Sunday, December 05, 2010

Survey Results and What That Was All About

Almost three weeks ago and two whole books ago I begged and pleaded for you to take my survey. I know it was weird, and I know I left you hanging, but I've been busy. I started to post the results post a couple times but a)it's complicated and b)I'm not good at charts or reading instructions. Google documents aren't that easy! Or, I'm not that good at reading instructions. Or los dos.

So, I'll start from the ridiculous and end up with the real reason I made the survey in the first place. It may take more than one blog. Ridiculous are two questions a friend and I fell on opposite sides of. We'll start where themacinator looked really dumb (only one of the bajillion times a week that this happened.) I went to a Warriors game and lo and behold they played the Clippers. What, says themacinator, is a Clipper? I suppose a clipper is something obvious.

I know my dear readers are smart and well edumacated, but I had no idea what a clipper was. I figured that it was basketball, maybe they clipped people. Whatever that means. But as the majority of you knew, a clipper is a ship with 3 masts. Right. Why, I asked, is a team from Los Angeles named after a sailboat? Like I should get that? Well, apparently the Clippers were orignially from San Diego. Where apparently they sail boats a lot. See more here, and pat yourself on the back if you got that one.

Next inane question was about dirigibles. A dirigible is basically a blimp. Most of you got this one, as did I. Some of you, wisely, didn't care. One has been flying daily over Oakland, which is kind of cool in an absurd sort of way.

Now we get more to the meat of the matter. I threw in a trick question here about shooting. I don't shoot guns, I don't like guns, but I was feeling sneaky. It's my stupid survey, I'll trick you if I want to.

I've written about this before- about my weirded-out-ness about shooting people wihtout noticing, but V and I recently had a conversation about how this kind of drive-by-shooting was "in" again. (Shootings of the gun kind are also "in" again in Oakland, but that's another story for another day and another survey, now that I'm so technologically awesome.) I really am curious about people's opinions: obviously a lot of people who read this blog think it's cool/edgy. I'm just not there, yet. Plus, with my obsession with film lately, I'm terrible at it. It's not easy to focus a twin lens reflex and then shoot cock the shutter AND shoot without looking. I'm too clutzy for that. The digi is big and bulky, and I'm too self concious to walk around with it in places that could take unseen photos. And I'm just not going to take pictures of sleeping/passed out/otherwise vulnerable people. But I'm open for photo-ethics-discussions.

The last question was the reason I made this quiz. It's also the question I screwed up, inadvertantly leaving Google Doc's "option #4" choice in. This is the choice that 9 out of 24 participants chose, basically screwing/skewing my data in an otherwise extremely statistically significant poll.

I know this seemed like an odd question to find on since I am unabashed prude. I will talk about feminism often and sexuality occasionally, but rarely actual sex or sex acts. The question: "Would you have a one night stand?" is definitely about sex. The choices that I meant to include (not "Option 4), "Yes, I've done it," "I'd do it, stuff happens," and "I thought themacinator was a prude. What's going on here?," were personal, and, well about sex. So what brought this on?

A couple of weeks ago, I was in the break room at work and encountered an issue of "Cosmo" magazine. I've heard of this magazine- even though I live in the dark ages in terms of pop culture, Cosmo is not totally beyond me. After picking it up, I kind of wish it was. It's gross. Peruse the front page of that link for a sampling of all kinds of things that I think should probably be covered in paper when sold on the newsstand. Anyway, I was possessed by an evil spirit to take a quiz. I mean, I was a teenager once, or more like a pre-teen once, who read 17 magazine and things like that, and quizes were the best part. The more I think about it, quizes in awful teenage magazines were how my friends and I determined what was "normal" or "acceptable." And Cosmo is still at it. Only, the magazine establishes what is "normal" by positioning everything else as deviant, "naughty," or objectionable. Which left me unsettled and in need of creating a quiz. Here is how the quiz is presented:

The quiz is set up in a catchy format, but hooks the reader/quiz-taker in by suggesting that OTHER women are doing naughty things. The first page is blank, and offers the three choices for each question (as I tried to do in my "real" question): "I've done it," "I haven't, but I'm curious," and "I wouldn't." Reader gets the chance to fill in all of these questions and then, on the next page, is presented with

What bugged me so much about this? (And why has it taken me so long to write this?) I guess I feel like, for whatever reason, the stats are skewed. And because of the way the data is presented- "Wicked things other women are doing," "Cosmo's naughtiest poll," etc, I feel like women are being demonized for, well, doing what women do. Here are a snippet of the results that really bugged.

Having sex with an ex, having a one night stand, and having sex on a first date all scored at or above 50% of women saying "I wouldn't." This wording that sounds like absolute "No," on a quiz that, I'm guessing most women my age, a little younger and a little older, would say is the kind of quiz that helped them figure out "what is normal," posits this kind of sexuality as abnormal. This kind of sexuality that is often described as "slutty," or "loose," or in Cosmo's terms, "naughty" and "wicked." Is it wrong to have sex with someone you just met? Or someone you've broken up with? Accroding to Cosmo's readers (or the numbers Cosmo's published), less acceptable than "sexting" naked pictures. The definitions of "naughty" and "wicked" are what got me here.

And what took me so long? Well, I don't like to talk about sex, for one. Those who answered that themacinator is a prude were absolutely right. Also, cutting and pasting and scanning was a pain in the ass. themacinator is also kind of lazy. I'm fascinated to hear your thoughts, though.