For those of you who didn't catch it (and who are too lazy to go to the link, and what do I pay you for anyway if you don't go to my links? Oh, I don't pay you...never mind), "benevolent sexism" is basically gentlemanly behaviour. Doing nice things for a woman, like opening a door, helping her with a heavy bag, that sort of thing. You're doing it out of the goodness of your heart, but you're still a HEARTLESS SCUMBAG!
Ahem. Sorry. My inner-feminist-idiot reared its ugly head there for a moment. All better now.
Yes, even if you are doing nice things, you are still demeaning the woman by helping her.
Why am I revisiting this subject? Because there's an interesting new post on the topic that I'd like to highlight.
Charles Murray, of the American Enterprise Institute, has highlighted a new study that shows that "benevolent sexism" does tend to make both parties happy. Yes, both the man and the woman.
He quotes from the abstract, which I shall also do now (though his quote is more extensive):
"The results imply that although benevolent sexism perpetuates inequality at the structural level, it might offer some benefits at the personal level. Thus, our findings reinforce the dangerous nature of benevolent sexism and emphasize the need for interventions to reduce its prevalence."So let me get this straight. It makes the man happy when he does something for the woman. It makes the woman happy when she has something done for her.
So it's dangerous? Something that is beneficial to both sides of the equation is dangerous and must be stamped out?
I don't know about you, but I think the world needs a few doses of injected happiness (no, not that kind of injected happiness) amid all the doom and gloom out there.
That shouldn't surprise us, though. If you see this kind of behaviour as threatening, then making it more agreeable is just going to make it even more threatening to your status quo.
Charles' conclusion is beautiful:
"When social scientists discover something that increases life satisfaction for both sexes, shouldn’t they at least consider the possibility that they have come across something that is positive? Healthy? Something that might even conceivably be grounded in the nature of Homo sapiens?"Go read the post for the comments as well. Some very good ones in there.
It's "studies" like this that just boggle my mind.