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?
Yes.
No.

"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?
Really now?

Q39. WHAT IS THE ULTIMATE WOMAN'S DRINK?
Cosmo.
White wine.
Vodka tonic.
Margarita.
Light beer.

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?
A beer
Whisky
Scotch
Martini
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.
No

So my options are, basically:
Women suck
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
No

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.

58 comments:

  1. <1% = "Some women..."
    <5% = "A number of women..."
    <15% = "A surprising number of women..."
    <25% = "A large proportion of the women surveyed..."
    <52% = "A majority of women"
    <60% = "A large majority of women..."
    <65% = "An overwhelming majority of women..."
    <70% = "SHIT YEAH PUT IT ON THE COVER!!!"
    <80% = "Better submit this to the Journal of Evolutionary Psychology!"

    ReplyDelete
  2. I had this vague impulse to go take the survey, just to try and balance out the extremely specific demographics they're drawing on here. From the looks of things, though, the questions are formulated in such a way that it's impossible to give non-stereotypical answers. Now Cosmo can prance around yelling: "See! Women are exactly the way we said they were! All stereotypes are based on truth! Worldview = validated! Buy our magazine!"

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  3. Oh, Jesus. When I saw the beginning of your post, I was all set to fill it out and give the right answers, i.e., the answers that would prove them wrong and show that I am a reasonable human being. Silly me! I quickly worked out that the survey doesn't have right answers. It doesn't even have right questions.

    Other favourites:

    Q25: HOW OFTEN DO YOU THINK THAT COUPLES WITH HEALTHY SEX LIVES HAVE SEX?

    Uh... an amount that feels OK to both of them? Which will work out to different amounts for different couples? But no, the answers require that all couples have exactly the same amount of sex.

    OF THE CHOICES BELOW, WHICH ONE SEXUAL ACT DO YOU MOST FANTASIZE ABOUT ENGAGING IN WITH YOUR BOYFRIEND/HUSBAND?
    A threesome with another woman.
    A threesome with another man.
    Sex in public.
    Filming ourselves having sex.
    Watching porn together.
    Anal sex.
    Being dominated.
    Sex with a stranger.
    None of these.


    Human sexuality being the complicated beast it is, there are a lot of things missing from that list. But the one that really chaps my hide is "Dominating my partner". Because it's got "Being dominated" on it. That is a really strong message about which fantasies Cosmo considers OK for women, and which it considers inconceivable. (Inconceivable! It's more fun if you say it like The Princess Bride.)

    Since I checked female, I do not even get to answer their questions about my ethics, my accomplishments, or how many suits I own (this last one is consumerist, I know, but I look really awesome and powerful in a suit and would like to trumpet that fact).

    This stuff is so poisonous.

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  4. Ah, in other words, what minuteye said. Also, I was wrong about the "Null" questions; I went back and checked that I was male and still couldn't get it to ask me (doubtless horribly offensive) questions about ethics, accomplishments, or suits. So I give them credit for being slightly less sexist than I imagined.

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  5. What I'm sad about is that they asked "what would you change about your boyfriend?" and didn't have a single answer for "his location." :(

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  6. "ass liquidity remains a problem"

    Holly you are completely awesome. (As is Travis for his comment at #1).

    Also, scotch is a kind of whisky. Which doubles the silliness of the manly drink question.

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  7. I was getting all worked up about how dumb this was, and then you said "hefeweizen with a wedge of orange," and I went to my happy place. That is the ultimate anyone's drink on a day this hot.

    Also, and I realize this is really a minor point, but it annoys me how inconsistent Cosmo is with what they want me to be. Except for the light beer, those girlie drinks they list all have a lot more calories than what the men get. If I'm supposed to be obsessed with how many calories every action I take burns, I should just be drinking spirits like Don Draper! It just underscores for me how Cosmo femininity is not just limiting (I <3 Whiskey) but basically impossible to achieve.

    Also, the GPS implant? I don't even. Why not just get him a collar and call it like it is?

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  8. Damn it, I had just started to outgrow the need to go on and on about my fondness for bourbon to fight the idea that women should only drink things that taste like candy. Now I have to start annoying my friends all over again, thanks to Cosmo.

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  9. I actually think the GPS implant thing might be kind of kinky-hot... after negotiation and assuming he gets off on it, of course.

    Also, they forgot tea. TEA IS THE MANLIEST DRINK.

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  10. Q42. HOW MANY PAIRS OF SHOES DO YOU OWN?

    When did shoes stop being equipment? A woman could own a hell of a lot of shoes that are actually specialized for hiking, running, cold, snow, rain, dangerous work, the beach, etc. and her dress shoes could still be those nice sandals she doesn't let her cat chew on. For that matter, fancy shoes are a kind of social equipment. Why are shoes such a go to example of a frivolous consumer good that women go insane over? I need them to keep my toes from freezing off!

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  11. That is...damn. That's just actually nauseating.

    I'm honestly kind of fascinated by the Cosmo outlook on life, mostly because I'm curious if it actually applies to any real-life women or if it's just some Frankenstein's monster of thrown-together stereotypes. The first possibility scares me. A lot.

    Also:

    Cosmo.
    White wine.
    Vodka tonic.
    Margarita.
    Light beer.


    There was never a drink list more in need of a 'none of the above' option.

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  12. Rae: I also notice that the "anal sex" fantasy doesn't specify whose assis being penetrated - which is a huge pet peeve for me in this survey and in a bunch of sex quizzes on OKCupid. GUYS HAVE ASSES TOO DAMMIT.

    And how much do you wanna bet the Cosmo people will interpret a lot of "none of these"s to mean "women don't fantasize" rather than "whoops, our survey left out huge swathes of sexuality"?

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  13. I wonder what percentage of people read Cosmo as "valuable information" and what percentage read it as "holy fucken shitte! are there people who really think like this"?

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  14. "ass liquidity remains a problem"

    You can get medicine for that nowadays...


    "I also notice that the "anal sex" fantasy doesn't specify whose ass is being penetrated" - perversecowgirl

    See, in the wonderful fantasy-land that is the mind of a Cosmo editor, "sex" is a pretty organic affair. It simply must involve bodies. I think they honestly don't see anything other than actual phallic penetration as real sex. And that goes for more than just anal - remember, you can be straight, gay or bi but they still assume you'll only be having straight, vanilla, slightly creepy sex. Possibly while drinking light beer and wearing shoes....

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  15. Q13. IF YOU HAD THE ABILITY TO, WOULD YOU TRACK YOUR girlfriend's PHYSICAL MOVEMENT (WITH A GPS IMPLANT, FOR EXAMPLE)?
    Of course n-- on second thought, yes, if she agreed, and if it'd only be turned on in emergency situations. If some night she never arrives home from work, and isn't answering her phone-- because she's been kidnapped, or was in a car crash, or something-- it'd be good to be able to find out where she is. [/morbid]

    It's interesting how the complement of "slut" isn't "man-slut", which would be logical and no less weird-sounding, but "man-whore". I guess the existence of actual sex workers is so far out there that "whore" doesn't have an actual meaning, so it gets translated into "someone who has sex a lot".

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  16. I also tried to take the quiz to balance the results. I stopped at the one that asked what I would change about my partner. I was about to put "Income" because I know how much debt he has and that it's the one thing that stresses him out. I was thinking how relieved he'd be if he could make more money and improve his credit and visit his family in another state more often. Then I realized what that means to Cosmo and was sad.

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  17. Hershele OstropolerJuly 21, 2011 at 10:52 PM

    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

    Absolutely. Pop quiz, everyone: where does your neighbor's wife live?

    Q29.THE MALE BIRTH-CONTROL PILL IS CURRENTLY BEING DEVELOPED. IF/WHEN IT BECOMES AVAILABLE, WOULD YOU WANT YOUR BOYFRIEND/HUSBAND TO TAKE IT?
    Yes.
    No.
    "It's his body, his choice" is not an option


    I want my girlfriend to do a whole bunch of stuff. I have expressed this to her -- closer to the mentioning end of the scale, I should stress, than the nagging end. Most of them she's either not going to do at all or not going to do unless she's specifically thinking about it, and clearly we're still together. So while it's her body and choice, and not even a dealbreaker, it is still my desire that she do them. They're not mutually exclusive.

    tl;dr "His body his choice" needn't be an option, though "well,fuck, I don't care" probably should.

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  18. Hershele: My neighbor's wife lives in a different house because they decided their habits were too different to live together and remain married.

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  19. "Q40. WHAT IS THE ULTIMATE MAN'S DRINK?
    A beer
    Whisky
    Scotch
    Martini
    Whatever Don Draper from Mad Men is drinking"


    Isn't answer number 5 basically the same as numbers 2-4 anyway? I guess us men folk have extremely limited options.

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  20. >Shit, son, you ain't seen misandry until you've seen how misogynists talk about men!

    *dies laughing*

    Sadly true though

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  21. I did the survey and left a note in the comment box about their weird questions and the lack of queer representation

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  22. Methinks the lady doth protest too much. I love you Holly but if you hate Cosmo so much, why do you read it? I guess you can ask Jon Stewart the same thong about Fox News, nut I don't think it's the same thing. Btw, was reading some of your orgy stories, is all of this true or were you embellishing? -j5

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  23. Ok, I've got it:

    Womanliest drink ever = breast milk.

    Seriously, it's the only beverage I could think of that's strongly correlated with gender in any non-socialized way.

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  24. Black Jesus--

    Not speaking for Holly, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that her interest (and Stewarts wrt Fox, for that matter) is that it's fucking comedy gold.

    Also that's a handy tip for illustrating the heteronormative patriarchal assumptions that are so prevalent in our society, but, you know...mostly for the lulz.

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  25. Ass liquidity!!!

    I'm sorry, I am still 12 over here...

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  26. "ultimate woman's drink is a hefeweizen with a wedge of orange"


    My kinda woman!

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  27. @Rae: Now I have the ANGER!!! Thanks for pointing it out, it's sooo true. I was too busy being horrendously bored by the choices in the survey that I missed that fact altogether.

    @Black Jesus: For awareness, duh. Not speaking for Holly, but I believe there's LOTS of things we could ignore simply because we don't like it, but the point Holly (and many others) is going for is to point out such stereotyping, erasing, generalizing, etc. so that we can change them for the future. Work to eliminate this kind of language.

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  28. Since I still have my own ass after I "give it up," I'm more worried about ass hyperinflation.

    /dork

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  29. I well and truly hate the entire 'gendered drinks' thing. Not only is it offensive, but it's also one of the most absurdly wrong things I've ever seen.

    I work as bartender in a beer-geek bar (close to 200 different beers) and I've seen first hand how wrong this simply is. I know a lot of women that drink very black an smoked stouts of a calibre even I can't handle, just as I know lots of women that prefer a light wheat beer. Funnily enough, I also happens to know a lot of men that drink nothing but wheat beer, just as I know (and I'm one of them) men that prefer the most hoppy Imp. IPA they can get their hands on.

    And you know what? I've seen absolutely no correlation with stereotypical femininity or masculinity in preference of beer.

    Which of course has led me to having everyone that annoys me by asking for a girly beer, taste through my stouts on tap before handing them a lighter beer to taste*. And quite often I've had women taste a stout for the first time in their life (since everyone assumes "girls drink hefeweizen" and nothing else) and exclaim "This is the best beer I've ever had!"**

    So yeah, FUCK THAT to gendered drinks preference.

    *We give out small tasters to make sure that the customer gets what he/she wants - I wouldn't actually make someone buy something just because I dislike their phrasing.
    ** Which will usually result in them getting quite drunk though, since most people don't realise just how slow a 11% beer should be drunk.

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  30. I don't even drink any kind of alcoholic beverage, so I live in a whole other world of not being a real man.

    I'd like to fill in the 'Great Holly Pervocracy Survey'. I started this one but am neither single, married, divorced or widowed, so I didn't even get past the demographic information.

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  31. Black Jesus - I read Cosmo because I can't look away from a trainwreck.

    Also, because when I was a teenager I read it unironically, and I still have friends and coworkers who take it seriously, so it's important to know--and deconstruct--these kinds of ridiculous beliefs when they're getting out into the mainstream.

    And yes, the orgy stories are all true. I get around.

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  32. I took the survey and WOW did I have to skip a LOT of questions that had zero possible answers for me (and that's even as a woman who has sex with men).

    At least there is that box at the end; it was mildly satisfying to tell them how awful and stereotypical I thought the whole thing was.

    flightless

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  33. Minty - Of course n-- on second thought, yes, if she agreed, and if it'd only be turned on in emergency situations. If some night she never arrives home from work, and isn't answering her phone-- because she's been kidnapped, or was in a car crash, or something-- it'd be good to be able to find out where she is.

    I'd say not even then, because there's another reason someone might never come home from work and not answer their phone--because they've left you.

    That's a pretty scary and painful way to do it, it's definitely nowhere close to how I'd want any relationship to end, but it's an option that people have to have open to them.

    Unless the beacon is something that the wearer activates (not possible in every emergency, but good if you get lost hiking or something), it's not okay even on an "emergency" basis.

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  34. 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.

    Conversely, it might just be an appeal to a protective instinct. Just looking at this from my own perspective, "This could be you" doesn't have anywhere near the same emotional impact as "This could be someone you care about." I mean, obviously I'd be unhappy if I, personally, were hurt, but that's worlds away from the white-hot rage at the idea of someone hurting anyone - male or female - that I love.

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  35. Actually, the GPS thing can already be done with a smartphone. Or through Foursquare. Tracking your significant others through a chip implant is so last century, Cosmo. :P

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  36. Hershele OstropolerJuly 22, 2011 at 11:13 AM

    I'm a man who likes Rauchbier, IPA, cider, Tom Collins, and lambic. I think white Russians have been rescued for men now, by The Big Lebowski, though the last person I saw acually drink one was my sister (she was taking advantage of being in a restaurant, since, she noted, bars so seldom have dairy). I think cider is coded as female, though the dive-themed bar in Hell's Kitchen in NY I went to last week had it.

    My neighbor's wife lives in a different house because they decided their habits were too different to live together and remain married.

    Huh. Living together is probably the most inviolable relationship canon. Happy couples who aren't married, different lasty names, separate bank accounts, vacations, home offices -- reluctant to have separate bedrooms, let alone separate houses (Ma and Pa Pervocracy, I seem to recall, are another example).

    Minty - Of course n-- on second thought, yes, if she agreed, and if it'd only be turned on in emergency situations. If some night she never arrives home from work, and isn't answering her phone-- because she's been kidnapped, or was in a car crash, or something-- it'd be good to be able to find out where she is.

    I'd say not even then, because there's another reason someone might never come home from work and not answer their phone--because they've left you.


    I think I know what you're trying to say, though considering the two previous posts I'm a little surprised by your reluctance to say it. But in that case the person who'd be activating the beacon would call the police, and it would be the same problem or worse.

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  37. @Molly Ren, having experimented with tracking devices (tracking myself, not someone else) I can report that anything that depends on the cell system works only intermittently once you get out of sight of the nearest cluster of fast food joints. The thing you need for good tracking, is a Spot Beacon. They talk to satellites so they work even in places with no cell service. They are fist sized, orange, need to be placed somewhere where they can see the sky, and their batteries need attention fairly regularly, so they really aren't that stealthy.

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  38. Have any of you had a look at the Great Male Survey? There are questions like 'Would you dump a girlfriend if she became fat?' (God forbid you're actually attracted to fat women or have a fat girlfriend), and 'Who's winning, men or women?' (at least this one has 'It's not a competition' as an option...)

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  39. Hershele OstropolerJuly 22, 2011 at 12:57 PM

    I think I know what you're trying to say, though considering the two previous posts I'm a little surprised by your reluctance to say it.

    Wow. That came out a lot harsher than I meant it to. Anyway, I'm not sure the benefits of a beacon in healthy relationships outweigh the marginal risks in abusive ones.

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  40. Hershele OstropolerJuly 22, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    DAMMIT! *don't outweigh.

    Equally true both ways, but different emphasis.

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  41. Btw, was reading some of your orgy stories, is all of this true or were you embellishing?

    Holly has ORGY stories???

    WHY WASN'T I INFORMED OF THIS???????

    (shuffles back to my swamp)

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  42. Hershele - I didn't spell it out because it's not the only case. Although I would hope no one would do this, people have the right (barring financial/childcare obligations) to up and disappear on non-abusive partners too. That's a horrible shitty thing to do, but I'm not convinced it's a thing that should be made mechanically impossible.

    Jack - You're in some of the goddamn orgy stories. :p

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  43. Hershele OstropolerJuly 22, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    It's not the only case, but it's the main case that comes to mind in which pointing out that Minty said "if she agreed" isn't a valid answer to that. If she genuinely agreed, and wasn't nagged or intimidated or coerced or cajoled into claiming to agree, she presumably doesn't intend to disappear; if she wants to leave that option open, she shouldn't be chipped, if she has a genuine meaningful choice.

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  44. Since I still have my own ass after I "give it up," I'm more worried about ass hyperinflation.

    Emma, I think you're amazing too. :D

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  45. Holly-
    Yeah, I hadn't thought of that. Ouch. Uh...
    Let me explain.
    What I wrote in my first comment was exactly what went through my mind when I saw that question. My girlfriend has a habit of saying things like "What if I got hit by a car and never got to say goodbye to you?" and "What if these headaches are because I have brain cancer, or an aneurysm? I could just keel over and die." So it occurred to me that there are some situations where you would want your partner, or somebody, to be able to find you, but not be able to call for help.
    You're totally right that this isn't something people in general should be able to do.

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  46. PLEASE SELECT YOUR SEXUAL ORIENTATION: Heterosexual Bisexual Homosexual Rather not say
    While I can't think of many reasons why an asexual person would be reading Cosmo in the first place, it could happen, and the omission is... another drop of fail in the bucket that is this survey. Would it have been so hard to include asexual, pansexual, questioning, and other?

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  47. @minuteye - I did it to the best of my capabilities, but I was still embarrassed by the result. That being said, it's askmen and cosmo, everyone knows they suck who cares?

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  48. Is it terribly cynical of me to presume that the article which this survey data is intended to support has already been written, and that the survey itself is therefore skewed to deliver a predetermined result? Since the "Cosmo girl", if such an animal exists, will be the only respondent able to complete the survey, when the rest of us get stuck on "how do I evaluate my husband's marriage potential? With no option for 'I don't'? Fuck, I just said I don't believe in marriage!" logic puzzles.

    I know, I know, never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity.

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  49. These are the comments I put on the survey, exactly as I sent them to Cosmo:

    "Q27 needs an "All of these" option. We frequently discuss genuinely kinky sex (including stuff that is not on the list) and occasionally even have some.

    Q50 should allow us to check more than one option.

    Q60 and Q61 are too vague to be readily answerable. "Ultimate" in what way? Ultimate according to society, ultimate according to me, ultimately irritating? And where, or where is the "Other" or "None of the above" option?

    Romance shouldn't be an effort. It should come naturally. If you think you need candles and swanky restaurants and expensive clothes to bring about "romance," then you don't know what romance is.

    I am polyamorous. As such, I am completely open and honest with each of my boyfriends about the others. This is, however, not listed as an option for any of the survey questions."

    I don't think they'll like this.

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  50. Herschele: My neighbor's wife, presumably, lives with her. (Ha! Gotcha!) :P

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  51. Re: picture at beginning of post

    "Ladies" was corrected and re-corrected, but nobody did anything about the run-on sentence? For shame.

    Anon 7/22* 11:54 AM: There are questions like 'Would you dump a girlfriend if she became fat?' (God forbid you're actually attracted to fat women or have a fat girlfriend)

    Become fat? My mom was already fat when she and my dad started dating. He clearly didn't consider this a bad thing: we celebrated their twentieth wedding anniversary last month.

    *I just realised I completely forgot about European Pi Day! I should have had pie!

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  52. Hershele OstropolerJuly 26, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    g-i-n-e: doesn't count, you already knew the right answer.

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  53. The results are in and apparently Reuters thinks this qualifies as actual news:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/26/us-sexes-survey-idUSTRE76P5CU20110726

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  54. "Tough luck if you picked "homosexual," ladies!"

    I once saw a woman-only episode of the show "The Doctors" which was supposed to be all about health issues important to women. And the very first thing they talked about? Penises.

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  55. "don't even drink any kind of alcoholic beverage, so I live in a whole other world of not being a real man."

    If it's any comfort, you're in good company. Most of my good male friends live there, either through not drinking or through not being interested in sports.

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  56. "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."

    My buddy and I always order the same 2 drinks to start the night: long-island iced tea, and a Red Rocket, a drink made to taste like the famous popsicles. While ordering it and drinking it we make constant South Park references. And we only get the Long Island if our favorite bartender (Kurt) is on duty because MMMmmmm can't taste the alcohol. Just sweet/sour, coke, and drunk.

    "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!"

    The ultimate man's drink is clearly a VODKA martini (Thank you, James Bond (Sean Connery is as close to universally sexy as they come))... but I find it amusing that "beer" is the choice for a man and "light beer" is the choice for a woman. What about all those miller lite commercials about how miller lite is MANLY? Also WHY IS BEER ON THESE LISTS? You might as well ask, "What's a man's favorite drink?" and have "something alcoholic" as one of the choices. I hate hoppy lagers and I think guiness is the most disgusting beer known to man. Gimme a fat tire or a blue moon hefeweizen with a slice of orange and jeez I'll drink that 'till I feel sick.

    "Um... I choose "no?""
    LOL that's the best. "No" is the best answer but it's also the worst answer... "Would you rather be shot in the left knee or the left elbow?"

    "Um, actual accomplishm... oh fuck it."
    The ultimate status symbol for a woman is a massive portrait adorning the halls of the UN decorated with all 35 of her various Nobel prizes, her space suit from commanding the mission to Mars, the twelve sons and daughters' portraits and their nobel prizes, and having the planet earth renamed "Janet" in her honor.

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  57. oi! I soooo wish we'd had such a forum growing up. My mom got Cosmo and I guess to this day I aspire to be the "perfect Ann Coulter". Sad. I am fighting my own mysogyny and at least none of this shite was on my own kid's reading list. Thank you. Indeed, Fuck It.

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  58. I know this is ancient now, but just had to say: that whole "what if it was your sister/mother/daughter" thing really pisses me off too, because it's also something that's invariably asked of men when they're talking about a bad thing happening to another person, or about an unusual relationship/sexual issue.

    An example is something like "dating someone 20 years old/younger than you". A man who says "no problem" might be asked "but what if your daughter/sister/mother did that?", but you can be sure he will NOT be asked "what if your brother/father/son did that?". We don't OWN the women in our lives, goddamn it, and even if I didn't like something they did, well, that's my problem, not theirs.

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