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Apparently, I Hate Women

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Credits: Winston Smith

So I came across this article [1] the other day with a "quiz" to show whether or not you're sexist. And I figured "what the hell, it'll be ‘fun' to see how sexist I am" since most people who know me would say that I'm anything but.

Well, it turns out that with a four (out of five) on the hostile sexism scale, I'm a raging sexist who pretty much hates women (subconsciously at least). (But I score a zero on the benevolent sexism scale, so at least I treat women as well I treat men-that's progress I guess.)

Confronted with my results in a nice red bar graph (and I suppose reeling from the discovery that I apparently hate women) I started to dig into it a little more. And the first thing that pops out (even while taking the quiz) is just how biased this thing is. One of the questions, for instance, asks how strongly you agree with the statement that "Women should be cherished and protected by men." Implicitly, the question is about all women. Now I know some pretty vile women who don't deserve to be cherished at all, but I also know some women (like my wife and daughter) who do deserve to be cherished. And then there's that whole protection thing. After years of being told that women are just as capable as men, it's pretty sexist to assume that women are so incompetent that they still need a man to protect them.

Another question asks how strongly you agree that "Women exaggerate problems they have at work". What about the men who exaggerate their problems? I've met whiny little bitches of both sexes in all of the offices I've worked in, but going by this quiz, only women are "special" and complain. (Again, a rather sexist stance given that we're all supposed to be equal.)

Being a bit of a nerd who actually knows a little bit about proper psychological testing, I decided to compare the questions and my scores in this online quiz with the questions from the actual test [2] on which it's based. And while some of the questions are the same, some of the quiz questions have been changed from the test questions in order to make them more biased against men. There are also some questions in the test that ask for opinions about men-questions that are conveniently left out of the online quiz. My score on the hostile sexism scale goes from four to 2.5 [3] (so there's absolutely no bias in this quiz) and 0.4 on the benevolent sexism scale. At least I still treat women the same as I treat men. (And isn't that what feminism is supposed to be about?) What's really interesting here is just how much effort has gone into making it appear that I (and really anyone else who takes this quiz) have a "problem" and that I really hate women. I may still be sexist, but I'm certainly no more sexist than average. Like the article title says, "sexism can be more subtle than you think"-just not necessarily sexism against women. But then in society today, just like only white men can be [called on being] racist, only men can be called on being sexist. (Is that too subtle?)

1 http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/are-you- sexist-take- this-quiz/
2 http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.470.9865&rep=rep1&type=pdf
3 Across a number of test groups, the average score for male hostile sexism is roughly 2.5.





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