There are a few things that irritate me. And then there are those that infuriate. Finally, there are things that do both. This article managed precisely that: to infuriate and irritate, like scratching nails on a blackboard. You get my point? Yeah! Exactly!
Don’t get me wrong. I surely have problems with sexism; only, my definition of it differs from the ones mentioned by the bloggers mentioned. I mean…what’s the deal with chivalry huh? I am rather flattered that a man choses to hold the door open for me or that he has the decency to offer to pay the restaurant bill while taking me out. I don’t judge myself on my capacity to open doors or carry heavy boxes. Whoever said that when a man offers to carry a woman’s boxes or shopping bags, he does it because he doesn’t believe her to capable of doing so herself? I am a woman and I find it very considerate and courteous when a man apologizes for using swear words in front of me. Indeed, I would take great offense if a man were to use the f-word to me in any context, unless he was a very close friend of mine. I frankly do not see why these women are so outraged about chivalry and understand even less how holding a door open for someone would amount to infantilizing.
This attitude strikes me as wrong on so many levels. One, these women mistakenly assume that every man looks at a woman as nothing but an object (of desire, love, hate, protection et al.). I beg to differ. There are men who firmly believe that women are individuals in their own right and yet, will wait to hold the door open for them, will offer to carry their boxes, will pay the bill on a first date and will stand by her in a fight, come what may. I personally know at least two such men, for whom chivalry simply equals manners. It has nothing to do with dehumanizing, infantilizing or patronizing women.
Second, these women appear to feel the inexplicable need for proving they are good every single time. I don’t lose anything by admitting that I need help carrying heavy boxes. And no, I certainly will not take offense to being offered help for it. In fact, dating a man who refuses to carry my shopping bags or makes me carry all the heavy stuff while walking empty-handed is a rather huge turn-off! No modern-day feminism for me: thank you very much!
That brings me to my final point. Taking offense to every damned thing a man does for a woman and calling it sexist is certainly not the brand of feminism I believe in. Feminism is about equality of opportunity. It is about not being made to feel like a second-class citizen because of my gender. It is being given the same my brother would be and not being denied something just because I am a girl.
So, my appeal to all those trigger-happy feminists out there would be this. Could you please stop taking offense to every damn thing a man may or may not do? And in the meantime, let me enjoy the little pleasures of life…including allowing a man to hold my door open and carry my boxes. I don’t fancy doing all the hard work myself!! 😛