Friday, April 24, 2015

Using The Big Five to Discover the All-Natural Feminism (2/2)

Feminism, like all political ideologies, is a natural result of inherent biological traits. Due to this, I formulated a hypothesis using the Big Five psychological traits. The Big Five are used by political scientists as political indicators, so that they can determine the connection between personality and political attitudes and choices. Of course without any data specifically on specifically feminist attitudes, I hypothesize the modern typical all-natural "feminist" is one who is open to experience,  not conscientious, moderate extraversion, agreeable, and lacks emotional stability.

Looking at prominent feminists such as Diane Von Furstenberg, Hillary Clinton, Ellen Page, Lena Dunham, and Emma Watson, helps to tie together common personality traits that could be associated with this particular political ideology. Further examples include Lena Dunham saying, "Do you believe that women should be paid the same for doing the same jobs? Do you believe that women should be allowed to leave the house? Do you think that women and men both deserve equal rights? Great, then you’re a feminist." Or an even more popular example of feminist activism, when Emma Watson promoted her #HeForShe campaign in association with the UN. It makes an attempt to get more men into the modern feminist movement.


These examples along with lesser known YouTube feminist personalities like Laci Green, Claudia Boleyn, and Rebecca Watson leave me to conclude firstly that a typical feminist likes to be open to an experience. These women search out information that either promotes or questions their own beliefs, whether they internalize the any information that challenges their views is another matter entirely, but these women focus their efforts online. They use social media such as twitter and tumblr to promote their own views and search for the views of others through mainly the Internet. These women or should I say feminists are not conscientious, they are relativists in the sense that what they value is always in flux. One day they are for a woman's right to engage in sexual activity, the next they are fighting against ads that promote a woman's sexuality. Most protests seemed fueled by anger and a disgust with tradition, or as they put it, social activities or luxuries fabricated by men such as women not being legally allowed to go topless, or men spreading their legs on public transportation.

As for extraversion, I would find that those who participate in the major speaking roles of protests, or group activities (online or otherwise) are extroverted. Those who are introverted don't usually partake in group activities for extended periods of time (due to the fact that social interaction causes them to become tired). To put it bluntly I don't find extroversion to be a deciding factor in any political ideology.

On to agreeableness, which I believe this is extremely high within modern feminist ideology. Feminists, along with most ideologies that claim to be "radical" want to also be agreeable. Watch the Emma Watson #HeForShe campaign, which in my opinion was a decree that "us feminists want to be more agreeable to everyone, including men." Go to any "woman" focused news category and you will find writers enthralled with the idea that people like them, writing pieces like, "The Weight of a Woman," "Why We Need Terrible Female Engineers," or "Five Reasons to Think Twice Before Calling a Woman Crazy." Every article clings to the idea of "we care about you, so much we won't even acknowledge your flaws. We want you to like us." Most blogs and articles focused on women and women's issues use terms that reflect the inherent need to show "caring," "cooperativeness," and "kindness." Those high in agreeableness don't like conflict, which is one of the terms feminists dislike. Ever ask a feminist what would happen if there were more female world leaders? Most respond by saying less conflict and violence, and this is viewed as a positive thing.

As for emotional stability, I don't believe I can make a definitive statement regarding the emotional state of feminists, especially when there is little to no strong research on neuroticism and its role in political behavior. However it is very difficult to ignore public instances of protest that in many ways display a level of unhealthy narcissism that is not being dealt with, probably because of the "agreeableness" factor. You don't want to tell anyone in your group that they are being crazy, when in fact they are being crazy. Examples of this narcissism include the protest against equity feminist Christina Hoff Sommers, when feminists protested and pulled the fire alarm at a MRA event, or when Mat Taylor was brought to tears when he had to apologize to feminist complaints about his shirt. It is surprising that feminism does not have that great of a PR network to handle these sort of embarrassing examples, however modern feminism is an ideology not a movement, and when it is a movement it is a specific movement with specific people that no one is responsible for.

To conclude, the goal of this exercise is two fold, to promote the fact that there is a correlation between personality and political affiliation and ideology, and to selfishly explain to those who are anti-feminist that the confusion and sometimes "hatred" of feminists is unnecessary. I can't tell you how many times I have seen a YouTube video creator ask the question, "Why would s/he make that statement? Why would anyone want to be a feminist?" It's not that a person wants to be a feminist, it's that they fit the personality criteria which directly results in them accepting that ideology, and this not only goes for feminism, but all the -isms that most people cling to.

It's incredibly odd that a group (usually men's rights, or recently atheists) who promote looking into the scientific differences between men and women as the foundation of certain points (such as why men and women play different sports) decide to overlook the science that would indicate that a person's inherent, genetic, all-natural personality effects what political decisions they make. Some women and men are going to be born feminists and this is not a bad thing. Those against feminism make bold claims like "they want men to hate women," but leave it at that, never going into why they believe this to be the case from a psychological or scientific perspective. I think people, especially those who are strongly against feminism should begin to recognize and respond to the personalities that encompass this ideology, and in doing so understand their own political attitudes.

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