Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Wonderlic for Fools

I came across this "Fool" test elsewhere today. It ranks somewhere between the O.J.Simpson trial and the inexplicable career of Buddy Hackett on my personal Ridiculous Meter. Thirteen questions very manipulatively meticulously constructed to help you determine if you really are a fool. I didn't submit answers. Given the slant, I was afraid I might make the internet spontaneously combust.

Here are a few choice samples...

Q: How do you respond when criticized/corrected?

And your multiple choice answers...

1. I hate it! I get angry and defensive.
2. I usually laugh it off. (Sometimes I roll my eyes.)
3. If I get criticized for the same thing enough times, I usually start to take it seriously..
4. I’m thankful for the smallest hint of reproof and take it very seriously.

Seems to me the wise answer to such a question would read something like "I consider the criticism and its source. If after consideration it proves to have substantive merit, I make changes. If it proves to have no merit, I don't pay any attention to it." But, an answer like that is nowhere to be found among the alternatives on this test. What I see in this test is a lot of 3 outrageous or morally deficient answers, and 1 answer that fits perfectly within the neo-conservative, patriarchal, SAHD culture.

Another example...

Q: I like to talk: (-I suppose that's more of a scene-setter than an actual question)

And the answers you get to choose from...

1. ...a LOT. (At least, that’s what people tell me.)
2. ...more than I like to listen.
3. ...if there is an opportunity to show off what I know.
4. ...discreetly; I don’t need to let everyone know what I think or what I know.

An answer like "...when there's a conversation I find interesting or stimulating" obviously isn't sufficient. The irony is, #4 is obviously the "correct" answer, but given some of the ventures these women have undertaken, and given some things they're planning, #3 would seem to be much more applicable, although much of what they talk about, and have plans to talk about, they actually know very little about, only parroting their indoctrination.

One more sample...

Q: People come to me:

Your possible answers...

1. To have a fun time and good laugh
2. To hear the latest dirt on so-and-so
3. For companionship in their silliness/discontent/rebellion/immaturity/etc.
4. To get wise counsel, sympathy, words of life or encouragement

Wow. Uptight much? I could have a field day with the gold mine of potential sarcasm in that one. The thing most evident in this test, specifically this question, is the static nature in which these women view human interaction. It's not like all encounters with others happen under the same conditions or same circumstances. Not every encounter or minute of life happens on a level playing field. For instance, if someone's had a rough day, and thinks I'm a humorous guy, they might come to me as a matter of answer #1. Let's say someone does actually just want to have a good time, so they come by the house to watch Dumb and Dumber with me. #1 and parts of #3 might apply, although "silliness", which Dumb and Dumber is (and hilariously so), doesn't necessarily equate to  "discontent", "immaturity", or that dreaded nemesis "rebellion". Geez. After the first three, #4 feels like a funeral - and it's the obvious "correct" answer for the wise person. At least this test will tell you so. No slanting there.

I've come up with my own question. It follows the general pattern of their test, and would probably fit in really well somewhere between questions 4 and 10. Here goes...

Q: At a busy intersection, a little old lady asks for your assistance in crossing the street. You respond by:

1. Stealing her purse.
2. Screaming "You b@#$%!" and going all "Spider Monkey" on her.
3. Telling her, "Cross it yourself. It's not like you've got all that much longer to live, anyway."
4. Edifying her by thanking her for being a submissive "Titus 2" woman, then finding a male spiritual head to consider and handle her request.

Sorry. I just couldn't promote the patriarchal paradigm by including "helping her across the street" as a possible answer. Thank you for understanding.


  1. ROTFLOL!!!! MWaahahahahahahhahahaha! Yeowie!!!!!! *Gasp, gasp!!!!

    Sheesh. Good laugh. Thanks a million.

  2. This sums up my thoughts about that quiz exactly. It really shows how black and white their thinking really is... There IS no middle ground. There is either "The exact one right way" (as defined by their uber patriarchal mindset) or "the foolish way". :-P Um.....?

  3. Lewis, you are a treasure. :)

  4. @bluebleakember...Not really, but ty kindly for the sentiment. ;)

  5. Yes Joanna! I saw that quiz earlier today as well, and my head was popping with their "choices." Talk about manipulation...

    Lewis: "It's not like all encounters with others happen under the same conditions or same circumstances." Thank you! Exactly what I was thinking.

    Lewis: "Let's say someone does actually just want to have a good time, so they come by the house to watch Dumb and Dumber with me. " Oh no Lewis, that would be worldly... (barf)

    And thank you for your own sample question. Great!

  6. You know what? I think that this whole mentality does this bifurcating in general. Girls are told that they have the option of being good Christian Patriarchy Quiverfull girls, or, well, being evil, bad, sinful, lustful, empty-minded whores. There are only two options: you either keep sweet, our you are a horrible awful person. There is no middle ground. there is no recognition of shades of gray. There is no real understanding of the complexity of the world.

  7. So, Libby Anne, from what you are saying, to finally get out from under the thumb of that system, one has to strive to be a whore (realizing that life is full of nuanced circumstances and needs a different solution for EVERY issue in life)?

    Cool! I'm going to coin a phrase here.

    Patriarchy Survivor = Proud Whore.

    Nice. I fink it thits.

    Oh...that also brings me to another thought. Why is patriarchy so obsessed with solutions to problems? Can't they ever just LIVE? I have gone for months with nary a problem and my life was awesome, as un-formulaic as possible. I think that might be the crux of the problem - the fact that you have to always provide "godly" assistance to others, always be in teaching mode. You can never just lay back, relax, and have a freaking blast!

    *waves hand of absolution...

    Go forth and have fun. Do it at my expense. If someone asks, blame me.

  8. Lewis, people come to me for a good many things that aren't on that list. There's nothing that peeves me more than a multiple choice quiz without a single option that describes me. Or worse, one with leading answers. It reminded me strongly of Stacy McDonald's quiz here:

    This quiz makes me want to:
    1. Stick my head in a toilet
    2. Vomit
    3. Wash my mind out with soap and forget everything I know about the QF/P culture
    4. Stop and be grateful that the God I know is nothing like the one these people propogate

  9. "Talledega Nights" works on SO many levels. ;)

  10. I appreciate how you articulate part of the problem as an impossibly static view of human relationships. I hadn't thought of it in those terms before, but it reminds me of my teenage years in ATI, where we were taught that, in order to avoid the dreaded youthful foolishness and rebellion, one should only be friends with people who were more spiritually mature than oneself. This puzzled and depressed me even at the time, because weren't THOSE people also only supposed to be friends with people more mature than THEMSELVES? So if they were friends with ME, either they weren't spiritually mature after all or I was their moral charity project. This was hardly a healthy view of social interaction to impose upon a perfectionistic and introverted teen.

  11. I wonder how the visionary daughters measure up to their own quiz?

    “How do you respond when criticized/corrected? 1/13
    I’m thankful for the smallest hint of reproof and take it very seriously.”
    So, will they be thankful for the reproof we give here? I already know the answer.

    “I like to talk 2/13
    ....discreetly; I don’t need to let everyone know what I think or what I know.”
    So, if they felt they don’t need to let everyone know what they know/ think they know, would they have made this quiz?

    “When I talk, I tend: 3/13
    Mainly to make people laugh/ To let everyone know what I’m thinking and feeling/ To get into trouble with my big mouth/ To encourage and edify people”

    Somehow, I believe the answers the quiz makers will give, is not the answers others will give about their talking. We definitely believe they “let everyone know what they are thinking and feeling” with the quiz. The quiz certainly makes some people laugh at them.

    Oh, and another thing:
    “When I'm around the opposite sex: 10/13
    …I view them as brothers/sisters in Christ and treat them with purity and RESPECT…”

    It’s official – patriarchal males ARE fools, even in the measurement patriarchal women use. They don't treat the opposite sex with respect.

  12. I got a "D" according to their foolish quiz and I'm proud of it! That quiz is so biased that I wish I could have gotten an "F". And not even my parents would dare call me a fool.

  13. Sinister, truthful, yet comical all at the same time. How do you obtain such talent? (grins)

  14. "What I see in this test is a lot of 3 outrageous or morally deficient answers, and 1 answer that fits perfectly within the neo-conservative, patriarchal, SAHD culture."

    In other words, 4 outrageous, morally deficient answers. ;)

  15. It's too bad that AE and S have to use their brains to come up with such pithy questions and answers. They need to get out more and smell the Starbucks or Seattle's Best!

  16. Hahaha...I got an F! I would be laughing a lot harder if I wasn't so depressed that people actually live like that! Ick.

  17. Black-and-white thinking is a glaring spotlight of a symptom of any kind of fundamentalist thinking (even non-religious fundamentalism) but the problem with QF/P thinking is that they teach that white IS black and then use black-and-say... purple thinking. They convince these poor ignorant kids growing up that normal healthy stuff is evil and then compare it to ridiculous stuff that isn't even relevant.

  18. Yeah I came across that quiz awhile back...I think it described me as a fool. I just thought it was absurd and twisted. Just because someone can make an A on such a quiz means absolutely nothing about their spiritual life and is completely focused on the external appearance rather than a personal walk with Christ and the resulting fruit of the Spirit.

  19. Libby Anne, you NAILED it ['Girls are told that they have the option of being good Christian Patriarchy Quiverfull girls, or, well, being evil, bad, sinful, lustful, empty-minded whores.'] There is no middle ground. I think we have all established that a long while ago, probably, but it struck me particularly hard just now.

    As for this quiz....I found this, unfortunately, a couple years ago when I was 16. I believe it was mentioned in the Return of the Daughters film [which you might or might not enjoy reviewing, Lewis] and, being a sucker for punishment, I must needs go look it up. I think my 'grade' has gone down in the years since then :)

  20. there's an even worse quiz, somewhere. one of the questions is "have you ever murdered?" and of course i say "no". then it asks "have you ever been angry at a person?"
    this question is based a verse that the then quote, which says something like "having UNJUSTIFIED anger is the same as murder in the eyes of the Lord".
    but that isn't what they ASKED. to my knowledge, i've never been UNJUSTIFIED in my anger.

    but they didn't ask correctly, because they want every single person who takes their quiz to *KNOW* that they have broken at least 1 of the 10 Commandments. so they cheat.

  21. This was the equation that I learned during our very short stint in a patriarchal church: Laughter= foolishness.
    Fortunately, my family never even came close to believing that, and my best friend (who herself was a bit of a rebel) and I used to parade about singing that song from Mary Poppins: you know, "I love to laugh! Loud and long and clear!" and doing stupid things like eating all the peanut butter cups out of the Moose Tracks ice cream. The funny thing was, our friendship was something of a legend in our little social circle. People somehow realized that our incessant giggling was stronger than forced conversations on deep topics that no one cared about.
    Ahh, we must have been the two biggest fools in the congregation!

  22. Calm down, Lewis. You're getting all worked up over nothing. It's obvious to me that the quiz was meant to be humorous in the first place and you fell for the bait! ;)

  23. Another thought that may help a daughter still cringing as she read this quiz: They want to call you a fool so they can tell you “listen to the advice of your parents/ the producers of this “Biblical womanhood” material.”

    Before accepting that you should listen, put them to the same test: Is your father/ pastor or whoever you should listen to “thankful for the smallest hint of reproof”, taking “it very seriously”? Do they like to talk “more than they like to listen”, or do they feel they “don’t need to let everyone know what I think or what I know”? Etc.

    If, by this very quiz, the father/ pastor/ patriarchal blogger turn out to be a fool, you have a good reason not to take advice from him.

  24. Retha. If what you say is correct, it looks like a proper patriarchal group shouldn't say much. Um...EPIC FAIL!

  25. @Retha...That's true. If this test were turned around and applied literally to those they follow rather than to their own followers, it wouldn't reflect well.

  26. Just took it.

    I got an "F"!

    Now, where does it say that my parents have to be "my dearest friends and wise counselors"???

    How should Jonathan have responded when Saul wanted to kill David? Or how Jesus rebuked (*gasp*!!!!!) his parents at the age of 10?!?!?!?! I asked my parents this once when I was 13 and the were reading the Miller Family Series of indoctrination (devotions). We didn't read much but I don't remember any more devo's like this after the fact...