Netflix, privacy and being strong


75px-NetFlixNetflix has some cool ways to get input from you to guide them on how to suggest movies you’ll like. I’ve just noticed they’ve expanded one of the sets of criteria: you’re asked to rank how often (never, sometimes, often) you like to see certain types of movies–categories like steamy, horror, military, con men, great escapes, and so on.

When I saw that one of the categories was “strong female lead,” I thought, hey, while these guys are helping you select movies that fit your tastes, they’re also building a psychological profile of you that could theoretically teach you something about yourself–or could even be used to manipulate you by someone with ill intent! But I’m sure Netflix has some highly paid attorneys who’ve managed that side of it. Imagine going public with your Netflix choices or, say, your library lending record…anyone feel like that might be TMI to put out there?

Strangely, it was a quiet revelation–not exactly a surprise–that I tend to like movies with strong female leads. Guess I never thought of dividing movies or books up that way. And it’s not surprising either to notice how often the strong female lead happens to be a single woman. Some of us were already strong before we chose the single life. Others of us gain strength while living the single life. Still others may not feel strong at all. And a lot of us have times–hours, days, weeks–when we don’t feel strong.

Thank goodness there’s no giant tribunal out there demanding that we have to be strong all the time…

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