I found a quiz a few weeks back from a website that claims to promote women and fight for equality in the workplace. The quiz, “Are you Too Demanding,” only serves to further promote the idea that women can only be successful if they act like men, at a detriment to their likability and womanhood.
Every question was problematic in at least one way; the title itself suggests that women who have achieved recognition in their field and have advanced their careers are probably stepping on other people’s toes. They are getting in the way of other’s success. When the author of this quiz says, “A powerful woman knows what she wants, but standards have their limits,” they are saying that women should not try too hard to achieve. And of course, since this quiz is directed at women, implies that men do not have this problem; men’s achievements do not negatively affect them or those around them.
The seven-question quiz begins by asking women how they handle an opportunity to put down another woman. The assumption made in this quiz is that all of your coworkers are also women. This is another problematic assumption because it pushes women into careers that are traditionally feminine, not that their coworkers would be men. The first question asks how you handle when your coworker makes a mistake during a presentation. Your options are to sigh and correct the mistake, politely interject, or ignore it because she was just nervous.
Choice A is clearly the worst choice because you would be too out-for-yourself and undermining other women. I am personally bothered by the ever-present trope that women are “naturally” going to fight with other women, as if this is not a construction reinforced by media and men who want to put women down. I have heard way too many women tell people that they don’t like women because they are catty or putting each other down. I’m bothered by how pervasive this is because it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Anyway, choice B gives you a chance to not be aggressive when you politely correct your coworker, which I assume to mean using uptalk as to not sound too knowledgeable. Choice C is probably the best way to preserve your femininity, but it doesn’t give you a chance to succeed.
I’m going to skip ahead to question six now and let you read through the others on your own. This question is too good not to address.
This question gives you a pretty simple choice between being and overbearing bitch, a good, nurturing woman, or someone who isn’t qualified to be in a position of leadership.
Womenworking.com presents itself as a website that serves women’s needs and helps them to learn how to succeed in the working world, which has never been kind to women. Instead, the quiz only perpetuates stereotypes about successful women and how they push other women down to get ahead.