In the past year, Buzzfeed, that pinnacle of workplace distractions, has become something of a crystal ball for those searching for a deeper understanding of his or her inner psyche. I swear sometimes it's like a tiny internet paw is reaching through my computer screen and telling me, "It's okay if your sense of direction is akin to a drunken toddler. Everything is going to be okay once I tell you whether or not you win at eating." Well, that is a bad example because, duh, I freaking RULE at eating. My ability to smash a sushi boat cannot be rivaled. I also may or may not be eating a slice of pizza while I write this.
Anyway, while perusing said online oracle, I came across what might be one of Buzzfeed's more genuinely educational quizzes: Which Classic Female Author Are You?
Now I pride myself on being a somewhat literary human being. Miranda July's It Chooses You is my nighttime read of the moment and I've usually got something rattling around in my bag for long subway rides and the occasional free hour to spend in the park. Currently it is…
(leans over and rummages around in oversized purse)
The Dismal Science, by Peter Mountford. This guy is managing to make economics and the World Bank something I don't just try and force myself to read about in The New York Times so that I can remain knowledgable about the state of the world. GOD FORBID.
So naturally, the aforementioned quiz peaked my curiosity. Who exactly does Buzzfeed think is worthy of including in one of their psychic recommendations? After taking the quiz as honestly (i.e. I use a laptop and not a typewriter although I like that picture more) as possible, I attempted to hack the system by entering in as many combinations as possible over a fifteen-minute period. After clicking corresponding corners, rows, diagonals and every other mix I could think of, I ended up with a measly list of seven women writers, including:
Maya Angelou (I got her almost any time I chose STELLAR to describe myself in one word.)
Joyce Carol Oates (She popped up with the typewriter a lot.)
Sylvia Plath (Author of one of my favorite books and apparently connected to quill pens.)
Toni Morrison (She followed the poop emoji choice with baffling consistency.)
The Bronte Sisters (Evidently they would have banned dinosaur sex novels. Also, ARE THOSE A THING!?)
Kate Chopin (Reppin' my hometown STL and the rarest outcome.)
Jane Austen (Not surprising that she usually appeared after choosing When Harry Met Sally as a favorite flick. )
Not a terrible list, with differing time periods and genres represented, but this is an insanely limited glimpse into the vast array of fabulous female authors, playwrights and poets. Regardless, I am pleased that Buzzfeed is educating its readers about these particular women, and hopefully, if anyone taking the quiz received an outcome they didn't recognize, they immediately Googled their writer to see what her life and work said about themselves.
So while it's (GASP) probably true that this quiz and many of the others are unable to provide any profound insight into the state of one's life/personality/self-worth, I am pleased that classic female writers are being featured in a pop culture mecca like Buzzfeed. Click away, procrastinating angels, and discover the badass lady author within yourself.
Who else should Buzzfeed have included in the quiz results? Tell us in the comments below!
Images c/o: Twitter, The Huffington Post, victoriaspast.com