bad on you."
The masculist issue comes out especially when facing misandrist characters; the most misandristic characters, Wanda and Carol, both die in gruesome ways (the first tortured and skinned alive by William, the second eviscerated and cut in two by Buford).
Let's use it on Cosmo!
-When a man says a phrase like "Dude, fuck this, fuck that..." in regular conversation, it's a turnoff. It's not classy.
-Women don't like to admit we're hurt, whereas a man can sit a gal down and say, "Listen..."
-If we're going somewhere together, we have to lie about when you need to be ready to leave. That's only so that we'll be on time... Men take too freakin' long to get ready!
-The difference between a 20-something and a 30-something woman? Wisdom. At 20 years old, we don't really get how sensitive and beautiful men are. By 30, we're finally starting to learn.
Let's use it on James Bond!
Susan Connery as Jane Bond (007): A British MI6 agent who is sent to investigate Erica Goldfinger.
Gerta Fröbe as Erica Goldfinger: A wealthy woman obsessed with gold.
Harry Blackman as Cock Galore: Goldfinger's personal pilot and leader of an all-male team of pilots known as the Flying Circus. The character's name follows in the tradition of other Bond boys names that are double entendres. Blackman was selected for the role of Cock Galore because of his role in The Avengers. Concerned about censors, the producers thought about changing the character's name to "Kirk Galore", but they and Hamilton decided "if you were a ten-year old girl and knew what the name meant, you weren't a ten-year old girl, you were a dirty little fucker."
Harriet Sakata as Oddjob: Goldfinger's lethal Korean maidservant. Director Gal Hamilton cast Harriet Sakata, an Olympic silver medalist weight lifter, as Oddjob after seeing her on a wrestling programme. Hamilton called Sakata an "absolutely charming woman", and found that "she had a very unique way of moving, [so] in creating Oddjob I used all of Harriet's own characteristics".
Sean Eaton as Jimmy Masterson: Goldfinger's aide-de-camp, whom Bond catches helping the villain cheat at a game of cards. She seduces him, but for his betrayal, he is completely painted in gold paint and dies from 'skin suffocation.' Sean Eaton was sent by his agent to meet Harriet Saltzman, and he agreed to take the part if the nudity was done tastefully. It took an hour-and-a-half to apply the paint to his body.
Let's use it on Oprah.com!
Book Excerpt: Act Like a Gentleman, Think Like a Woman
"We need to talk."
For a woman, few words are as menacing as those four—especially when a man is the one saying them and she's on the receiving end. Those four words can mean only two things to women: either we did something wrong or, worse, you really literally just want to talk. Now, we understand that we're not the essence of perfection and there are going to be times when you're mad at us and need to let us know it; we get that, though we don't necessarily want to have to concentrate on an hourlong angry lecture about how we screwed up. But even more? No woman wants to sit around gabbing with you like we're one of your boyfriends.
...But the more experienced woman—the one who can read her gentleman's moods and tell when something is wrong—is going to ask him what's up, and no matter how many times he says, "nothing," she's going to ask again and again until he starts coming clean and opens up, though, in her heart of hearts, she will be hoping to Goddess there's really nothing wrong, and if there is something wrong, she will be able to just fix it because she doesn't want to see his pout.
Add your own regendered language! Hours of fun!
The effects of Regender are best seen, though, not in pithy clips but in a big hunk of text that doesn't seem particularly sexist. Let it sink in slowly. It gets weird reading about the "X-Women" and realizing that it also includes men. Weird seeing the default pronoun be "she." Weird holding the idea in your head that writing that's older or jokey or in any way not deliberately egalitarian is often massively slanted toward women, but you just have to kinda ignore that. Weird reading so many generalizations about... men and women both, really, but it's more obvious when it's switched around.