Beth Granter

Freelance digital consultant for charities

Pownce wins on gender

Just signed up to Pownce, which appears to be Twitter, with file sharing and without forcing incorrect grammar on the user. Also you can group your contacts into ‘sets’ which you choose yourself. At the moment it’s invitation only/join a waiting list. I set my facebook status to ‘Anyone on Pownce?’ and within half an hour, I’d been sent an invite code. Not bad.

The name is a bit dodgy in my opinion – too close to ‘ponce’, but maybe they were playing on gaming lingo’s ‘pwn’ (meaning ‘own’, as in, ‘you totally got pwned’), and mixing that in with pounce (like a cat?).

Anyway, in the sign-up process, they’d clearly been taking notice of gender debates and, taking a light-hearted approach to the complicated subject, came up with this:

Pownce gender

Brilliant. This beats facebook’s tolerance of selecting neither gender by about a million. FYI, I chose ‘Lady’.

Beth’s pownce

Also, they only have 4 templates at the moment, but they’re very nice.

9 responses to “Pownce wins on gender”

  1. Ah ok I see what you mean. So, if the pownce category didn’t want to put ‘sex’ (I don’t think many people are biologically born a chicky-poo!), it could put ‘gender identity‘, which is different from just ‘gender’.
    So, your sex might be female, your gender masculine, and your gender identity male.
    I wonder if someone could have a feminine gender with a gender identity of male. Maybe a really camp guy who is feminine from society’s point of view, but still considers himself male? This is getting confusing…
    …also, yesterday on the phone to my brother, he invented a new gender identity for geeky girls: the ‘femme-bot’, which sounds quite cool to me. But, googling it just now, seems it exists as a female robot thingy. It’s nice of people to build a cool female-bodied robot, but reading the review and comments on that page, it’s depressing – they’re all about sex! I doubt if someone had brought out a new robot that was male you’d get so many people commenting on how hot his physique was, or whether he had bits between his legs. But then, this isn’t just a new robot, it’s a female version of an existing male robot (I think), so its only defining feature is its biological sex, so maybe it’s fair enough for everyone to comment on it from a sexual perspective.

  2. Right. But…

    “So your sex may be female but you might choose your gender to be male.”

    Not quite. Your sex may be female but you might choose your gender to be *masculine*.

    That Wikipedia article is also doing this, saying “The use of gender to refer to male and female as types is attested throughout the history of Modern English” but then listing examples that *only* mention “masculine” and “feminine” (as opposed to “male” and “female”). I might get in there and do a spot of editing.

    Geez, I am *such* a pedant.

  3. Yeah, there’s been plenty of jokes here in the office about the similarity to the word “Ponce.” 😉

    I find that things like the extended gender list really do a lot to add personality to a service: it’s one of your first interactions with the site and it sets the tone nicely. Kind of like sending messages from the “little moo” robot about what the “big moo” robot will be doing with your order.


    The pedant in me still gets annoyed at seeing the choice labeled as “gender”. The choices for gender should be “masculine” or “feminine.” When asking if someone is male or female, that’s their sex.

    I sound like the comic-book guy from The Simpsons, I know.

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