Thursday, July 21, 2011
Cosmocking: The Great Female Survey!
I need to lighten the mood around here. So, Cosmocking!
AskMen.com and Cosmopolitan are running the Great Female Survey to... see what women think. About stuff.
The very idea of a "Great Male Survey" and "Great Female Survey" already irks me, because if you split people in two you can always create the appearance of two deeply divergent groups--I'm sure the "Great Brown-Eyed Survey" would reveal just how different they are from blue-eyers while creating the impression that all brown-eyers speak with one voice. Cosmo has a history of taking survey results saying "51% of women do X" and interpreting them as "women do X," and I can see that coming from a mile off, here.
But let's look at the questions! Let's put them in italics and make them look silly!
PLEASE SELECT YOUR SEXUAL ORIENTATION: Heterosexual Bisexual Homosexual Rather not say
This is a red herring. The very first question is:
Q1. WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSONALITY TRAIT THAT MAKES A GUY "RELATIONSHIP MATERIAL"?
And the survey continues in that fashion. Tough luck if you picked "homosexual," ladies!
Q2. IS IT IMPORTANT FOR A BOYFRIEND TO HAVE "HUSBAND POTENTIAL"?
So this isn't really "The Great Female Survey." This is "The Great Female Survey About Males." Activities that a woman might engage in that don't include men (or at least don't include sex/romance with men) don't get much of a look in.
I was thinking about this the other day, when I saw some attempt to raise sympathy for female victims of violence with "what if this was your sister, your daughter, your wife?" There was no "what if this was you?" Women are so often described in terms of our relationships, instead of in our own right. This survey isn't about me--it's about the parts of me that are useful to men.
Q11. HOW MANY DATES SHOULD BE PAID FOR BY THE MAN?
I realize that this survey is written in a world where many people do believe the man should pay for dates, and in some ways it's simply reflecting that world. At the same time... augh. Would it have killed ya to ask "How should couples split the cost of dates?"
Q13. IF YOU HAD THE ABILITY TO, WOULD YOU TRACK YOUR BOYFRIEND/HUSBAND'S PHYSICAL MOVEMENT (WITH A GPS IMPLANT, FOR EXAMPLE)?
Oh fucking hell. And one of the options is "Yes, but only if he didn't know about it." The biggest problem with questions like this isn't that they're gross and creepy, and it isn't that it legitimizes an obviously controlling and abusive idea. The biggest problem is that some percentage of people will say "yes" to anything on a survey (especially an anonymous Internet survey), and then "3% of women are in favor of control and abuse" easily turns into "women are in favor of control and abuse."
Q20. OF THE CHOICES BELOW, WHAT BEST MOTIVATES YOU TO BE ROMANTIC?
Feeling close to my partner
The possibility of having sex
It's a good way to apologize
Needing a personal favor
I'm not that romantic
I'm glad they left one whole option open for "I'm not being manipulative and crafty and pretending to be romantic to get my way. Like women do."
Q29.THE MALE BIRTH-CONTROL PILL IS CURRENTLY BEING DEVELOPED. IF/WHEN IT BECOMES AVAILABLE, WOULD YOU WANT YOUR BOYFRIEND/HUSBAND TO TAKE IT?
"It's his body, his choice" is not an option.
Q35. AT WHAT POINT DOES A GUY BECOME A MAN-WHORE?
Q36. AT WHAT POINT DOES A WOMAN BECOME A SLUT?
Each one lists numbers of partners: 10, 20, 50, 100, and "never." I guess "never" sort of covers my answer, but it doesn't encompass the sheer depth of "these aren't even real words" that I feel about questions like this. It's like asking how many times your car has to be driven around the block before it's a car-whore. That's just not a thing that cars should have to worry about.
Q37. AT WHAT AGE DO YOU THINK MEN START LOSING THEIR LOOKS?
The bidding starts at 18. 18! There's an option for "never," but no option for "men can gain looks because it's not all about youth" and definitely none for "hey, depends what you're into."
And the worst part is knowing that this is almost certainly being asked because there's a counterpart answer on the Great Male Survey.
Q38. DO YOU THINK THE KIND OF DRINK YOU ORDER REFLECTS ON YOUR FEMININITY?
Q39. WHAT IS THE ULTIMATE WOMAN'S DRINK?
Really now. Not only is this missing a "none of the above," but it's missing all the good drinks! The ultimate woman's drink is a hefeweizen with a wedge of orange, god dammit.
Q40. WHAT IS THE ULTIMATE MAN'S DRINK?
Whatever Don Draper from Mad Men is drinking
I never knew drinks were this major an area of gender identification. They aren't served in pink and blue glasses, either, so sometimes I have to guess!
...And I guess that anything enjoyed by a person identifying as a man is a man's drink, for fuck's sake, because how the hell else would you define it?
Q42. HOW MANY PAIRS OF SHOES DO YOU OWN?
I don't like this survey any more. I want to go home. Before it asks me "WHICH IS MORE AWESOME: THE COLOR PINK, TRYING ON CLOTHING, OR DOMESTIC SUBMISSION?"
Q49. DO YOU THINK IT'S EVERY OK FOR EVERY MEN TO CRY?
I can't believe I have trolls accusing me of misandry. Shit, son, you ain't seen misandry until you've seen how misogynists talk about men!
Q52.DO YOU THINK WOMEN PUT TOO MUCH VALUE ON A MAN'S FINANCIAL WORTH?
Yes, and it bothers me that women are so shallow.
Yes, but men put a lot of value on women's looks so it balances out.
Yes, but it works to my advantage.
So my options are, basically:
Women suck, but men also suck, and additionally, a woman's ass is her "money" (how a woman may purchase gasoline and groceries with ass is not quite determined, as ass liquidity remains a problem)
Women suck, and I love it
Um... I choose "no?"
Oh fuckshit, now I look like a gold-digger.
Q61. FOR WOMEN, WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING IS THE ULTIMATE STATUS SYMBOL?
A beautiful house
A beautiful wardrobe
A very successful husband or boyfriend
A huge engagement ring
An expensive car
Um, actual accomplishm... oh fuck it.
And fuck this survey. Fuck its no-win scenarios for any woman who acts like a reasonable human being, fuck its erasure of any woman who isn't straight and feminine and middle-class, and fuck its lack of ambition to learn anything other than exactly which shallow misogynist stereotype fits women best.