Ryan Gosling most often shows up in the news for his acting prowess, or for just being handsome. Not often does Gosling end up in the science section of websites that bring you the news, but the Huffington Post reports that he was a major variable in a scientific study on human behavior.
Or rather, memes featuring pictures of Ryan Gosling, captioned by ideals and concepts popular in the feminist movement. The memes, titled “Feminist Ryan Gosling,” are a result of the feminist movement growing because of the increased proliferation of information that the internet provides. While the Ryan Gosling memes seem to be intended to poke fun at the feminist agenda, they actually originate from a Tumblr page that is a reaction to a less-appropriately-named series of memes that have Ryan Gosling saying things that would be considered much less feminist.
Scientists at the University of Saskatchewan actually hypothesize that the memes featuring Ryan actually make men more sympathetic to feminist ideals.
The best feminist Ryan gosling so far. pic.twitter.com/Mf6A8eQy4K— Emma Elisabeth (@Emma3lisabeth) August 23, 2015
According to Discover Magazine, after the experiment, the men participating in the experiment didn’t actually give themselves a more feminist rating. Also, the Ryan Gosling experiment had a rather small sample size, and did not include a very wide age range. There were 99 participants in the Ryan Gosling study, and all of them were undergraduates of the school doing the experiment. It was also a lopsided split — 69 percent of the participants were women, and only thirty men.
(That last tweet should be read in the voice of a Feminist Ryan Gosling meme.) pic.twitter.com/VIbCXpDF24— Aaron Muszalski (@sfslim) July 3, 2015
Linzi Williamson, one of the scientists that drafted the Ryan Gosling experiment, and a self-admitted feminist, admits it was a fun side project for her and her colleague, Sarah Sangster.
“No, this was a fun side project for us. It really started off as a curiosity based on something we both enjoyed. We do a lot of heavy research related to infertility and women’s reproduction, so this was definitely a nice break from the research we typically conduct.”
The experiment itself was rather simple. The students in the experimental group would look at the Ryan Gosling memes, rate themselves on how feminist they were, and then fill out a survey that would measure how much they actually sympathized with feminist ideas. The control group would do the same, only there would not be any text accompanying the images of Ryan Gosling.
[Image by Brad Barket / Getty Images]