Monday, October 02, 2006

on notice

Congratulations ladies. You did it. After 45-ish years, it has finally been accomplished. You won...and may you "enjoy" the fruits of your labors. Before I go farther, I think I should clarify to whom I am speaking. To the femi-nazis, and HARDCORE feminists, I salute you. You have killed chivalry, and the concept that women should be appreciated, respected, and honored.

How is this you ask? I wish I could find the article I read online to link to, so you shall just have to believe me when I say that this was for real. In last weeks edition of Dallas' free paper, the "Observer," there was an article entitled "The death of chivalry." The author starts off giving his example as to why chivalry is dead. Men not giving up their seat on a crowded bus to 1) a VERY pregnant woman, and 2) a VERY old woman.

You have fought for about 45 years for equal pay (yay), equal rights (double yay), right to be on the front lines in combat (uhhh), right to vote (rock on), etc. You have fought so hard to be seen as equal to a man, in virtually every area, that most men have HAD to treat you as one of the guys. Does a guy give up his seat to another guy? Hell no. Does he refrain from farting, belching, and scratching his balls around guys? I repeat myself, Hell no. Does it surprise you then that men no longer are embarrassed about doing it in front of you? For some reason, you are. In fact you are offended by it. Why? You wanted equal? You got equal. It is a known fact, guys are sick and perverted and will laugh at pretty much any joke. Be it crude, lewd, or offensive. So, they tell these jokes to each other, not caring (anymore) if there are women around? Why? Because they have been taught to think/treat you as an equal. In a guy's mind equal = guy. So what happens when a woman hears those jokes? especially the sexist ones? She gets pissed and slaps a sexual harassment charge/lawsuit on him. And what does the guy do? He scratches his head and goes WTF?

These are the extreme examples of how chivalry is dead. How about the small examples? The ones that truly show the sorry case that chivalry is in? How often does a guy give up his seat to a lady? Almost never. Oh wait..."lady." Let me restate...woman, girl, child, dame, skirt, hooker...female. How about holding a door for her? Going out to dinner and sliding in her chair? Refraining from bodily functions in her presence? Unlocking her door first when getting into the car? RESPECT her, not only when alone but when out in public?

People watch some time. Sit in a mall, parking lot, sidewalk cafe. Keep a mental tally of that VERY short list of chivalrous acts I just gave. After an hour, you might run out of fingers on one hand. Might. You have wanted equality for so long, you got it; and our little girls are reaping the extraneous "benefits" of it. They are no longer cherished, respected, loved, treasured, or taken care of. Men now look at them as they do other men, what do they have that I can use, benefit from, and enjoy. Congratulations, you did it.

There are still small glimmers of chivalry. Like the death throes of a headless chicken, parts still move even though the body no longer lives. Some men still hold open doors and give up seats. Some men still respect women for being the special creatures that they are. Some even slide in the chairs of their wives, girlfriends, mistresses. I saw that last one happen this last weekend. Haven't seen it done in years. Not since one of my high-school banquets actually. Yes, even these men don't always act it, but they try. They try to show the better way to the generations coming up, and the generations that are already here. Don't worry, given enough time, you might even be able to stamp out these last couple of sparks. We don't want it to resurge now do we? Let those sparks free and they might burn out of control and you will lose ALL you have worked for.

Oh, that author that wrote the article? Was a guy. I can only infer through his outrage that he was one of the ones standing on that bus, as he would be the worst two-faced jerk to rant and not have given up HIS seat.

I apologize on behalf of MAN-kind for losing the fight for chivalry. Equal rights, pay, voting, etc I give you total props for winning. For winning in the battle of chivalry, I say I'm sorry we lost. For every jerk that let a door slam in your face after he went through it, for every bastard that has disrespected you in word, deed, or action...I say I'm sorry. I apologize personally as well. I have done those things and more because of being self-centered and not thinking. I try not too, and some days are better than others, but it still happens. Does anybody notice when I do act the chivalrous gentleman? Maybe, maybe not. I don't care. This isn't for you, it's for me.


Anonymous said...

Wow! This is why I love you! This is why I'm coming to spend a whole weekend with just YOU! I probably won't deal with it all very well. I've not been brought up around chivalry alot - I don't know how to accept that I'm worth all the things you might do! So I just wanna apologise in advance if I'm sarcastic & rude & mean & stuff, because inside I'm just dancing & rejoicing - OK!


thebarefootpoet said...

Thanks for your comments at the end of that, bro. Where chivalry is dead, it's because men gave it up, not because women "won" it. Thanks for reminding me how my dad raised me, and for allowing me to confront myself on how I've given up a few things because we now have a child in the picture. You know, I won't get the door because you're trying to get him out, you open your car door because I'm putting the stroller in the trunk. I needed to read this.

Cari said...

Hey Ben, Dan's family will chuckle that I have posted on this topic and groan! However, this is a post that I cannot resist putting in my two cents worth (this is for those of you who have read the author of that article and said "finally a voice of reason". Here is another perspective to ponder)...if I have to live with opening my own car door, smell some of Dan's HORRENDOUS gaseous moments, or endure/ignore overhearing a crude joke from one of Dan's firefighter buddies, I'll take it. Because in short...I am respected as a woman now in a different way, a way that quite frankly, I prefer. Those same buddies at the Fire Station that maybe see me as "one of the guys" will ask my opinion about something educationally because Dan BRAGS DAILY about my passion and skills in education. I may have to endure a fart more often than I'd prefer:), but it is usually because Dan has chipped in and COOKED a dinner known for it's intestinal ravage (but the point is he cooked it so that I could pursue a love of mine-Education). And just so a femi-nazi's voice has been heard, I would gladly open my own car door if it has resulted in two facts: #1 I can SHARE the parenting with my husband (who is great at it!) and work in an area of passion, and #2: I get paid for that work! So, to paraphrase...I'll open my own car door everyday, IF for everyday I work I get paid the same as the person who would have opened my car door!:) (I mean really, opening a car door is nice, but I can't use that to buy the iPod that I love!) So in my househould chivalry is not dead, just redefined. Dan brags about me constantly not only for my skills as a mother and wife, but also for my skills in an area of personal pursuit. Here are some more examples...Dan cooks. I GLADLY give up not being given a seat in public (even pregnant) for a man that will cook and help with the laundry! So I would argue that chivalry is not dead. In my house it is very much alive, it just looks a little different today!

soulreavers said...

I'll give you that.

Especially since I know you and Dan and how much he TOTALLY loves and respects you. Melody raised some chivalrous sons.

And I totally agree with you that you deserve to be paid the same as the guy who held the door for you.

soulreavers said...

i realize that I should have clarified something. When I said "feminazi" I was not referring to every feminist, just the uber-hardcore ones that go psycho on you if you try to act like a guy.

The Tart said...

I cherish a man that opens a door for me or any other Tart. ; *

Sweet smooch,
The Tart

Pssst. Thx for your comnts at my place!

Ps. I am off to see your Flickr pics, whohooooo.

Daddyman said...

You mean it's over? I don't have to pen doors and stuff anymore?

kate said...

i think there's a missing of the central truth of the matter happening here...
chivalry shouldn't be just about how guys act toward girls and whether they're worthy of the chivalrous actions or not. there shouldn't be a tension of who's treated equally or not.
chivalry should be the natural respect and love that a man can express for a woman through his actions, regardless of who she is. it's a way of glorifying god by gentlemanly behavior.
chivalry should also be the natural respect and love that a woman can express for a man through her actions, regardless of who he is. it's a way of glorifying god by her feminine behavior.

chivalry is not about all the strings that are attached with the idea -- equality, seats, farts, jokes, car doors -- it's about acting christ-like toward all people, male or female, to honor the lord.
i think it's simply giving up your rights and loving people.

if that seems to neatly avoid all the controversial details in a non-confrontational manner, well it probably does. but who cares about all the details? just worry about yourself, if you're acting like a gentleman/lady, and let everyone else worry about themselves!

there's my two cents :-)

soulreavers said...

well put there katie. succint, too the point, and on target.

Julia said...

Wow Ben, that was major, I think that in some areas of the USA it has fallen further than others and in some households it has been upheld. But I do agree. I have to tell you that YOU have always been the gentleman with me, even in all those "interesting"converstaions.
;) Julez

catnapping said...

When it comes down to it, I'd much rather make enough pay to feed my kids, than have some boob open a door for me.

Common courtesy, not chivalry, dictates that one human being offer his/her seat to another who needs it. I open doors for men and women, alike. I've certainly offered my bus seat to pregnant, infirm, exhausted, and/or fed-up looking folks who needed it more than I !!!!

Women are not appliances. We are not assistant-people. We deserve the same perks and responsibilities afforded to men. that includes equal pay, equal risk, and equal respect.

Anonymous said...

I don't care about all the BS that people can throw down about equal rights, equal pay, etc. we are all humans, we all deserve to be paid for what we do. Chivalry is totally seperate from that. I'm going to be chivalrous till the day I die. Thanks Ben.