Where's the rainbow?
It's a question you've probably been asking yourself for a long time, and wishing you had a scientific way to find out. Well, wish no longer.
Where's the rainbow?
During Pride week, we at SW took it upon ourselves to quantify the gayness of everything from Michael Jackson songs to architecture; conversely, our friends across the ocean at Stockholm Pride are quantifying the hetero-ness of Twitter feeds.
Just enter a user's name and the precision calculator will determine the hetero percentage of his or her feed. (SW's feed, for example, is 52% hetero, based in part on our use of words such as "pride, amazon, monster, david bowie, and cheap.") It's a lead-up to the festival's discussion of "hetero norm [the assumption that hetero is normal and the marginalization of all things non-hetero] and how it restricts us all." Just as with quantifying gayness, it's not always understandable, but it is fun to play.
So how restricted by the hetero norm are Seattle's Twitter feeds? We look at government agencies, mayoral candidates, and other public figures to find out:
WSDOT (@wsdot): State transpo agency benefit from linguistic overlaps--terms "bridge" and "trans" help it to a 63% hetero rating. The calculator calls the feed "semi-hetero" and says, "Like chocolate chip ice cream, you don't know what you want to be. Basically it's vanilla ice cream but what's the deal with the chocolate thingies? Luckily, most people like chocolate." Luckily, indeed.
Seattle Police Department (@seattlepd): The men and women in blue clock in at just 36% hetero, thanks to words like "available, capitol hill, blk, bear, burglar." The feed, says the calculator, is "a bit retro-hetero. Take care of your hetero memories, they're as important to you as a flannel shirt was to grunge." It would be nice if grunge--with its combo of macho growls and dress-wearing men like Kurt Cobain--had a Twitter feed so we could assess its hetero-ness, once and for all.
Michael McGinn (@mcginnformayor): Bear-ish Mayoral candidate is just slightly less hetero than WSDOT, the folks who will be planning the tunnel he so loathes. McGinn scores a 61%, making him also like chocolate chip ice cream. If only "tunnel" chipped away at hetero-normativity the way "bridge" does.
Norman Sigler (@normansigler): The man with a million ideas has a Twitter feed that's 56% hetero, thanks to "community, shelter, parade, pride, design." Sigler, says Stockholm Pride, is "as hetero as low-fat mayonnaise."
Jan Drago (@jandrago4mayor):
Jan Drago (@jandrago4mayor):City Councilmember and mayoral hopeful's enlightened feed is only 1% hetero, tying her with @brunovassup for non-hetero-ness, beating out even @perezhilton, who scored 2%.
Ron Sims (@simsron):
Ron Sims (@simsron):Tweetaholic gay-marriage proponent and inveterate hugger is 76% hetero, also known as "Winnebago hetero. Get the kids, pack the grill, and for the love of God, don't forget the SpongeBob DVD."
King County Council (@kccouncil):
King County Council (@kccouncil):Regional body isn't quite as quick to shed the hetero norm, says the calculator, which scores it at 84% and says "You're as hetero as black coffee. Bitter, unpretentious, and doubtless popular. But what's the deal with that burnt aftertaste?" That burnt aftertaste, calculator, is a big budget deficit.
There you have it, Tweeps. Go forth and tweet your own liberation from the hetero norm.