Find me online!

twittergoogle plusemail

September 11, 2011

The post in which I admit that I am a sexist pig

at least according to the Society for the Psychology of Women.

Read on and you'll discover just how much of a monster I really am.

The wife and I were catching up on some recorded Red Eye shows on Fox News the other night, so excuse me if you've all talked this issue to death. It came out back in June.

One of the stories that came up was an article on a "benevolent sexism" study done by the Society. The aim is to show just how prominent benevolent sexism actually is in our society today.

Just what is this horrifying trend?

It consists of such horrible things as helping a woman carry heavy groceries. Or complimenting them on doing something that's traditionally a "woman's chore." Or, heaven forbid, actually holding the door open for a woman.

The horrors!
(Thanks to DailyBooth)

You know that such a thing is real, because it has its own Wikipedia page. According to the page, benevolent sexism "is defined as subjectively positive attitudes of protection, idealization, and affection towards women in traditional roles..."

With this kind of stuff out there, is there any wonder that members of each gender are confused about what is and isn't proper? Should we just wrap ourselves in bubble cocoons so that we never actually offend anybody?


Whatever happened to just basic politeness and manners?

I have a news flash for you all.

Men and women are different! Yes, they are. They're different physically (thank God), and they're different mentally and emotionally too.

Why can't we celebrate those differences? Just because we do doesn't mean that we're looking down on anybody. I can consider a woman my equal and still want to help them if they're having a problem with something. If it happens to be something that falls into "traditional gender roles," who cares? If a woman's having problems with heavy groceries, I will try to help her. Does that make me a pig? Hell, I'd help a man if he was having trouble with heavy groceries. It's just the way I am.

I always hold the door open for a woman (and often for a man, too, if he's right behind me, because I don't want to let it slam in his face). Is that because I think she can't open a door? No! It's because it's the polite thing to do. I don't have a negative, "protective" opinion of the woman I'm holding a door for. I just do it. I'm not piggish enough to force myself in front of her if she happens to get to the door first, of course. But if I'm there at the same time or in front, I'll hold it for her.

I guess that makes me a sexist jerk.

Evidently, this term has been around for a while, but it came up again when the Society's study was released in June.
The researchers created a list of such damaging acts as: helping a woman to choose the right computer, calling a group of both men and women "guys" and offering to do the driving on a long distance journey.

Even men who think they are expressing affection might be guilty - the scientists said calling a woman a "chick", showering her with unwanted affection or saying that you cannot live without her could also be sexist.
Ok, I'll give you a woman being called "chick," but I wouldn't count that as "benevolent sexism" anyway. I'd just call that basic rudeness, unless the person in question also calls guys "dudes" or something. Then they're just inherently lame and can be safely ignored.

As for "showering her with unwanted affection or saying that you cannot live without her," that's just creepy, not sexist. If she's a friend, you gauge what level of affection she's comfortable with and give her that (and I guess, if you're comfortable enough, this applies to those of the same gender too). If you go over the line, again you're just rude and a bad friend. Not sexist.

In the society we live in today, I think we could stand to have *more* affection between people, not less. I know I'm a touchy-feely person. Though again, I gauge that based on how much a particular friend is comfortable with.

And who doesn't like to be told they look nice? I know I could stand to hear it more often (though maybe I would if I would stop wearing jeans and t-shirts). Is telling a woman she looks particularly nice (not trying to imply that on other days she doesn't, but that she looks extra nice today) a bad thing? If so, then I guess I showed I'm a sexist asshole just last week! I think she should have slapped me and put me in my place. (Might have made it difficult to do the podcast, though)

How dare I?????

I'll bet you didn't know that I was such a horrible person, did you?

You women don't get off the hook either. If you accept any of this behaviour without complaining, then you're part of the problem.

"Women endorse sexist beliefs, at least in part, because they do not attend to subtle, aggregate forms of sexism in their personal lives."

Look, I'm not denying that these attitudes exist. I'm sure there are guys out there who *do* look down on women, think that they can't do anything, and thus must be taken care of. And they probably do many of these same things, because they *do* think a woman's incapable.

But just because you do them doesn't mean you have that attitude.

It's no wonder men have a complex when trying to figure out how to behave.

Note 1: I normally don't post twice in a day, but after the heaviness of this morning's post, I wanted to post something fairly light-hearted this evening.

Note 2: I can already predict one of the comments that I'm going to see on this post in the next couple of days. Don't disappoint me, mysterious person I'm not going to name!

15 comments:

  1. Wow! I didn't know I was related to such a sexist pig! =P

    ReplyDelete
  2. Karen: And I'll bet you're proud too, aren't you!

    Knotty: How about sex*y* pigs?

    ReplyDelete
  3. If holding open doors and helping with heavy bags is what makes you sexist, then damn straight I'm proud!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Are you talking about me by any chance? You know I would say I raised you to be polite.
    I never think about it one way or another. I've held a door open for a man if he is behind me. I also always thank some who holds the door for me wether it's a man or women. If doing that makes you a sexist pig I'm with Karen. I'm proud to be your mom

    ReplyDelete
  5. "You know that such a thing is real, because it has its own Wikipedia page." - Hehe :-D

    Some of these researchers really need their heads examining.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Mom: No, you're not the one I had in mind. This person will probably know what I'm talking about, and the person comments, I'll mention it.

    Captain: Glad you liked the Wikipedia joke. :) I totally agree on these researchers.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mysterious Person, checking in. At least, I think it might be me, and Blogger had best let me post this comment today!

    Okay, so, per my usual jaunt through your noggin when I visit here, I laughed several times. Particularly at the "You women don't get off the hook either. If you accept any of this behaviour without complaining, then you're part of the problem." part. That was ideal humor to fit the absurdity of the topic here. Not absurd in regard to your thoughts, Dave, but absurd in the context of "benevolent sexism". That is one seriously pompous label!

    Here are my thoughts, and this may take a minute & more space than other comments, so be forewarned! Yes, sometimes people can take things to extremes and cross the line of good taste. Personally, I don't think you can ever be TOO well mannered. You might become a bit smothering and annoying if you take it too far, but good manners will never be a bad thing to me.

    For those who don't know me, I'm from the south here in the U.S., and I'm pretty fond of courtly manners and etiquette. I am also all kinds of comfortable with enjoying the courtesy of a door being held for me, a helping hand with something heavy, the gentleman walking on the side of the walkway closest to traffic, etc. I find all of those things to be thoughtful, respectful and a reminder that yes, men and women are different. I think that these types of gestures celebrate the differences between the sexes in a beautiful manner - not in a degrading one. I LIKE the fact that the man I'm with cares enough to make those thoughtful gestures. Believe me, I've been around men who do none of the above, and the contrast is startling & unpleasant to be around.

    At the same time, I am equally comfortable with stepping into a stereotypical "man's world" and helping out with mechanical or manual labor needs. We all only have two hands, after all, and sincere help is appreciated when a task needs to be accomplished.

    Bottom line, I don't want to live in a world where manners, courtesy and genuine care and regard for others doesn't exist. We might as well hang it up and go off planet. So, to tie it up in a bow - a pink one to make sure it's properly sexist - I'm a fan of your sexist pig behavior, Dave. If you ever change, I may have to do something truly awful. Not sure what, but I'd come up with something. You know I would. How about we just keep things the way they are so I don't have to? Carry on with your vile, controlling sexist pig behavior, my friend. I approve.

    -Dawnie

    ReplyDelete
  8. 1) Blogger let me post the comment! Yay!

    2) Wow, I really did write an especially epic comment. Sorry about that, Dave, but it's your fault for writing such a thought provoking post in the first place!

    ;-)

    Dawnie

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yay! My mysterious person has checked in!

    I knew this one would set you off, Dawnie. :)

    I love epic comments, so no problem there! Especially if it's well thought out and not just an incoherent rant (rants are fine, but coherence is a must).

    And I'm sure you would come up with something appropriate to the level of my behaviour change if it ever did happen. So I agree. Let's not even get into that area to begin with. :)

    Thank you for a truly awesome Dawnie rant, hon!

    (oh no, how sexist of me! Ummm.....dear? No....um....my good friend...how's that?)

    ReplyDelete
  10. LOL..."Hon" is fine. I'm good w/ endearments of all kinds - they fall into the same category as manners and etiquette. If they're delivered w/ good intent, I'm going to receive it w/ a smile. :) <-- Like that one!

    I have another dear male friend who cracks me up w/ his endearments. He swings from super sweet with "babydoll" and "sugar", to "blondie" (well, I am blonde, so it fits) and "broad". Any of those could be received as demeaning if you choose that, but I don't. I listen to the tone and I know the heart of the person who is speaking, so it's all good.

    Loving you twice, Dave!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Dawn makes a good point with the "hon" thing. Some of this does depend on the attitude of the man. There are some men who treat women inferior in general so some of this stuff (even the example's in Dave's original post) might be sexist coming from them. Verses men, like you Dave, who see women as their equal over all, but hey men have an advantage in strength, and women have an advantage elsewhere.

    I've had male customers I've never seen before in my life use terms of endearments with me that are really freakin' creepy coming from them. I could see that as being sexist easily. My husband calling me those same terms? Not sexist. He loves me. He's calling me those things with rightful affection. (And I'm not even referring to "Hon" since I'm bad about calling EVERYONE that regardless of gender, age, etc.)

    I'm apparently really bad with examples today, but I think everyone knows what I'm trying to say.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Dawnie: I would assume that, if it's a complete stranger and you never have any interaction with them again after the door-holding (for example), you err on the side of it being with the best of intentions, right?

    I don't know if I would have the guts to say "broad," even to a friend, but I take your meaning. :)

    Karen: You're fine. I understand what you mean perfectly. :)

    Thanks for the lively comments section! I should do this more often. :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. That particular friend - you have to know him and his warped humor w/ the "broad" thing. It's just him being ridiculous, and he really does mean it as an endearment.

    As for door holding, I'm not kidding - anyone who takes that as an insult or demeaning behavior is not a person I ever want to spend time around. I'm more apt to be offended if a complete stranger does NOT hold the door, but that's not gender specific, because I do that for men and women myself. It's called having MANNERS. How exhibiting decent manners got warped into insulting behavior is just beyond me.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I wish there were more "sexist pigs" like you Dave! Keep the polite manners flowing... Can't even count the number of times we've held the office doors open for each other!

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.