This afternoon I stumbled upon AskMen.com. (Now, if you’re not aware of this website, it has about 15 million readers and quite resembles the stereotypical male version of Cosmopolitan. )
Anyway, I came across this article, “Myths About What Women Want.” And I was definitely intrigued. Initially when I started reading, the myths were about how women don’t actually want you get rid of all your female friends and how your girlfriend doesn’t actually want you to be possessive, ect. I thought to myself, “this isn’t as bad as I expected it to be.”
THEN, I stumbled across number 6… read for yourself!
“Women Want To Be Treated Equally”
“Your Beyoncé-listening, independent girlfriend probably comes across as uber-strong, however, if you start treating her like she can fix her own kitchen sink or buy herself flowers, then you’re in trouble. See, just because she is capable of looking after herself doesn’t mean you should lose your gentlemanly ways. And yes, this holds true even if your woman is a loud and proud feminist.
What women mean when they demand equal treatment is that they want you to understand they can do things on their own and they don’t need a man around. And hell, they expect you to know this. However, they never inform you of the feminist disclaimer (probably to save face). They do want to be looked after and treated with chivalry when a man comes along because it makes them feel special. They just don’t want to have to tell you.”
Now, I can confidently say, no woman wants to secretly not be treated equally. That’s…crazy talk.
This article is assuming that women always want men to act chivalrous even if they seem “independent.” Not only is this untrue, but AskMen.com is assuming that the entire feminist movement is a hollow strive for equality. It’s assuming that women don’t actually want to be equals… they only want to want to be hypothetically equal when they listen to semi-empowering Beyoncé songs.
This article also seems to be asserting that fixing things and buying your significant other flowers and gifts is “gentleman”-like. Can you say static gender roles?
Not to mention excluding non-heterosexual couples, I think it’s incredibly unfair to claim that only men can do these nice things for women and not the other way around. I may not be great at fixing plumbing, but there is a reason Proflowers.com sends me emails everyday and its not because I send them to myself!
This “myth” specifically targets men who have feminist girlfriends and completely degrades the meaning of what it is to be a feminist. Banter like this, in my opinion, is a huge reason why feminists have a difficult time being taken seriously, especially when 15 million readers of AskMen.com are assuming its all a shallow front to seem strong and independent.
AND the defense for why feminists won’t tell you this, as the article claims, is because these women are trying to “save face.” HAH. HAH. HAH. HAH. That’s the lamest excuse I’ve ever heard.
But, to be fair, yes–everyone wants to feel special, including women in relationships with men. That doesn’t mean we’re asking for chivalry back. Please, please, please… let it stay DEAD!
4 thoughts on “Dear men, please don’t stop the chivalry!.. NOT.”
Great point! It’s scary that men are being given these kind of pointers. To be fair, though, the advice from Cosmo is probably just as twisted. It would interesting to look at these same kinds of articles that are targeted towards women, and see what they’re suggesting. Either way, it’s this kind of advice that provides such a warped notion of what women want.
I follow your argument and criticism of AskMen.com’s number 6 pointer and I relate to your displeasure with their conclusion that women’s feminist movement is actually an adorable farce. One quick Google search on the movement will prove that assumption wholly incorrect; there’s a reason why the derogatory term “man-haters” has been applied to your movement by men and women who religiously read this web site. But, are you amazed that this is the conclusion this article has reached? When the majority of their articles are to educate their readers on how to land the hottest sex with the hottest chick; when they advertise “sexy women galleries” as much or even more than their sponsors’ ads? I do not agree with your conclusion that chivalry should stay dead. And am more at ends with feminism if it continues with this motif. Reason for my displeasure with your displeasure:
First, I believe you are mistaken in your idea of what true chivalry is. If you did know, I don’t believe you would wish chivalry ill, but I could be wrong ( I hope I am not, though). Second, chivalry is not dead. Therefore it cannot stay dead. (This will continue as long as there is breath in my body; I will explain why I endeavor for this in a moment).
This comment box is too casual for a lesson in true chivalry, but I can tell you, you will never find the definition in AskMen.com nor any other mainstream source of information. Am I chivalrous? I strive to be and always will just like every man that has ever existed tried, or at least should have. Therefore, I don’t think you can find the definition of chivalry in one place. Man is man; man is imperfect; his actions are not less imperfect; even his ideals. But, I cannot then discredit the dream of that ideal because of history, a machoistic (is that a word?) web site, or even the incivility of the guy in front of you in the line which just enforces the pig image of man which man has worked so hard to achieve. Though I will not give you a definition of chivalry at this time I will give you an example of it. Here is a view of woman from a chivalrous man in regards to romance (I choose romance because it forces two different mentalities together): To allow a woman to be whatever she wants to be, not because as man, I can; not to patronize, because I can’t, but, because I would be a typical cad, rude and selfish, if I didn’t. And, because I love women. I want to help, encourage, and support them as much as they have their men.
Chivalry is kindness in a permeation which touches every part of a man’s life. Your male piers that help you and encourage your passions are being kind; they are chivalrous at that time.
I will always strive to be a gentleman. And as such, acquire a strong sense and habit of being chivalrous. That is my ideal. My ideal woman? – “the architect of her own happiness, which she finds in her responsibilities, to cultivate wisdom, to develop her talents, and to pursue excellence in all her endeavors, and no matter how frustrating others’ behavior may be, she refuses to seek solace in a life of rage and self-pity.” Are my ideals so different than yours?
An ideal gentleman meets an ideal feminist; a match made in heaven.
Please I implore you, quaere verum of chivalry through research and understanding of the intentions of men like me, a maybe dying breed, but not yet extinct; a “man at war with my times” but not yet defeated by societies pressures.
Always a pleasure.-
I’m glad we can agree that the feminist movement is not just an adorable farce! I would like to ask you, what do you mean by “man-haters”? And what is the reason why is this label is applied to us? I’m not sure how to evaluate this claim, particularly because I am talking about men and women should both equally treat each other well.
As for chivalry, I have done my research. If their are other lengthy articles you have please post a link here, that way we can all better understand each other. I can agree with you that right now, chivalry is not completely dead, that’s a fair statement. But, that does not mean we should advocates is revival.
I think that it would be productive to define what you are talking about since your arguments are all premised on this. Your example is great; being supportive and loving is always a great thing. But isn’t that just being a supportive and loving person? My problem with you rhetoric of chivalry and gentlemanly kindness is solely based on being a man and having these qualities. Just because I am a women mean that I cannot be a gentleman or chivalrous, even if I produce the same positive characteristic. I think that notion is one that’s inherently flawed.
Chivalry is actualized in society in a patronizing fashion, even if that may not be the textual definition you are familiar with. I think that it says a lot when I typed in chivalry in Google and received the cartoon above…
The emphasis on the ideal is also problematic, so long as we keep assuming there is a reachable ideal; we denounce all that is not. This is the backbone of most of the stereotyping that occurs in our society.
What is the “ideal feminist” like? What characteristics do they have? Why does the “ideal” of a feminist have to be a women and an “ideal” gentleman have to be a man? These heteronormative statements are an additional problem inherent to what seems to be your idea of chivalry.
But, I think we can come to a compromise! Maybe we should try and re-appropriate this word to be applied to men and women, while taking only the positive aspects to encourage support in love in our communities—rather than increase our distinctions between us.
But I feel that no matter how much we try to level the playing field, we will always be different! Unfortunately, men today have the distinctive feature of being well, men, and women as nurturing, listening, and sweet, (at their best ;)) But, men are men! They are different! They think and are different! At their best, they are undeniably sexy,and the same for women. We cannot be so naive to believe that men and women can be held to the same standard or ideal. Trust me, men need true chivalry, that is treating women like queens, because you know what?, they are.