Monday, July 25, 2011

Dudes: Chivalry Just Natural, Not Sexist

Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, Samantha Brett explains that not only is she a feminist, she likes it when men do shit for her. Indeed, and pull out the fainting couch folks, she recently found herself "outraged" and "embarassed" when a "feminist study" suggested that chivalry constitutes sexism against women.

As Totally Objective Proof that chivalry is not actually sexism against, or damaging to, women, Brett dedicated her column to polling "a bunch of blokes" to weigh in on the matter. Because, naturally, who else, if not men, would be experts on what constitutes sexism against women?

Accordingly, the fellas Tell It Like It Is:

"'From an evolutionary perspective, I'm meant to do the physical stuff because I was born stronger than her, and because she is busy with the children or whatever,' said Ned, a 30-something finance guy. 'Opening a car door is a tiny manifestation of that.'"

...the fuck? I love it. Oooga booga grunt grunt, me open car doors because me caveman! Woman-person busy with children or some shit. Seriously, dude, stick to finance.

And, before anyone constructs the why-do-you-yell-at-men-when-they-open-doors-for-you strawman, my belief is that a person's status as "woman," by itself, should never be the sole determining factor with respect to whether a person extends basic courtesies to another human being. If a man opens a door for me, I merely say "thanks" and continue about my day- I don't ever know his inner motivations for holding open the door or whether he opens for it everyone.

Nonetheless, even if a person has good intentions, it is sexist to use crap amateur evopsych/anthropology to perpetuate the idea that man = strong while woman = weak.

Moving on, Brett's second expert adds his thoughts:

"Another bloke, Tom, a successful entrepreneur, told me that he couldn't even date a woman who wouldn't allow him to do things for her. 'It makes me feel good to do something for a woman because that way I feel needed. If I don't feel like I serve a purpose in her life, I don't really want to be with her.'"

Ah yes, a variation on the theme of some men having such frail egos that they can't fathom women being their equals. I mean, seriously, we don't see anything damaging or sexist about the proposition that Woman exists to give Man His UItimate Meaning In Life (and, correspondingly, that men exist to do shit for women, and if men aren't opening doors for women they have no purpose in life)?

Moving on, "Jed" explains:

"Feminism is anti-evolution. The whole point of sexual attraction is to have polarity in relationships. Humans exist because women are meant to be maternal and physically weaker, but emotionally stronger. I think most men wouldn't want to be with women who believed in total equality. A healthy relationship should have two different halves to it, not two people equal in all respects."

Well, there's that theme again, this time with a dose of Men-Are-From-Mars-Women-Are-From-Venus pop essentialism: Men and women are not equal because men couldn't handle it if men and women were equal. And also polarity. Alrighty then.

So, when MRAs talk about how women and Teh Feminists want to retain "female privilege" while getting rid of male privilege, this is what they're talking about. Women will never be seen as equal as long as self-described feminists, in this bizzare over-eager-to-please manner, insist that we love it, we really really love it when men treat us like we're not equal at all.

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