The Unfortunate Outcome Of Gender Neutrality In Algorithm Design #writingprompt #speculativefiction

The group of white coated technicians grouped round the plinth. The leader – his status obvious to any outsider by the fact he had the biggest laminated badge around his neck and that his hands were buried in his pockets – stepped next to the beautifully crafted, if still incomplete example of Hunk 2.0. ‘We’ve allowed for you to examine the inner workings of this beauty before we complete the out-coatings. Feel free to take notes, ask questions.’

His smug smile was as well researched and the product of as many years of experimentation as the humanoid figure next to him. A hand shot up at the back. ‘Does he answer questions yet?’

The leader nodded. ‘Oh yes, he is fully aware, fully sentient.’ As the eager juniors swarmed around the rippling torso and superbly engineered thighs, Creator and Created exchanged a look of satisfaction, possibly, one might have said, of ‘love’. The leader turned back to his flock. ‘Denzil here is the product of the first gender neutral algorithmic design programme in the world. Historically we have found that the male bias has tended to create perfect specimens that are tailored to a male perspective. We have changed that.’

The same hand shot up. The leader noted the earnest female features with some annoyance. Saying someone could ask questions and someone having the temerity actually to ask them were two entirely different propositions. ‘How has that manifested itself? More empathy? A greater caring side? Less aggression?’

The leader looked at his feet. Denzil looked across, for the first time a crease of concern on his previously perfect forehead. ‘Not as such, no. No, it has taken on a somewhat more, erm, physical manifestation.’

The questioner, the leader and Denzil all exchanged looks before Denzil hurriedly pulled back the elastic on his modesty briefs. He screamed and glared at the leader.

The leader held up a hand. ‘We appreciate this wasn’t the expected, or indeed hoped for, outcome.’

The other technicians began to step back as a furious Denzil turned on the leader. He stretched out his sumptuously proportioned fingers and gripped the leader’s throat. The leader flapped helplessly. ‘Denzil, please. You need to take the positives here, have a sense of proportion.’

‘A sense of proportion? I am meant to be the perfect man and you’ve built me without even the smallest doodah.’

‘I know, but let’s face it, it could have been worse.’


‘We could have called you Ken.’ 

This has been written following May’s picture prompt from Myths Of The Mirror

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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43 Responses to The Unfortunate Outcome Of Gender Neutrality In Algorithm Design #writingprompt #speculativefiction

  1. Ha ha. Lol. I knew after reading the title that this was going to be good. I had no idea where you were going with it until the, um, peek in the briefs. What a riot, Geoff. The ending is a hoot. 🙂 Thanks for playing along. I’m looking forward to sharing. (Still giggling).

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Haha, Geoff, you are the end. Sharing.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Ritu says:

    Well… I was not expecting that outcome 🤣

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Excellent, Geoff. I’m sure there are some in this world who would vote for this solution to gender neutrality

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Perfect response to this pic!! Brilliant!!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Elizabeth says:

    This seems to have influenced by your visit to the tailor shop for the suit fitting for the upcoming production.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. willowdot21 says:

    Love this Geoff it’s excellent 💜

    Liked by 3 people

  8. LOL! Geoff… Well, the Doodah Man had a long strange trip. I guess now we know why. But “Ken”? Man, you have no shame. Hahahaha!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Reblogged this on Myths of the Mirror and commented:
    Another humorous take on the prompt. I hope Geoff’s story gives you a laugh. Enjoy!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. The poor Hunk 2’s doodah is going to cause some hoohah’s I’m afraid 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Jen Goldie says:

    😊 Well done! I resisted my response at first because it looked too “Sciencefictiony” . lol I should have taken a better look…

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I was hoping someone would notice the guy was looking down his underwear! Nice!

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Lol I lost it at the “doodah” line!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Tee hee! Good one 🤗

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Pingback: May Speculative Fiction Round-Up | Myths of the Mirror

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