Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Masculin féminin: 1 fait précis

Being productive sure doesn't leave time for much else. It's been another busy day. I haven't had time to knit, although my plan is to finish the baby hat tonight. The pattern seemed weird when it came to the decreasing. There are a lot of stitches left on the needle. Kristin suggested doing two more decreases in the direction the pattern was headed--(k2tog, k3) across, purl a row, (k2tog, k2) across, purl a row--rather than cut the yarn with almost forty stitches to be drawn together.

Rather than blather on about this or that and end up spending an hour trying to force an entry, I'm going to go to a standby: borrow something from elsewhere. Donna blogged about an online test that is claimed to measure gender traits. I wish there were more explanations about this test since there seems to be a very particular viewpoint in what gets defined as masculine or feminine. Several of the so-called feminine qualities have negative connotations. I'm not sure how "loyal" and "understanding" are supposed to be associated with one gender, but this is all intended to be a lark, a conversation starter, than a scientific evaluation.

Five of my six answer columns were separated by no more than three points. Three of the columns, including both neutrals, had the same score. My score: +11, which qualifies me as "nearly masculine" on the test's scale. As with any of these tests--Myers-Briggs, for instance--the outcome can fluctuate depending on one's mood. Regardless, guess I need to dig a ditch or something to make me a man.

Seriously, though, the result doesn't surprise me, and I'm perfectly fine with it. I'm talking about it on my knitting blog. That alone ought to be enough to torpedo my masculine points on the test.

Although I had to pause to consider how I'd rate some of the traits--am I likable? warm?--I think I'm pretty self-aware (perhaps too much so). I've not felt the pressure to live up to the cartoonish image of masculinity to be a man, which isn't to say that I'm immune from it. (Who do I know that took his sweet old time to reveal his knitting secret and still keeps it hidden from some?) In the end I think it's more important to be at ease with yourself rather than try to match some socially constructed definition of what your gender should be.

Jung was always one of my favorites in psychology courses. I liked how he stressed the importance of finding a balance of one's masculine and feminine traits. Maybe that's what I've done, whether it's been conscious or not. (I could bastardize his theories, which I've not studied in years, but instead I'll point you to the Wikipedia entries on anima, animus, and Carl Jung--check out the anima and animus section--if you'd like to pursue it further.)

Hmm, that didn't turn out to be a fast entry after all...


At 7:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right about gender being socially constructed, the test is probably also culturally biased towards western assumptions about gender. That being said, I'm off to check it out!

At 8:51 AM, Blogger Karen said...

You summed it up with these words, Mark "it's important to be at ease with who you are." It sounds like you are.

However, if I have any digging coming up, and you need a boost to your masculinity, I'll call you! Then we can go to Starbucks and knit afterward. ;-)

At 9:50 AM, Blogger Jenn said...

I ended up being androgynous. (-3). I also had a close friend and old roommate rate me, and he put me at -1. So apparently I have a good perception of myself that matches what others think of me...

Growing up with 4 brothers made me aware of all my "girliness"...but when I went to college and hung out with lots of guys and girls, it made me realize how easily I can talk to either. I like that about myself.

And I think the test is supposed to be social perceptions of certain traits as masculine or feminine...not meaning that you as an individual think that "childish" is a feminine trait (uggh), but that society as a whole often associates it with femininity.

At 12:56 PM, Blogger the secret knitter said...

Karen, the only digging I do is below my own feet. :)

Like I said, the test provokes some thoughts, which is why I wish there was an explanation of the methodology behind it.


Post a Comment

<< Home