This Quiz Sucks

The lovely Skinny Bone Jones has posted about how she and her loverbird M recently took one of those “ridiculous” (I’m quoting her) butch/femme quizzes.  You can read about their reaction to the quiz and find out about the marriages it almost wrecked here 😉

The half-baked butch/femme quiz…  We know they’re awful and that we’ll  glean absolutely no useful insights from them and yet who can resist?   But, I must say, this one takes the cake.  It’s so ill-conceived it’s not really worth writing a post about, but I just have to express my dissent.  (Yes, I’m dissenting to a quiz.  So there.)  The authors say the quiz is just for fun, but if you’re going to post a quiz on the internet that purports to evaluate people’s gender identities, shouldn’t you take some responsibility for what you’re putting out in the world? 

Here’s my beef.  First, some of the questions just don’t make sense or don’t have anything to do with gender, like this one:

<<When looking for a phone number you are more likely to:
 1.Call and ask a friend who has it
 2.Look it up in the phone book
 3.Look it up in your address book/rolladex
 4.Call information
 5.Skip calling all together>>

Ridiculous.  What is the implication here?  Femmes are lazy?  Butches don’t know how to use a phone book?  I have no idea.

Second, the quiz is hopelessly outdated.  There is no recognition of lesbian gender in general and femme as a queer gender in particular.   Skinny is absolutely right about the Leave It to Beaver version of femininity that undergirds the quiz.   Their chart suggests that femme is soft, weak, etc and butch is strong, hard, etc.  I’m so over these tired steretypes.

It’s obviously written by people who have no clue about femininity or femme.  For example, take a look at this question:

<<If FORCED to wear eye shadow, what color would you wear:
 1.blue
 2.brown
 3.You’d have to consult your colorist
 4.a color that matches your skin tone exactly
 5.purple>>

It took me ages to figure out that #4 is the butch answer.  The authors don’t seem to realize that tone (warm or cool) does not equal color.  So you actually want to match you skin tone when selecting makeup colors!   

I scored exactly the same as Skinny:  Strong Femme.  According to the authors’ chart, that’s basically an “androgynous” femme.  Since their ideas about gender are archaic, “strong” means kinda butchy for them.  But no worries, my lovelies.  I’m happy and proud to be a strong femme.  Strong enough to say that this quiz sucks.

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5 Responses

  1. gosh!

    im going to make a queer-theory-cluelessness quiz and sent to whoever made this quiz!

  2. heh, i’ve totally taken that one before. i took it again for good measure, and am still an “androgyne.” hmm, androgynous, no. but hopelessly indecisive, absolutely 😉

    i noticed, though, that it was written in 1998. part of me wants to think that means the quiz is as outdated as the bright blue html website it’s posted on.

    p.s. i would skip calling altogether. that’s femme because it means i’m too quiet and demure to talk on the phone. or it’s butch because it means i’m antisocial and only speak in grunts, thus having no use for phones.

    LOL! Good point about the publication date of the quiz. It probably would have been a good idea for me to look at that before I got my panties in a knot. And interestingly enough Van took the quiz and is also an Androgyne. Go figure. xo
    SF

  3. This has got to be one of the lightest, snarkiest, most delightfully snappy blog posts I’ve read by you yet! WE ARE TOTALLY FEMME TWINSIES, ZOMG! M has agreed, by the way, to help me create a pictorial femme scale (she made one for porn on BCP’s Sugar Walls awhile back…here it is, but NSFW: http://buttercuppunch.wordpress.com/2008/09/12/inside-our-sugar-walls-the-porn-edition-nsfw/) – the femme one will be much more visual AND safe for work!

    I swear I almost took this post down I so regretted writing it, but I’m glad I didn’t if only for your sake. I’m very excited about the femme pictorial scale and love the BCP porn review, which is extremely well done. Clearly an area of expertise for you 2 😉 xo SF

  4. Well, considering the fact that on the eyeshadow question #2 and #4 would be the same for me, that’s an odd quiz. I don’t get the phonebook part either. Who uses a phonebook anymore?

    And see this is why I left taking quizzes (quizilla, is that site still up even?) alone after I turned 17. lol.

  5. I did this quiz a while ago, and got the same (Strong Femme) answer. In my case, I assumed it’s because they equate femme with helplessness, and I am pretty damn independent. I am also alarmingly low maintenance, for someone who IDs as a high femme.

    When taking the quiz, I just had a sense that it certainly wasn’t written by a femme, but by someone who observed femmes doing femme things, but not really understanding the rationale behind the behaviour.

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