Recently, my friends and I have become obsessed with the Myers-Briggs personality test. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a test that was created to identify and determine a person’s specific personality type based on four character defining foundations. Within each of these bases, which are: where you focus your energy, how you take in information, make decisions, and view the future – there are 2 categories that you could fall into. Without going into too much detail, you can be either an extrovert or introvert, perceive information either through sensing or intuition, make decisions through logical thinking or emotional feeling, and lastly see the future through judging plans or perceiving the openness of options. (For more details on the categories and any personality type information, visit the Myers-Briggs website.)
It’s hard to believe that anyone’s personalities can be broken down into just 4 simple letters, and only 16 possibilities! Of course, there are variances in every personality type, but in my experience it’s absolutely amazing how accurate these personality types can be in interpreting and predicting your motives and behaviors. For instance, I am an ENFP. This means that my four categories from each character defining basis are: Extroverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving. After a lot of research and reading on my personality type, I can almost one-hundred percent verify that the breakdowns of my motives and behaviors are on-point! I have also read a lot on the multitude of the types, and have found that through understanding your and others’ personality types, you’ll find you can more easily grasp relationships and motives behind partners, friends, and family, as I have done extensively (and have in fact improved my best friend and I’s relationship through this mutual understanding of each other’s motives and primary functions).
I’ve also been able to better understand myself and the reason I feel and react towards things the way I do. Relevantly, this has helped me understand myself as a feminist. As an ENFP, I am a personality type that leads with intuition and how I believe the world can be. I make all my decisions based on emotions and how I feel internally, though I seldom express these emotions. Also a personality type that strongly focuses on values, I have strong beliefs that I wish to share and follow. All of these traits from my designated ENFP personality have helped me to understand why I am, and how I can best contribute as, a feminist. These firm emotion-based beliefs and my view of the world’s possibilities’ align me with the feminist movement and how I strongly feel the world’s need to change to be equal and fair for all.
Specifically, this has helped me to understand why I am a feminist, because those who know me can attest to my sometimes-contradicting characteristics. For instance, because I am so strong in my values, I am also a very traditional family type. By traditional, I mean that I do want a man to “bring home the bacon” so to speak, while I would play the role of the homemaker/housewife. Not to say that I don’t want a career (in production, fingers crossed!), but when the time comes to start a family I do hold the value (for myself), as my mother did, to stay home with and raise my children.
This is typically the personality trait of mine that I am ashamed to tell other feminists, because it’s as though everything they stand for, I wish for the opposite! And it is this value in myself that has always led me to not consider myself a feminist (and has led others who side with feminism to strongly criticize me in the past) – how could I be feminist when I do wish for the strong man of the household and for myself to be a “sandwich maker” so to speak. Well, I believe that this misconception is one of the reasons that feminism has such a bad connotation to some, as it used to for me. Feminism is “female power” not “female IN power” which is the biggest misunderstanding I have found in its definition. Being a feminist does not mean that you believe females are the superior species and that men should roll over and play dead for us women to finally take the power we so rightfully deserve! No. feminism stands for equality – all equality, not just women, which is a value a do hold strongly. Equality does not mean we have to be in power, it just means that we should be able to hold power, if in that position. It means that I have equal rights to be a big time movie producer (being paid the same wages as a male in the position) as I do to choose to stay home and raise my children.
Being an ENFP, I know that I will never be the type to break through the stereotypes and pave a way for women in the workplace, but that does not mean that I can’t support those who do! Just that I will choose a different route, and enjoy it. So that’s how my personality type has developed my views and own feminist values. Please feel free to share your input on what I’ve disclosed about my personality influences, but first, if you wish to take the time for the test, I want to know what feminism means to you! Not just the “what” or the “why”, but I’m interested in what makes you tick, I want to know the “how”!
Whether for the sake of understanding your feminist ideologies, or for just better understanding yourself, if you want to analyze/understand your Myers-Briggs personality, try this website for the test and breakdown of your personality characteristics!