Assumptions Everywhere

Security Questions 1Ugh! I was attempting to log into my bank account when I was presented with a new log-in system and a request for setting security questions.  Fine.  I don’t know why it irked me so much more this time, because it’s not like they don’t ask similar questions whenever you have to do this, but I found myself getting really annoyed.

Security Questions 2What is with all the relationship-based questions, and with all of the questions about weddings? Sure, there are other question choices, but I found these so ridiculous. First of all, to assume that anyone can answer the wedding questions (or any other relationship-based questions, for that matter) is a big no-no.  First of all, we’re not even at the point that everyone CAN get married, so these questions are so heteronormative.  Even among heterosexuals, not everyone gets married or wants to get married.  There are segments of society and cultures where people don’t date – there are still arranged marriages and such.  Assumptions galore. Why would you rely on these questions, when there are standard questions out there like “What was the make of your first car?”  or when some companies allow you to enter your own questions?

Beyond this, there are so many old-fashioned, ridiculous things that still exist out there that assume that everything fits into these neat, normal, gender binary boxes.  Schools still have father-daughter dances, “girls'” nights, and father-son fishing trips.  I have taken issue with every one of these things at my child’s school and have been met with blank stares and sometimes, outright hostility.

Don’t even get me started on surveys or questionnaires that ask about demographics.  Among my favorites is the question about relationship status.  For me, personally, the button pusher is the “Divorced/Separated” category, which has been considered mutually exclusive from “Single” or any other category.  Petty, I know, when you consider how miserably survey categories fail to accurately capture much other information about actual human beings and their diversity of circumstances.