Friday, February 24, 2006
Push me, poll you
(With a tip of the hat to Hugh Lofting's "Dr. Doolittle", which, alas, OmegaMom is sure would be horrifyingly racist in a re-read.) I got push-polled this evening. I hate push polls, no matter what political party or special interest group is sponsoring them. There's the nice young man, with the eager voice, asking me a question that begins with, "Would you agree that today's movie ratings have gotten more lenient..." and then continues on...and on...and on...for a full paragraph. There were so many clauses in the question that by the time he finished, I couldn't remember exactly what the question was. I remembered enough of the framing of the question to answer that I had "no opinion", because I didn't want to be boxed into supporting something that I really don't support. The poll was for The Dove Foundation, which I had never heard of before the phone call. When he first said who he was polling for, I had gotten it mixed up with The Dove Self-Esteem Fund/Campaign For Real Beauty, which I had heard of, and whose ads resonate with me. (Yes, OmegaMom was once an adolescent girl. It seems so long ago and far away. But memories of the constant angst, the feelings of ugliness, frumpiness, unpopularity, etc. linger on. The Dove Self-Esteem Fund ads key in to issues related to the issues behind Queen Bees and Wannabes, by Rosalind Wiseman, or Ophelia Speaks, by Sara Shandler. I look at my daughter, and think how quickly time is passing and how fast she is growing, and worry about how adolescence will deal with her--or she with adolescence.) Here are The Dove Foundation's survey results so far. Their aims are: "Locate good, morally sound feature films and videos"; "Select certain high quality PG, PG-13 and R-rated films, and recommend their release in Family-Edited versions"; and "Rally enough consumer support to encourage filmmakers to produce more wholesome Family-Scripted movies". Their featured video of the week this week is "Left Behind: World At War". The featured game of the week is "The Bible Game". One can definitely see where they're coming from. The questions were framed in such a way that I felt guilty for pausing, for wanting to have clear questions without loaded semantics behind them. They say on their FAQ page that "Many surveys in the past have been conducted by the entertainment industry itself, which produces skewed results." So they're countering with a survey that is worded in such a way that it, too, will produce skewed results. Push and pull, push and poll. Bah. I don't trust the movie industry's surveys, but I equally don't trust this one.