Grand Nagus Zek and Ishka, Quark and Rom's mother, arrive on the station to announce that, thanks to his relationship with the proudly feminist Ishka, Zek has added a new amendment to the Ferengi Bill of Opportunities giving females equal rights. Unfortunately, this has plunged the entire Ferengi society into chaos, Zek has been deposed as Grand Nagus, and Liquidator Brunt is now Acting Grand Nagus — a position that will become permanent in three days. Sure that Ishka's amazing business sense will win them over, Zek invites the commissioners of the Ferengi Commerce Authority to the station, but cola magnate Nilva is the only one who agrees to a meeting.
Brunt arrives on the station and threatens to liquidate Quark and Zek. This prompts Quark to angrily confront his mother, who has a heart attack. While Bashir assures everyone she will survive, Ishka will be unable to meet with Nilva — leaving Zek without a Ferengi female to prove gender equality is a good idea. With no other choice, Quark allows Bashir to temporarily turn him into a female.
The procedure transforms Quark into a lovely female they call Lumba, and thanks to the hormones, an emotional wreck. Between crying jags, he studies his mother's notes and practices walking and talking like a female. When Nilva arrives a day early, Zek enlists Nog to distract the commissioner.
Nilva insists on seeing Zek immediately. On the way, he and Nog run into Brunt, who spills the beans about Ishka's condition. Nog leads Nilva to Rom's quarters, promising him a meeting with Zek's other female advisor, Lumba. Instantly smitten, Nilva decides to take Lumba to dinner. Quark is charming, easily convincing the commissioner that equal rights for females will expand the Ferengi economy. Unfortunately, he is so charming that Nilva invites him back to his quarters.
While Quark desperately fends off Nilva's romantic advances, Brunt suddenly bursts in to tell Nilva that Lumba is actually a male. Quark slips out of his dress, and his hormone-enhanced body convinces his suitor that he is all woman. Nilva promises to do everything he can to ensure Zek remains Grand Nagus, and Quark, having gained new insight into the female psyche, wins back his now-recovered mother's love.