How Much of a Buzzfeed Feminist am I?

So, Buzzfeed has a quiz, “How much of a feminist are you?” and it is the sort of thing you find on Buzzfeed, which should be enough to tell you it’s basically worthless.  But I thought instead of taking the quiz by ticking “yes” or not, I’d actually ANSWER the questions.

1 I would be willing to give up some of my salary if I had to, so that equal pay in my workplace could be a reality.

No, I would not. It would be unjust to ask anyone to give up some of their salary in order bring about some kind of Marxist equality.  The problem is that the questioner probably believes that the earnings gap between the average of all men and the average of all women proves that women are being treated unjustly.

Let’s take a simple example: Imagine two married couples, Alice and Bob, and Clara and David.  Alice makes 100K annually. Bob and David both make 80K. And Clara works only part time, bringing in about 20K.  In this group, the average earnings of the women, Alice and Clara, is 60K. The average earning of the men, Bob and David, is 80K.   The women, on average, earn 75 cents on the dollar compared to the men, on average.

Is this in any way proof of sexism or inequality?  No, why would it be?  The women make less than the men because Clara doesn’t make much, mostly because she chooses to work only part-time.  And that’s not even considering things like the different jobs they all have. Or their skills  or experience or seniority at their jobs.

The earnings gap is society isn’t any different.  If you control for different choices people make, it vanishes entirely.

Please understand this: a free society in which individual persons make significant decisions about their own lives will always necessarily result in inequality, but this sort of inequality isn’t anything bad—it is the result of equal opportunity, equal treatment, and most of all equal freedom to make different choices. 

2 I believe that men and women should be equal.

“Define your terms.”  If you mean de Tocqueville’s “equality of liberty,” then yes. If you mean “equality in restraint and servitude” then no.

AlexisDeTocquevilleEquality

I believe men and women should be treated fairly, with justice, which does not necessarily entail that they be treated identically.  In fact, to treat unlike persons alike is sometimes the very definition of injustice.

In other words, what we should care about is justice.  No one should care about equality for its own sake.

3 I can’t help but be bothered when a song includes misogynistic lyrics, even when I otherwise like the song.

Some lyrics bother me, some don’t.  I’m sure some of the things a typical feminist would consider misogynist don’t bother me at all. As philosopher Alan Soble once suggested (in a chapter on the prudery and sex-negativity of feminists),

Alan_Soble

I’m sure a nice double standard is in play, where if a rapper calls a woman a slut, it’s misogyny, and the feminists will immediately organize a slutwalk to protest the words ‘slut.’

4 I know who Bell Hooks is.

My first reaction is to say, “Well, I know who bell hooks is, but not Bell Hooks.” Apparently you don’t know who bell hooks is, or you would know that she spells her name without capital letters.

IRONY: using knowing who someone is as a touchstone for one’s feminist cred, and getting her name wrong.

You go, Buzzfeed.

5 I can define intersectional feminism.

Yes, I can, as much as anyone can.

How does that make me “more” of a feminist? “Know your enemy” and all that.

6 I don’t use the phrase “hey guys” when referring to a group of people that includes men and women.

I do use the term “guys” as a generic gender-neutral group term. I use it in my classes. I do, however, tell my students that I use the word in a gender neutral way.  I also ask if anyone is bothered by it, and if they are, then I don’t use it. (They then have to deal with me saying “y’all”). I have never had anyone, female or male, tell me that it bothers them.

7 I have taken a women’s and/or gender studies class.

I have not. I’m an academic, though, and I’ve read plenty of academic work concerning gender difference, feminism, evolutionary psychology, and theology.

Have you read Alice von Hildebrand, for example, O alleged person who cares about women?

8 I think it’s important to encourage girls to pursue science and math as a career.

I don’t think they should be discouraged.  Best answer: not especially. I think a child of either sex should be encouraged to pursue the career they want to pursue, unless they are clearly deluding themselves about their own abilities (e.g. wanting to be an actor when they can’t act).

9 Women should be allowed to apply for a job if they fulfill 60% of the job requirements.

No. That is straight up sexism.

One should fulfill 100% of the requirements.  That is what “requirement” means. It means something that is required, not something that is optional.

“Required for men, but optional for women” is obviously sexist discrimination and unjust.

10 I think we should change women’s bathroom symbols to not include traditionally “feminine” clothing (skirts, dresses, etc).

This is a trivial issue.  No one thinks that these signs mean that there is something wrong with women who don’t or aren’t wearing dresses.  What would be the point of this? What harm or injustice is here? None, I can see.

11 I believe trans people should be able to use whichever bathroom they identify with.

This question has nothing to do with “how much of a feminist” you are. There are certain radical feminists who would argue, on the basis of feminist theory, that this would allow men to invade one of the few societally sanctioned women’s spaces. In other words, there is strong feminist argument that not believing this makes you more of a feminist. Sorry, but radical feminists are feminists.  It’s in their name. And trans-exclusionary radical feminists are also feminists. It’s also in the name.

[UPDATE: A radical feminist group is now SUING the Department of Justice over this issue.

Here’s the scoop:

A national group of “radical feminists” more commonly associated with fights for abortion and gay rights has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of two Albuquerque women they say are at risk of greater violence, discomfort and oppression because of transgender policies in public schools.
[…]

The group, Women’s Liberation Front, or WoLF, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque on Thursday saying two of its New Mexico members who are identified in the court documents as “AB and AB’s mother” have a “well-founded fear” they will have to “share such facilities with people who are biologically male” and that puts them at “imminent, traceable” risk.

WoLF described its complaint on its website in a brief overview:

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Education (DOE) have abruptly enacted a new policy, defining the category of “sex” in Title IX to include “gender identity.” This effectively renders Title IX meaningless, as females can no longer be recognized as distinct from males. Indeed, Title IX, the legislation used to champion the very creation of female sports, is now being used to dismantle them, as male athletes demand access to female teams, dominating the competition.
The reinterpretation of “sex” to include “gender identity” also means that girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms must be opened up to any male who “identifies” as female. Girls’ rights to personal privacy and freedom from male sexual harassment, forced exposure to male nudity, and voyeurism have been eliminated with the stroke of a pen. Schools that do not comply with the demands of any male student to access to protected female spaces will now lose federal funding.

End of update.]

Cue the ‘no true feminist’ fallacy.

And look how the question is worded. Do any trans people identify with a bathroom?  Personally, if we’re doing rooms, I identify as a study.

12 I believe it’s important to encourage women to negotiate.

Not really.  People will negotiate if they choose to.

13 I believe Jennifer Lawrence should earn as much as her male costars.

I don’t know or care who Jennifer Lawrence is.  Your question is unanswerable, as asked. Is her part as prominent as theirs? Is she a better actor, or more famous than they are?

14 I do not think a movie should be released unless it passes the Bechdel test.

NO.  This is straight up censorship.  The “Bechdel test” has no scientific status. It’s just a made-up political test that proves absolutely nothing about anything.  The Bechdel test eliminates most of Shakespeare, for example.

15 I believe all genders are entitled to the same social and political rights.

If you mean actual genders, and not Tumblr genders, then “for the most part.” I don’t think a right to maternity leave makes a lot of sense for men.

16 I can explain why “78 cents to the dollar” is not a fully accurate description of the gender wage gap.

I’m pretty sure I just did do this in the answer to question 1, so yes, I can do it. The term “gender wage gap” is inaccurate. There is no gap in wages. The gap is in average earnings.

17 I believe that women who possess certain types of privilege are responsible for advocating for women who don’t have their level of privilege.

No. I despise the entire rhetoric of “privilege.”  Everyone has a moral responsibility to speak against and oppose injustice.

18 If I had a daughter, I would encourage her to be anything she wanted to be.

Of course not. I would try to raise her to be a good and virtuous woman.  I would try to steer her away from making bad or foolish choices on the basis of irrational desires.

This is called “parenting” by the way.

19 I would make it clear to my daughter from an early age that her identity should never be defined by her relationship status.

No, I would help her to understand how one’s “relationship status” (what a trivializing term!) in part does define who she is.  To be a wife is vocation.  To be mother is another. To be a religious and thus celibate still another.  These are defining life choices.

20 I believe it’s important to compliment a woman’s intelligence over her looks.

Looks matter to women and to men.  You are trivializing something that is extremely important in human interactions.  For many women (and men) their looks will be their primary assert, and certainly not their intelligence.  I see absolutely nothing wrong with telling a women who is beautiful and not very smart or of only average intelligence that she is beautiful. Why would you not?

Why are you biased in favor of ugly women of above-average intelligence? Is it because you identify “the best kind of woman” as an academic feminist? I bet that’s it.

21 I believe that a woman has the right to choose what happens to her body.

Do you mean that a woman has a right not to be struck by lightning or catch a cold? Do you mean a woman has a right not to grow older, if she chooses not to?  That doesn’t seem to make any sense.

But of course your question is just code for abortion.

I believe that a human being’s right to bodily integrity is far reaching.  It does not extend so far as to authorize the killing of an innocent, however.  A woman is, as far as I can see, under no obligation to remain pregnant if it is possible to end the pregnancy without killing the child.  I am not a “forced birther.”

I think there is something deeply spiritually and ethically wrong with a woman who desires to bring about the death of her own child.

As far as I can see, a woman has no “right” to procure an abortion which kills an innocent person than she has a right to “control her own body” by putting several bullets into her superior at work, so she can claim her job or otherwise make her life more convenient.

22 In an instance of sexual assault against a female, I am inclined to believe the assaulted person is telling the truth until proven otherwise.

The way you’ve phrased the question, you have stipulated that it really is “an instance of sexual assault.” If I already know it was an instance of sexual assault, why would I not believe the victim?

I think you meant “In a case of alleged sexual assault.”  And why did you find it necessary to include “against a female”? Do you know how many men are raped in prisons? Oh, right, you’re a feminist, and only care about rape depending on the sex of the victim.

See, this is always what happens with feminism. Many feminists will ENDLESSLY QUOTE the dictionary definition of feminism being about equality, but they really don’t want to talk about or hear about any men’s issues, ever. The gynocentric focus of feminism INEVITABLY biases all feminist discourse towards women and away from men. The very nature of the beast does this.

SparkyFisterFeminismEquality.png

Suppose one did define “Blackism” as “the advocacy of the rights of black people on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to white people.” Don’t you think self-described “Blackists” would end up talking about black issues a disproportionate amount?

One very good reason to hate feminism is that it turns people into sexists.

I would truthfully answer that it would vary on a case by case basis. If the person involved were known to me, I would base my provisional opinion on her character and actions.  I would have no “automatic” default. In law, the standard is “innocent until proven guilty.” I don’t see why I have an obligation to form an opinion one way or the other since I don’t know the facts of the case. I know that sexual assaults happen. I know that false allegations of sexual assault happen.

23 I can explain Marlene Dietrich’s influence on women’s fashion.

No. I know she was a popular actress sometime in the past. Does knowledge of the history of FASHION really make a person “more” of a feminist?

24 I know what a “Bad Feminist” is.

A tautology.

25 I believe that women should be able to dress however they want without it dictating how they are treated by society.

I think it is absurd to hold moral principles that are contrary to human nature. Again, why just women? Don’t you think men should be allowed to dress however they want, and not be treated any differently? Why should men or women in business and politics have to wear suits?

The truth is, how one chooses to dress makes a significant difference in how one is treated by others, and it always will.  This well never, ever change. Never. Deal with it.

26 I have never said that a woman “asked for it.”

Do you think it is impossible for a person “to be asking for it”? Or do you think it is impossible for a woman “to be asking for it”? It depends what “it” is, doesn’t it?

I have said, for example, in a case where one girl said some things to another girl and got slapped for it, that “she was asking for it.” I said this because she was asking for it.

If this is more “code talk” for rape, I hold that rape is never justifiable.  It is a violation of a person’s moral and physical integrity.  One cannot be “asking for it,” ever.

27 I am offended by catcalling.

Nope.

28 I don’t think women should get VIP treatment at nightclubs and bars, just for being women.

I don’t think you know what “VIP treatment” is. That would cause a club or bar to go broke.  I think you just mean “special treatment,” presumably things like “ladies’ nights.” I don’t see anything wrong with those.

29 I think police brutality and its correlation with race is a feminist issue.

It obviously isn’t. The only reason one could think so is to think that “feminism” is an all-embracing ideology, like a religion—which of course I’m sure you think it is.

30 I think we should stop promoting models as the ideal female body type.

I think you think that “beauty” is a social construction, but it isn’t.

31 I think we should stop photoshopping women’s bodies in the media.

Let’s be clear: photographs of women are photoshopped.  Women’s bodies are NOT photoshopped. You are trying to make it sound as if doing something to a picture of a woman is doing something to her body.

The term for that is “sympathetic magic,” better known as voodoo.

VOODOO DOESN’T REAL.

Much of the media is about imagery and storytelling.  That is to say, it is fantasy.  I see nothing wrong in principle with idealization of images.  It might have some negative effects on some women, but it also has positive effects (or it wouldn’t be done)—human beings like looking at attractive human beings. This is true of both men and women.  And human beings particularly like looking at attractive women.  This is also true of both men and women, including heterosexual women, where the appreciation of another woman’s beauty (presumably) has no direct sexual component.

You might say that images of beautiful women might possibly make some women feel bad because they do not measure up to such an impossible standard. But if many people take pleasure in the idealized images, why should we ban them because of the oversensitivity of this group of women? Shouldn’t it follow that we should ban all awards and distinctions, since excellence in any form as the potential to make someone else feel bad? Shouldn’t we also get rid of stories about heroes who do above-average heroic things? Those might make some people feel bad. Shouldn’t we ban higher degrees in education, since they can make people without advanced degrees feel bad? Shouldn’t we ban pursuits and occupations that are difficult, since as the sciences or the arts? I am entirely untalented in music. Should I cultivate a sense of shame over my lack of musical ability, and demand that music in general be banned, at least any music which is better than the lowest common denominator, i.e. me?

Those who hate outer beauty do so from an inner ugliness of the soul.

32 I have never called a woman bossy.

I have called certain bossy women “bossy.” Because they are bossy.  A “bossy” woman is one who feels entitled to order other people around without any authority to do so. She is not an actual leader or a “take-charge” person.  I have also called men “bossy.”

I have also imitated Cheryl from Archer and screamed “You’re not my supervisor!” at them, or quoted Kreiger that “Your authority is not recognized in Fort Kickass!

Because those things are funnier ways to deal with bossy people.

33 I think companies should offer more child-friendly time and programs to women who are having children.

I think American companies should do a lot more to help the institution of the family, and the government too, since the Western family is breaking down, and destroying our civilization.

34 I believe that a woman should be offered the same opportunities for promotion as her male co-workers.

Ceteris parabus, sure, why not?

35 I believe that if a woman wants to pay on a date, her date should let her.

Case by case basis.

36 I believe that women should have easy access to birth control.

My endgame is that artificial birth control ultimately be recognized as intrinsically immoral, and no one use it.

37 I believe that in a relationship the domestic duties should be shared.

I believe that a couple can work out their own dynamic and you should mind your own business, you moral busybody.

38 I think that a couple should have equal responsibility over the aesthetic and cleanliness of their home.

Again, I believe that a couple can work out their own dynamic and you should mind your own business, you moral busybody.

This is another one of those anti-natural positions. On average, men just aren’t going to care as much about cleanliness and clutter as women, and you can’t make them. It’s like saying “I think men and women should be equally tall.”  Not going to happen unless we implement totalitarian breeding programs for hundreds of generations.

No thank you.

I propose that the member of the couple who has the lowest standards set the standards.  There: equality.  Women need to be taught to get over their obsession with cleanliness and neatness and looks. “Don’t teach men how to avoid clutter. Teach women not to clean.”

Is that reasonable?

Why should one member of a relationship be forced or obligated to meet the standards of the other?

If you have two gay men, one a slob and one a neat freak, is it true that the slob is automatically morally obligated to meet the higher standards of the neat freak? Why?

The “two gay men” question is very useful when dealing with feminists, since it will often reveal that there is no principle involved in the feminist demand, other than: BECAUSE VAGINA!

39 I believe that men should be encouraged to be involved and make choices in the wedding planning process.

Haven’t I said I believe that a couple can work out their own dynamic and you should mind your own business?

Wow, you are an extreme busybody.  Did you know that? Is the suggestion the more of busybody one is, the more that one attempts to police and control the lives and relationships of others, the more feminist one is?

No wonder people can’t stand feminists.

40 I believe that men and women have the same emotional strength.

Can you define “emotional strength” in a measurable way?  If so, what are the numbers? If they measure as being equal, then they are equal.

41 I do not think that it is the responsibility of a man to protect a woman physically.

I do, actually. It is more of a virtue than an obligation, and as with all virtues, is contextual, and doesn’t apply in all times, places, and cases.

One of the things I sometimes myself in awe of is the willingness of men to make sacrifices for women. To this, the proper response seems to me to be one of profound gratitude. But you prefer to blame and censure where you should be grateful.  To take one of many, many, many examples, in the 2012 Aurora theater shooting, three women survived the shooting because their boyfriends shielded them with their bodies, taking bullets for them, and dying as a result.  They didn’t have to do that.  Do you think LESS of these men for doing it? If you do, there is something very wrong with your soul.

Feminism is an ideology filled with spite, envy, and other cancers of the soul.

42 I believe that men and women should be equally encouraged to express their emotions.

I do not believe this.  Men and boys are, by nature, less emotionally expressive. To “encourage” equality here is really to demand that men and boys act like women and girls.  It is a false equality, a lie, and a very harmful one at that.

I think both men and women should be allowed the freedom to process their emotions in the ways they find most appropriate, without being bullied by moral busybodies like you.  Women are more expressive about their emotions; men tend to want to work out their emotions through actions, by doing something, rather than talking about them.

This is one reason I’m an anti-feminist. This question displays one of the most common tropes of feminist thought: The way women do something is automatically “the good way” or “the right way” and what should be done to achieve “equality” is to force men and boys to conform to the female standard.

I wonder if the author of this questionnaire sees how deeply authoritarian and bigoted a view it adumbrates?

43 I have never asked a woman why she does not have children.

I don’t think I have.  I have asked women (and men) if they plan to have children.

44 I would be equally excited to have a son or a daughter.

I don’t think it’s wrong to have a preference, but either outcome would be fine. It’s in the hands of God, not mine.  Do you think it’s okay to abort a girl because of a preference for a boy? Did your answer just contradict your view in question 21 that women can do anything that they want with their bodies? You wouldn’t really mind as much if a boy were aborted, would you?

It’s always totally amazing to me that murdering an infant girl can be regarded as a “feminist act.”

45 I think American workplace culture is often not structured in a way that is helpful or encouraging to women succeeding.

I think affirmative action quotas that leave women with the stigma of “quota hire” invisibly stamped on their foreheads are not helpful to women.  Is that what you meant?

46 I think women have a responsibility to help and encourage other women to pursue their goals.

Are you suggesting that women have special moral responsibilities to other women that they don’t have to men?

That is not very pro-equality of you.

47 I think women are equally capable to men to be the President of the United States.

What a bad question!  The President of the United States is an elective office that is held by one human being.  It cannot be held by one sex or the other.

My guess is that of the set of “persons capable of doing the difficult job of President of the United States” will include considerably more men than women—maybe 80/20.  So I think there are probably less women who are capable of the job, but not that those who are capable, are less capable. And it seems likely that it will only be the ones who are capable who will seek and attain the office.

Again, the reason is rooted in human nature. In all human societies without exception, men are the vast majority of the leaders.  I suggest you go read Steven Goldberg’s Why Men Rule for an account of how and why this happens.

48 I believe that women have no responsibility to make a conscious effort to always be friendly and polite.

Of course they don’t. Friendliness and politeness are virtues, not obligations.

Since you appear appallingly ignorant of ethical philosophy, let me educate you: some actions are morally obligatory.  Those can be called “responsibilities” or “duties.”

Of the set of actions that are not morally obligatory, some of these are nevertheless good to do.  These are called virtues.

No one is obligated to be friendly, or “amiable” as Jane Austen would say, but one is a better person if one is, because it is a better way to be.  As always, one can miss the mark of virtue by going too far.  One fails to hit the mark of the virtue of friendliness if one e.g. “tries to please everyone” or lets oneself by taken advantage of or is flatterer or toady etc.

Remember: virtue is, by definition, “hitting the mark” or “getting it right”; if it misses the mark, it is vice, even if it superficially looks like virtue.

49 I have never criticized a woman for not wearing makeup or wearing too much makeup.

As with clothing, makeup can be done or used well or poorly. I have criticized poorly done makeup. Again, I don’t see why it is necessarily a gendered issue.

In the famous debate, the first televised Presidential debate, Nixon refused to wear makeup—since it wasn’t “manly”—and Kennedy did. As a result, Nixon look awful.  Those who heard the debate on the radio thought by a large margin that Nixon won the debate; those who saw it on television thought that Kennedy did.  The makeup no doubt had a lot to do with that.  I would say that Nixon was foolish for not wearing makeup, although perhaps he wasn’t in a position to know that, given the newness of the medium.

LOOKS MATTER.

Please tell me you understand this.

50 I believe a woman is a woman if that is what she calls herself, regardless of her physical attributes and makeup.

FINALLY IT ENDS! THANK GOD!

So, you decided to end on another “no true Scotsman” about trans people, did you? No one can be a ‘real feminist’ who thinks that transgendered MtF persons aren’t really women?

Mary Daly didn’t, and she was a famous feminist. Janice Raymond didn’t, and she was a famous feminist.  Germaine Greer doesn’t, and she’s a famous feminist.

I notice you didn’t even use the “identify as” language, but simply “calls herself.” You realize that this is going to lead to a world where THIS is reality rather than a parody.

This is also a good place to end, with some comedy.  Go watch this and have a laugh:

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2 comments on “How Much of a Buzzfeed Feminist am I?

  1. elisowen says:

    I might have clicked on a buzzfeed article once before and I refuse to ever give them the time of day after that. Part of me wonders what the end game is of the feminist movement. I sometimes get the thought that they want the future to be some androgynous, asexual nightmare. Almost borg like. I do notice a lot of thin shaming going on recently as well. Suddenly being healthy, fit, and attractive is a “sin.” You were as usual great at taking it all apart piece by piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Eve Keneinan says:

      I think a very large number of feminists do desire an androgynous asexual future. They have a vision of equality that requires the eradication of difference, so natural differences between the sexes must be eliminated, and differences between members of society also.

      Radical egalitarians always hate sex and sexuality, because ἔρως drives people to the opposite of regarding others as “equal.” When you are in love, one other person can mean more to you than the rest of the world combined. Not very “equal.”

      Like

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