Chivalry Is Dead, Long Live Courtesy

Courtesy: having politeness in one’s attitude and behavior towards others.

Chivalry: courteous behavior, especially that of a man towards a woman.

Of the bloggers I follow, a few have written about the concept of chivalry this past week, and I’ve decided to add my thoughts to the mix. If we look at the two definitions above, there is a stark contrast that is immediately apparent; Courtesy is for everyone, but chivalry is a term used solely for men in regards to their actions towards women.

This serves to create a gap in gender relations, one that some people find to be sweet and nice…but others find to be oppressive and degrading. Let’s first take a look at some examples of courtesy versus chivalry.

Scenario 1: It is the holiday season, and a frantic looking woman is struggling with getting her packages to her car. A man stops to offer help, which the woman accepts and thanks him for. As she drives away, the man walks towards the mall, whistling a bit as he swiftly passes by another man who is struggling just as much as the woman was.

Scenario 2: This time, the first man stops to also help the struggling man.

In scenario 1, we see an act of chivalry. In scenario 2, it becomes an act of courtesy. Let’s look at another.

Scenario 1: A man and woman are out on their first date. He is a college professor, she is a well known dentist. When the bill comes, the woman immediately gets out her wallet and pulls out enough cash to cover half the amount. The man smiles, waves her off, and tells the server to put the full amount on his credit card. The woman smiles and attempts to give her date the money instead, saying that she would *really* prefer to pay for half the meal. He waves her off again, telling her to not be ridiculous, and informs her that he will also be paying for the movie they’re going to see. Dejectedly, she puts her money away.

Scenario 2: This time, when she offers to pay for half of dinner, her date still declines. However, he does not object at all when she purchases the movie tickets and popcorn for the show they attend following the meal. She smiles thinking about how her purchase is only $2 less than the meal they just shared.

This time, scenario 1 was a case of sexist chivalry and scenario 2 was the example of equal courtesy. We’ll take a look at one more, though this time it is an occurrence from my own life.

Scenario 1: I am walking up to a bank with a set of both exterior and interior doors. An older man reaches the outer door first and holds it open for me. I smile and thank him as I walk through. Obviously I reach the inner door next, and I bow slightly as I now return the favor. However, he just stands in front of the door staring at me with a slight scowl. “After you, sir.” I say, but he walks over, puts his right hand on the door over my head, and motions for me to squeeze between him and the door so I can walk through first. When I simply stay where I am, still smiling, he turns bright red and barks out “Women don’t hold doors for men. Now, march in there!” I shrug, and turn instead to make my deposit using the ATM rather than the tellers inside. He stands there a little while longer, then goes in muttering “Rude bitch” under his breath.

Scenario 2: This time, the man accepts my returned favor of holding the second door for him, and we smile at each other, happy that there are still polite people in this world.

Sadly, in this set of examples, the first scenario is what actually happened…and I think it speaks volumes about what the concept of chivalry really is: “benevolent” sexism. We would not praise someone for only holding doors open for Asians. We would not say “good job” to someone who only buys drinks for their Black coworkers. We certainly wouldn’t condone only giving up a seat on a crowded bus to a fellow passenger who is White. So why do we still teach men that women are somehow deserving of special treatment? Why should a man go out of his way to “protect” a fellow adult who clearly doesn’t need assistance…especially if it could lead to him getting hurt instead? (Such as cases of “defending a woman’s honor” or constantly positioning himself on the sidewalk between a female companion and the street.)

To me, the concept of chivalry is a double edged sword. It tells women that they are too frail to do typical, everyday activities like carrying more than 20 lbs of groceries, learning to change a tire, or even seating themselves at a table. It tells men that they are more disposable than women, and that they should sacrifice their time, energy, (and sometimes safety) to protect another human being…but ONLY if that being posses a vagina.

Courtesy, on the other hand, is a concept we desperately need more of. I firmly believe in helping others whenever possible, whether that means running back to open the vet’s door for a lady with a rambunctious dog, helping an old man carry his groceries up 4 flights of stairs, or buying dinner for a homeless veteran in the city. Too often do I see people, in real life or on the news, who are in true need of assistance, sometimes dire need. The amount of people who simply walk by, pretending not to see or care, is mind boggling.

Chivalry is an outdated concept that disenfranchises both men and women, though in very different ways. Courtesy is a valuable concept that tells us to be polite and helpful to all others, regardless of age, creed, skin tone, sex, or orientation. I know which one I’d pick for a better society. How about you?

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74 thoughts on “Chivalry Is Dead, Long Live Courtesy

  1. Chivalry, like all sexism is a double edged sword. It cuts both men and women deeply. It is truly amazing the number of people that don’t get this simple peice of reality and only ever consider sexism against women. Thank you for including how Chivalry hurts both men and women. Long live courtesy.

  2. @GNL

    Of course, friend. To only speak of sexism against women is foolhardy and disingenuous. Everyone experiences it, regardless of what their chromosomes are.

  3. just an observation…

    while offering to pay one’s on a “date” IS an egalitarian move…

    the guy might see this as freindzoning… ie, the woman is paying her way as a way of saying they are “hanging out” rather than a “date.”

    As a MGTOW I don’t really “date” so take that with a grain of salt. Ideologically, though, I am not opposed to the concept of paying for sex and think prostitution should be safe and legal for those who want to buy AND sell sexual services.

    I’ve seen more “benevolent sexism” from Creepy male feminist professors like Hugo Schwyzer than I’ve seen from MGTOW’s.

  4. I think “chivalry” as we know it today is mostly courtesy, Sophia (or in some cases an attempt to get laid…when it’s selective courtesy to certain females only…which is likely far more accurately reminiscent of traditional chivalry, don’t think the female serfs were held in the same regard, nor offered the same courtesies by knights as female nobility).

  5. @Stoner No, that *is* a valid observation. The fact that I’ve only been on 3 dates in my entire life, and paid half on each one because that’s how I was raised (Always pay your own way/Take care of yourself) could mean I’m biased. Any time I went on a date, I made sure the guy knew it was a date…none of my friends ever “asked me out” anyway. If a woman/man decides during the date that it’s just not going to work, I’d hope they would be honest and polite enough to let the other person know that.

    I agree with you about prostitution. I’ve gone to college with male and female escorts, and have spoken to one of the ladies who works at the Bunny Ranch. If sexual services could ALL be done this way, and with mandatory STD testing, I’d have no problem with it at all.

    I’m unsure if I know any MGTOWs, though I am friends with three 45-ish guys who’ve never married and seldom date. As far as I can tell, they’re just like me in that they personally don’t want that kind of relationship.

    I’ll agree with your last sentiment as well. Oh, and yes, chivalry used to be a knightly code of conduct, but I was speaking purely about it’s modern usage. I’m sure other readers will find your link helpful though…so thanks. 🙂

  6. @MrMary

    Hey man, nice to hear from you again. I can’t wait to see your take on this topic! Everything is good with me, just busy running a new store branch. Hope you and your lady are doing well, too!

  7. @Liz

    I’m willing to bet good money you’re correct about the nobility vs serfs concept. I’d politely disagree with you about the “chivalry is mostly courtesy” though. Unless you mean something different by it, I’ve seen men actively being uber-nice to women, sometimes to the detriment of other men…like holding the door for an unencumbered adult woman, then letting it slam in the face of a man carrying a crap-ton of boxes.

    It always makes me shake my head in wonder and disgust, how callous people can be to others needs.

  8. “I’ve seen men actively being uber-nice to women, sometimes to the detriment of other men…like holding the door for an unencumbered adult woman, then letting it slam in the face of a man carrying a crap-ton of boxes.”

    I’ll bet the women they were uber-nice to were good looking (the reason for this behavior), when they slammed the doors in the faces of men behind them. Which is NEITHER polite nor chivalrous. I’ve seen this as well. I’ve also had a door slammed in my face when I was carrying a baby, by an old man no less! WTFuck?

    Rude people are everywhere. I call it the potential limit theorem (this applies especially to driving). They’re all acting according to their highest potential. They simply can’t do better, because they are functional retards. I’ve found this makes the rudeness easier to take.

  9. @Stoner

    Disregarding for a moment that the ‘friend zone’ doesn’t actually exist, if a woman paying for her own meal sends that kind of signal to a man then *the man* is the one with the problem. It’s not the woman’s responsibility to allow him to be sexist because doing otherwise might confuse him.

    This is also the first time I have come across MGTOW, although from a little research it seems to be a fairly misogynist offshoot of the men’s rights movement. Hopefully I’m wrong.


    Really enjoyed this article 🙂 As someone who prides himself on supporting equality it’s always a bit difficult to reconcile being ‘a gentleman’, especially since you run the risk of offending some women by offering your assistance/holding doors/etc. and offending others by *not* doing it! But you have hit on the only solution, which is making sure you are equally courteous and helpful to both genders!

  10. @lolenjoy

    I’m glad you liked it. Yes, I think that if more people could just try to be polite to everyone around them then no one could make the claim that you’re singling them out as being weak or incapable. Besides, men need help and politeness just as much as women do!

    I thought I’d also just let you know I’ve written a post on “Friendzoning” a while ago. Maybe it can clarify what Stoner is talking about:

    I tried to dissect this phenomena and talk about it from a male AND female point of view. I hope when you have time you could tell me your thoughts on it?

    The MGTOW movement in itself is not sexist or misogynist, though certain men who claim the title definitely are. In essence it is a belief that the odds are so stacked against men in marriage and divorce/family court that it is foolish to pursue long-term or legally binding relationships with women. It can also be used to say that you are a man whose life choices do not take women into account, and that you don’t “bow to the pussy”.

    As I am a person who is committed to staying single, I can appreciate wanting to keep one’s freedom…whether that be financial, physical, or emotional. For more on my views on being single, check out my posts “The Cheese Stands Alone” and “Why Going Your Own Way Isn’t A Bad Idea”.

  11. @Tarnished

    Thanks, I will definitely check out your post.

    Regarding MGTOW, I have no issue with someone raising the point that family courts can be unfriendly toward men, or even that the idea of marriage isn’t for them. I just question whether forming a ‘men only’ club around those ideals is necessary or even helpful. Reading what some of their members write online it seems an awful lot like glorifying selfish behavior and blaming women for their problems when in fact society (and the courts) are mainly controlled by other men. I think if you really want to fight against the idea that men need to ‘bow to the pussy’… join the feminist movement! After all there are plenty of women out there who don’t want a subservient man and who are also against marriage as an institution. Maybe they should team up instead of portraying the opposite gender as the bad guys!

    (Oh, and I also shot you an email about an earlier topic in case you missed it)

  12. I am really having trouble believing that story about the old man at the bank. Really? “Women don’t hold doors for men”? (Not saying you are lying, just sitting here with jaw dropped in astonishment at that phrase.) That man was not being chivalrous: he was being an asshole.

    I’ve quote-dropped this on three blogs in the last month so far, one more won’t kill me: There’s a great bit of dialogue in 12 Angry Men, one of my favorite movies.

    Grumpy old fart to deferential European man: “What the hell are you being so polite for?”
    Euro man to GOF: “For the same reason you’re not. It’s the way I was brought up.”

    I don’t hesitate to hold doors for men, or women, encumbered or not. It’s just done. I like polite people. I sometimes wonder if the “Me Generation” of the 70s and 80s has raised people so self-centered that they cannot consider the feelings of others. I know that I encounter screaming children in public places at way higher levels than I used to. I was at Myer shopping for nail polish and one woman had her kid tagging along. Said kid was having an epic tantrum, yelling at the top of her lungs, while mom, blissfully unaware, kept browsing. She was allowing the brat to ruin the shop experience of a dozen or more people. Salespeople had to shout to be heard over her. I have no doubt that if I’d gone up to her and asked her to control her offspring, I would have gotten an earful.

    Sorry, got off track, we were talking about chivalry, right? 😀 I like the idea of it, but as you say, in practice it often comes down to sexism.

  13. lolenjoy…

    I do not consider MGTOW an offshoot of the MRA’s…

    In fact I feel (others will disagree) that after the self-proclaimed voice for men, real man ™ Paul Elam crapped all over Stardusk that MRA and MGTOW are incompatible…

    I originally thought that MRA and MGTOW were different responses to similar cultural conditions…

    great thing about MGTOW, it can be practiced on an individual level to varying degree’s and to me the GONG YOUR OWN WAY is the best part. It can mean forging your own path. Be careful where you get your sources, a bully like David Futrelle is known to lie and take things out of context. In fact, he did that very thing to me.

  14. I agree that everyone should express courtesy to one another.

    Interestingly, some suggest that in today’s world chivalry arises as a counterbalance to hostile sexism.

    For example, men are more likely to say insulting things to — or about — women, like referring to women as bitches — as compared to race, or old people, for instance. In fact a few of the ways women are most likely to be referred to on college campuses are as bitches and sluts. Guys aren’t referred to in similarly negative terms. When women are put down so much, some suspect that chivalry arises to put women on a pedestal as a way to bring things back into balance.

    So I say we need to get rid of both benevolent and hostile sexism. And simultaneously: Definitely don’t get rid of the pedestal without also removing the hostile insults.

  15. @BroadBlogs
    “So I say we need to get rid of both benevolent and hostile sexism.” Most definitely. Whether the sexism is harmful or helpful, it should be gotten rid of. Neither women nor men inherently deserve a social pedestal, and everyone should have equal footing.

  16. @Sasha

    You are as amazed as I was. What I found to be the most “special” part of that situation was the fact he thought I was a bitch for not automatically following rude orders from a complete stranger…I mean, really? You’re right, at that point he was being an ass, not chivalrous. I’ve seen lesser forms of this when people do nice/charitable things for others…but only when groups of onlookers are around to praise them. I want to say to them “You know, doing a good thing is it’s own reward.”

    But anyway, yes: Polite people who help *everybody* are awesome!

  17. @stonerwithaboner

    Really if you make a comment implying female prostitution is degrading towards men you can’t be surprised if you get called out on it. Men are the ones with all the power in that scenario, they can choose to frequent prostitutes or not.

  18. @lolenjoy

    I believe Stoner was looking at it from the perspective of: men having to pay for sex = male sexuality is worth less than female sexuality.

    If I’m correct in my interpretation, he does have a point. There are many men who would pay a woman for sex, but you don’t really hear of women wanting to pay men for sex. It creates an odd situation where female sexual favors are in high demand…but for some reason male sexual favors are not.

  19. Men HAVE to pay for sex? I was under the impression that men choose to pay for sex. And while there are male prostitutes I believe supply follows demand rather than the other way around.

  20. Perhaps that was a poor word choice. Men in general do not have to pay for sex, but some do. Whether it is because they feel they are unattractive, suffer from social anxiety disorders, or are scared of being chastised for their lack of sexual experience…yes, there are men who pay for sex because they don’t want to be virgins. They do choose to pay for the sex, but for these men they believe it is their only (or the easiest) way to obtain it.

    But your second sentence is what I believe he was truly getting at: Namely, that female sexuality is in such a high demand that an entire centuries long profession has grown up around it. The same cannot be said for male sexuality on anything close to an equal scale. This can lead some men to feel badly about their bodies/sexuality, in that they don’t feel as desired or sexy.

    Everyone wants to feel loved; it’s a common emotion in most animals. By society subtly “telling” men they aren’t sexy/desirable, it can lead to feelings of insecurity, rejection, and low self-esteem.

    At least, that’s what my take on it is. Stoner is more than welcome to correct me if I’m wrong in my interpretation of what he was saying.

  21. Sex isn’t a necessity. Society may place a lot of pressure on men to have sex, but that isn’t a problem with prostitution, it’s a problem with society. The solution is to dismantle the stereotype that a ‘real’ man (see also: ‘alpha male’) can get any woman he wants, and stop judging men based on how much sex they have. Ideas that, if I’m honest, a lot of commenters here seem more interested in spreading than stamping out.

    And you say some men struggle with not feeling sexy/desirable? No argument here. Did you know that 44% of women feel ‘ugly’ without makeup? And 77% of teenage girls have a negative self image? This isn’t a gender-based problem, its systemic. Female sexuality being in ‘higher demand’ has done nothing for the self-esteem of most women. In fact it has harmed it. The solution? Societal change, both in how men think about women and how women think about themselves. To insinuate that prostitution, an institution responsible for an enormous amount of women’s suffering, is to blame for men feeling bad about themselves is either missing the point by miles or deliberately minimizing the harm done to women.

  22. You’re correct that people can live without ever having sex…but I’d argue that you can’t live without some form of touch. Even people who are “touch phobic” like myself crave it (we just usually get it from companion animals). Sex is not a necessity for life, but acceptance and nurturing is.
    I agree that no one (man or woman) should feel pressured to have sex, or made to feel that their value as a person hinges on whether they’re a virgin or not. (See my post “Virgin Shaming = Not Cool, Bro”). I think more of the commenters here, and M3 in particular, are so interested in sex due to their experiences with InCel aka involuntary celibacy. M3 actually has a very heart-wrenching post on this very topic.

    I agree with you that this is not only a male problem. I’ve not heard of those exact percentages that you cite, but I’m unsurprised. I personally don’t own any makeup, and am absolutely horrible at trying to put it on. I only had a bad self-image when I was a teen because my stepfather constantly called me “fat” or “huge”, even though my doctor was concerned since I was 20 lbs underweight. I find it incredibly sad that so many men and women are dissatisfied with their looks. 😦

    I also agree that we need societal change, but I’d add that we also need to change how women think of men. Not all prostitution has caused suffering. Human trafficking and involuntary prostitution (which affects women, men, and children alike) is a far cry from legitimate sex workers who voluntarily seek out this profession. Just talk to one of the many ladies from the Bunny Ranch in Nevada, or watch the “Cathouse” documentary. I am certainly not trying to minimize any suffering endured by people who are sexually used by pimps, or those who are sold into sexual slavery against their will. But I still feel that Stoner was talking about male desirability vs female desirability…not necessarily complaining that there are fewer male sex workers, of which prostitution is only a small part.

    We as a society need to reach a point where both men and women can be seen as sexy while simultaneously acknowledged as thinking, feeling beings.

  23. “I believe Stoner was looking at it from the perspective of: men having to pay for sex = male sexuality is worth less than female sexuality.

    If I’m correct in my interpretation, he does have a point. There are many men who would pay a woman for sex, but you don’t really hear of women wanting to pay men for sex. It creates an odd situation where female sexual favors are in high demand…but for some reason male sexual favors are not. ”

    Yes, this is what I was trying to articulate…

    (there are of course, relatively rare examples of elderly women paying younger men for sex in the Carribean…)

    I went over to manboobs trying to clear things up and was treated with tons of personal insults. That’s when I realized they were a bunch of misandrist bigots more interested in bullying people than a serious discussion of gender. At least here, things are being looked at and dismantled from many different angles. That’s the discussion I like…

    “Sex isn’t a necessity.”

    well, actually…

    as far as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, it is…

    goes without saying that one person DOES NOT have the right to usurp another person’s freedom-ie rape…

    “To insinuate that prostitution, an institution responsible for an enormous amount of women’s suffering, is to blame for men feeling bad about themselves is either missing the point by miles or deliberately minimizing the harm done to women.”

    Nope, that’s not what I said. In fact I said that it should be legal to make it as safe as possible for BOTH the seller and buyer. –unsure weather lolenjoy was interacting on my point or Tanished.

    “Society may place a lot of pressure on men to have sex, but that isn’t a problem with prostitution, it’s a problem with society.”

    This is one of the many reason’s I can’t stand Roosh or Heartiste. They brag “I’m a real man ™ because I get poooossssy.” My desires for sex are biological (yes, I said biological, not cultural, just like that hungry feeling in the pit of my stomach, it wasn’t caused by advertisers.) And also new experiences, similar to why I like psychadelics.

  24. “Perhaps that was a poor word choice. Men in general do not have to pay for sex, but some do. Whether it is because they feel they are unattractive, suffer from social anxiety disorders, or are scared of being chastised for their lack of sexual experience…yes, there are men who pay for sex because they don’t want to be virgins. They do choose to pay for the sex, but for these men they believe it is their only (or the easiest) way to obtain it. ”

    let me play devil’s advocate…

    A man is born handicapped. He is literally going to be the 40 yr old virgin. Most people see him as asexual. But he has a really cool brother who knows he is attracted to women. The brother works some extra hours. They live where prostitution is legal. The brother carefully explains his situation to a few prostitutes and finds one who is compassionate and progressive. He pays her a bit over “fair market value.” On his 40ith B-Day, the woman gives him the night of his life.

    Dude, that’s not “patriarchical exploitation,” that a fucking humanitarian mission.

  25. Acceptance and nurturing really isn’t related to prostitution, so I would argue it’s drifting from the point. As for ‘InCel’, well, if no-one wants to have sex with you no-one has to do it. By all means talk about the societal pressures on both genders, but you don’t have a right to complain that people ‘should’ be attracted to you if they aren’t.

    Where people like M3 fall down is that they aren’t interested in dismantling the stereotype that a man who isn’t having sex is a failure. In fact, they glorify it and argue with those of us that are trying to move past it. They would rather complain that it’s all a problem with women’s behavior (presumably for only sleeping with people they want to sleep with, those terrible women) and ignore the underlying problems. They also have an extremely distorted view of the opposite sex, talking about women as commodities and using a minority of women to define the whole. I’m really not sure what they think gives them the right to tell anyone that they are sleeping with the wrong people, or choosing their partners on the wrong criteria. That’s a real issue of personal freedom.

    If you want to talk about male desirability vs female then prostitution is a symptom rather than a cause, so saying it is degrading towards men is reversing cause and effect. What you are really complaining about is that men desire sex more than women so an industry has grown up around satisfying that desire. If your response to that fact is to think women need to change their behavior to better satisfy men’s desires, well what does that say…

  26. @Stoner

    This is a major point that I know some people forget. Just because a man/woman is handicapped or physically disabled does NOT mean they are asexual. Missing limbs, deformities, etc is not indicative of a lack of sexual desire.

    I’ve known people who act as though every disabled person is stuck at a pre-adolescent stage…nope, they need love too.

  27. @Stoner

    I’m not sure how your analogy relates to anything. You’re the one who said prostitution is degrading to men, and no-one here used the term ‘patriarchal exploitation’. Personally I don’t have a problem with legalised, well-regulated prostitution, so I don’t see the problem with the scenario you posted. Although hopefully the brother asked the person involved if he *wanted* sex with a prostitute. But what does it have to do with prostitution being degrading to men?

  28. Ah no problem. It was online research conducted last year for the Renfrew Center Foundation. They put out a press release with more of the results here:

    There’s also a bunch of news articles that picked it up that you can find with some googling. They sponsored a national campaign called ‘Barefaced and Beautiful’ as a result of the study. Hope that helps!

  29. @Stoner

    Sorry about that. I was at a convention yesterday, and had bad cell service. I’ve taken your comment out of moderation now. 🙂

  30. @Stoner

    Your previous comment does clear some things up, thanks.

    When I say sex isn’t a necessity, I mean it isn’t essential for survival. You can argue that some form of intimacy is necessary for happiness (which is why it falls on the hierarchy of needs) but that intimacy doesn’t necessarily need to be sexual. Nor does it need to be fulfilled all the time. Just as some people won’t be happy without a cool car and some will, some people won’t be happy without sex and some will. Disentangling where someone’s personal desire for sex ends and the culturally imposed ‘need’ to be seen as successful begins is difficult to say the least!

    I’m glad to hear you’re not a fan of the so-called ‘pick up artists’ either. They may believe they are helping men, but they are really only propagating negative stereotypes that harm men and women alike.

    Maybe I simply misinterpreted your original point on prostitution, since by now I find myself confused about what you were trying to say. I still think there is a lot more common ground between mainstream feminism and MGTOW than most people think though. There is just a lot of prejudice to get past on both sides.

  31. @Stoner

    For example (sorry for the double post) I was just having a read through some of your blog. I found your post ‘…looks like “entusiastic consent” only applies to womyn…’ really interesting. Mainly because if you actually follow the link to the article you were talking about and read the comments, Jezebel readers were saying the *exact* same things as you! In fact the vast majority of the comments were negative. THAT represents mainstream feminist opinion, and you have to be careful not to confuse the BS that gets written up by so-called ‘experts’ with what most women actually think (in fact, most feminists I know dislike Jezebel, because they think their articles miss the point nearly all the time, and are often outright sexist).

  32. “I still think there is a lot more common ground between mainstream feminism and MGTOW than most people think though. ”

    people often confuse MGTOW with lesbian separatism. It’s actually far different as you don’t see MGTOW communes. (I will only voluntarily live with another male if I get a dog or have a son. I’ll live outta my vehicle before getting roommates.) Also society is far more atomized. I can live around people but be very isolated.

    I feel like MGTOW are the only one’s demanding equality. Most other guys aren’t.

    My understanding is that some feminist’s from the 70’s complained about women being considered to “lack agency” whereas many modern feminist’s berate men but demand they protect women-ie Schroeddinger’s rapist and Men Can Prevent Rape.

    This link will probably seem harsh when you first read it but considering things like the fact that women often get a sentencing discount for violent crimes I think he is spot on….

  33. “Mainly because if you actually follow the link to the article you were talking about and read the comments, Jezebel readers were saying the *exact* same things as you! In fact the vast majority of the comments were negative.”

    There’s an (in)famous article at Jezebel where women bragged about hitting their boyfriends.. I don’t understand how any feminist who ever volunteered at a DV shelter could approve that without a shit-ton of cognative dissonance.

    I think Daran at Feminist Critics raised the point that Jezzebel may not be feminist but still, it has prominent authors who present themselves as feminist-ie Lindy West and Hugo Schwyzer.

    Still, I find many things problematic with “mainstream feminist discourse.”

    Presumable Jill F. of Feministe is a feminist and Feministe is a prominent feminist website:

  34. OK, a few counterpoints.

    MGTOW are not the only ones demanding equality. Plenty of feminists and feminist allies would like equality too. Of course you may not agree with some of the things written by feminists, but many of the things written under the MGTOW banner are extremely sexist. You should judge a movement by its intentions and its achievements rather than the personal opinions of a vocal minority within that group.

    Even worse than that is judging based on straw man arguments. That is, opinions which are completely made up to make a group look ridiculous. For example in the link you posted:

    “Liberals: No, anything bad a woman does is the fault of the patriarchy and sexism. ”

    Very few people think anything like that, least of all feminists. Institutional sexism and the patriarchy don’t make any individual women less responsible for her own actions. They explain societal problems. Women in general having less career options and feeling pressured into being stay-at-home mothers has nothing to do with their personal agency.

    As for modern feminism, you are missing the point of Schrodinger’s Rapist/Men Can Prevent Rape if you think it is to berate men. Or to demand protection. The point of Schrodinger’s rapist is to try and get the average man to understand what it is like to be a woman being approached by an unknown man. The idea that men can prevent rape stems from the fact that a lot of rape is committed by men who don’t understand the idea of enthusiastic consent, and may indeed not have raped anyone if they had different opinions about what is acceptable behavior. They are both intended to get men to consider how their actions impact women, not to make them feel bad or to imply that ‘all men are rapists’.

  35. “I feel like MGTOW are the only one’s demanding equality. Most other guys aren’t.”

    Not necessarily. You guys need to define equality. It is such a vague term that it can really mean anything:

    “We heuristically compare politically salient attributes and call two people “equal” when we should be using the word “congruent under the context I flat out made up.” One who seeks “equality” without sharing what the hell he means has no idea what he wants, but feels that people will like him if he squawks “Equality! Equality!”
    “This abuse of language makes conversation with feminist zealots nearly impossible, but you know that. I’m preaching to the choir at this point”.

    -Victor Zen

  36. @infowarrior

    To me, “equality” means treating all people the same as much as possible. Skin color, sex, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc should not be used to arbitrarily determine what jobs/respect/payment/education someone can work towards.

    There *are* some differences that we need to make exceptions for, such as certain mental and physical disabilities, or very young/old citizens…but everyone should still be offered the same rights and opportunities in life as much as possible.

  37. @infowarrior1

    Good point. I use the word equality because I feel it has a generally accepted meaning of establishing a more level playing field between the sexes and minimizing discrimination and prejudice, but it is a word that means different things to different people.

    A more appropriate but under-used term for a lot of situations would be equity, meaning essentially ‘treat each according to their need’. Rather then equality, meaning ‘treat everyone the same’. Under true equality for example, there would be as many shelters for abused men as abused women. No ethnicity or sex would get any unique treatment to help them into employment, or out of poverty. Some would argue that is how it should be.

    *Equity* on the other hand would say that we need more shelters for women because they have a greater need. We need to help women/minorities into politics and management jobs because they face unique burdens getting there. We need to treat people in a way that will ensure a fair *outcome* rather than simply treating everybody the same.

    Equity is often what people mean when they say equality, and its a source of endless confusion. People see minority action groups campaigning for what is essentially special treatment and they attack them for ‘not supporting equality’. When really what society needs isn’t equality, it’s fairness.

  38. lolenjoy…

    well, it’s probably beating a dead horse here but…

    anyways when feminists make blanket statements like men can stop rape it is gonna alienate men…

    If someone said Blacks can prevent crime, Muslims can prevent terror, Women can prevent Hypergamy…

    well, that would be absurd. Most men aren’t rapists. Most men aren’t rapists. Most men aren’t rapist.

    It seems feminists expect men like myself to give them a benefit of the doubt they wouldn’t give me and I won’t do it…

    anyways this has gone far from the original topic and I’ll end things here…

  39. @Stoner

    I’ll understand if you don’t wish to speak on this topic further, but I’m curious as to what you mean by this;

    “It seems feminists expect men like myself to give them a benefit of the doubt they wouldn’t give me…”

    Which benefit of the doubt are you referring to here?

  40. @Tarnished
    “To me, “equality” means treating all people the same as much as possible. Skin color, sex, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc should not be used to arbitrarily determine what jobs/respect/payment/education someone can work towards.”

    What about just deserts and showing no partiality. Judging them by their deeds rather than their person.

    A person have no control over who they are but they can control what they do that is justice. However what a person is born as ensures biological foundations on how they behave. Both masculinity and femininity are social constructs.
    But those constructs lay on the sound foundations of biology:

    The truth is no one is born blank slate. Genetics ensure tendencies that guide the rest of your life.

  41. @Stoner

    If you want to abandon the discussion fair enough, but I would still be interested in some of your responses. For example did you read the comments on that Jezebel article? What did you think knowing that most Jezebel readers felt the same way about it as you did?

    Thanks for the link, but I’m not sure what point you’re making with it. To quote the author:

    ” I wish their editors would have made some different decisions and they’ve published a ton of content I find wholly objectionable, but I’m glad we have women’s websites and feminist websites that are big and popular and imperfect and interesting and controversial.”

    Sounds like she is saying that she doesn’t agree with a lot of what they write, but while she wishes they were better she is still glad they exist since they stimulate discussion. What’s the problem with that? It seems to back up my point that an awful lot of mainstream feminists don’t actually like what Jezebel writes.

    Most men aren’t rapists. No argument here, or from the vast majority of feminists. Why do you think trying to educate men about avoiding rape implies that most of us are rapists? Most women aren’t rape victims, but we spend tons of time teaching them how to avoid becoming rape victims. Why not spend some time teaching men about how to obtain proper consent and what is acceptable behavior? Obviously some men already know it all, but some don’t and those are the ones you want to reach.

    The difference between rape and the generic ‘crime’ and ‘terror’ is that those are by and large deliberate choices. You aren’t going to educate someone out of being a terrorist. But an awful lot of men who commit rape don’t think what they have done is rape. In fact they think its totally acceptable. Those are the men who can prevent rape directly if they are properly educated. What men like us can do is help spread the message that its not acceptable to (for example) get a girl drunk, threaten or intimidate her, or in any way keep going if she says no. That’s how we can help prevent rape without actually being rapists.

    And like Tarnished, I’m not sure what benefit of doubt you want that ‘feminists’ won’t give you.


    I feel I should apologize for taking your comments section so off topic! But I do enjoy a lively debate and as you can probably tell I’m very interested in this topic.

  42. @infowarrior

    I’m unsure how you made this jump; we were talking about what equality entailed, not the justice system. But of course you should judge people based on how they act. I don’t think I know *anyone* who would argue that point.

    I’ll read your link in a minute, but I’d say that biology affects certain people more than others. For example, I have a genetic predisposition towards alcoholism from both my mother’s and father’s side…in fact, my father was a physically abusive man when on the drink. Since I am aware of this, I do not go to bars, do not allow others to buy me drinks, and limit myself to only having 1 drink during a nice dinner or when out with friends. I’ve never been drunk, and intend to keep it that way.

    So yes, genetics can ensure that one has tendencies…but if one is a healthy adult with an adequate intelligence level, one *should* be able to control those tendencies.

  43. @lolenjoy

    Unlike some other bloggers, I do not mind topic derailment, so long as it comes from a similar path. If you were to start commenting about something off the wall…like the recent improvements made on flying cars…that would be different. But a casually meandering discussion is a-ok in my book. I’m actually very proud of all my commenters, as I’ve had incredibly few problems with people being rude or irrationally angry in their comments. I’ve seen other blogs that touch on gender topics like mine, and they seem to devolve into a cesspool of name calling and shaming language.

    How does that further understanding, exactly? 😛

    I actually remember a study that pertains to your comment to Stoner here. I’ll try to find it, but basically it was about hetero men’s attitudes toward a hypothetical “what is consent/does she want it” situation. A good number of the men involved gave answers that showed they believed this hypothetical woman *did* want sex despite her insistence otherwise. This was done a few years ago though…I’m unsure if there was a follow up done recently. If I find the study, I’ll post it here.

  44. @infowarrior

    Not sure why you bring justice into it, but its an example of where we could use some equality. Black people are punished more harshly than white people. Men are punished more harshly than women. Both examples of where we need equality.

    As for the evolutionary biology, its a very woolly topic. Very little has actually been proved in terms of how genetics affects our behavior. And even if it does, what does that mean to the individual? Absolutely nothing, these things only have meaning on the statistical scale. It really doesn’t affect the fact that you shouldn’t be judging/persecuting people for not fitting what you think the mold of a man or woman should be.

    Your article also contains a lot of inaccuracies, like this for example:

    “Gender, being ultimately based on sexual biology, can only be a binary…”

    Sexual biology isn’t necessarily binary though, so there goes that argument. There are plenty of conditions that result in someone being born intersex. That’s a pretty fundamental lack of knowledge for someone talking about gender constructivism.


    Thanks, I’m enjoying the discussion 🙂

    I’m sure I have read/seen similar things to what you are referencing, and its really the cornerstone of the idea that educating men is at least as important to preventing rape as educating women. I think the problem is that people are too invested in the image of rape as ‘guy hiding in the bushes with a knife’ to consider that a lot of rape is committed by men who don’t consider themselves rapists.

  45. If one wants to know more how quirks of personal genetics may influence personal behavior, evolutionary psychology in not the field to peruse. To anyone curious: simply type ‘”behavioral genetics” as the keyword.

  46. Brilliant! I once heard the difference described as:
    Chivalry: A man holding a door open for a woman
    Courtesy: A woman holding a door open for a man who is carrying something bulky
    But your examples work much better

  47. Greetings, Sophia. In one of my Google+ groups, someone posted this article and asked for the members’ thoughts. I left mine, and post them here as well. I’d appreciate some feedback if you’re amenable.

    I both agree and disagree with your article here.

    I recall reading somewhere, a long time ago, that women are fools to want to be equal to men, because that takes away from the perquisites of being female. I’m not sure I agree with that, either. But I will hold a door for a woman, light her cigarette, and if the occasion calls for it, hold her seat for her (which I find to be more a matter of form than actual practice, as after she’s seated it’s rather difficult to move the chair into the table without her active cooperation).

    However, if she expresses, either through words, looks or actions, that she wants to do these things herself, then I’ll comply with that with no problem whatever.

    However, I sometimes go out of my way to be courteous as well, as the article describes, especially in an instance such as the first one, with the man struggling with packages. Yet I recall an episode, in upstate New York, of an elderly man struggling to get to his car over a ridge of snow and slush. I went to help him, saying, “Here, let me help.” He waved me away as he replied, “No thank you, I’m okay.” So I watched him to make sure, in case he fell or otherwise really did need some assistance.

  48. Good afternoon, Don. Thanks for dropping by.

    I’m happy to hear you do kind/polite things for women and men alike. You are an agent of courtesy, which as I stated above is sorely needed in this world. Caring for others simply because you have empathy and consideration is to be applauded…If you were to *only* do kind/polite things for women to the detriment of men, that’d obviously be a different story. It’s also great to hear that you still offer chivalry for those women who are still old-fashioned/traditionalists without forcing it upon those who don’t want to be treated unequally to men. I tip my hat to you, good sir.

    One question though:
    What are these “prerequisites” of being female you speak of? And if one has said prerequisites, does that necessarily mean that they wanted them or should automatically be treated different than someone with masculine “prerequisites”?

  49. Good afternoon to you as well, Sophia.

    To answer your question, first I must clarify.

    I didn’t say “prerequisites”. I said “perquisites”, which is an entirely different thing:


    another term for perk.
    a thing regarded as a special right or privilege enjoyed as a result of one’s position.
    noun: perquisite; plural noun: perquisites
    “the wife of a president has all the perquisites of stardom”

    To me, those perquisites, or “perks”, of being a woman relate to the historical analogy of women being put on a pedestal so to speak. The concept, as I’m sure you’re aware, is that just by being a woman, she can get whatever she wants from a man.

    But as I said above, I’m not sure I agree with that. This, in spite of the fact that there are many women who do have that as their attitude and belief, and many men who facilitate them, for whatever reason or excuse.

    As for the perks of being a man, those also are historically traditional. Men are still seen as the protectors of women and children, the breadwinners, the head of the family, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. I know it’s not even close to true in reality, but that is the perspective that yet predominates in our society.

    As for myself, I tend toward egalitarianism, yet at the same time I enjoy those moments when I can express courtesy, and even more so to the moments when I can be, in the more modern sense, chivalrous. Yet it’s not really a necessity for me per se as it is a desire.

    As was expressed in some of the comments I read here, many men adopt what I call a “pseudo-chivalry”, for lack of a better term, which is really a cheap cover for ulterior motives, usually getting laid. And those are the ones who will hold a door for a pretty woman but then let the door slam in the face of the next person. Bad form, bad behavior, and to the observant individual it’s a dead giveaway of those ulterior motives.

    I trust that answers your question. If not, please feel free to ask for more.

  50. Please, call me Tarnished or Tarn.

    Lol. Fair enough, I’m on my phone so the text is a bit difficult to see at times. In the future, don’t feel like you have to give the whole definition…I’ll just look it up myself if I know it was a mistake. 😉

    Yes, there are a number of pseudo courteous people just as you describe. The one I hear my female coworkers complain about the most is when their dates offer to pay for the whole dinner…but then fully expect sex afterwards. That isn’t courtesy OR chivalry. It is looking to do a trade without being upfront about it.

    I have no issue with men and women who live in accordance with traditional gender roles and the like. If that is how they wish to be and they find a partner who agrees with it…So be it. More power to them.

    I, however, *want* to be regarded as an equal. While this requires total depedestalization and thus more physical labor/proving of oneself on my part, I wouldn’t give it up for the world. I am happily unmarried, childless, and pay my own way in everything, just like the majority of men have to. If I go out with my FwB, I’ll usually pay for the entire “date” or we’ll split it evenly.

    It just seems silly to not be all I can be and do all I can do simply because I was born female. Does this make sense?

  51. You have a good night as well, my new friend! I also enjoyed our discussion; it’s so refreshing to have intelligent discourse.

    Unfortunately, the response on your post n my Google+ group has so far been almost non-existent. Only two others besides me have commented, which is surprising, because the group focuses on relationship issues.

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