Because I am a pore bedridden invalid flyin’ high on pseudoephedrine, I took the backward Are you a feminist? quiz. Unlike some of the dudes deemed “100% feminist” by the auto-bot, I scored a pitiful 50%. I would’ve scored a 0, but I just wasn’t up to articulating my argument against each point. But at least I got an awesome photo of a generic hot babe to go with my results!*
Where did I go wrong? Well, I’ll tell you. I flunked because I’m a feminist. See, the quiz is predicated on cultural constructs that are antithetical to the Twistolution, so the questions are framed so that the quizee has to accept certain patriarchal precepts in order to give the proper ‘feminist’ response. For instance, I had no choice but to check ‘strongly disagree’ on this one:
Men and women should be held to the same sexual standards. If men can sleep around without judgment, women should be able to as well.
To the eyes of the novice blamer, this fun-feminist declaration of empowerfulness might fly under the radar, but to the watery red eyes of the spinster aunt, the antifeminist subtext is clear: the statement presupposes that ‘sexual standards’ is a kind of cosmic constant, and that at least some people should be held to them. But of course the default ‘sexual standard’ to which the statement alludes is the male fuck-anything-that-moves model; the underlying theme is that ‘feminists’ should fight for their right to awesome X-treme boinking. The quizling is not allowed to express, for example, “women’s sexuality should cease to be defined in terms of male sexuality, you fucking knobs.”
The next statement is also about — that’s right — sex (and money; in our culture the two enjoy the most steamy and intimate of relationships):
Women should take an equal role in dating. Women should ask out people they are interested in and take their turn in paying.
Again, the dudely model is the default; not only does the statement imply that all women who date are heterosexual (if they weren’t, they would already be ‘equal’), it shows a weird fascination for pick-up-the-tab parity. I had to strongly disagree on the grounds that ‘dating equality’ cannot be singled out as a particularly urgent feminist goal; paying for a round of drinks can hardly be described seriously as feminist rebellion.** Besides, at least 50% of the women in lesbo dating relationships have been picking up the tab since time began. What has equality ever done for them?
Or how about this one?
Women should accept their bodies as they are. Women should not have to conform to wacky beauty ideals.
Those crazy women, internalizing that wacky patriarchy! I prefer “Men should not give two shits what women’s bodies look like. Men should cease to fetishize and oppress according to any beauty ideals. ‘Beauty ideals’ is itself wacky.”
Yeah, this is just a dumb internet quiz, written without much thought or sophistication from an essentialist male point of view, and as such it fails to assess any meaningful feminist inclinations. Such as the quizee’s views on porn, prostitution, abortion, and forced membership in the sex caste. Why do I bother with it? I merely wish to illustrate, since I can’t seem to do anything else, the cunning stealth of the patriarchal probes in their ceaseless mission to infect and neutralize any ideology that would rise against the Hive.
For instance, there are, at the time of this writing, 767 blogs linking to the antifeminist “Are you a feminist?” quiz. Such as this dude, who, at 74%, is “certainly a feminist” according to the quiz, but who disclaims in his post that “when we start getting into particulars like so-called ‘reproductive rights’ (i.e., the right to abortion) and the overly extreme Equal Rights Amendment [...] I tend to disagree.” In other words, this danged quiz is wantonly assigning feminist cred to pro-life throwbacks.
In Matthew Yglesias’ case, the quiz interpreted his 87% score to indicate that he is “a total feminist.” No word on how 87% of a thing can be a total thing. As he remarks, “Of course a quiz is just a quiz and doesn’t account for the possibility that I’m also a huge hypocrite. Unfeminist quizzes from the same source: Do You Scare Off Men? and Why Don’t You Have a Boyfriend?“***
Here’s my quiz:
True or false: Anyone with the means to do so who doesn’t vociferously advocate women’s total liberation from male dominance and oppression is misogynist scum. [Edited for clarity on 8-13-07; see this].
* The photo you win for “75% feminist” is a close-up of a woman’s foot wearing a pink kitten-heeled satin mule perched on a soccer ball. The “100% feminist” depicts a generic hot babe wearing boxing gloves and trendy eyewear. She’s fighty, all righty, but still sex-ay!
**Sure, there was a time back in the Jurassic when feminists needed to prove their independence, and reasoned, rightly or wrongly, that this check-paying gambit would prevent some entitlement date-rapes, but the truth is that they were trying to buy themselves out of what was universally perceived as their obligation to put out.
***That boyfriend quiz is a doozy. I don’t have a boyfriend, not because I’m queer, but because I’m ‘too shy’. Shy!