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February 04, 2005

Comments

bmmg39

"When I pressed him further, he told me (much to my horror) that to take money from a woman is too much like being a pimp. Aaargh."

Ha! Yeah, "aaargh" is right. As I said, these double standards and gender-based rules wind up making everyone look bad.

"But again, I think the common sense rule in this day and age is for the person who does the inviting to pay the bill or for people to go dutch."

You're absolutely right: it IS so simple and it IS common sense...so no WONDER people have trouble with it...

"And I think women should do the inviting more often rather than moping by the phone waiting for a call-- being the initiator always worked nicely for me, and I was surprised to learn how many men were too nervous to make the first move."

You're absolutely right again. I've been alone my whole life, and, while I've always been shy and clueless in such matters, it's on the record that MY phone certainly hasn't rung off the hook, either. It drives me crazy when a girl or woman says, "How can I get him to ask me out?" as though she's trying to trap a squirrel or something. You know, just ask HIM out. Duh!

There is no Mars/Venus grand difference between the sexes. Men are from Earth; women are from Earth. Some women are outgoing and some men are shy. I've heard women and girls say that they could never ask someone out because they fear rejection; well, men and boys have this same fear, too.

Furthermore, your idea that "whoever asks" might be the one to pay is all well and good, but only when we accept your SECOND idea that anyone can ask anyone out. There is this duo out there called the Etiquette Grrls (or some alternate spelling like that), and they say that whoever asks ought to pay, but then turn around and say that they think it should almost always be the male's job to ask. How conveeeeeeeenient.

craichead

I disagree. The way I see it as I said before is that the invisibility of the violence is something new to the last 30 years or so.

To me, chivalry is a mutual undertaking. The man restrains himself from the use of physical coercion over the woman.

The woman in turn respects this restraint by not provoking the man by striking out at him.

What we have today is widespread approval for a woman to deny her end of that social contract and the criminalization of the man's denial of the social contract.

What you're seeing on that screen isn't chivalry -- it's more like an aristocracy in a way really. Think of it like in the days of serfs where the nobleman could strike the peasant and the peasant had to take it.

In the Mead book I'm reading she mentions that in old Japan, 4 yo boys could strike or berate their mothers simply because they were male. Even with the difference in size they didn't fear being struck back by their mothers because their culture valued males so much more highly than females that it wasn't allowed.

bmmg39

"I am a woman. I was taught to hold the door for anyone behind me, especially if they were carrying someting or would otherwise find it hard to make it through the door. Since I am in the Northeast, most buildings have double doors, and if a gentleman holds the first door open for me, I hold the second open for him."

You, syfr, just like cmc, get monster props from me.

"I also decided to give up my seat on public transportation to those who needed it more than me (older, pregnant, etc.). I am in good health, but when I am sick, I appreciate the courtesy. I sometimes split the bill with my boyfriend when we eat out, sometimes he treats, sometimes I treat- it varies."

Great. I think you have the right idea.

"The thing is to treat the other party with courtesy and respect, which includes not making a woman feel "smaller" by condescending to her because she is female, and not berating a man because he holds a door for you. And not refusing to walk through a door because a woman is holding it open, if you are a man."

Yes, yes, and yes. If ALL people are expected to show generosity and courtesy, then there likely won't be any question about what a person's motives are. I hold doors for both genders and appreciate both genders doing the same for me.

Thanks for making my day. Every so often, I'll feel like I'm the only one in the world who feels a certain way, and now I know I'm not.

Hugo Schwyzer

Amanda, thank you --this is an immensely helpful contribution, and one with which I wholeheartedly concur:

"According to Miss Manners, the proper rule of thumb with gendered distinctions in etiquette is that they are acceptable in social circumstances and unacceptable in professional circumstances. Men are never to stand when a woman enters an office to conduct business--this is an insult and implies that women do not belong in the boardroom. However, in social circumstances where differences are considered entertainment more than statements on ability, it's fine for men to stand, open doors, pull out chairs. It's a great rule of thumb that makes a lot of these uncomfortable situations easier to navigate."

Excellent and succinct.

zuzu

I've also been taught that it's rude to let a door close in someone's face, and it's also rude to expect someone else to open doors for you. It's also rude to snap at people when they do things for you like open doors.

CMC is right, though (as is Miss Manners, who rocks) -- the behavior we think of as chivalrous can be enjoyable and entertaining in a social setting, but has no place in the professional context.

I do notice that men of all ages will often step aside and let women on or off elevators first -- which is great and fine and all unless they're standing in your way and it would be easier if they just stepped out first.

I don't understand a man who would be angry if the woman offered to pay.

There was a scene on The Sopranos last season where Tony took the kids and Meadow's boyfriend Finn out to dinner and Finn paid the bill while Tony was in the bathroom. Tony flipped out and threatened Finn because he thought it made him look bad -- and Finn was confused, because he was trying to do something that made *him* feel successful, not take away Tony's stature. Tony, of course, is an extreme of macho behavior, but in that context it was clearly a power thing.

I've definitely experienced the awkwardness of who pays on the first date. I always try to pay, but I won't push it if the guy insists. Of course, I've also had dates where I thought he was planning to pay because he made a big deal of "taking me out," then ordered a fairly expensive bottle of wine without letting me see the wine list, and then decided to let me know we were splitting the check. I also went on a date with one guy where I thought we were there for drinks and he decided to order dinner and -- even though I'd only had Diet Coke because I had to go back to work afterwards -- he wanted to split the check down the middle. And again, he asked me out.

cmc

Bmmg39--

Thanks! It was a pleasure talking, and thank you for making my first blog experience (other than lurking) so positive.

Paz

My dad was a very courteous and gracious man, full of proper old world charm. He was very polite and considerate to everyone. As a little girl I saw this and it never occurred to me that I should be any different. To this day I open doors for people and offer my seat regardless of gender, especially to elderly people. He taught me that I was equal to a man, but that I should never lose sight of my femininity. I grew up knowing that I was expected to be a productive hard working person.

During social gatherings he would look at me with that funny look in his eye.__ Later on I'd ask him...What did I do wrong? How did I blow it??....He would just say that I needed to be very careful not to insult people by being inconsiderate.__I think this is the bottom line...to treat other people how 'you' would like to be treated.

mythago

Hugo, forgive me if I missed this in the comments, but you do realize that chivalry was and until recently has always been courtesy shown towards *ladies*. Not women as a class, only those of one's own social station--later this metamorphosed into being chivalrous to "nice girls" only.

I have to deal with the chivalry issue a lot because most of my clients are blue-collar men much older than I. You can see their confusion when we get to a door; I'm their lawyer, so I'm not exactly a 'lady', but they open doors for women, but they're not sure they are supposed to do that anymore and...

NYMOM

"So rather than discuss the truth that you had a 'daughter', and thus are adding to the majority population of the United States that claims it is a minority (fascism), you would rather cower away from that truth as an emasculated American male and invoke "Godwin's Law". Tell you what, wouldn't it be easier to just say you felt uncomfortable about talking about the issue and that you were already compromised by the fact that you have a daughter?"

I feel free to say this now since Hugo is gone for the weekend...

Obtestor: has anyone ever told you that you're an a@@?

Just wondering?

NYMOM

"Godwin's Law = the longer a discussion thread gets, the probability of someone using a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis approaches one. The corrolary is that the person who used the comparison to the Nazis automatically loses the argument.

Just FYI."

That's only when you're dealing with certain types of people who like to make false comparisons to what Hitler did to the Jews and themselves...it's just a way to get sympathy undeserved. I might add...

NYMOM

"Thank you, but it's funny that you and NYMOM have in common calling me Craig."

Well sorry I just didn't notice...Craic

ray

"You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them."

That is a quote by a US Marine General in charge of all US Marines in a theatre of war.

you're absolutely correct, dood, this speaks volumes about the REAL psycho-socio-political reasons the Western Powers are killing folks in the (well! whatta surprise!) "cradle of civilization"

this completely unprofessional, and pathetically bloodthirsty little quote, further, also infoms us that feminism is as much a creature of the Right as Left

Deedletwum and Dumbledwee! and nowhere to run for them Evildoers! [def.: anybody who doesn't agree with me]


This is the link to the article:

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20050204/D881N4400.html

So what this general is saying, in essence and with great clarity politically,

just as clear as a Gangpile o' Muslims in Abu Ghirab!!


is that it is not unreasonable to kill men who reject feminism.


not a profitable soundbite, but . . . yes, in a Fully Deniable Way, he IS saying that

thx for pointing it out!

how you like being the bearer of Bad News, bro?

:O)


He is also saying that the killing of these men by the millions is for feminism (fascist goals).

yes, as w/ Abu, that is the intended subliminal . . .

tsk tsk America, what has become of Thee?


They are already doing it in America. It is only predictable that feminist fascism would now do it in foreign countries.

Obtestor


good stuf, Ob, keep up the fine work

Ampersand

Someone suggested that the use of comic female-on-male violence is something new in the last 20 or 30 years. I've been watching the first season of "Soap," and there was a very funny scene of Chester, the cheater, getting slapped on the face by two of his mistresses. So it's nothing new.

I'd hesitate to read too much into it. I watched an ancient Roman comedy in which the main character, a slave, tricked his master into hiding in a sack and then beat the sack with a stick again and again. I don't think the mere fact that such humor existed proves that in ancient times slaves were more powerful than their masters.

In a way, we won't have real equality until women in comedies get to do the full range of slapstick - including getting hit - and it seems funny to us in pretty much the same way. (One of the interesting things about "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" is it was one of the first TV series - maybe the first one - to show a female action hero who was capable of taking a punch.)

NYMOM

"Craichead's hypothesis is similar to what I have always thought. A man could easily just knock a woman out of the way and barge in front of her. Chivalry teaches men that there is honor and pride to be had in self-restraint."

But then if a man did just knock her down, she'd go get her own man and he'd knock him down and now you got the original roots of chivalry...it is rooted in the sort of code that prompted the Geneva Convention.

It never was about the 'stong' protecting the 'weak' but about similarly situated MEN respecting each other and eventually extending that protection to each other's families...

NYMOM

"But I will say this: the double standard on violence (both on the screen and off) exists in part due to chivalry."

No it doesn't, it has nothing to do with chivalry, just like chivalry had NOTHING to do with how men treated women, but how men treated each other...

NOW you all take credit for this historic chivalry that never existed and exists now, for most part, ONLY in the MINDS of Western men...

AND people don't NOTICE violence in women because it's less of a threat to them... like the difference in aggression between the toy dog breeds (which are more aggressive and likely to bite then larger breeds) and German Shepherds, for instance...

A German Shepherd who acts like a toy poodle, constantly barking and growling, IS NOTICED...He's large, strong and if he gets loose could do serious damage...same thing with people NOTICING expressions of violence in larger more aggressive males, as opposed to their female counterpart... it's a protective mechanism since if you do NOT notice a large male acting aggressively in your vicinty, you're liable to get attacked and if you don't believe that ride a NY subway sometime and notice how people start moving into different cars as soon as a group of rowdy male teens enter...has nothing to do with chivalry that they are immediately noticed while a similar group of teenage girls are ignored...

It's called common sense that if you don't want to be a target, you are alert, notice these things and MOVE...

So stop giving yourselves credit for things you never did, like acting chivalrious to females...you usually do THAT just like I do from common courtesy...I hold doors for people, so what...


NYMOM

"Hugo, forgive me if I missed this in the comments, but you do realize that chivalry was and until recently has always been courtesy shown towards *ladies*. Not women as a class, only those of one's own social station--later this metamorphosed into being chivalrous to "nice girls" only."

This was its secondary purpose...to protect the families of knights and others similarly situated. BUT the main purpose of chivalry was to protect other MEN...it was a code of conduct during WAR, similar to the Geneva Convention...it never evolved from the strong protecting the weak ie., men protecting women...that's the modern day interpretation of it...

AND three guesses who gave it that interpretation...

NYMOM

"They are already doing it in America. It is only predictable that feminist fascism would now do it in foreign countries."

Right...let's blame this war on feminists too...

Are they responsible for anything else you can think of maybe...

Rhesa

This post is reminding me of my own exploration of feminism, Hugo!

CaptDMO

Personally, I'm always suspect when I read a referance to the expression"common courtesy", as I am with common sense, and common knowledge.
For myself, I recognize no such thing, but I understand the need for an arbitrary baseline.
I've read some disturbing(to me) interpretations of what chivalry and acceptable manners are or are not, and I can only ask that for discussion here where I live (USA) the Gold Standard is, of course, the most recent revision of suggested decorum. That is- Star Spangled Manners-Judith Martin,an arbiter accepted (but not unquestiioned) by those willing to allow parameters of what are, and what are NOT, "common", or uncommon, manners.

With that I propose that the construct of chivalry is much greater in scope than has been presented by its detractors here. The most modern and general referance I can suggest to illustrate what chivalry is, or is NOT, would be the plays of William Shakespere,In My Humble Opinion-cross social strata commentary and arbitration, as written, of the day. I hold that not much has changed significantly (ie.one might consider the rattling or withdrawing of a sword in threat of action with drawing a cell phone in threat to call police or ones lawyer)

I still stand by,and echo this.
So while the "rules" are being changed(and cherry picked) I call for a new distinction to be made between
Chivalry
Respect
Honor
Charity
Courtesy
Of course, rules mean nothing unless they are exemplified by personal practice.I urge all to be careful what they ask for, and expect no more than the golden rule.


Scarbo

I think it's absolutely hilarious that NYMOM would have the chutzpah to call someone else an "a@@".

Obtestor

good stuf, Ob, keep up the fine work

Hey thanks. I knew that was a very important news article that needed to be discussed regarding militantly enforced chivalry. If we are going to allow our government to send military forces into other countries to kill people so that feminist terrorist governments can be installed, that is a crime against humanity.

Look at it this way. In America, the men who live here live under matriarchal totalitarian terrorism now. Do we really want that type of government to be forced upon other men around the world? Do we want the fate of American men to be the fate of the Afghani or the Iraqi male?

That is what the General is doing, and the men that he and his soldiers are killing in foreign countries are men that the General "Loves to shoot". The General enjoys being given a license to kill via radical feminism. When women histrionically cry about certain issues, they now have a US Marine General and his endless amounts of soldiers to go kill for them.

Hey, they have done it in the USA for so long with impunity, it was only a matter of time before this new form of feminist Nazism demanded a global dominance.

...and Hugo says men must change o.0

Obtestor

mythago

I think it's about time for Hugo's Comments Drinking Game. (Non-alcoholic grape juice for abstainers.)

Obtestor

Right...let's blame this war on feminists too...

Are they responsible for anything else you can think of maybe...

The US Marine General admitted that he and his men are killing on behalf of radical feminism, and that they loved that killing while doing the killing. What more proof is needed?

Obtestor

mythago

and with that said:

it was a code of conduct during WAR, similar to the Geneva Convention...

No, it was not. At all. Chivalry was a code of conduct for highborn men, in and out of war. As applied toward women, it prescribed certain honors toward ladies of noble birth. (Opening doors likely wasn't originally one of them. You had servants for that.) I believe I've said before that Capellanus's The Art of Courtly Love mentioned, as an aside, that it was OK to direct one's lusts towards peasant women, because they're sort of like animals and don't mind much. You also see a lot of this in Le Morte d'Arthur, where a supposedly peasant-born lad is told by his mother than a nobleman "persuaded her with some force" and therefore he is of noble birth after all, hurrah!

bmmg39, there are also plenty of men, I'm sorry to say, who don't believe women should do the asking-out either. I tend to think of this as a jerk filter, but you seem to have the idea that every man would love to let women take the reins once in a while.

zuzu

I think it's absolutely hilarious that NYMOM would have the chutzpah to call someone else an "a@@".

I'm beginning to suspect they're the same person.

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