Equal Opportunity Religion Hating – Or Not?
Do you love online quizzes? Do you like the idea of contributing to academic research? Are you into social justice and personal bias? Well, head on over to Project Implicit, a collaboration designed to investigate “thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness and control”. They administer tests on race, religion, gender, age and more.
It’s pretty interesting. I’ve taken a couple of the tests. They seem to rely upon timed keyboard response to word pairings and categorizing, and dependent variables are the time you take to respond and the mistakes you make. The idea is that how we respond is not just a factor of our conscious processing – after all some people are good at consciously self-monitoring their behaviour. We have hidden biases that can come through despite being politically correct.
There were some follow-up questions after the quizzes I took that attempt to examine what I believe influences the way I think, but likely, most people have no idea why they unconsciously behave the way they do. Only when you make a true effort to examine your privileges and biases (through reading, listening, interacting, adopting humility, etc) can you even begin to understand what is going on inside you.
Anyhow, I took a test on views on religion, as well as one on gender stereotypes with regard to science and liberal arts. With the latter, I scored in (the top – my interpretation, haha) 1% of people who overwhelmingly associated science with women and liberal arts with men. I wasn’t surprised at either the misogyny of the rest of the population or with my atypical response. They asked me at the end for possible explanations for my results. In all honesty, having worked in both science and liberal arts, all the best scientists I’ve worked with have been women. Men tend to suffer from arrogance, inflated sense of importance, misogyny, and the need to confirm their own, often strange, beliefs. Women, I’ve observed, are more humble, less biased, and thus truer to the spirit of science. Good role models, in other words. So in my mind, I always associate scientists and properly done science with women. In all honesty, I also tend to associate women with liberal arts and anything intellectual, creative, interpretive, and artistic, as well. Men? I am more and more frequently associating men with porn and violent oppression than noble endeavours, creativity or rational thinking… Hey, once the scales fall from the eyes and you decide you aren’t going to suck the Patriarchal cock anymore, you begin to see things for what they really are. But there was no text input or radio button option to explain my thinking on that, alas. I’m sure the mostly male research team will just pass me off as an anomaly or as we research types tend to say, “an outlier”.
Regarding the test on religion, that one was more interesting and surprising to me. I hate all religions, for obvious reasons (misogyny, ignorance, magical thinking, control, violence, hatred, homophobia, anti-progress, and I’ll say it again, misogyny). The test looked at the four major religions: Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. They had two lists of words. One consisted of ‘positive’ words (excellent, good, etc) and the other of ‘negative’ words (bad, terrible, etc). There was a series of groupings. In each, you were told to press one key if you saw a word from one of the religions OR a positive word, and to press a different key for all the other religions or a negative word. The test purported to tap your subconscious attitudes toward each religion.
At the end, I was given a relative placement of my negative attitude towards each of the religions, and as you can see from my outcome above, Christianity fell to the negative bottom of my personal religious shit-pile. Keep in mind that I believe that ALL religions are evil, which is my conscious attitude, but subconsciously, I suppose, I associate the most negative qualities with Christianity. I thought I was an equal-opportunity hater. I’m kind of disappointed.
* note for all dudes discovering their knickers suddenly in a twist at my audacity to associate science and competence with women, I am explaining my personal experience and thinking, not reporting on a scientific study I’ve done or treating my experience as a study. Chill out and stop getting so bloody sensitive and emotional, for fuck’s sake! Note also that women have tolerated this kind of bias from you for millennia. And you’ve been rewarded for it! At least I don’t rape or deny you employment!!!