Do you take pretty girls less seriously?
July 24, 2006 11:38 PM   Subscribe

Tell me, are you sexist?

I work at a university. I was walking between the lab and Chipotle for lunch today, and I noticed a very pretty girl walking in a similar direction. For some reason, I became slightly irritated - "she wouldn't notice something intellectually interesting if were a 2x4 falling on her head". I was a little struck by this - I have absolutely no reason to think that she's not fully capable and intelligent. Ick. I like to think that I'm not sexist. In fact, I'd like to believe that I'm some variety of feminist (in the equality of opportunity sense).

Is this a common? Help me figure this out by answering these questions. I know they're broken down by sex rather than a myriad of other options - and it'd be an interesting follow-up study to examine the response by gender (masculine vs. feminine) and sexual orientation. But for now:

Males, Answer These Questions | Females, Answer These Questions

Unintelligent by default. Like race, it's another example of a barrier that people don't even realize exists.
posted by arrhn to Society & Culture (24 answers total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: pollfilter. this is not what ask metafilter is for.

It's a bit loaded.

If you saw a large, well built young male who looked like he was into sports wouldn't you think a similar thing? i.e. "What a jock, he wouldn't know flaubert from flourene."
posted by sien at 11:45 PM on July 24, 2006

I'm with sien. I'd say it was judgemental but not necessarily sexist.

And um (please excuse the ignorance) who's flourene?
posted by kechi at 11:52 PM on July 24, 2006

Well, sien probably meant either flourine or flourene.

Flourine is, of course, an element.

Flourene is a cool purple-burning hydrocarbon.
posted by Justinian at 11:55 PM on July 24, 2006

I just did your's a very interesting question. I'm kind of surprised at my own answers. As a female, I tend to take females who are attractive/well-dressed more seriously, but take attractive/well-dressed guys less seriously. I wonder why?

As far as attractive women being seriously, I do recall reading that women who wear makeup to work tend to be viewed as more professional than those who don't...but I can't remember the source. That tidbit is actually what prompted me to start wearing some makeup to work, most days.
posted by tastybrains at 11:58 PM on July 24, 2006

The first question is loaded.
posted by equalpants at 11:59 PM on July 24, 2006

Jealousy and resentment often find an outlet in (angry, strongly held) beliefs of being superior in some other way that's Much More Important.
posted by fleacircus at 12:00 AM on July 25, 2006

Oh sorry I forgot to participate in the experiment / poll / whatever, nor do I care to. Please kill my cat for my inability to spot the setup.
posted by fleacircus at 12:02 AM on July 25, 2006

Yep, that was a pretty sexist thought that flashed cross your mind there. You caught it though, so everything's cool. You can't be expected to control your subconscious, but if you're aware of what's going on in there, and ready to counter it with reason, good for you.

And it's fluorine, and fluorene. Unless we've gotten into some weird American/British spelling quirk, which I don't think we have. I suppose flourene could be an alkene derived from flour....
posted by mr_roboto at 12:19 AM on July 25, 2006

That's why I was confused -- my quick google search only asked if I was really trying to find fluorene -- and I thought that maybe flourene was a great literary figure I'd never heard about. Thanks for clearing that up. I'll leave this place now.
posted by kechi at 12:26 AM on July 25, 2006

I think everyone thinks that a little bit... That's why blonde jokes exist.
posted by lain at 12:56 AM on July 25, 2006

I won't take your poll (and I'm not sure it's an appropriate use for AskMe).

I will say that everyone -- no matter how swell and egalitarian and puppyhugging they might think they are -- has at least some prejudices and preconceptions about others, along any axis you might care to travel (gender, ethnicity, adiposity, political orientation, whatever).

The targets and intensities of those preconceptions, the degree to which the person is able to examine and be aware of them, the degree to which compensation is made for them, and thus the degree to which they dictate the person's speech, behaviour, and attitude: those vary.

Like race, it's another example of a barrier that people don't even realize exists.

Well, no: everyone with a couple of braincells to rub together realizes it exists. No matter who or what you are, there's somebody out there who holds prejudices against you for some ridiculous reason. You may not have met them yet.

Most people have.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:07 AM on July 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

That's fluorine and fluorene, you psuedoinelectables.
posted by flabdablet at 1:20 AM on July 25, 2006

And I don't beleive in perveiws.
posted by flabdablet at 1:21 AM on July 25, 2006

Yes, I totally support sex!

That's what that means, right?
posted by delmoi at 1:24 AM on July 25, 2006

the brits don't spell it flourene either, btw
posted by altolinguistic at 1:32 AM on July 25, 2006

There's a certain amount of cultural bias that is inherent in one's upbringing. The key is to strive to overcome it.
posted by wsg at 1:33 AM on July 25, 2006

Response by poster: Alright. I'll admit that I framed the question slightly wrong. I the main focus of the post was to find the differences in male and female responses -- to see if women had the same biases as men regarding the way they "do themselves up."

A lot of women friends of mine suggest that its hard to be taken seriously (as a student) when they've "prettified", and I was looking for some hard numbers (being an engineering student/lab researcher/business owner, there's no such thing as "too much data"), which I thought I could obtain nicely through the survey software (disclosure: yes, I wrote it in my spare time.).

I'm not trying to plug my software, I'm trying to get numbers. I could code in a bit to remove the ads for any future posts if that's a concern.
posted by arrhn at 1:42 AM on July 25, 2006

Response by poster: And... my apologies if its offends people. Start a post in the grey if you don't think this is appropriate.
posted by arrhn at 1:43 AM on July 25, 2006

What? There are fucking ads on those pages?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:44 AM on July 25, 2006

I know k8t recently had a question deleted, and the reason was "Ask metafilter is not Survey Filter" or something just like that. I don't care to find it, and I usually refrain from comments like this, but there ya go.
posted by fake at 2:04 AM on July 25, 2006

This doesn't fit AskMe guidelines, in my opinion. Flagged.
posted by madman at 2:50 AM on July 25, 2006

It's okay if you do (take pretty girls less seriously), because their lecturers won't.

I find myself prejudiced against good looking people, only because I wish for a fair and just world, where good looking people (which I am not one of) only get one gift, looks, and I can be smug in my intelligence. However, in my experience, the universe is not balanced, and there are some supermodels who speak three languages and win Nobel prizes for their work in nuclear physics - all this achieved while they travel the world playing virtuouso chamber music to poor indigenous people and raising a family of 13 angelic and well-adjusted children.

On the other hand, some people do get by on looks alone. Scum.
posted by b33j at 2:58 AM on July 25, 2006

I'd start a post in the grey if I hadn't already earlier this week. If this isn't chatfilter then I don't know what is. Flagged.
posted by persona non grata at 3:23 AM on July 25, 2006

Thank God for you.
posted by ed\26h at 4:07 AM on July 25, 2006

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