A Woman Takes the PBS Sexism Quiz

PBS has released a quiz — seventeen whole questions — to assess how sexist someone is. Okay, I’m not being entirely fair. According to the creators of the quiz, they weren’t trying to make any concrete statements on people’s personal character, so I can at least give them more credit than Buzzfeed. But, to indulge in a little SJWisms, you have to take into account Intent vs. Impact, and your intent doesn’t matter, ladies. Let’s see how sexist I am!

With each question, you have these answers: disagree strongly, disagree somewhat, disagree slightly, agree slightly, agree somewhat, and agree strongly.

I believe I mentioned before that I used to work in research where my main job was creating surveys. And anyone who has been in that position knows that this is a pretty awful set up for having a full understanding of your survey responses. Number scales tend to work better in that regard. Usually, I get around it by having an Other box or a fill-in-the-blank box instead. But, alas, having a survey that gleans results you can actually draw conclusions from is dumb. Loaded questions and vague answers are the way of the future.

Like with my Buzzfeed Privilege Test, I’ll show you the questions and my answers and try to explain my reasoning. Let’s go.

* * *

1. Many women have a quality of purity that few men possess.

 

What does pure mean? That is a descriptive term. You can be “pure” anything. Does this mean like stereotypical, Disney character, Snow Whit- style purity? Because I don’t think anyone is like that. Snow White, by definition of her character, was inhumanely decent and kindhearted. That’s why, in the original story at least, it was implied she wasn’t physically the fairest of them all, but her fairness came from her purity of heart. So is that what you’re talking about? No one is like that.

I’m going to go with Disagree Somewhat. I’m not disagreeing all the way on account of women entering nurturing career fields like teaching and nursing and social work, etc. more than men. And being nurturing tends to be associated with having a certain level of purity. That’s not to say they’re any good at it, though. Hell, every single nurse I know is a nurse because nursing school is cheap and fast not because they had any overwhelming desire to help their fellow man. So, me Somewhat Disagreeing is right on the edge of strongly disagreeing.

 2. Women should be cherished and protected by men.

I’m going to Disagree Strongly with this one, not because I’m against the general idea of cherishing and protecting someone, but because it sets up the relationship as being exclusively based around gender. Like, women should be cherished and protected because they are women. And men should cherish and protect them because they are men. That’s a silly idea to me, just like it would be silly if the genders were flipped around. Cherish and protect whoever you want.

3. Women seek to gain power by getting control over men.

Some women do that. Where is the some here? Now if I give even a slightly affirmative answer, I’m going to look like a sexist. This quiz is shit.

This is once again not a gendered issue, but they are setting it up as a gendered issue. I don’t think women as an entire demographic group are out to gain power by controlling men. That being said, that has certainly been the game plan of many individual women throughout the years, because that is a gender power dynamic particularly popular with the more controlling members of female-dom. It’s even a fucking trope: The Lady MacBeth – a woman who has power by being the one who wears the pants in her relationship with an influential man. It’s a thing that happens. But women as an entire gender aren’t plotting this even if it’s a common tactic for women who want power to use. What am I supposed to put here? Um . . . Agree Slightly, I guess . . .

4. Every man ought to have a woman whom he adores.

Why are you needlessly gendering these? Once again, I’m not against this as a concept. Once again, though, you’re making it seem like because someone is a man, they have to have a woman who they adore. No, that’s stupid. What, every woman doesn’t need to have a man she adores?

I think everyone ought to have someone they adore at least once in their life. It’s an experience that most humans have and it’s one that teaches you lots of lessons about life, typically, no matter how it ultimately works out. You can be a guy adoring a woman or a guy adoring another guy. You can be a woman adoring a man or another chick. I don’t care. So . . . Agree Slightly just because “man adoring woman” is technically a smaller part of a whole idea that I would support, even though the stupid gender qualifier is stupid.

5. Men are incomplete without women.

That depends on the dude, doesn’t it? Also, is a woman incomplete without a man? I’m gonna stop asking these questions. Disagree Strongly.

6. Women exaggerate problems they have at work.

God fuck it. This really is just roping people in to being labeled as sexist.

There actually are multiple studies showing that women, on average, tend to be more hyper-critical than men: so even in interactions explicitly made to be as neutral as possible, female study participants tended to find something wrong with the interaction more than male participants. And there are also multiple studies showing that women are indeed more sensitive than men, on average: so things like vulgar language, explicit sexuality/crassness, general abrasiveness, lack of emotional reciprocation in conversation, etc., are far more likely to overtly offend a woman than they are to offend a man. This is not to say that every woman is put off by these things, but the seeming majority of women are, by a small margin.

It’s mainly the abrasiveness and lack of emotional reciprocation that would pop up in workplace environments. So I can imagine that a woman may be more prone to exaggerating problems of that particular nature than her male coworkers if you were to compare the two. “I smiled at Bob in the hallway on the way to my office this morning, and he ignored me, so this is a bad working environment.” is something a woman would bring people to task about more.

So I’ll go ahead and Slightly Agree again.

7. Once a woman gets a man to commit to her, she usually tries to put him on a tight leash.

Wouldn’t putting your guy on a tight leash make more sense to do before he’s committed to you? If he’s committed to you, you don’t really need the leash anymore, is all I’m saying. It’s like saying, “Once you’re sure your dog will follow you everywhere, that’s when you put it on a leash to make super sure.” I guess some women might do this. So . . . Somewhat Disagree.

8. When women lose to men in a fair competition, they typically complain about being discriminated against.

Once again, it’s iffy as to whether or not women as a group do this. High profile women tend to be prone to doing this, though, at least recently. (Kevin Spacey’s C-list costar complaining about the “pay gap” because she didn’t get paid as much as him for House of Cards, Sarah Silverman straight up lying about how she was discriminated against while doing stand-up, Hilary Clinton using the “it’s because I’m a woman, isn’t it?” card and painting the Democrats not voting for her as sexist “Bernie Bros.” I can come up with these all day.) If women don’t do this themselves, the world tends to do it for them by painting them as the victims of some injustice. So I don’t want to paint women with a broad brush here, but complaining about discrimination, even – or even especially – in cases where that is patently not the main factor in the turnout of something tends to be a popular and socially effective attention-grabbing tool available to women specifically. I’m going to go ahead and Agree Somewhat.

9. Many women get a kick out of teasing men by seeming sexually available and then refusing male advances.

Holy shit! A scale term, guys! They used a fucking scale implicature! I was beginning to think they didn’t know that words like many or some even existed. While some women definitely get a kick out of being cock teases, there was also a study on this (about “peacocking” and displays of sexual availability with both genders, more specifically). As it turns out, not many people in general do this. Women are more likely to present themselves as sexually available only to reject male attention than vice versa, but “more likely” is relative. It is not most of the female or male sample, by any means. It is technically anti-social behavior, and we are a social species that looks down on that kind of thing. Disagree Strongly.

10. Women, compared to men, tend to have a superior moral sensibility.

I don’t think so. Women tend to be more empathetic than men, which is actually apparent in neurological scans. But empathy and morals are no commensurate. When it comes to morals, it really just depends on what you subjectively think is worse in certain situations. It’s not a matter of one gender following a consistent, object moral code across the board and doing it better than the other one. In some situations, people of different genders are just more prone to having a different outlook, and you can argue all day as to which one has the moral high ground, but that is indeed an argument to be had. So Disagree Strongly again.

11. Men should be willing to sacrifice their own well being in order to provide financially for the women in their lives.

I don’t think so. I actually think this mentality of always, no matter what, putting others’ wants and needs before your own is harmful and leads to people neglecting their own well being. Once again, making this gendered doesn’t change that. It’s not okay for women to neglect their own health for the sake of a dude either. Disagree Strongly.

12. Feminists are making unreasonable demands of men.

I really, really do not appreciate the implied blending of “feminism” and “women,” as if having something bad to say against feminism inherently means you don’t like women. I really don’t like what they did here. It’s really out of place too, in a quiz that has, up until now, not brought in any form of ideology. Being against the movement of feminism says nothing about what you think about women. Feminism does not represent women. Maybe if they’d asked more ideology-centric questions about religions and the like, this question would make more sense. But they didn’t, and it doesn’t. That being said, I Agree Strongly with this, seeing as how feminism has now gotten into the business of inditing men for thought crimes that are too sexist to tolerate in our modern society.

13. What is your gender identity?

Female is one of the answers. I put female, obviously.

14. Please identify your age range:

I am 18-34.

15. Do you live in the United States?

I do.

16. What is the highest level of education you have attained?

I’ve got a Bachelor’s degree or more.

17. Please identify your household income

Needless to say, I picked the poorest option. Yaaaaaaay!

* * *

Let’s see how I scored on the Sexism-O-Meter!

Hostile sexism describes behavior that overtly threatens, intimidates or abuses women, especially those who defy male-dominated power.

I like how this definition excludes sexism towards men entirely. Seriously, it would have been so easy to just say “behavior that overtly threatens, intimidates or abuses someone based off of gender and/or gender non-conforming actions.” That covers everyone. But nope! #KillAllMen isn’t abusive at all. Equality!

What’s my score, yo?

 

Hostile Sexism
Your score: 2.67
Average Man: 2.24
Average Woman: 1.6
Holy shit, guys. I’m a raging misogynist, even worse than the dreaded Man. Who’d a thunk it?

Benevolent sexism perpetuates gender-based prejudice more subtly, feeding the notion that “wonderful, but weak” women need men to help and protect them and ultimately justifies gender inequality.

I love it. Putting women on a pedestal and wanting to protect them above all else, to the physical and emotional detriment of the men who are supposed to be the ones sacrificing themselves because women are inherently valuable and worth protecting by default, while men’s worth and value is determined by how much they can provide, is somehow still a situation where women got the short end of the sexism stick. Of course!  Why not?

Benevolent Sexism
Your score: 0.67
Average Man: 2.3
Average Woman: 2
So, I guess I did okay here. Yay, I’m not a sexist after all! It’s kind of hilarious that men and women are pretty much equally okay with benevolent sexism, though. Is it really sexism when the women themselves agree with and are okay with it? I don’t know. If anything, it seems like you should rename this category “hostile sexism towards men” seeing as how all the questions obviously regarding “benevolent sexism towards women” were all about how much you think men should have to sacrifice, how much better women are, and how worthless men are without any women around.
* * *
Whatever. Those are my scores. Here are the people explaining it.

Hostile sexism describes behavior that overtly threatens, intimidates or abuses women. Benevolent sexism describes positive attitudes and actions that men take toward women that are based, deep-down, in feelings of superiority and dominance.

This is my issue with feminism. This right here. This is how you can tell that feminism, in the end of the day, is only one framework of many others that could be used to analyze gender relations. It is one theory on gender relations. It has set itself up as the only one. That is my issue. Under the feminism framework of “patriarchy,” this is how you have to view things. With that framework, women are the ones being oppressed and men are the ones with the dominance and importance, and everything has to be viewed through that lens.

Has it ever occurred to these feminists that the positive traits associated with women are not rooted in male superiority? Has it ever occurred to them? This is a legitimate question that I am asking. Have they ever looked at this in any other way? Have they ever looked at this, allowing for the notion that there may not be any inherently oppressed class/gender? Apparently not. That’s what allows them to talk about “benevolent sexism” towards women like it’s this insidious, awful thing without once acknowledging the negative, awful implications it has about how society views men, because women have to be the ones being truly victimized, even when they’re the ones being treated better. That’s the feminist framework.

“In short, hostile sexism represents the ideological stick, and benevolent sexism represents the carrot that men use to reinforce the gender status quo,” Glick wrote in 2007.

“That men use to reinforce the gender status quo.” We’re not conspiracy theorists, guys! We don’t think men are cackling Saturday morning cartoon villains who converge on tropical island bases to talk about how they’re going to keep women down! We don’t think that at all! We just think that men as a gender have instituted and are actively perpetuating a Pavolvian-style system of behavioral conditioning on women as a gender to keep the status quo where they’re the ones on top in check.

This is actually very insulting. It is insulting to everyone involved. Under this system, men are evil bastards who have insidiously planned their positive and negative interactions with women in a way that keeps them oppressed, and women are apparently mindless babies in a Skinner-box with no intelligence, no wants, no standards for how they want to be treated, and no agency of their own. Great.

Together, Fiske and Glick developed the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory, a questionnaire that explores people’s tendencies toward hostile and benevolent sexism. These 22 questions aren’t designed to diagnose a respondent as sexist or not, and the results aren’t nationally representative. But the researchers say the quiz can shed light onto whether an individual harbors attitudes associated with sexism.

Don’t backpedal now! You can’t allude to a grand conspiracy of behaviorist psychology that is apparently running our society and facilitating a horrifyingly systematic status quo of gendered abuses, and then just shrug and say, “Oh, maybe it doesn’t say those things about sexism.” Simper, simper, shrug, shrug.

Our society is so horrifyingly misogynistic that men have boiled down their desire to oppress women into a SCIENCE! But, you know, this quiz is kinda just a throw-away thing, it doesn’t really say anything about you. You could be fine. We don’t know. We kinda just want to point some things out, maybe get you thinking, maybe.We don’t know. . . .

Nice thoughtcrime allusion by the way. “Attitudes associated with sexism,” meaning that the attitudes themselves aren’t even sexist, they’re just things that sexists think sometimes. Don’t eat sugar, kids! Hitler ate sugar. You don’t wanna be like Hitler, do you?

Fuck. If you’re going to drink the feminist Kool-Aide that much, the least you could do is be fucking proud of it.

 

 

 

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