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.
(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?
(Thanks to And Now I'm a Grownup)
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.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.
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.
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!