Facebook's Leet Speak translates Female to Sandwich Maker

Summary:Facebook's Leet Speak language translation makes female gender into internet insult sandwich maker.

Some women will have an insulting discovery when they change their language on Facebook to "Leet Speak."

Facebook translates female gender into "sandwich maker."

The same thing happened to me when I made the switch just now. I guess if us girls want 1337, we have to pay a price.

UPDATE: Wednesday 01.04.12 1PM PST - the issue has not been fixed, despite comments claiming it has.

Facebook may claim this is a "crowdsourced translation" error but no one knows how long the gender-based humiliation has been in implementation.

Facebook has had Leet as a language since 2008.

Any woman on Facebook that changes her language to Leet Speak right now will have her gender made into sandwich maker - it appears that 'the internet language' delivers the universal internet insult to all women.

From January 3:

Leet speak (or "1337") is an alternative alphabet used mostly by geeks and hackers, but is known as a language of Internet origin - it's the so-called language of the Internet.

Facebook made Leet Speak a language setting (in Account Settings > Language > Leet Speak) ostensibly for whimsical uses of language settings for one's profile.

A year ago one user found out that trying the Leet language on Facebook was problematic, but their issue went ignored.

I'm guessing that Facebook doesn't have much motivation to have its employees make languages that aren't advertiser-friendly into ones that are people-friendly. You know, the same employees that are set to strike it rich very soon off of all that money they've made off advertising to 'm0ar n00bs' and '54ndwichm4k3r' types.

You might be wondering why Facebook's cutesy translation project would make gender: female into gender: sandwich maker. "Sandwich maker" is an online sexualized insult for women and a meme, best explained by Know Your Meme:

The catchphrase “Make me a sandwich” is a common reply for mocking female posters all over the internet, either to discredit or annoy them. It’s openly and intentionally sexist, and usually follows feminist claims of any kind.

The ability and willingness to make a sandwich is considered desirable for women, and motivational posters of semi-explicit women with captions mentioning, so questioning this also exists.

There are several websites in which women ask how they can make a comeback for this phrase, but they’re answer is usually returned with more sexist jokes. There are several Facebook groups dedicated to this.

Oh, like this one (content warning) and this one.

Other users have previously found Facebook's 'sandwich maker' gender insult, well, pretty insulting too.

So when the artist Lupa changed her language whimsically to Leet and was labeled as less than human, she responded with this post:

Dear Facebook,

No, switching over to leet speak as my language on my account and finding that “female” became “sandwich maker” was NOT amusing or funny or a good joke.

It was sexist and disgusting; it’s basically another version of the b*llsh*t misogynist putdown “get back in the kitchen”, used to belittle and marginalize women for entirely too long.

If FB for whatever had a “race” setting, would it be okay if the only option for black people was “n*****” or “slave”? Really, how did this even get through? This is a pretty rotten Easter egg, folks.

No love, Lupa

PS to readers - here’s where you can go report it.

Maybe this explains why the social network let those Facebook rape pages sit as 'harmless bar banter' for months, despite thousands of Facebook community complaints.

Apparently Facebook's internal community has female 1337 ("Leet") speakers that make damn good sandwiches to account for the shortcomings of their gender.

What's left of actual Facebook community female 1337 fans - well, we would rather you make your own sandwich and stuff it in your Zuckerface, thank you very much.

Facebook "sandwich maker" discovery via.

Topics: IT Employment, CXO, Social Enterprise

About

Ms. Violet Blue (tinynibbles.com, @violetblue) is a freelance investigative reporter on hacking and cybercrime at Zero Day/ZDNet, CNET and CBS News, as well as a noted sex columnist. She has made regular appearances on CNN and The Oprah Winfrey Show and is regularly interviewed, quoted, and featured in a variety of publications that inclu... Full Bio

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