The Internet is a window onto the world. If something exists, you can find it on the web. If it doesn’t, just check again tomorrow. And as you click around, the elves inside your computer are noting where you go, when, and how often, and madly tallying up your tastes and preferences.
If that’s the case, why then do I keep getting ads for the most offensive bullshit ever directed at womanity? I should be getting click-thru banner ads for “MOAR KITTEH PICHURS!” and “Rad Women Unite to Fight Sexism,” or at least solicitations for Bust magazine and online book retailers. But no, I keep being directed toward a site, clearly marketed to women, called “My Daily Moment.”
That sounds nice, right? Your own moment? To sit, reflect, maybe enjoy a refreshing beverage amidst the chaos of your day?
Nope. “My Daily Moment” is (to the extent that this is possible) even more egregious than the worst ladymags when it comes to haranguing you for DOIN IT RONG. “Doing what wrong?” you ask. Oh, sister: everything. There are sections on Diet and Fitness (because you’re fat, you disgusting fatty), Food and Recipes (because your cooking sucks–but makes you fat, you disgusting fatty), Gossip (because that’s all you disgusting fatties talk about), Horoscopes (will the stars save you from your disgusting, fat ways?), and Quizzes (find out how disgusting you are, fatty!).
I generally wouldn’t recommend you surf on over there and thereby grant them your advertising dollars (remember what Auntie Jean Kilbourne says, kids: YOU are the product being sold to companies by advertisers), but if you’re ever in need of an otherwise cheap emetic…well, now you know where to go.
The day I clicked through to give myself a daily moment (and to free you from the need to expose yourself to such a noxious environment) I found a quiz that nearly caused me to choke on my refreshing beverage: “Are You A Good Wife?” What if I’m not? (fine, fine, so I’m not a wife at all, play along) I must find out. JUDGE ME, INTERNETS!
From the very beginning, I knew I was in trouble:
You promised to love, honor and obey. While you’ve fulfilled that vow, do you come up short in other ways? Now is your chance to find out if you’re a good wife or if you’re a shell of the woman you once promised to be.
I AM A SHELL OF THE WOMAN I (never) PROMISED TO BE!!! The quiz is made up of fifteen questions, each with three, easy-to-understand options. A is the answer for Shrieking Harpies; B is for Brainless WifeBots; and C is for You, Who Tries So Hard. To wit:
1. Your husband has had a rough day at the office. You…
A. Tell him to suck it up and help you with the kids.
B. Make him a special dinner and give him a backrub.
C. Ask him if he wants to talk about it.
You think I’d go right for the “Shrieking Harpy” option, but none of these work for me. We don’t have kids. And I have rough days at “the office,” too. Don’t I get a backrub?
Sometimes there are more than three possible answers, and yet I still can’t find a place for me! You guys!
9. How often do you have dinner ready when he arrives home?
A. I haven’t used the stove in a year.
B. At least five nights a week.
C. He picks up dinner on the way home.
D. I always have something ready, whether home-cooked or from a restaurant.
Why is there no “We figure it out together after we’re both done with work, and sometimes we cook together, and sometimes I cook, and sometimes he cooks, and sometimes we get takeout, but sometimes we just eat cereal, and sometimes we say ‘fuckit, let’s hit the Happy Hour with the free pizza'” option? Too long? My Daily Moment, you’re supposed to be rating my wifely fitness! How can you rate me if there is no “sometimes we just eat cereal” option???
But here’s my favorite question:
12. You’re at a bar and a good-looking guy starts coming on to you. You…
A. Go have sex with him in his car; what hubby doesn’t know won’t hurt him.
B. Politely explain that you’re happily married.
C. Take his number and call him from time to time.
D. Plan to meet up with him for lunch.
E. Excuse yourself and go home to be with your husband.
Unfortunately, I can’t answer this one, either, since there is no “Wake up from your dream, roll out of bed and go feed the cats” option.
In any case, I answered the questions as best I could, and My Daily Moment, after asking me to sign up for its newsletters and check out great offers from their sponsors, decided I was “No June Cleaver!”
I thought that was code for “Shrieking Harpy,” but no, I’m in the “You, Who Tries So Hard” category. “Shrieking Harpy” is what they call “Are you the next member of the ex-wives club?” and Wife-Bots, who make up 72% of the quiz-taking public get “The Dutiful Wife” designation. I’m part of the 26% of failed 50s TV housewives; harpies make up less than 2% of the population (tell that to the next MRA who complains about what horrible bitches American women are).
Now, “Not June Cleaver” doesn’t sound so bad, right? Au contraire, ma mere. You’ve got to watchit!
Nobody’s perfect… and that includes you. While there is no law that says you have wait on your husband hand and foot, there’s a lot to be said about standing by your man. Sure, you do the basics. You cook and clean, but it’s because you feel like you have to, not because you want to. He works hard for the money, and maybe you do, too. Regardless, it’s important that you hold up your end of the deal. Maybe you can’t pick up all of the slack physically, but you can at least be there for him emotionally. Show him how much he means to you by doing something special for him every now and then. On a regular basis, praise him with love and affection.
In other words: you are one mere category away from the ex-wives club!!! Sure, you do all that domestic stuff. But not because you want to. You should want to. And maybe you even bring in money! But you’re probably a pretty distant, mannish kinda wife. Why not fetch his pipe and slippers some nights, and let him know he’s The Man.
Of course, these quizzes are not meant to be much more than time-wasters- “for entertainment purposes only,” says My Daily Moment–but the proliferation of “quizzes” for women to judge themselves, their relationships, their children’s achievement, or whatever, is one of those things that makes me suspicious. The limited, coercive answers, the constant comparing of one’s own results to that of other women (WHO is a better wife?), and the slippery-slope messages about how your errant behavior–which is all behavior, because even “Dutiful Wives” get advice on what they might be doing wrong–might lead to your downfall are a trifecta of misogynist messages that women are constantly being asked to actively participate in spreading. Unless your goal is to make your “daily moment” one of low-level panic and self-loathing, stay far away from this crap.
Or maybe this is just a bad quiz. I’ll go take the one called “Is Your Man Falling Out of Love With You?” and get back to you.