In December, we watched as I googled shit-testing, got pages of PUA articles about how to defeat women's shit-testing, assumed that the method in question was "refuse to take no for an answer," and demanded alcohol. Well, I posted something similar to Facebook and a guy that I know responded that while my assumption was interesting, it was wrong. I decided to investigate, despite who the comment came from, because I prefer to be correct if possible. I was incorrect, but the real answer was marginally worse.
When I brought up shit-testing before, many people didn't know what shit-testing was and some assumed that it was proctological, so I should clear up that confusion before we move on. The definition of shit-testing that feminists and PUA can agree on is that there is no right answer to the test, and when you give the wrong answer, you are deemed "unworthy."
What Is Shit-Testing, the PUA View and the Feminist View:
The PUA version can be a single question, which means that what they are talking about literally has a different, preexisting name: the loaded question fallacy. The textbook example of the loaded question is "When did you stop beating your wife?" The question assumes that you started beating your wife, so if you answer the question, you confess to beating your wife. For more information on this rhetorical device, watch any interview of someone who disagrees with Fox News— on Fox News.
But you know, a single question does not make a test; it makes a question. A test generally connotes more than one question. This is where we come to the shit-testing that feminists talk about: asking questions until the testee gets one wrong, which declares the testee herself to be invalid. The key here is that there is no right answer because if you give the right answer, the goalposts get moved to the next question, which happens continually until the testee fails. The test is unwinnable not because a single question has no correct answer, but because the test continues until there is an incorrect answer, at which point, no matter how many questions were answered correctly, you get scored a 0. Plus, if the tester is wrong on a question, the testee fails because the tester declares the testee invalid and thus disallows her to back up her stance. TheBoulderIsConflicted described this as a "do you know your shit?" test, but it goes beyond that in that in the case of shit-testing, the testee is required to have an identical knowledge of the thing in question to be declared valid. If the testee knows better than the tester, she is still wrong.
Example Shit-Tests, the PUA Version:
I went to reddit. I've bathed since. At any rate, here are some things that PUAs think are shit-tests:
"Do I look fat in this dress?" Now, this may be a manipulative question because it's a common method of fishing for compliments. However, for us to declare that this is a loaded question, we have to make a few assumptions:
- The woman will interpret "yes" as a personal insult.
- The woman will interpret a "no" as a lie.
- The woman wants the response to be that she does not look fat in that dress
- and she wants the respondent to not lie.
For some women, these are completely fair assumptions. I hate this question. In fact, when I do ask it, I qualify the question to ensure that the person that I'm asking knows that I'm genuinely asking as opposed to fishing for compliments: "Does this dress make me look fatter than I actually am?" The intent of the question is "does this dress look good on me" and if the answer is no, please tell me so I can change clothes, FFS! However, there was a time where I would have asked this question to fish for compliments because I was convinced that I was fat even though I wasn't. I wish that women would stop fishing for compliments this way but I also wish that they would stop because they feel valuable at any size.
In fact, there is a right answer to this question if we assume that it is fishing for compliments, which is: giving a compliment. That said, if you fail to give a compliment but do not actually insult her, you will not be deemed an asshole that no one should ever listen to. If you do actually insult her, you are an asshole, but she's still going to put up with you. Even if this is a loaded question, it is not a shit-test because it does not invalidate the person who fails.
However, some of the other examples are even less reliably loaded questions— and once the examples start, we see the loaded question definition totally break down. Discussions about the problem with the shit-test is outright state that the test is to determine who is an alpha male and who is a beta male:
- "...she says it’s her birthday (and let’s assume she’s telling the truth) and says 'Will you buy me a birthday shot?' If you answer Yes, you’re now her doormat chump. If you answer No, you’re the tightwad asshole she’s about to tell her friends and the rest of the bar to avoid."
- "Where are your friends?"
- "Why don’t you have a girlfriend?"
- "Are you gay?"
- “[Man X] always gets his girlfriend [Y]. When was the last time you got me [Y]?”
- “Are you a player?”
- “Give me your number instead.”
- “I don’t give out my number.”
- “I have a boyfriend.”
Oh wait, no, that is what I expected: refusal to take no for an answer. Some of these questions are information gathering and may be complimentary or asking if you have an STD. One is a woman expressing that she doesn't feel appreciated, which is a problem, but not because you didn't buy her [Y]. Even if we assume that the woman in question is lying about having a boyfriend, the last three are: No.
Here is how problematic this definition of shit-testing is: this started because I was googling shit-testing for broader approach than the geek girl shit-testing and instead, got PUA articles. Today I googled "shit-testing feminism" and discovered that PUAs and MGTOWs are arguing that feminism is a massive national shit-test, designed to help us identify the alpha males who are man enough to keep our uppity asses in line.
You try to tap this uppity ass, I'm tapping this fucking card. Ahem.
Example Shit-tests, the Feminist Version:
In the feminist version, this is an infinite question test that gets continually harder but is based solely on the information known to the tester. Since I'm having trouble finding examples online due to the overwhelming number of highly ranked "how to ignore when a woman tells you she has a boyfriend even if he's standing right there" articles— and I'm saving my best personal examples for other articles that I'm working on— I'll make up an example shit-test, using Invader Zim because I'm lame enough to make an Invader Zim shit-test without references despite it being 10+ years old:
Tester: Nice Invader Zim shirt.
Testee: It's my favorite showwwwww.
Tester: You probably just think GIR is cute.
Testee: He is adorably insane— and a good dancer!
Tester: It figures. What's your favorite episode?
Testee: The one where GIR goes crazy and stuff.
Tester: No, I mean what's the name of it.
Testee: It's... called... GIR Goes Crazy and Stuff?
Tester: You're not sure if that's it's name?
Testee: Um, no? That's it's name. I was... making a reference to the... episode name?
Tester: Uh huh. I really liked the one that Voltaire worked on.
Testee: Oh... I know that Voltaire did some work for Billy & Mandy but it was Jhonen Vasquez and Roman Dirge that worked on Invader Zim.
Tester: No, Voltaire wrote the theme song.
Testee: No, that was Kevin Manthei? I think that's his name. Great remixes.
Tester: Well, you're wrong but everyone gets something wrong sometimes. I'll give you another chance.
Testee goes O.o
Tester: What date was episode FBI Warning of Doom supposed to air?
Testee: What... date?
Tester: Yeah, what date?
Testee: I don't know what date. 9/11 happened and Nickelodeon thought that it would be disrespectful or frightening to show the next episode so soon because it depicted uniformed security in a bad light and it aired on Friday nights but it's not like I remember what day of the week 9/11 happened. It was pretty stupid because it was about mall security, not the actual FBI.
Tester: See? You're not a real Invader Zim fan! You shouldn't be allowed to wear that shirt!
Testee: Well, I guess you were the turkey all along, weren'tcha?
Tester: Don't get cute with me, poseur! I knew you were a fake all along!
Now, do you see the difference between shit-testing as defined by PUAs and shit-testing defined as feminists? The PUA definition turns out to be "something that guys don't want to hear" while the feminist definition turns out to be "a buttload of ridiculous questions and assertions of lack of expertise, denying things that are outside of the realm of the tester's knowledge and declaring the tested person 'fake' based on some obscure piece of trivia regardless of how much other obscure trivia she got right."
This is how "fake geek girls" are "identified" and according to the Invader Zim test above, I would be declared a Fake Geek Girl even though I made two show references that the tester didn't get and corrected him on the name of the opening theme composer, because I didn't know an obscure, fairly irrelevant piece of information that is easily looked up with information that I gave.
So what's the PUA solution to the shit-test?
- Be an insulting asshole (ie negging).
- Refuse to take no for an answer (ie rape).
- Insult feminists and feminism at all times because that's how you pass the shit-test that is feminism (ie hate speech).
Basically, what I'm saying here is that the "solution" to shit-testing according to PUAs is to be the assholes that they'd intended to be in the first place. This is rationalization of misogyny. That's all.
(Apparently, I wrote this in early December and forgot to go back and hit publish the next day.)