Chivalry is Dead? Ha! It’s Alive and Needed Now More Than Ever.

chiv

The age of chivalry is never past, so long as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth.”

“Some say that the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance is dead. The age of chivalry is never past, so long as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth.” -Charles Kingsley

Introduction

After several conversations with other members of GMP, I decided to post a series of articles based on some information I am currently developing in my own writing project. Having already dealt with the topic in another article, I feel there is a great deal of interest and conflicting opinions as to what Chivalry is, how it relates to Gentlemanly behavior, and if it is even needed. I hope this series is of your interest and provides enough room for discussion where everyone, including myself, can learn from.

What is Chivalry anyway?

We have heard time and time again that Chivalry is dead and it was Feminism who killed it. Let’s start with the basics so we can all be on the same page:

Chiv·al·ry [shívvəlree] (n)

1. the combination of qualities expected of an ideal knight, esp courage, honour, justice, and a readiness to help the weak

2. courteous behaviour, esp towards women

3. the medieval system and principles of knighthood

Chivalry is a code of conduct originating from the ideals of the Knight’s military tradition. As a privileged class, Knights made an oath to help others, following certain guidelines based on their Order. In theory, the two main focuses of Chivalry are the fight for what’s “Just” and to place the needs of others above their own comforts. It wasn’t about having your pinky up while drinking tea or knowing the proper way to say “Good Day, Madame.” It was about Self-Discipline, Courtesy, Honor, Honesty, Charity, and the Protection of the underprivileged. At its core, Chivalry is nothing more than the martial charity of creating a safe environment for those under your protection. Chivalry is seen as a “manly” code because a knight had to protect women from the evils of unchivalrous men in a time when kidnapping and raping were acceptable marriage proposals.

“Should a man fear being a male chauvinist if he had the audacity to open a door for a lady? Is a man who offers his seat on a bus proving he is a misogynist pig? Have the ideals of gender equality trumped traditional civility?”

Let me make one point abundantly clear, Men don’t have to be chivalrous if they don’t want to. The lack of Chivalry doesn’t make anyone less of a man. This also means that a woman shouldn’t expect to be treated chivalrously by all men or that they should feel offended if the man does not behave that way.  Chivalry is a personal choice; it’s an oath that must be given full heartedly.

Does Chivalry need a eulogy?

And that is where the conundrum comes into play. People tend to state that they see chivalrous acts less and less often, frequently citing the Women’s Liberation Movement as the cause of that trend. Did Feminism kill Chivalry? Was Chivalry something used by men to demean women to a degree where it was needed to be stomped out by the militant feminist boots? Should a man fear being a male chauvinist if he had the audacity to open a door for a lady? Is a man who offers his seat in a bus proving he is a misogynist pig? Have the ideals of gender equality trumped traditional civility? Or have men gotten tired of being treated as having a second rate value when compared to a woman? Have men simply become jaded with the fact that women don’t need them to survive or for protection?

The internet is littered with articles about “keep Chivalry alive” or lists of “Gentlemanly traits” written by both men and women. As entertaining as these articles are, the comments left by previous readers are even more enlightening into the social perspective of Chivalry. If Feminism killed Chivalry, why is it that most women state how they appreciate a genuine Gentleman while most of the hostile reactions come from men? Sure, there are women who voiced complaints and the men who gave a positive comment, but those are actually the exceptions. What was the main cause for trolling by both genders?

The complaint from most women was of men thinking they could “buy” a lady with chivalrous behavior or that Chivalry was based on the idea that a woman could not do anything without a man’s help. Ladies, let me make this clear: Any action based on ulterior motives is not Chivalrous. Men who “Act like a gentleman” or behave Chivalrous because “women love gentlemen” are not true gentlemen. A man is chivalrous because he expects it from himself, and not because he expects payment in return or because women expect said behavior from him. His chivalrous actions are not because he doesn’t think a woman can’t do something, but rather because he thinks she shouldn’t have to.

Gender equality was/is the main reason most men state against Chivalry. They feel that Women’s Liberation released them from the chains of Chivalry because we are now equal in the eyes of society. The entire concept of “Women first” denotes the idea that men were disposable and a woman’s life is more valuable. Men also complain how women would use Feminism or expect Chivalry, switching between concepts, depending on what was convenient at the time. I am the first to admit there are women out there who behave that way.

Why should we even keep Chivalry alive?

All these arguments stated previously against Chivalry are valid and need to be considered before you even try to wear a Gentleman’s shoes, so why even keep Chivalry alive? There are men who still think they can buy a woman’s interest with manners and there are women who use their gender to take advantage of the men. I am not saying that either men or women have it easy and I don’t want anyone to think I am minimizing either situation. In reality we are far from real gender equality or equity:

  • Women only make up, on average, about one fourth of all positions of Political and Economic power, even if they are half of the population.
  • Women get paid one fifth less than a man for same work. Ironically if a woman has kids, she will get paid even less on average. Apparently a penis is worth one fifth of a man’s value. Not really sure how to interpret that one.
  • Laws that deal exclusively on women’s health and reproductive options are developed by a male dominated legal system.

Besides the basic breakdown of social inequality, we have to consider the reality of violence against women in the USA, especially violent acts done by the very men who are supposed to provide a safe environment for them.

  • Out of every three women murdered, one was killed by their spouse.
  • Three women are murdered by their significant other every day.
  • For every five women out there, one will be raped during their lifetime, usually while being in their teens or twenties.
  • For every ten high school girls, one will be date raped.
  • In more than half of all sexual assault cases, the assailant is someone the woman knows.
  • Every fifteen seconds another woman is battered by their spouse.

By the time you got to this point in the article it is possible that one woman was killed, forty women were battered by their spouse, 5 women were raped, 3 of them by men who they knew and possibly even trust. Take a moment to let this sink in. Just to season up the mix we need to add the catcalls on the streets, creepy innuendos at work or school, and the generalized rape culture women have to endure every single day.

“We are the random stranger who stopped to help a woman when she had a flat in a rainy day. We are the Dad who stepped up for the child a deadbeat dad left behind.”

All abuse is wrong, but when this abuse comes from the very person who should make you feel safe it goes to an entirely different level. I don’t want anyone to think I am “Man Bashing,” but statistically the biggest threats women have are men, while the biggest threats men have are…also men. Guess men and women have more in common than I thought.

Now, the Chivalrous, the Gentleman, and the Caballero will understand how privileged he is and accept the obligation to compensate for those rotten apples who give men a bad name. He will fight against the real inequality that exists between the genders.

As men who follow the Code of Chivalry, We choose to step up for all those men who have failed to do so. We will strive to provide an environment where anyone can feel safe and secure. We are the friend who walked the girl home just to make sure she got there safely. We are the neighbor who got involved in a domestic dispute and stood guard till the cops arrived. We are the random stranger who stopped to help a woman when she had a flat in a rainy day. We are the Dad who stepped up for the child a deadbeat dad left behind. We are the husband who hid his tears with a smile, just to give his wife the comfort that everything will be okay. People might say that Chivalry is dead. I think that Chivalry is alive, thriving, and is needed now more than ever.

Like The Good Men Project on Facebook

–Photo: wester/Flickr

Premium Membership, The Good Men Project

About Being Caballero

“It’s not about the Guy you used to be, but the Gentleman you’ve become.” - Being Caballero -
Contributor to The Good Men Project , MNSWR Magazine , and Gentlemenhood . Architect, Writer, Speaker, Gentleman Coach, and Advisory board member to the National Council on Women and Girls and the National Council on Men and Boys .

Comments

  1. Luke Davis says:

    My Moral Code (Call it chivalry if you want but I don’t think of it this way)

    1. Everyone has the right to be safe. If I feel someones safety is compromised I will assist until my assistance is not required. Sometimes to my own detriment but that is my choice to make
    2. Manners, they are the greese which lubricates societies cogs. I use them because because it makes interacting with others smoother. If you don’t like me holding the door open then step aside and let the man behind you walk through.
    3. Everyone has the right to be treated with respect and I will treat you with respect no matter who you are. (unless you act such that you don’t deserve to be treated suchly)
    4. Everyone needs help sometimes. If I can afford to be helpful I will do so. I do not expect payment or thanks, it is given freely. If you refuse it won’t be offered a second time.
    5. Generosity is mine to give as I please. I do so because I care about my fellow humans. I will not be told who I can or can’t be generous too.

    • John Anderson says:

      @ Luke Davis

      That’s much too simple. You’ll never be able to sell any books with that. You need to make things a bit more complex and introduce a concept like privilege that people can examine and agonize over so they can determine what the right thing to do is.

      • Luke Davis says:

        Lol John,

        True but it’s simple enough for me to remember and follow.
        I could probably sum it up in less words

        Be kind and respectful to others.
        Help when you can afford to do so

        It’s not book length but you could put it on a business card.

    • Luke Davis says:

      I read some of the comments below and it makes me feel a little sad. People seem to be taking chivalry today as something written in stone which can’t be changed, or which gives privilege to one group over another. Chivalry doesn’t need to be formal anymore, we have laws, police and governments now assisting in offering protection and safety. The old might is right society of the 15th century no longer exists and we don’t need knights and moral codes like they did then, at least not the same way. When society changes the requirements for formal Chivalry changes.

      Chivalry that Eduardo is talking about was a moral code that was formalized because law was limited, lords and knights often had to work in small groups far from a centralized authority. Rather then have 200,000 pages of law books which they could carry into the field to determine what the right thing to do was in every situation they asked the knights to uphold a moral code instead. Much easier for them to remember and placed the burden on the knights to uphold that code rather then the crown. Chivalry today no longer really needs to be that formal but many of the key concepts from old world chivalry still echo in today’s world. Some of the old school Chivalry rules are now formalized in ethics committees, in governments, and some of our laws. As individuals we don’t need to shoulder the full cost of chivalry anymore, it’s been shared by everyone in society.

      At an individual level every single one of us has our own internal morals, they take their cues from our parents and friends and society but at the end of the day they are our own morals. You can live by your own moral code or not. If someone doesn’t like your moral code then that is their issue, not yours. If you can’t live by your own moral code in the face of someone who disagrees, for instance if you try and please everyone, then your living by others expectations of what your moral code should be.

      Go ahead and develop your own moral code and live by it, it doesn’t mean your moral code doesn’t change over time but your own moral code should be able to stand up to others expectations. Gender, race, religion … they really should not form a part of your own moral code, your moral code is about how you interact with individuals, not groups, labels or minorities.

      Is Chivalry dead – no, it just looks very different today and a lot of people haven’t got the memo and don’t understand they write their own rules for chivalry now. When society gave us room to become civilized responsible individuals it also told us to grow up and become adults – we have the freedom to work out our own moral codes.

      • Eduardo García says:

        Sir, bravo.
        I would love for you to read next week’s article. It is Part 1 of the values required for chivarly.

      • John Anderson says:

        @ Luke Davis

        So you’re saying it’s an issue of semantics. People don’t like the term and that’s fine. Why would they have to use it? There are though I believe problems with the way this article presents chivalry that people take legitimate issue with such as the idea of gender debt. There are also certain things that are implied. If we are to assist women regardless of their ability, but only assist men “in need” if at all, the author implies that if a man needs assistance, he is somehow less of a man. He takes on the attributes and status of a woman.

        • I’m saying develop your own moral code and base it around how you treat individuals. Me personally I will stop and assist anyone who is trying to change a flat. If I am first to a door I will open for all who follow. If someone is down on their luck and I will help them if I can.

          My help may be refused more often by men but I always offer.

          Race, sex and religion never enter my thought process, I only ever see an individual who may need my assistance, or I am polite too.

  2. John Anderson says:

    Statistically women who kill are several times more likely to kill an intimate than a man who kills. About a third of all intimate partner murders are women killing men, but I guess that’s OK or at least a lesser wrong because it wasn’t “the very person who should make you feel safe”. Statistically men die from industrial accidents at a rate 9x that of women so a man’s life is worth 20% of what a woman earns. 19 firefighters, all men, died battling a wildfire last year to protect the lives and property of women as well as men. If you include the evils men do to prove chivalry is needed you should include the sacrifices men make

    “1. the combination of qualities expected of an ideal knight, esp courage, honour, justice, and a readiness to help the weak”

    If this is true, why would we want to limit chivalry to just men? Shouldn’t everyone act with honor? Shouldn’t everyone help the weak? It seems shitty for an able bodied, 20 year old, non pregnant, woman to sit on a bus and watch an 80 year old man with a cane stand, but I guess he had it coming because the 20 year old guy living on the next block slapped his girlfriend last night That will show him.

    If you want to do good deeds, do them, because it’s the right thing to do not because it’s a gender obligation that men owe to women because of X. “We choose to step up for all those men who have failed to do so. ” If you want to do good deeds do them because your able to and it’s the right thing to do not because you feel superior to someone and the act reinforces it. “It was about Self-Discipline, Courtesy, Honor, Honesty, Charity, and the Protection of the underprivileged”

    • Eduardo García says:

      I will answer this question after I clarify one thing. Nobody is forcing you to be chivalrous. This is a personal desicion and you should not feel obligated to be chivalrous.

      That being said…the fist thing you have to realize when being Chivalrous is that you are privilaged as a man. The rent you pay in life for is helping out others, finding Equity for society, but more on that in the next article.

    • Worth noting from a historical context that Chivalry, as a knightly code, was upheld by the higher classes of society. Noblewomen of the same social standing were also held to a code of behavior that expected them to be charitable, honorable, courteous, and self-disciplined. Charitable in particular – with lots of spare time on their hands, Ladies often engaged in efforts to help the poor, by distributing food, paying visits to invalids, mending clothing, etc. Charity was a highly valued “ladylike” engagement.

      Self-discipline – Ladies had just as rigid a set of standards to uphold as their Lords did, and straying from that behavior was considered uncouth.
      Courteous – Just look at the root word, Court. As in, the King’s court, the nobles who surrounded the royals at any given time. Ladies had to behave in a courtly fashion as a gesture of respect to their monarch and to retain good standing with said monarch.
      Honorable – Back in the day, this mostly referred to virginity and chastity, but also meant the Lady did not behave in a way to embarrass her family, her estate or her kingdom.

      So in short, yes, chivalry has a female counterpart too; Nobility was not limited to just men. They were just the ones who had the titles and owned the land.

      That’s a whole other topic/debate, I suppose – in this day and age, what does it mean to be Ladylike?

      • Eduardo García says:

        And that is a topic I would love to develope, but as I am limiting myself to Chivalry (or gentlemanly behavior) from a man’s point of view, it would be else were.

        An interesting detail is that similar social requirements from knights and ladies existed all over the world. Confusionism has the concept of Jūnzǐ, “perfect man” or “son of ruler”, with very similar moral requirements as Knights did.

        but that is for next week.

        • I agree, a fascinating topic, but you’ve got your hands full with Chivalry! Appreciate you taking that on.
          I’m a writer by heart and by trade as well so maybe I’ll take up my own challenge and start musing on the idea of Ladylike Conduct and see what comes out.

          I just think it’s interesting to note that Chivalry is as much tied to class as it is to gender. In the days of Knights and Ladies, the lower-class people sure weren’t living by the same codes of chivalry as the nobles. I’m not sure even a hardline anti-chivalry person would bat an eye at President Obama holding the door open for Michelle, but in day-to-day interactions on the street, we “commoners” navigate different expectations.

          • Eduardo García says:

            Why?…Why must we navigate different expectations?
            Note that I am not being sarcastic or criticizing. Why do we limit our spirit and soul only to special occasions or to special people. Why not choose to live like that? trying to find the wonder and beauty in everything. You view the world as you are, not as it is.

  3. PursuitAce says:

    I’m in Carlsbad, California this week. So when I go out jogging tomorrow morning and I cross paths with one of the many women joggers here I will cross the street so as to give them their space. That and also to avoid the massively large dogs they seem to be all running with…LOL.
    As to the topic of chivalry; yeah, I think it’s in its senior citizen years. It’s going to be a hard sell to the younger generation of men who aren’t feminists. Are male feminists chivalrous already? Is it something feminists even accept? Seem like kind of important questions to me.

    • Eduardo García says:

      Guess the ladies over there replace men with big dogs to feel safe? Seemed to work.

      As to your question on feminist chivalry and how feminist react to chivalry. The hard core feminist call chivalry “Benevolent Sexism.” Interestingly enough, most feminist have no problem with chivalry and actually find the hardline feminist attitude towards chivalry rather exagerated.
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/27/men-dont-recognize-benevolent-sexism_n_885430.html

      • John Anderson says:

        Probably because it’s to their advantage or rather the advantage of women, which is not surprising. Sexism is OK as long as it helps women says the group claiming to be for equality.

        • I have no problem with chivalry, not because I feel I benefit from it, but I just don’t agree with the hardliners who insist it’s inherently sexist. Whenever someone is polite to me, helps me out or steps up to protect me, I’m extremely grateful. I feel neither entitled to such help, or patronized by it.

          • And thats fine. But as a feminist, you should be aware that you are benefiting from traditional gender roles.

          • I appreciate that you don’t feel entitled to such help KKZ.

            Now imagine the other side of that equation for a moment. Where If you don’t help, step up, or protect a woman you are deemed sexist, misogynist, unmanly, etc….?

            Kinda sets up a situation where women shouldn’t feel entitled to such things but men are expected to provide them on the condition that not doing so proves that one has a negative outlook on women and is not being a “real man”?

            • I agree with KKZ’s sentiments.

              Danny, if I don’t up keep my apperance and look feminine, there are a whole ton of men out there that will infact not consider me feminine. They might even think I’ve “et myself go” and that I have low self esteem or don’t care about myself when all that very much might not be true.I very well could be feminine even if my outwards looks don’t portray that.

              If a man is unhelpful, I don’t deem him a misogynist but I will say that it is a very unattractive quality. Is there something inherently bad in finding it unattractive when a man isn’t helpful? Is there something inherently bad when a man doesn’t find an unfeminine looking woman unattractive?

              Women want to be treated well. And yes, they sometimes want special treatement from that special guy in their life. It’s almost like men are looking at us as if we are some kind of monesters because we want to be treated a certain way that we have deemed a form of communication that shows you respect and care about us.

            • John Anderson says:

              @ Erin

              I think there’s a big difference between men being chivalrous to the women they care about and men being expected to be chivalrous to all women. I wouldn’t say there is anything wrong with finding unhelpfulness unattractive in men as long as it’s also found to be an unattractive quality in women. You’d probably question any man who thought silence was an attractive quality in a woman and only in women.

              I don’t think anyone would complain about kindness or help. The complaint is the expectation that kindness and help is unidirectional going from men to women. Let me put it another way. Why shouldn’t women have the same requirements to assist men? It comes from the stereotype that men should be able to overcome so don’t need assistance and in fact are lesser men if they accept it.

              Look at this from the context of the “man up” articles and maybe you’ll get a better idea of where the sentiment is coming from.

            • Eduardo García says:

              I agree with “Man up”.
              Just make sure it’s to become the right kind of Man.

            • That’s what I’m trying to get at John.

              Do we really expect to make things better for everyone by only addressing the expectations that are heaped on women (based on them being women) but then turning around and actually reinforcing the ones that are heaped on men (based on them being men)?

              Or to give an example.

              A woman gets on a crowded bus and has to stand. There are young healthy looking men and women occupying seats. Why is it that the men and only the men are expected to give up their seat for her? If kindness and courtesy are gender neutral then wouldn’t the problem be that no one, man or woman, offered their seat?

            • John Anderson says:

              @ Danny

              I understand the argument at least for some of the commentors. It boils down to don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I understand the arguments against it. It risks making other individuals in need invisible and good deeds done for wrong reasons are not necessarily good.

              In the Spanish / American War the Filipinos fought with the U.S. against Spain. Unlike in Cuba, the U.S. decided to keep the Philippines. There was an uprising and several massacres of the Filipino people by U.S. troops. The U.S. commander or President at the time (I can’t remember which) attempted to halt the massacres by reminding our soldiers that the Filipino were like uneducated children and should be treated with compassion. This stopped the massacres, but also perpetuated harmful stereotypes.

              To them the ends justify the means, but when there are other means to achieve the same ends, means that are not harmful like treat your neighbor as yourself, are their means really justified?

            • John Anderson says:

              @ Erin

              That is a misinterpretation and I believe a mischaracterization. People immediately assume that when people complain about articles that call for specifically for men to help women because they are women, you’ll get a backlash. I think you’ll see that same backlash in articles were women are specifically exhorted to help men because they are men.

              I think a large part of the mischaracterization is that because people believe we should help everyone regardless of gender others will interprete that as a reluctance to help women. For example, a know a woman who was almost hysterical. She ran a photography business out of her home. She decided to speed up her PC by restoring restoring it to the factory setting. She thought she backed it up, but copied shortcuts. She checked into data retrieval services, all wanted several thousand dollars. She couldn’t afford it and the downtime would have destroyed her business. I retrieved it for nothing. She ended up buying me a lunch. Out of the blue she called me at work and told me she was in the area and was going to bring me lunch. That’s not the only time I’ve done data retrieval for free or for a woman. That’s not the only time I’ve done free IT work for people. IT work is not the only time I’ve helped people. I didn’t do any of that to “live up to a code” or “step up” for other men or because I owed a gender debt to someone. I did it because that’s who I am. I mentor for at risk boys. Should I quit and find someplace where I can help at risk girls?

              Funny thing is I haven’t seen any body suggest that men shouldn’t be kind and / or helpful. What I have seen is people saying that people shouldn’t base their generosity or assistance on the gender of the recipient. I’ve also read other comments suggesting these people are somehow bad or misguided for that belief.

              “I find it sad that we can not simply talk about the kindness and generosity of men on it’s own terms.”

              I disagree. Actually we are you aren’t. It’s the people that say men should be kind that are doing this. It’s the people who say men should be kind to women who are attaching terms to the kindness.

            • You can disagree based on your own view but to claim that my belief is a “misinterpretation” or “mischaracterization” makes it sound like *you* hold the right answer and I the wrong. My beliefs are no more a “misinterpretation” or “mischaracterization” then yours may be.

              There have been a lot of articles on GMP that focus on social issues for women that are met with strong resistance and frustration. The actual topic is brushed aside and the focus than becomes how talking about women specifically is an injustice on it’s own. There is room enough on the internet for all our concerns yet we all act like there isn’t.

              By the way, I totally agree with you that we do sometimes see the same backlash regarding articles where women are specifically exhorted to help men. I have seen it within myself at times. I’ve gone to great lengths to reflect on this within myself and ask myself why there have been times, when I have been confronted with something important to men, why all I can think about is what injustice I as a woman face. It circles back to feelings of marginalization, not feeling heard or acknowledged. It’s especially hard to feel understood by men men because other women understand pretty well the social issues women face. It is men who do not always seem to understand. And vice versa. Unfortunately, it creates a circle loop for all of us. We do not feel “safe”, “heard”, “acknowledged” or “confident” enough to let someone else have the focus when we are pretty embittered with our own feelings of marginalization. So much so that an article about treating women kindly somehow gets twisted into denying men kindness simply because we take the issue from the side of men’s treatment of women.

              Never mind the articles, such as the one about women easing up on men, which specifically addressed ways women could offer more supportive and better treatment of men. An article I remember you being quite praise worthy of and offered a few comments about other things you believed women could specifically do for men.

              I do not think a focus article on chivalry toward women in any way, shape or form suggests that men should not be kind to other men as well. There are many, many articles on GMP that discuss how men relate to each other separately from women, how women relate to men, separately of how a man should treat women, and articles about how men relate to women, separately of how women should treat men. All with the goal to hopefully breed healthier relationships all around. We are not a monolithic group of sexless human beings and for many of us heterosexual folks, we have different ways of interacting with men vs women.

              You said you haven’t seen any body suggest that men shouldn’t be kind and helpful. Either have I seen anyone suggest that men should not be kind and helpful to each other although you seem to believe that this article somehow suggests that.

              I am greatly appreciative of men like Eduardo who enjoy celebrating chivalry toward women. Not because women are the only ones who deserve kindness but because he simply wants to celebrate all the things men do to be there for, support, show consideration and respect for women. I am sure that Eduardo does not accept disrespectful behavior from women himself and I am sure that he would very much agree with the idea that men deserve to be respected and treated well as well.

            • You can disagree based on your own view but to claim that my belief is a “misinterpretation” or “mischaracterization” makes it sound like *you* hold the right answer and I the wrong. My beliefs are no more a “misinterpretation” or “mischaracterization” then yours may be.

              No, when it comes to you saying things like:

              And I have to tell you. Right now I am expericing my own resentment seeing how an article about kindness toward women is met with such opposition and disatisifaction.

              Where you imply that we’re simply opposing “kindness towards women”, when we’re not – we’ve said several times that the issue is with the gendered nature of this article, particularly in how it purports to extract said kindness from us using an antiquated role…..

              If you do not want to solve women’s issues, you should feel no pressure to do so. Of course, it’s always nice when a man or woman goes that extra mile to give consideration, thought and care to issues that may not directly affect them. I certainly wish that more men would help as I am sure you wish more woman would. While there may be pressure on men to help solve women’s issues, I find that most of the time, it’s met with resistance and frustration..

              …and again you imply that objection to this article (even though in my first comment in that chain and indeed on this article I said I felt I had a responsibility to care for everyone, not just women) implies that I’m not interested in women’s issues.

              It IS a mischaracterisation/misrepresentation to say that we’re saying these things, and given that we know what our opinions are – it is a matter of fact to say that you are engaging in them. It is not mere opinion. There is also no logic in the claim that saying our opinions were mischaracterised is a claim that they are necessarily the correct ones, it just means you’re strawmanning us. There is nothing in the definition of “mischaracterised” that suggests we think our opinions are absolute truth.

            • Supra de luca says:

              She isn’t implying some of you are opposing kindness towards women, but that “an article about kindness toward women” is being met with opposition.
              She is mostly focusing on double standards – that many men here in GMP oppose the gendered aspect of articles only when it comes to telling men how it would be nice to treat women with respect or anything like that, but when it comes to articles telling how women should be more kind and considerate towards men these very same men never oppose the gendered aspect. I noticed you are one of the males that display this behavior here. And I agree with her dissatisfaction.
              I agree everyone should treat everyone with respect, but a lot of the times men in here face articles about women’s issues as something bad or even against themselves, even thought they will turn around and say they do not think women’s issues is in fact something bad to discuss. I understand what is it about (the fear – sometimes traumatic – that the issues of our own sex/gender won’t be taken into consideration, that we/our intentions are being misinterpreted, that we are being labeled as the enemy when most of us is kind after all, etc.), but I still do not agree.

              “If you do not want to solve women’s issues(…)”
              That “you” can mean an abstract person, or a matter of chance. I do not think she did imply anyone that disagrees with the article isn’t interested in women’s issues.

              You guys agree with mostly everything, but keeping with this nitpicking attitude will take you nowhere. We can assume too much, we can sometimes not express ourselves the way we really wanted, we can be misinterpreted or misinterpret someone else. And a lot of this is mere opinion/perception, in the end.

              Now about my own opinion: let’s just be generous, helpful and kind towards everyone. Hold doors for everyone. Care about humanity and environmental issues. Be the change we want to see in the world and act the way we wanted someone to act toward ourselves.

            • She is mostly focusing on double standards – that many men here in GMP oppose the gendered aspect of articles only when it comes to telling men how it would be nice to treat women with respect or anything like that, but when it comes to articles telling how women should be more kind and considerate towards men these very same men never oppose the gendered aspect. I noticed you are one of the males that display this behavior here. And I agree with her dissatisfaction.

              Was this in reply to me? It is following my comment, so I’m assuming it is.

              It’s just that I did actually criticise gendered expectations of women that Erin mentioned here, so I’m not sure if this is in response to me. Given that I’m not displaying the behaviour you mentioned here. I’ve said that all gendered expectations are to be criticised. This one particularly struck a note because it is part of traditional gender roles.

              I understand what is it about (the fear – sometimes traumatic – that the issues of our own sex/gender won’t be taken into consideration, that we/our intentions are being misinterpreted, that we are being labeled as the enemy when most of us is kind after all, etc.), but I still do not agree.

              Right, and you know what a good way of avoiding that is? Not recommending we revive the same kinds of ideas that got us into that mess. Like chivalry.

              Now about my own opinion: let’s just be generous, helpful and kind towards everyone. Hold doors for everyone. Care about humanity and environmental issues. Be the change we want to see in the world and act the way we wanted someone to act toward ourselves.

              Which, y’know, what was I said to do initially. And yet apparently that’s a problem.

            • Thank you very much Supra de Luca. That is it exactly.

            • John Anderson says:

              @ Supra de luca

              It’s important to becoming a good man to understand what men do wrong and work to change that. It’s also important to understand what men do right and encourage the behavior. Some women and yes, she would be included in that group, feel comfortable dictating to men what their experiences are. I think she references the two articles on giving the other gender a break. Both “break” articles were written by a woman from a woman’s perspective. It nay have been one woman. That doesn’t make it any less a woman’s perspective. When men started to add input, it became a problem because some people are more comfortable when women control the entire discussion even when the discussion ostensibly is about men and masculinity.

              If I remember correctly she wrote the first article about giving men a break and then decided to write a second article about giving women a break. The first article was not allowed to stand alone. It had to have a second article to balance it. So where is the article informing “ladies” how they should treat men? It seems gender balance is only a problem when it favors men.

              Why do I think she needs to listen to men instead of assuming that she knows our experience. Look at my comment on the thread Does masculinity require negativity. Would a woman understand? Maybe the younger generation of men are different and they’ve grow up with the ability to express a complete range of emotions, but I’ve been listening to them and it seems their trapped in the same emotional gender box I was in. Maybe women are in the same emotional gender box, but women on these boards have expressed the opposite.

              Chivalry is essentially an excuse for men to be kind. It’s OK because she’s a woman. It’s OK because he’s in a wheelchair although the line or two the author talks about people in need gets lost because he spends the bulk of the time talking about women. Men don’t need excuses to be kind. They need to be free to express the full range of emotions people need to be fully human. We need to get out of the gender box. This article gives us an excuse and apparently provides women incentive to keep us in.

            • Eduardo García says:

              “Chivalry is essentially an excuse for men to be kind.”

              Mr. Anderson,

              Your entire argument, and surprisingly the arguments of most that demonize Chivalry, is based on your personal opinion on Chivalry and not on what is expressed in the article.

              It’s easy to say that gender (or any other form of social divide) should not be addressed and our conversation should be based on equality. This is very easy to say, especially when you are on the side of those benefiting (read as privileged) from the existing status quo. And YES, you are privileged in this society, simply because you have been born a man.

              Let’s help level the playing field as to no gender, race, ethnicity, or economic status; and THEN we can talk about equality.

              Right now society does not need equality, it needs EQUITY.

            • This is very easy to say, especially when you are on the side of those benefiting (read as privileged) from the existing status quo. And YES, you are privileged in this society, simply because you have been born a man.

              Only if you insist on framing it that way – men are disprivileged by the system as well, often in similar ways to how women are. Many of us are aware of this, and we still maintain that you are wrong. So you might want to come up with another thesis to explain away criticism of your article. Or you could take some of it on board.

              You are making the same tired old point I have heard from feminists many, many times – “well when women aren’t suffering as much as they are then we’ll talk about your problems.”

              Well, why doesn’t that apply to your concern for women, Eduardo? There is a genocide brewing in Africa, and chemical warfare going on in Syria, as well as multiple other conflicts, most of them affecting countries that are profoundly less privileged than Western countries in almost every way.

              You can’t have it both ways – there are people far more oppressed than women, but I never see people who speak like you tolerating being on the receiving end of the same arguments you use to dismiss men’s issues.

            • Maryangie Carmona says:

              Wow! Are some of you really taking this so personal as to have to state your point with personal attacks to the author or whoever does not agree with your opinion?
              Are you really aware of the REAL message of the article, Mr. OirishM?
              I read the entire article and then the discussion thread, and then the article again… One thing is to disagree with the author’s opinion, another is to imply what the author is trying to communicate, based on YOUR perception, NOT on what is written.
              I think the main purpose of the article, as I said in a previous comment, is: “To know where does the term ‘chivalry’ comes from, what it meant in its origin, and how Modern Men would apply it today. I don’t think the purpose is to return to that ‘role’, but to take the positive aspects and adjust it to the present days.”
              Read carefully people, you have turned this discussion into a fight of which gender issue is more deserving of attention, instead of which situation. Of why on earth should you, as men, need to return to a “men role” which would mean for us women to “stay in the kitchen”, instead of why we should keep alive some positive aspects from which everyone will benefit. Again, the article is not saying ANY of those things you’re referring to! On the contrary, is talking about the men who chose to be chivalrous and reasons why it may be important to do so. Obviously from a man’s perspective, since the author is not a woman, hello?!
              If you don’t like your perception or connotation of the word “chivalry”, again, is your perception, NO it’s real meaning. If YOU want to kill “chivalry”, for whatever YOUR personal reason, then do so! But don’t try to diminish those (men or woman) who want to keep it alive.

            • Wow! Are some of you really taking this so personal as to have to state your point with personal attacks to the author or whoever does not agree with your opinion?

              What, like equating not agreeing with the use of the term chivalry to having an issue with kindness towards women, you mean? That kind of personal attack?

              I think the main purpose of the article, as I said in a previous comment, is: “To know where does the term ‘chivalry’ comes from, what it meant in its origin, and how Modern Men would apply it today. I don’t think the purpose is to return to that ‘role’, but to take the positive aspects and adjust it to the present days.”

              Like extending it to everyone and not gendering it, perhaps? That sort of thing?

              Could someone actually tell me what the problem with that is? Because that’s what I’ve been recommending from the getgo but lots of people seem to have a huge problem with it.

              Read carefully people, you have turned this discussion into a fight of which gender issue is more deserving of attention, instead of which situation. Of why on earth should you, as men, need to return to a “men role” which would mean for us women to “stay in the kitchen”, instead of why we should keep alive some positive aspects from which everyone will benefit. Again, the article is not saying ANY of those things you’re referring to!

              Eduardo is the one who keeps insisting that men are the privileged ones here – and according to the rest of his comments. If you make a claim like that, expect it to be questioned. It is scarcely turning the discussion into a fight to question the framing of that claim. I was not the one who raised the issue in the first instance.

              On the contrary, is talking about the men who chose to be chivalrous and reasons why it may be important to do so. Obviously from a man’s perspective, since the author is not a woman, hello?!

              It’s not stopped other authors from having a stab at it. There have been several articles recently that attempted to describe how different gender roles interact with respect to a particular issues.

              If you don’t like your perception or connotation of the word “chivalry”, again, is your perception, NO it’s real meaning. If YOU want to kill “chivalry”, for whatever YOUR personal reason, then do so! But don’t try to diminish those (men or woman) who want to keep it alive.

              Our perception of it is wrong, your perception of it is right – of course. Makes perfect sense!

            • Maryangie Carmona says:

              “Like extending it to everyone and not gendering it, perhaps? That sort of thing? Could someone actually tell me what the problem with that is? Because that’s what I’ve been recommending from the getgo but lots of people seem to have a huge problem with it.”

              Did you really read the article? Really?

              “Eduardo is the one who keeps insisting that men are the privileged ones here”

              And it’s true, in general men are privileged over women. In present times we are still affected more than men, even after years of fighting for equal treatment . I’m not saying that men do not have their own important issues that need to be addressed (for example, child custody after a divorce, for those who are really good fathers and would want it), what I’m saying is that you just need to make a bit of research and compare same issues, under same circumstances, and notice how different it affects the people, based solely on their gender (which is apparently your favorite topic from all the article). But, yes, in the majority of aspects, it is true that the society favors men vs women. Just look at the example of how the two guys who raped a girl came out unpunished just because they were “stars in football”.

              “It’s not stopped other authors from having a stab at it. There have been several articles recently that attempted to describe how different gender roles interact with respect to a particular issues.”

              And what does it has to do with this? Does each and every article needs to address the views of both genders, while the author is just talking about his view as a male? Would that mean that, let’s say, I wish to write about the psychological effects of PMS in women, then, under your view, not only should I write about how it affects woman, but also how does it affects the men around me, right? If I’m talking about women from the point of view of a woman (which is complicated enough) why would I want to add men to the equation? That would be another article, don’t you think?

              “Our perception of it is wrong, your perception of it is right – of course. Makes perfect sense!”

              And where did I mentioned that my perception is the right one? What I said was and quote “the real meaning”, as per it’s definition, not your or my perception.

              In conclusion, Mr. OirishM, I notice that your style of “giving your opinion” is just a game of who’s right and who’s wrong or tag you’re it. I’m sorry, but I’m not playing your game. If you feel the desperate need to be heard (as it’s so obvious), be my guest to continue playing, after all, that’s the beauty of the wonderful universe called Internet. But some of us do have a life and people in the real world to actually have conversations with.
              Thank you and good night! ;-)

            • John Anderson says:

              @ Eduardo García

              “Right now society does not need equality, it needs EQUITY.”

              Equity means people get what they need. It seems to me that people who are saying be kind to everyone, help everyone to the extent that you can do support equity. As far as privilege is concerned, if I am privileged then wouldn’t that mean that I can 1. provide more help and 2. require less help. It would also stand to reason that if women are oppressed as you say then 1. they would require more help and 2. they would be able to provide less help.

              So it stands to reason that people who support equity are not attempting to maintain privilege, however, people who try to maintain privilege will support policies where only a specific group gets help. If men truly are privileged and women oppressed then why not assist everyone who needs it to the extent of your ability? I think it’s more the fear that women aren’t actually oppressed and men aren’t actually privileged that drives this idea of treating women specially.

              “Your entire argument, and surprisingly the arguments of most that demonize Chivalry, is based on your personal opinion on Chivalry and not on what is expressed in the article. ”

              If your perception of chivalry is not about giving women special consideration because they are women, please clarify. If I’ve misinterpreted what you’ve said , please clarify. Even in this comment, it seems you’re advocating for special consideration for women. Your reasons may be valid or not, but that doesn’t change the position that women should get special consideration from men.

              Here are some things to consider IMO when discussing chivalry in future articles.

              1. Consider chivalry as part of a moral code and not a moral code.
              2. Understand that if you claim chivalry is X, Y, and Z. People will assume that being unchivalrous is the rejection of X, Y, and Z.
              3. Understand that if you say that it’s OK to reject chivalry, you may look at that as it’s your right to reject chivalry or you may view that as it’s alright to reject chivalry as in a choice with no wrong answer. Others will interpret that as you have a choice to be an asshole, which seems as much a viable choice as saying a woman has the choice to abort in a state that has no abortion providers.

              I’ll tell you a story that I’ve mentioned here before. A story of how I rejected “chivalry”, but came to the belief that my inaction though I felt was “correct” was also not the “right” thing to do. Feel free to tell me if the “choice” would be OK.

            • John Anderson says:

              @ Eduardo García

              About 20 – 25 years ago, I was riding the bus. The 9 or 10 seats closest to the driver were priority seating for the handicapped and the elderly. I was sitting in the priority seating area with 8 or 9 women. About half the women were younger 20s / 30s and about half were older 40+. None appeared physically infirm. A woman obviously pregnant gets on the bus and immediately proceeds towards my seat. My initial thought was to get up, but then I thought why should I be expected to give up my seat.

              I had the same right to it as she. Expectant mothers weren’t added to the priority seating list until about 10 – 15 years later. There were women as young and able bodied as I. Why shouldn’t one of them give up their seat? I started a mental debate. About 2 stops farther down, I guess it became apparent that I wasn’t giving up my seat so a woman offered hers and it was accepted. About a block farther down, it finally occurred to me although I was “right” from a legal and moral standpoint, it was the wrong thing to do or rather not do.

              When you say chivalry is a choice, are you saying that both choices would be equally valid and good or are you saying that I had the right to make either choice?

            • I agree with KKZ’s sentiments.
              Oh I wasn’t trying to say disagree with KKZ’s sentiments. Just trying to explain things from different perspective.

              Danny, if I don’t up keep my apperance and look feminine, there are a whole ton of men out there that will infact not consider me feminine. They might even think I’ve “et myself go” and that I have low self esteem or don’t care about myself when all that very much might not be true.I very well could be feminine even if my outwards looks don’t portray that.
              I don’t doubt that you experience that and frankly I think its just as wrong for the record.

              If a man is unhelpful, I don’t deem him a misogynist but I will say that it is a very unattractive quality. Is there something inherently bad in finding it unattractive when a man isn’t helpful? Is there something inherently bad when a man doesn’t find an unfeminine looking woman unattractive?
              This not the view point that I have a problem with. However the attitude that man’s masculinity is measured by how he treats women has been around for a long time. There seems to be a problem where even the proposed solutions to getting rid of the inequities and inequalities that women face call for not getting rid of such sentiment but rather reinforcing them.

              Women want to be treated well.
              I can understand that as men want to be treated well as well.

              And yes, they sometimes want special treatement from that special guy in their life.
              Again I can see and agree with this. However there is a big difference between wanting special treatment from your significant other and expecting special treatment from an entire gender based solely on “I’m X and you are Y so you should treat me like….”

              It’s almost like men are looking at us as if we are some kind of monesters because we want to be treated a certain way that we have deemed a form of communication that shows you respect and care about us.

              And with the experiences that women have been through I’m not trying to say you’re wrong for feeling that way. But at the same time its like women are expecting special treatment from men and are using whether or not that treatment is given as a measure to determine how much of a man we are.

              There is nothing wrong with wanting to be respected and cared for and cared about. But when that care and respect becomes a bar that men are expected to meet in order to be deemed worthy as men then of course there are going to be issues. Especially when this is happening at the same time expecting to not be held to similar standards of womanhood.

              The only way this is going to work is if we get rid of the unjust, unfair, and sexist measurements on all sides. Only getting rid of the ones on this side or that (or even worst using the measurements and expectations against one side as a tool to get rid of the measurements and expectations of the other) will never work in the long run. That will just lead to resentment.

            • Danny Said: “I don’t doubt that you experience that and frankly I think its just as wrong for the record.”

              So an attractive woman done up nicely never grabs your attention? You don’t enjoy looking at beautiful woman ever?

              I will always measure the quality of a man by how he treats women. As a woman, it’s going to be pretty important to me what kind of attitudes, beliefs and thoughts he holds about women.

              I really don’t know many women over the age of 25 that expect special treatment from men, especially today. When I was younger I desperately wanted special treatment from men. I wanted to be validated that I was pretty enough. I wanted to be validated in ways that another woman just wasn’t going to do it for me. Enough of us have had many experiences where we learned not to always expect men to even be kind to you. Then there are the kind of women that are really beautiful that you hear about getting out of tickets and getting free things. When a man deems a woman “worthy” enough, he is willing to go to great lengths to prove it in a lot of cases.

              You want to live in a world where all people exclude any form of special treatment to a certain person because it’s unfair to the other? That is not a world I want to live in.

              There will always exist a bar that men will expect women to meet and women will expect men to meet. And frankly, this is not always a bad thing. Sure, sometimes it can be when either side exploits it. But simply meeting the expectations that the other gender may hold can actually make you a better person sometimes too. Thinking about men beyond myself certainly has made me a better person and I am not going to sit around and complain about having to learn to give men special consideration on things sometimes.

              And I have to tell you. Right now I am expericing my own resentment seeing how an article about kindness toward women is met with such opposition and disatisifaction.

            • So an attractive woman done up nicely never grabs your attention? You don’t enjoy looking at beautiful woman ever?
              I said no such thing. You talked about how when you don’t keep to a certain standard of femininity you run the risked of being considered not feminine by some men. Those men are trying to hold you to their idea of what femininity is supposed to be and then deciding that since you don’t meet it you are not a “real women”. THAT is what I’m saying is wrong.

              There is a difference between not finding someone attractive and deciding that since you don’t find them attractive they are not feminine/masculine.

              You want to live in a world where all people exclude any form of special treatment to a certain person because it’s unfair to the other? That is not a world I want to live in.
              I am not saying that.

              When you said, “When a man deems a woman “worthy” enough, he is willing to go to great lengths to prove it in a lot of cases.” let me ask. When he sets his sights on that woman and decides that she is the woman that he wants to go to great lengths for, is he deeming that other women are not real women or that they aren’t feminine at all? Or is just a matter him deciding that out of all the women, she is the one that he is attracted to?

              As I’ve said being attracted to one woman out of many in and of itself, is not an indictment against the femininity of other women.

              Now if that man who is going to great lengths for a woman is doing so while ragging on, insulting, and putting down other women then of course there would be a problem with it. In fact I think that would be Nice Guy territory where a guy is putting a single (or single type) of woman on a pedestal above all others. There are plenty of posts around here on how well that goes for men and women.

              And I have to tell you. Right now I am expericing my own resentment seeing how an article about kindness toward women is met with such opposition and disatisifaction.
              Have you looked at why there are people dissatisfied about it?

            • To answer your question: yes. When a heterosexual man sets his sights on a woman he has basically decided that she is worthy of going to great lengths for due to how he has evaluated her feminine qualities and how they trigger certain feelings in him as a heterosexual man. He very well may deem other women as not “real women” and has already formed, in his mind, a sliding scale evaluation of women who are more or less feminine.

              I believe by not finding someone attractive, one is infact saying they don’t find that person very feminine or masculine depending on what they are attracted to. Heterosexual men and women are attracted to each other because of physical, biological and sometimes emotional differences.

              When I don’t adhere to a certain standard of femininity, I am not seen as feminine by heterosexual men. I’ve experienced this first hand. My looks seem to too often dictate how men respond and treat me. They set the standard. And if I choose not to adhere to their standards of femininity, I will be over-looked for the type of woman men have come to identify femininity with.

              Danny said: “As I’ve said being attracted to one woman out of many in and of itself, is not an indictment against the femininity of other women.”
              And discussing how men can treat women well is not an indictment that men should not also treat each other well.


              Danny said: “Have you looked at why there are people dissatisfied about it?”

              How could I not read your points or John Anderson’s and not know why people are dissatisfied about it? It’s the “whys” that I find so discouraging and a bit sad for all of us.

            • To answer your question: yes. When a heterosexual man sets his sights on a woman he has basically decided that she is worthy of going to great lengths for due to how he has evaluated her feminine qualities and how they trigger certain feelings in him as a heterosexual man. He very well may deem other women as not “real women” and has already formed, in his mind, a sliding scale evaluation of women who are more or less feminine.
              And if he deeming those women as not “real” women then its wrong. There is a difference between “that’s not the kind of woman I’m into” and “those are not real women”. This is something men are expected to take to heart. To learn that just because a certain woman is not into you its not an indictment against you as a man and doesn’t mean you aren’t a “real” man. Doesn’t that also apply here?

              When I don’t adhere to a certain standard of femininity, I am not seen as feminine by heterosexual men. I’ve experienced this first hand. My looks seem to too often dictate how men respond and treat me. They set the standard. And if I choose not to adhere to their standards of femininity, I will be over-looked for the type of woman men have come to identify femininity with.
              And in all my time in the gender conversation the progressive messages I’ve seen come up when that happens is that men should be caring enough towards women to respect the fact that women don’t need to meet some man’s standards of femininity.

              And discussing how men can treat women well is not an indictment that men should not also treat each other well.

              I think this might be where I verge off from some of the others here.

              To me the issue isn’t making sure to bring up how men treat each other but how it seems that no matter which side of the equation men and women are on the constantly repeated solution is “men should treat women with care and respect”.

            • John Anderson says:

              @ Erin

              “So an attractive woman done up nicely never grabs your attention? You don’t enjoy looking at beautiful woman ever?”

              So you’ve never done anything you knew to be wrong? Never failed to live up to a moral expectation? Never had a guilty pleasure? Does this also mean that you’d never consider a man looking at a beautiful woman as wrong because he finds her attractive or is that objectification? Are you suggesting that men are justified in judging a woman’s femininity by the way she looks? It seems very close to the two wrongs make a right argument.

            • I find your question insulting. Especially when I have always been honest on this site about my personal growth and mistakes and when I know you read my posts. I do not know a human being alive, even the most arrogant of human beings, that would ever claim they never did anything wrong. The only people who might do that would be sociopaths.

              My point is that men have created their own set of ideas about what embodies a feminine women. When I live up to those expectations, I am much more well received by men then I am not. Some men appear to have an issue with women holding any expectations about how men should treat them. Yet, men very much hold expectations about how women should look to be considered viable romantic and sexual partners.

              Every person should very much hold onto expectations about how they want to be treated and it behooves all of us, when these expectations are noble and just, to reach those expectations because when they are the right kind of expectations, they actually make us better human beings. Otherwise, we would simply live for our own selfish pleasures.

      • “Benevolent sexism” is actually female privilege but the concept has been twisted around to the point where the benefits are turned into harms (or the benefits are ignored and the harms are magnified).

        Its a pretty loaded term.

        • Eduardo García says:

          The general feminist movement has criticized the comments from Hardliner Feminist about Benevolent sexism. They actually think that comments and attitudes like those from the hardliners actually hurt Feminism at the end.

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/27/men-dont-recognize-benevolent-sexism_n_885430.html

          • I see that you say, “general” feminist movement.

            I’m a little curious though as to why if the concept of benevolent sexism is considered to be hurtful to feminism why aren’t more feminists critical of it?

            I ask this because I can no longer count the number of times I’ve had benevolent sexism thrown in my face but its very rare to see any feminist actually say they disagree with the concept.

  4. I wish society would figure out what it wants to demand of us. At least then our perpetual failures can be made more clear.

  5. So….we need to overturn old gender roles by appealing to old gender roles? How is that supposed to work?

    No. Don’t appeal to my gender to insist that I have some kind moral responsibility to help women. I have a moral responsibility to help everyone because it is the right thing to do, not because chivalry!

    This article also seems very unaware of the fact that it is generally acceptable to demand that men help solve women’s issues (even to feminists – I would regard chivalry as part of patriarchy and yet they seem to have no trouble appealing to men as men to help the poor women in distress) while the notion that men have issues and that women could help with them too is met with little more than mockery in most quarters.

    Appeal to chivalry as a set of principles – that’s one thing, but for goodness sakes, don’t gender it.

    • It works, by seeing that we can incorporate traditional roles into our lives without feeling marginalized or marginalizing others.

      Gender is a wonderful thing. I am proud to be a woman. I think all people should show respect and consideration for each other. I open doors for women, men, children..the whole yoke. But It is very nice when a man opens a door for me. It speaks to something deep and intrinsic inside me as a woman. And while I enjoy and am very appreciative when other women hold the door for me, it’s more of a friendship thing, while with men, as a heterosexual woman, it is a very different thing sometimes.

      If you do not want to solve women’s issues, you should feel no pressure to do so. Of course, it’s always nice when a man or woman goes that extra mile to give consideration, thought and care to issues that may not directly affect them. I certainly wish that more men would help as I am sure you wish more woman would. While there may be pressure on men to help solve women’s issues, I find that most of the time, it’s met with resistance and frustration. So despite the heavy focus Femininism may placed on giving women a helping hand, I’m not really sure how much focus and consideration actually go on when it’s more often times than not met with men that feel disempowered by helping women isntead of feeling empowered by helping women.

      My wish is that we should both show each other and the world that we infact do care very much about the other gender. And how do we do that? Through caring about what affects each other, seriously discussiong it, giving it attention and credence and acknowledging that very real and troubling problems exist for men and women and that these problems are not always mutually exclusive. That means that sometimes the focus is on men and sometimes the focus is on women. It means acknowledging that horrible things specifically happen to women and that sometimes acknowledging horrible things specifically happen to men.

      It sometimes means that when you are given a fact about a trouble that men or women face, not countering it with facts about how your gender is what should really be the focus. That again goes for both men and women when discussing men and women issues.

      I seriously get it Oirish. You are frustrated by what you think is an over focus on women. But what do you think goes a longer way in getting to your end goal? Showing women through your actions that you do care about them and their issues and that you can focus on that for a certain time or being angry when there is any focus on how women are treated and insinuating that they hsould not be a part of the discussion because acknowleding their issues disempowers men? The reverse would also apply.

      • John Anderson says:

        @ Erin

        “But It is very nice when a man opens a door for me. It speaks to something deep and intrinsic inside me as a woman”

        That’s great and I won’t criticize, but does it really matter as far as feeling more feminine to you whether he opened the door for you because you’re a woman or because it was the courteous thing to do?

        • How could your criticize, that’s simply something personal to how I feel in response to a man doing something nice for me. Goodness.

          Both John. The answer is both. Is it nice to be courteous? Absolutely. Is it nice when a man wants to be courteous to me because I’m a woman? Absolutely. It’s nice and it will always be nice when men do nice things for women.

          This reminds me of a woman I knew from England. Who had been living in the states for a couple years. She commented on the differenced between how men in England flirted vs men in America. She said that men in America don’t flirt and she missed the easy good natured ways of her English countrymen.

          Now, I am not blaming American men for this. I think American men have been socalized like us American women. And I certainly am not saying men in England are “better”. I am only pointing out the cultural difference about how we as Americans approach each other in ways where in other parts of the country they may not.

          • John Anderson says:

            @ Erin

            You may not realize it, but that it an important distinction and very relevant to the discussion. Many parts of the world have a good Samaritan law. It is a criminal offense to fail to assist someone in need. In the U.S. what we consider special treatment or above and beyond some cultures look at as routine.

            That’s the point the anti-chivalry side is making. You can make doing good / being kind this extra special thing done by extra special people for extra special people deserving of such grace or you can make it routine. When something is special, it tends to be rare. I think being kind should be normal.

      • If you do not want to solve women’s issues, you should feel no pressure to do so. Of course, it’s always nice when a man or woman goes that extra mile to give consideration, thought and care to issues that may not directly affect them. I certainly wish that more men would help as I am sure you wish more woman would. While there may be pressure on men to help solve women’s issues, I find that most of the time, it’s met with resistance and frustration.

        Firstly, I never said I DIDN’T care about women’s issues. I do. What I am tired of is the climate that currently exists for dealing with them, where people talk about equality while neglecting one side’s issues almost entirely, and then mocking them when they do come up – after encouraging men to speak up about them and making vain promises of support. Oh, but they’ll demand that men help with women’s issues all the same.

        And frankly, I don’t buy the way either you or Eduardo have framed this “oh but you don’t HAVE TO be chivalrous” line – given that you both immediately go on to connect being chivalrous with being nice and helpful. This is a false dilemma, and it is constructed in such a way as to have the effect of shaming men into compliance. Most men are already nice and helpful to their nearest and dearest, and the existence of a minority of rapists and batterers doesn’t mandate that they accept some rehashed notion of “chivalry” lest they be seen as Not Good Men. You can be good without buying into the age-old gender role you are riffing on – where men’s assistance is extracted on a gendered basis, and with social shaming if it is not delivered.

        (And let’s be clear here – with some of the examples listed, like helping a female passer-by in need, men are again damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Men are treated like potential rapists in public in the minds of many women (cf Schrodinger’s Rapist) and yet they are expected to help women out in public if they’re in a vulnerable spot. So a guy is at risk of being thought of as a creep, or as an unhelpful jerk, depending on which way the wind is blowing).

        THAT’S all I’m saying. I’m not saying that no man anywhere ever should ever help women again. I am saying to expand the notion of chivalry to the point where it is not riffing heavily on the system of gender roles we apparently want to disband (dropping the name would also help!). I am saying that EVERYONE should treat EVERYONE better, particularly those nearest to them, and seek better treatment for EVERYONE – and that we should not settle for anything less.

        Will some of those people helping each other out and being in close relationships be men and women? Absolutely. So what you personally are seeking will not be excluded from this, it will just not be obtained through a needlessly gendered and exclusive system. With what I am suggesting, anyone of any gender, in a family/relationship of any gender pairing, will be encouraged to help and helped alike.

        Objections to this remind me of the suggestion that we let gay people marry. How could letting more people who love each other settle down in permanent relationships that were given equal social respect (in theory at least) be anything other than a good, affirming thing? And yet many people felt that this would cause existing heterosexual marriages to be devalued. A fair amount of unexamined privilege in play with that one…..

        So despite the heavy focus Femininism may placed on giving women a helping hand, I’m not really sure how much focus and consideration actually go on when it’s more often times than not met with men that feel disempowered by helping women isntead of feeling empowered by helping women.

        As I said earlier – might have something to do with its excessive claims to be seeking “equality” and yet anything resembling a search for equality being curiously absent.

        Just because women’s issues are noble causes in and of themselves doesn’t mean their presentation isn’t unhelpful when that’s all that is talked about, and men’s issues are demeaned and marginalised.

        It sometimes means that when you are given a fact about a trouble that men or women face, not countering it with facts about how your gender is what should really be the focus. That again goes for both men and women when discussing men and women issues.

        I seriously get it Oirish. You are frustrated by what you think is an over focus on women. But what do you think goes a longer way in getting to your end goal? Showing women through your actions that you do care about them and their issues and that you can focus on that for a certain time or being angry when there is any focus on how women are treated and insinuating that they hsould not be a part of the discussion because acknowleding their issues disempowers men? The reverse would also apply.

        You’re doing what most people do when they perceive a “whataboutthemenz”, Erin – you’re assuming I’m bringing up their issues as a substitute topic rather than an accompanying one. It’s an “as well as”, not an “instead of”.

        I said from my first post in this thread that I had a moral responsibility to help everyone, but you have insisted on misconstruing this as an unwillingness to help women. I brought men up not as a substitute, but to show how this notion of chivalry misses the mark. I brought up how men’s issues are treated to show where this road leads.

        Talk about women’s issues if you like – all I ask is that you don’t play the Real Man card to get me to help. Don’t expect me to believe the patriarchy is a problem when you’re using one of its oldest tactics to get men to play ball.

        • Oirish, I do not know enough about you to know if you care about women’s issues. I don’t see you make too many comments about women’s issues here.

          I actually think that both sides get their fair share of neglecting. I do not believe this is specific to men or women.

          You don’t HAVE TO be chivalrous. What do you want me to say? But why should I deny that I find a man to be chivalrous to be nice and helpful? No woman has to be in good physical shape. But many men certainly go on and on about how much they like when a woman “takes care of herself”. You throw the word “shame” around pretty loosely. Lately it seems when someone doesn’t like when someone disagrees with them, they revert to the “you’re trying to shame me!‘ game.

          I do agree that there is a lot of social confusion about how women want men to act as you displayed with how men can be viewed as potential threats or rapists. How would you like women to confront this issue when faced with statistics that one in 5 woman will be raped? How do we protect ourselves, make smart choices while not making men feel vilified in the process? Especially when we can not possibly know from a man’s outward appearance about what kind of man he is? If you have solutions to these problems, I am completely open to hearing them.
          I think that the notion of chivalry can very much exist in the same space as treating people well in general. I do not think the notion of chivalry should or could in anyway threaten the idea of treating all people well. To me, *that* is an expanded idea.

          By the way, who is objecting to what? Not one person in this entire discussion ever objected to treating people well. But for some strange reason, there is a heck of a lot objection to the idea of kindness specifically discussed toward women.

          I perceive this discussion to be a “instead of”. This was a really nice article about treating women well and it was met with a lot of resistance and frustration. Instead of “Hey, it’s great when women are treated well. Here’s what I do to support that.” It’s turned into “ what about men.” This has become so common on GMP. I see it happening in just about any article that specifically references women.

          In all my posts on this topic I never once said “real man”. So I have no idea where you believe you are getting that from.

          • You don’t HAVE TO be chivalrous. What do you want me to say? But why should I deny that I find a man to be chivalrous to be nice and helpful? No woman has to be in good physical shape. But many men certainly go on and on about how much they like when a woman “takes care of herself”. You throw the word “shame” around pretty loosely. Lately it seems when someone doesn’t like when someone disagrees with them, they revert to the “you’re trying to shame me!‘ game.

            Yet again – the problem is not disagreement. The problem is the implied value judgement.

            Most men already are nice – and they’re not suddenly failing to be nice just because they aren’t buying into a questionable repackaging of one of their oldest gender roles. It’d be like saying to women to “get back in the kitchen for equality!” – because isn’t it “nice” when women think to cook a meal for their family? More women should be “nice” like that.

            It utterly disregards the fact that most women still DO most of the cooking in a family setting. They are already more than “nice” in that regard. To then have someone come along and encourage them to do something they already do, using terminology and concepts that have been previous used to restrict their behaviour – I suspect it wouldn’t go down too well.

            And as several others have said, we are not saying that keeping fit should be a gendered expectation either. I’m not sure why you brought that up given that I’ve not said it should still be a gendered expectation. I’m against the gendered ideas that got us into this mess in the first place.

            The point on rape was more of an aside, so I will put my thoughts on that in a separate post.

            I think that the notion of chivalry can very much exist in the same space as treating people well in general. I do not think the notion of chivalry should or could in anyway threaten the idea of treating all people well. To me, *that* is an expanded idea.

            Treating all people well regardless of gender makes any gendered expectation redundant. Treating all people well is sufficient, why do we need unnecessary addons to that? I suspect my gay marriage analogy is more relevant here than I thought. It seems to me that you want to ringfence a gendered expectation that benefits you as a woman because you feel under pressure from another one that doesn’t. I’m saying both should be disestablished.

            By the way, who is objecting to what? Not one person in this entire discussion ever objected to treating people well. But for some strange reason, there is a heck of a lot objection to the idea of kindness specifically discussed toward women.

            Because of the way it is being framed. Yet again, you insist on misrepresenting what the opposing view is here.

            No-one is objecting to kindness to people who happen to be female. No-one is saying they never deserve to be given kindness. What is being objected to is the notion of appealing to men based on their gender, using gendered language and concepts from our dark, unequal past. This is not the same thing, and I’m wondering why you keep repeating these claims that we’re somehow against kindness to women. We’re not.

            I perceive this discussion to be a “instead of”. This was a really nice article about treating women well and it was met with a lot of resistance and frustration. Instead of “Hey, it’s great when women are treated well. Here’s what I do to support that.” It’s turned into “ what about men.” This has become so common on GMP. I see it happening in just about any article that specifically references women.

            Why do you expect an article addressing men and telling them what to do to not have comments on them about what men feel are important? This isn’t a derail, Erin – like many accusations of whatabouttehmenzing. When Eduardo brings up what he thinks men should be doing as men, it isn’t derailing to say “hey, actually, maybe we shouldn’t be doing that, and here’s why”. It isn’t derailing to point out that actually this is riffing on an older gender role a little too close to comfort for many men, so maybe could you not – it’s accuracy.

            In all my posts on this topic I never once said “real man”. So I have no idea where you believe you are getting that from.

            Sorry, I think I was thinking more generally, of Eduardo’s admission upthread that he thinks “man up” is an acceptable phrase to use. It has the same problem as “chivalry” – it’s got too loaded a history to be casually brought back into play – and if you’re going to tag notions of “niceness” to it and insist that those who dislike it somehow just don’t want people being kind to women – well, exception will be taken to that.

            • Having been the recipient of both really great behavior from men and really terrible behavior, I can not agree that *most* men already are nice. There are many nice and wonderful men out there for sure. But there are many men out there that are not. And then there are nice and wonderful men who are not nice and wonderful all the time or to the same exact people. Same goes for women.

              I actually see nothing wrong with a man appreciating a woman who cooks or saying, “I really like it when a woman knows how to cook.” I have actually learned specific recipes for the different men in my life just for them and their eating pleasure! Did I see this has some sexist backlash? Umm no. I really enjoyed being able to so something domestic for them.

              You said: “Treating all people well regardless of gender makes any gendered expectation redundant. Treating all people well is sufficient, why do we need unnecessary addons to that?”

              Actually, based on the long withstanding history of the world and how different groups of people did not infact know how to treat each other, we very much do need “necessary addons”. Learning how to treat different people well has been a big long learning curving for humanity and the issue of many conflicts. Learning to treat each other even within our own social, ethnic or gender group also proves to be a hard feat onto it’s own. People have a long withstanding history of demeaning those in their group and those outside of their group. From women fighting against women, men fighting agaisnt other men, from the slavery of African-Americans to the persecution of the Jews. And one of the longest and oldest learning curve to humanity? How men and women relate to each other. This often spans ethnic, religious or economic social levels. Each group has faced different issues regarding their unique situations. We very much need to discuss the specific issues, needs and desires of each social group to recognize the individual problems they face and not bury our head in the sand believing we are some monolithic group and that special focus on one over the other at any certain time takes away from another.

              It very much appears to me that there is a visible anger about focusing on kindness toward women. Okay, so you aren’t against kindness toward any person. You just don’t want women to ever be singled out for kindness because you believe it takes something away other people, such as men? I just don’t agree with that at all. When we focus on African-Americans, it doesn’t take away from Asians. When we focus on Jewish people, it doesn’t take anything away from Christians. When we focus on men, it doesn’t take anything away from women. Focusing on individual groups is 100% important and neccesary to our growth and understanding. While there will always be common problems we all face, there are also unique problems we face based on being women, men, white, black, asian, poor, rich, Hindu, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim..the list goes on. I don’t want to live in a world that completely ignores gender even if I want to live in a world where we are all treated with respect.

              You said: “Why do you expect an article addressing men and telling them what to do to not have comments on them about what men feel are important? This isn’t a derail, Erin – like many accusations of whatabouttehmenzing.”

              That is exactly what it is. Because it appears that many of you believe that by suggesting kindness toward women and bringing to attention the dangers and issues women face in the world, we are some how suggesting that kindness and thought to men shouldn’t be extended. And instead of actually focusing on the topic of this article, it has been completely over-ridden by a literal sense of anger that there would ever be any kind of suggestion about considering women and focusing exclusively on women for a certain period of time in this article. And that is a real shame.

              You said: “”Sorry, I think I was thinking more generally, of Eduardo’s admission upthread that he thinks “man up” is an acceptable phrase to use.”

              I see nothing wrong in Eduardo having a personal doctrine that he believes men should live by. I certainly have one regarding other women that I think should be upheld out of respect to each other and respect to men. People are the only ones who hold other people accountable for how they behave. We push each other to be better, to be more kind, to be more respectful. And there is nothing wrong about that. That is basically what terms like “man -up” can do.

              You said: “It has the same problem as “chivalry” – it’s got too loaded a history to be casually brought back into play – and if you’re going to tag notions of “niceness” to it and insist that those who dislike it somehow just don’t want people being kind to women – well, exception will be taken to that.”

              Exception was already taken a long time ago before this article was ever written.
              If we can’t even talk about stepping up and being there for women how can we even actually do it and step up and be there for women? If talking about women specifically alone is such a huge threat to men, what exactly are we saying? It sounds like we are saying that we are so fearful and insecure about our position in society that we have not yet reached a point that really requires us to give true kindness and compassion to others.

              You keep saying this isn’t about not wanting to be kind to women. Then it must be about not wanting to talk about being kind to women. Because that is exactly what the issue is. That women were singled out and there are people here who seem to believe that by that alone, it means that everyone else should be forgotten.

              I look at it more this way. When a parent has two children, sometimes one child requires more attention and other times the other child will requires more attention. Just because one child is given attention, time, discussion or thought over the other child at any given time, does not mean that the other child is not just as loved or is not just as deserving of time, love, care or respect.

              I see our discussion surrounding men and women much the same way. Men and women are both deserving of respect but the truth is that sometimes we have very different needs based on our life experience , socialization and how we identify with our own genders. How we identify with our own genders is not inherently wrong either. Sometimes women will need focus on them and other times men will. And just like a parent loves two children the same way with the same amount of love and knows both are deserving of respect even when both children may have different needs at different times, so the same applies to men and women.

            • I actually see nothing wrong with a man appreciating a woman who cooks or saying, “I really like it when a woman knows how to cook.” I have actually learned specific recipes for the different men in my life just for them and their eating pleasure! Did I see this has some sexist backlash? Umm no. I really enjoyed being able to so something domestic for them.

              Which isn’t what I said. As has already been pointed out to you several times, the objection is to expectations being put upon people AS A CLASS. Not personal expressions of what one likes in a man/women. The problem is “Men! Be chivalrous!” or “Women! Back in the kitchen!”

              NOT: “I like a man who acts with kindness”, or “I like a woman who cooks”.

              It is the projection of those expectations onto an entire group which is the issue here.

              This conversation would go a lot further if you stopped misrepresenting this position.

              Actually, based on the long withstanding history of the world and how different groups of people did not infact know how to treat each other, we very much do need “necessary addons”. Learning how to treat different people well has been a big long learning curving for humanity and the issue of many conflicts. Learning to treat each other even within our own social, ethnic or gender group also proves to be a hard feat onto it’s own. People have a long withstanding history of demeaning those in their group and those outside of their group. From women fighting against women, men fighting agaisnt other men, from the slavery of African-Americans to the persecution of the Jews. And one of the longest and oldest learning curve to humanity? How men and women relate to each other. This often spans ethnic, religious or economic social levels. Each group has faced different issues regarding their unique situations. We very much need to discuss the specific issues, needs and desires of each social group to recognize the individual problems they face and not bury our head in the sand believing we are some monolithic group and that special focus on one over the other at any certain time takes away from another.

              The tendency of mankind to divide people who are different up into groups based on their perceived differences to the person doing the dividing is at the root of all these inequalities.

              There is no point in a solution which just reinforces intergroup differences. Those groups have far, far more in common than they do not. But for some reason some people still insist on clinging to those.

              But if you really are taking this approach that each group has different needs that we should listen to – why AREN’T you listening to the men who clearly have a hangup about the word/concept “chivalry”? And if you will insist on dragging comments from other people into this discussion, I noticed that on one of Mark Manson’s recent articles, Erin, I saw that you took exception to his use of the word “cocktease”.

              Now, to my mind, that has a legitimate definition beyond insult, but you don’t agree, or at least the insult was front and centre in your mind for you. I can agree that because of the history that word has as an insult it should be retired from discussions of that kind, and it is certainly a concept that is usually applied to women, and not men. So to reiterate – my solution is to retire the word, while reminding myself that sexually manipulative behaviour is not unique to women.

              I can do that with “cocktease” for women like yourself, Erin, and those others that objected to it.

              So why can’t you do the same for us men who don’t like how the concept of “chivalry” is being resurrected here?

              It very much appears to me that there is a visible anger about focusing on kindness toward women. Okay, so you aren’t against kindness toward any person. You just don’t want women to ever be singled out for kindness because you believe it takes something away other people, such as men?

              No. Yet again, another misrepresentation. I simply do not wish for appeals for kindness to be extended to men as a class, as something to be done to women because they are men. I do not wish for this to be done under the banner of chivalry.

              This would not rule out a general appeal to kindness for women, or anything else that doesn’t fall under that banner.

              That is exactly what it is. Because it appears that many of you believe that by suggesting kindness toward women and bringing to attention the dangers and issues women face in the world, we are some how suggesting that kindness and thought to men shouldn’t be extended. And instead of actually focusing on the topic of this article, it has been completely over-ridden by a literal sense of anger that there would ever be any kind of suggestion about considering women and focusing exclusively on women for a certain period of time in this article. And that is a real shame.

              No. Yet again, another misrepresentation. Not ANY suggestion. My objection here has always been to the reprise of the gendered term “chivalry”.

              And no, it is not a derail. When you have an article telling men what they should do, any man (to whom the article is addressed) has the right to respond and disagree, and say why . Calling it whataboutthemenz is an attempt to shut down that side of the discussion, whether inadvertant or not, and I will not stand for it.

              You cannot bring all men into a discussion, and then expect them not to speak up when they don’t bring the opinions you want. Don’t tell me you’re interested in listening to men while taking that approach.

              I see nothing wrong in Eduardo having a personal doctrine that he believes men should live by. I certainly have one regarding other women that I think should be upheld out of respect to each other and respect to men. People are the only ones who hold other people accountable for how they behave. We push each other to be better, to be more kind, to be more respectful. And there is nothing wrong about that. That is basically what terms like “man -up” can do.

              As well as riff on old gender roles that have constricted men, and all the attendant negative emotions it brings up. You know, like “cocktease” does for many women – but oh wait, such terms are only bad and should be retired only when it’s women that are affected, right?

              Why would I seek to bring positive qualities that I believe are common to everyone under the banner of one gender? All the qualities we discuss here are not unique to men (or women, or other), so I do not see the point in insisting there is any real standard of manliness or womanliness to adhere to. There are positive qualities that we all have the capability to attain, and that is what we should be gunning for.

              Exception was already taken a long time ago before this article was ever written.

              To “man up”? Well, yes, there have been plenty of articles written on it. So much for listening, eh?

              If we can’t even talk about stepping up and being there for women how can we even actually do it and step up and be there for women? If talking about women specifically alone is such a huge threat to men, what exactly are we saying? It sounds like we are saying that we are so fearful and insecure about our position in society that we have not yet reached a point that really requires us to give true kindness and compassion to others.

              You keep saying this isn’t about not wanting to be kind to women. Then it must be about not wanting to talk about being kind to women. Because that is exactly what the issue is. That women were singled out and there are people here who seem to believe that by that alone, it means that everyone else should be forgotten.

              Again – the problem is not talking about kindness to women. It is about using the term chivalry and a lot of the attendant roles with it to procure kindness from men as a class towards women as a class. The two are not even remotely the same thing, and I have no idea why you keep insisting that they are given that I’ve explicated my view at least a dozen times now. And I find this very interesting behaviour coming from someone who claims to want to listen.

              Does the fact that we’re using a term from the bloody MIDDLE AGES not give anyone here a hint that we just *might* be going back down a road we’d already decided we shouldn’t go down? Our patriarchal past? You know, that system that feminism (the group that concocted that concept of “male privilege” that Eduardo is so keen to remind us men of) said was the root of gender inequality and should be abolished? And oh, what a surprise – it’s being done selectively.

              It seems too much to me like that is a case of “old gender roles for thee, but not for me”. It’s the HISTORY that’s the problem, Erin. It’s like with “cocktease”. The best way to ensure that harm is minimised from those words is to (a) retire them and (b) make a point of mentioning that everyone engages in such behaviour.

              That word soured the discussion for you and many other women, it seemed to me. And I can understand why, because of what you said.

              Now try and imagine how you’d feel if the article was “Why women shouldn’t cocktease”. Where cockteasing was the entire premise of the article.

              Because that’s akin to what is going on here with “chivalry”.

  6. Eduardo García says:

    To those that think we should separate gender from Chivalry…
    When we reach true equity between women and men, then we can separate it.
    I would like to go even further with this aspect, as we owe to all groups that are at a social disadvantage, be it because of Race, Ethnicity, or Sexual orientation. Till there is a real equity, we have a lot of work to do.

    Note: A quick lesson on the difference between Equality and Equity.
    Equality is giving everyone the exactly same pair of shoes. Only the people with the “right” foot size will benefit from the shoes, but no one can really complain about being “left” out. Equity is about giving everyone the actual size shoe they need, that way you don’t leave anyone out, intentionally or not, and nobody is at an advantage just for being born with the right foot size.

    • Except men and women are unequal in different ways – but you are appealing to old gender norms of chivalry where men are expected to help women, without any kind of reciprocal expectation.

      How is it reasonable to expect men (as men) to help women, but not to expect women (as women) to help men in the same fashion with their issues? You do not solve gender inequality by reinforcing the same norms that got us into this mess in the first place.

      • What do you mean, women weren’t expected to help under chivalry? They were expected to bear their husband an heir; they were involved in the management of the household or the estate; they were hostesses and social ambassadors, representing their family/estate in public and in the royal court. Even fast-forwarding to the mid-20th century when some form of chivalry was still commonplace, women had their roles to play to support their men and their families. Sure, they weren’t expected to take up a sword or lay down their jackets over a mud puddle, but it’s not like men were 100% selfless and women just sat back and reaped the benefits.

        Like you said, the expectations were unequal in different ways, and maybe not 100% equitable in terms of share of the burden, but I challenge the idea that women had no expectations of being helpful to their men under chivalric standards. Just a different kind of helpful.

        “How is it reasonable to expect men (as men) to help women, but not to expect women (as women) to help men in the same fashion with their issues?”
        Could you be more specific about “their issues” – are you talking about macro-scale societal issues, or micro-scale personal issues?

        • What do you mean, women weren’t expected to help under chivalry?

          I’m not referring to history. I’m referring to what Eduardo is apparently recommending now, and the general tenor of popular gender activism today. I made that earlier comment of mine before I saw your informative post on the reciprocal female norms that went along with chivalry in the past. (And yes, I am talking about macroscale societal issues. Male suicide rates, rape of men, body issues etc.)

          I’m taking issue with a couple of things – firstly, that this is a gendered standard that surely must be classed as patriarchal and yet is being encouraged, rather than deconstructed. I’ve not had any kind of response to my point yet that it seems rather inadvisable to return to the norms that got us into this gendered, unequal mess to begin with (and this is being presented as some kind of new idea! It’s older than the Black Death!)

          Secondly, that this is actually now a one-sided setup in practice. It is acceptable to mock men’s attempts to gain support for their issues (I lost count of how many stupid snarky articles I read even this year around the time of International Men’s Day, many of which said that men supporting this day shouldn’t expect women or feminists to help).

          And yet I keep seeing plenty of movements (some even endorsed by articles on this site) that appeal to men as men…to solve women’s issues. Some of them even went to the point of saving boys from abusive homes – in order to reduce violence against women. It is sickening to see those boys being used as means to end, rather than treated as people in their own right. “Men can stop rape” is another example – which simultaneously manages to incorrectly gender the problem of rape and erase the experiences of people who have been raped by women.

          This is the same trope rearing its ugly head. The lady’s honour is besmirched, now all you real men ride to the rescue, and save her! (And if you don’t, you’re a bad man.) Worse, the other (while still problematic) half of chivalry, where women had attendant expectations of their own, has been done away with, while male chivalry is still expected.

          “Men, stop violence against women!”
          “International Men’s Day? LOL MALE TEARS”

          I can’t emphasise enough that this is playing right into the hands of the MRM, if that’s the sort of thing that causes people concern. They have often (correctly, IMO) made the point that women’s activism has focused on disestablishing male privilege but not female privilege.

      • John Anderson says:

        @ OirishM

        I remember making a similar argument on the post about affirmative action for male poets. We’ll have different sports teams for men and women because men are generally bigger, faster, and stronger and women can’t compete, but in areas where women / girls tend to generally outperform men / boys, we can’t have separate competitions.

        I hear the arguments that isn’t it better to have girls exercising and moving around for health and if giving them athletic opportunities or even different facilities as men / boys encourages them to do so, isn’t it justified? Make the same argument about encouraging boys to read and write and you’re told that boys just need to learn to compete.

    • “Note: A quick lesson on the difference between Equality and Equity.
      Equality is giving everyone the exactly same pair of shoes. Only the people with the “right” foot size will benefit from the shoes, but no one can really complain about being “left” out. Equity is about giving everyone the actual size shoe they need, that way you don’t leave anyone out, intentionally or not, and nobody is at an advantage just for being born with the right foot size.”

      That’s a perfect anology.

  7. Douglas miller says:

    Mr. Garcia, thank you for the article. I think it is timely and pertinent. I am a stay at home dad while my wife works and I love being able to spend time with my daughter. I was raised to be Chivalrous and all the men on here arguing against your points sound bitter and lost. Like the little boy who gets angry and takes his toys to go home. I do not see the conflict between being “chivalrous” and being a modern man. I look forward to your next article.

    • You’re shaming people you disagree with by equating them to children, and you think they’re bitter and lost?

    • …and all the men on here arguing against your points sound bitter and lost. Like the little boy who gets angry and takes his toys to go home….
      This is a pretty common ambiguous response to people who disagree with things. Don’t really say anything and just toss a few insults and associations and hope it stands on it’s own.

      How exactly does disagreeing with the writer’s points indicate bitterness and loss?

    • Maryangie Carmona says:

      @Douglas Miller,
      I agree with your thoughts. I don’t understand what all the fuss is about.

      As a woman, what I get from this article is:

      1 – Know where does the term ‘chivalry’ comes from, what it meant in its origin, and how Modern Men would apply it today. I don’t think the purpose is to return to that ‘role’, but to take the positive aspects and adjust it to the present days.

      2 – That being chivalrous is not expected nor you have to act that way expecting to gain something from it. It can be compared to a Christian that is doing good deeds because of fear of going to hell, instead of just being kind and considerate to another human being. Those who actually choose to be chivalrous, do so because they’re reflecting their own persona.

      3 – Having manners or being a good human being, is not supposed to be a fashion trend.

      4 – Chivalry may have been in its origin to “rescue a lady in distress”, but in modern day I don’t think it is to “solve a woman’s problem”. I think some of us are strong enough to handle our own situations; but what’s the problem with my partner being there for me in time of need (I’m not Wonder Women, you know? Everyone has those down moments)? What’s the problem with a new partner taking care and stepping into the shoes of a dad when the biological father does not want to be there for their kid? What’s the problem of a random guy helping me carry a luggage at the airport?

      In conclusion, I think some of the male readers are taking parts of this article personally, instead of looking at the full picture, which in my opinion is just to analyze some of today’s behavior and ask what happened that we don’t see manners and consideration anymore, when, some generations ago, it was a rule?; can we take the positive things of the olden days and still apply it today?

      Guys, don’t expect to marry a “Lady” if you’re not a “Gentleman”. Maybe one day you will have a daughter and your son-in-law will be either a macho who won’t respect or value her, or an insecure guy, who does not even match her character level. There must be a balance.

      And if you do not want to be chivalrous, don’t be, it’s your choice! As it is my choice how to think about a guy that is not considerate enough to even hold a door open for me when entering a building.

      • John Anderson says:

        @ Maryangie Carmona

        “I don’t understand what all the fuss is about.”

        “All abuse is wrong, but when this abuse comes from the very person who should make you feel safe it goes to an entirely different level. I don’t want anyone to think I am “Man Bashing,” but statistically the biggest threats women have are men, while the biggest threats men have are…also men. Guess men and women have more in common than I thought.

        Now, the Chivalrous, the Gentleman, and the Caballero will understand how privileged he is and accept the obligation to compensate for those rotten apples who give men a bad name. He will fight against the real inequality that exists between the genders”

        There are some men on this site, who have been raped and / or abused by women. He’s telling these men that they have to compensate for the wrongs inflicted by other men on women and to rub salt in the wound is telling him that he owes this to his abusers.

      • Douglas miller says:

        Maryangie Carmona,
        Thanks for your reply/post. You are much more articulate than I. I understand that abuse can go both ways but I tend to hold the abuser responsible, not the gender of the person doing the abusing. I feel that being a gentleman/cabbalero is not just about men towards women. It is the way that I carry myself, my attitude, the small acts of kindness towards others who need help. I hold doors for both men and women, not just because it is polite but the logistics of someone coming up closely behind you makes sense instead of letting the door close in thier face LOL! I try to be polite and helpful to everyone who needs my help. not that I am a saint, and sometimes I am abrasive, for that I apologize. I am a paramedic and have seen heights of bravery and the depths of depravity. I have stopped to help men and women change a tire, I have seen people reduced to so much meat by being hit on the freeway. I have treated the 13 year old rape victim and the 40 year old male who was beaten up by his wife. I took from this article that we need more civility and many more gentlemen (I use the term in its individual words, a Gentle man) in our current society. The rise of feminist and changeing roles of men in our society does not negate this.
        Regards,
        Douglas Miller

  8. Hi Eduardo, thank you for taking on a difficult subject. I very much liked what you expressed in your article.

    When I was younger, I very much wanted men specifically to treat me a certain way because I I believed that if they didn’t, they didn’t think I was pretty enough or worthy enough to care about. That was born out of my own insecurity. Older and wiser now, I do not hold an expectations that anyone should do things for me to prove my worth to them. It’s wonderful to let go of the idea of “expectations” because when someone does do something kind for you, it’s a very wonderful gift.

    There are so many wonderful men out there helping and spreading kindness. I just love your last paragraph because it makes me reflect on all the acts of kindness I was lucky enough to be the recipient from thoughtful, kind men that were willing to give up some of their time to help me. From the countless times my old next door neighbor was there and his sons to help me out from everything from getting locked out of my house, using his crane to dig a hole in the cold frozen winter ground when my cat died, snowplowing my driveway when I didn’t even ask and helping when the basement flooded and the sup-pump went out. From how my Dad’s best friend would mow my Mom’s field after my Dad died. And the many other men in the farming community that came to a widow’s aid to help her. To the complete stranger who kept an eye on me at Central Station in NYC when I was on my way home by myself very late at night and a young man who approached me wouldn’t leave me alone. There were not many people in the terminal and this older man walked over and said that he was keeping his eye on me to make sure i was safe. To the other complete stranger when my car skidded into a snow bank and I got stuck and he came with his shovel and helped to dig me out. For the family I babysat for who I hadn’t yet know that long when the father saw that I had a low front tire, went and pumped my tire for me. …I am leaving out so many more. I am humbled by their acts of kindness and forever grateful.

    • John Anderson says:

      @ Erin

      This is a wonderful comment. Seriously, you should submit it as an article for the love of men.

      • John – it appears that you very much enjoyed how I focused specifically on men.

        I think it’s nice to give men special acknowledgement. I could have listed all the nice things women have done for me too, so that I would be keeping all things equal, but I wanted to focus on the great things men have done for me specifically. I hope you can see here that it really benefits us sometimes to take the time to acknowledge men specifically…or women specifically.

        • John Anderson says:

          @ Erin

          In large part I enjoyed it because it was truly the kindness of men. Unless I misinterpreted something, they didn’t do it because X, Y, and Z. I remember a story of a boy who left a bill for his mom under her dinner plate for cleaning my room 50 cents, washing the dishes 50 cents, etc. The next day at dinner he sees money stacked on top of a bill by his plate. The bill said for cooking dinner 0 for taking care of you when you were sick 0, etc.. The total was zero.

          • John, you seem to be a big supporter of using the word “people” vs identifying men or women seperately. Yet you specifically enjoyed that I praised men specifically. I know this because you said: “….an article for the love of men.” I also know this based on having seen the way you respond to articles on GMP about men and women.

            I suspect you enjoyed it because it specifically focused on men and I didn’t feel the need to qualify all the nice women in my life at the same exact time I qualified the nice men as some ongoing gender war. I like being able to honor men seperately and I think we need to do that very much. Just as I think we need times to honor women seperately.

            These men in my life where indeed, very chivalrous. And I honor them for it. And I don’t need to make an equal list about the nice things women have done for me at this time. Because focusing on the kind and generous things men have done for me in no way suggests that women are also not capable of kind and generous acts. Just as focusing on the way men can treat women kindly suggests that men should not be recipents of kindness themselves.

            • John Anderson says:

              @ Erin

              “I suspect you enjoyed it because it specifically focused on men”

              You can suspect or you can listen. I think I’ll withdraw from the discussion. As I told Danny, I think I understand the side of the people exposing chivalry. That is one thing I try to do even when I disagree. I suspect we won’t agree or convince each other and that’s fine.

            • I listen very well John. Which is why I, just like, believe the things I do. I’ve paid pretty close attention to your posts.

  9. Douglas Miller says:

    I apologize if I insulted anyone, it was not my intent. I was merely expressing my opinion of how the men arguiong against this article about Chivalry sounds to me. I am not particularly articulate and it was the closest assosiation I could think of. Like most people it is merely my opinion and I hold out the posibility that I could be wrong. I am the father of 4 daughters and I should hope that if they are ever in trouble a gentleman will take the time to stop and help them without holding the perceived insults of “feminists” against them. Good day. Doug

  10. “A man is chivalrous because he expects that behavior from himself….”

    I was pleasantly surprised when I held out my hand to my surgeon one week post-op and he immediately zoomed over and bent his head down close to mine so that we could do that European cheek-to-cheek greeting (I did not kiss his cheek, only the air kiss noise)….I really only intended to shake his hand, so I was shocked that he put his cheek so close to mine…it reminded me that he was from a different world from mine (more courtly and more old world)….[what I usually get from strange men is sick whistling and doggy kissy noises on the street, so it is surprising when someone is polite and charming to me]….

    Even greater is what he did for me in the operating room…we all need more men like him…so talented and courteous! His emotional intelligence is off the charts…!

  11. John Anderson says:

    “The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone”

    Patrick Henry

  12. John Anderson says:

    @ Erin

    There are also articles on GMP were men are criticized for telling women to smile. When asked what is so onerous about giving up a smile, one complaint I hear is women hear that often. How many articles do you see where men are told they have modify behavior to accommodate a woman’s needs? Walk down the other side of the street so you’re not walking behind a woman at night. Wait for the next elevator so she’s not in there alone with a man. You shouldn’t talk to her because she doesn’t owe you her time, etc. You refer to ONE article where women are asked to modify their behavior to help men.

    Do you think that the comments guys leave on articles complaining about the lack of shelters for men might be related to the fact that there are no shelters for men, while there are shelters for women? Women don’t complain about lack of shelters in articles about abused men because they have them. In articles about abused males (sexually or otherwise) you’ll often see comments saying women are the primary victims, etc. Maybe you haven’t had the opportunity, but I don’t remember seeing you calling them out. In fact if I remember correctly, in the article about women cutting men slack, you didn’t actually disagree with the dissenting comment, you just didn’t think it was that big a deal.

    In the past I’ve contributed to breast cancer prevention. Now I don’t because it gets so much more funding than prostate cancer prevention to which I now contribute instead. Does that make me anti-woman? What if I advocate that people contribute to prostate cancer prevention instead of breast cancer prevention because of the funding disparity, would that make me anti-woman? What if I said that women need to give men special treatment not because men necessarily need it, but because other women have abused men (about 80% of men forced to penetrate another identified only female perpetrators) and women owe it to men as a gender, would that make me anti-woman?

    • There are also articles on GMP were men are criticized for telling women to smile. When asked what is so onerous about giving up a smile, one complaint I hear is women hear that often.

      Yeah, if that was “unpaid emotional labour” as Charlie Glickman(?) called it, then what is chivalry?

    • John, there is a huge difference between a man dictating “Smile”, and a woman dictating, “Open the door for me”; vs men opening doors out of being chivalrous (and women enjoying it) and women smiling to be genuine warm and friendly to a man (and men enjoying that). I take no offense from a man saying, “It’s really amazing when a woman smiles at me.”

      Both sides feel unheard, marginalized and unacknowledged. And that is the core problem. I understand that’s how a lot of men feel. Women feel the same EXACT way. It’s easy to get other women to listen to you. But it’s not so easy to feel like men hear you. I suspect you feel the same way about women. So until both of us feel that the other side is really listening, it’s not going to matter how many articles address either side. There are a number of articles that deal with what men can do to help women on GMP. But I don’t feel we ever really get anywhere because these articles are met with such a backlash.

      There are also a lot of articles on GMP that acknowledge diverse social issues men face strictly, really great articles, and they get little to no responses. The articles that bring women into the mix appear to draw forth quite the crowd. But it appears to be all the wrong reasons sometimes. Perhaps we all need to work on how we reframe our issues to one another.

      Here we have an article that is about being kind and being there for women. That gives statistics about the things women endure. And instead of seeing men say “yes those are certainly women’s challenges, what can we do?” it turns into, “But I am not one of those guys and here is what happens to men and here are the statistics for that so please play attention to these statistics because *this* is what is more concerning.” Even though to me, both seem pretty concerning.

      I personally feel a little conflicted on the issues women face concerning women’s safety and the way men feel demonized because I see both points of view. I am not sure what the answer is there but I think men and women need to both approach it with more sensitivity from both sides. Women seriously aren’t trying to demonize men because sometimes they fear for their safety. But I do acknowledge that sometimes men end up feeling just that way and I have not yet figured out how to mitigate men’s feelings about being demonized while honoring the measures women may want to take to feel safe.

      I am fully in favor of there being more shelters for men to help them get back on their feet. Please, yes, advocate for more shelters for men. But don’t do it by wanting to take away from women or to suggest that the fact the women have shelters takes something away from men. Reframe your argument to something along the lines of, “It’s great that women have so many avenues that help them, how do we take steps going forward to do the same for men.” Instead of, “Why do women have all these shelters and men don’t?” When the things women have worked for are attacked, when the things that help women are attacked, it makes us feel…attacked.

      You are right somewhat John, I have not made many comments in the abused male articles. And I don’t always get as vocal for men as I do for women. But I have done it on GMP, where I stood up for men at times. Probably not as much as you’d have liked. And I have offered a lot of tidbits about my own self reflection process, as a woman trying to relate specifically to men, and how I’ve had to personally grow and where my faults have been. It would be kind for you to remember that. I actually work on being transparent about that here even though it is not an easy thing to do.

      But in that effort to keep on working on myself, I’ll make more of an effort and while my effort is not dependent on what you choose to do, I only hope that if I put in more effort, you can also do the same for women in return.

      As for your characterization in the cutting men slack article, you are completely misrepresenting me. I made specific comments to one female poster who was trying to turn the discussion away from the actual topic where I told her that now was not the time to talk about her concerns. And I read every response to that article and took in everything I could about how men felt women could cut them slack. That was a pretty important article for me. You have no idea. No idea. And when I went into the article about cutting women slack, I read post after post about how once again, what women need to be doing to cut men slack. Do you also know which article was more popular? It wasn’t the article about cutting women slack.

      I do not think it makes you anti-woman at all to not contribute to breast cancer prevention and instead have focused on prostate cancer. I actually contribute more to heart disease than I do breast cancer myself because heart disease has affected my grandfather, uncle, Father and brother. And two of my aunts even had breast cancer but having lost my Father to it and almost my brother, heart disease just hits closer to home at this point. There are so many causes out there, it’s my firm belief that people need to pick their cause based on their personal needs not just because something is a good cause. Because all of it is a good cause.

      Breast cancer receives so much attention and money, I don’t believe because people care about women so much as they care about that part of the female body. I think the sexualization of breasts themselves have contributed a lot to the attention and fund raising.

      I totally think that there are times when women should give special treatment to men. I think we owe it to each other to treat each other well and to always dip further into our beliefs about each other and how far we are willing to go for others.

      And looking back on my family and how I grew up, it is that much more important for me to work on my relationship with men because those are the relationships that are harder for me. So yes, sometimes everyone, at different times, needs special attention.

  13. John Anderson says:

    I had planned to step away from this discussion, but there have been some comments with some implications that I think need to be addressed. That is the suggestion that men should refrain from making certain comments or broaching certain subject matter on specific threads. I’ve always been an advocate for open discussion defending both men and especially women’s ability to speak on these boards. I say especially women because at times a man has attempted to silence a woman by stating that this is a men’s site, etc.

    Women’s voices are important and I would and am not suggesting that they remain silent. I believe they are an important part of the discussion and I would say if in doubt, say it and leave it to the mods. The more discussion and broader viewpoints the better. I think it’s fair to ask men to examine their motivations. It is a discussion about masculinity and how we can become better men after all. I think it crosses into unfair when silence is demanded of men and motive is assigned. I believe that this would go against the spirit and intent of the site.

    I’m not pointing fingers or asking anyone to hold their tongue. Every voice is important and adds value to the discussion. Just something I feel needed to be said.

  14. John Schtoll says:

    “■Women only make up, on average, about one fourth of all positions of Political and Economic power, even if they are half of the population.

    This is a basic frontman fallacy argument that someone in your group is better at deciding what is best for you and will always do what is best for you because you share ONE common trait. After all, I would be willing to bet every cent I own that feminists would much rather have Barack Obama or Bill Clinton as their president instead of Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachman.

    ■Women get paid one fifth less than a man for same work. Ironically if a woman has kids, she will get paid even less on average. Apparently a penis is worth one fifth of a man’s value. Not really sure how to interpret that one.

    No they don’t , the numbers you quote or FLAT RATE numbers that looks at all men and women working full time full year, they don’t compare equal jobs. They also don’t look at races, ages or anything else.

    ■Laws that deal exclusively on women’s health and reproductive options are developed by a male dominated legal system.”

    Again , a front man fallacy, after all, those same MEN are deciding what men get for health and reproductive options and men get currently ZERO reproductive options and way less health options than women do.

    • Eduardo García says:

      I actually have been avoiding participating in some of the debate that has occurred in the article, since as the author, my opinion is completely bias. In this case, I will actually comment, since the aspect discussed is cold facts, not subjective documentation. I will also take the time to clarify some aspects.

      On the first one, on a government based on the idea that it represents its people, there should be statistically the same number of women and men if everyone has the same opportunities to be a part of it. This same ratio should be for race and ethnicity. That is not true in any way. You might have your feminist men and your anti-feminist women, as they are part of society. But at the very least you should have a similar amount of representation.

      On the second, these are actual factual numbers, completely measurable. They DO compare similar jobs, in similar markets. They compare race and ethnicity as well. That is how market studies are done. I get enough flack for asking equality for women, I can only imagine if I added race to the equation.

      As for the last one… This could be the topic of an article on to itself, and has. I have seen way to many men use religion or “morality” to decide what’s best for women and women’s health issues. I have seen rapist have more legal rights than the woman raped. I have seen how women are treated as little more than incubators.

      With all this being said, …I say all this know full well it will fall onto deaf ears.

      In the entire length of the discussion, there was not a single mention of the violence towards women. The only mention was how you (as in an abstract term, not you specifically) are not responsible for other men.

      You know what? You are responsible!

      You are the father who teaches by example his son on how to treat a woman. You are the father who teaches his daughter how a man is supposed to treat her. You teach your friends how they should talk about girls. You are the society that thinks “she was asking for it” when ignore the statistics.

      We live in sad times when we accept that 1 in 5 women women will be raped, and our only reply is “well I didn’t rape her”. Guess what? Every time you encurage the rape culture, you helped rape her!

      A gentleman realizes he is a role model, even if they don’t want to be one. A gentleman takes accountability for being a man.

      As to why I don’t mention how women should behave or act? Not my problem. That is theirs. I am a gentleman for myself and because I expect it from me. If a woman want’s to write about how to be a Lady, great and I will be the first to help her. The thing is, that article might not make it here since this is good MEN project.

      • Eduardo García says:

        oh…and to clarify that last point. I would love to help her is the article on ladies, only if she asked for help.
        I never, would never, or have even considered myself as understanding women. Then again, I can’t understand most men out there either.

      • We live in sad times when we accept that 1 in 5 women women will be raped, and our only reply is “well I didn’t rape her”. Guess what? Every time you encurage the rape culture, you helped rape her!

        Absolutely, definitely not. The two things are not even remotely comparable. Rape culture in this form is a way of making all men guilty for the actions of a few.

        This is the kind of mindset that results in all Muslims being condemned on the back of the actions of several terrorists.

        • Eduardo García says:

          Or the mentality that resulted in Muslims educating each others about the dangers of fundamentalism and educating non-Muslims on the truth about the religion to achieve more tolerance.

          • No individual Muslim has any responsibility to do that, just like no individual man does. You cannot assume that if one member out of a group of 1.5 billion and 3.5 billion respectively isn’t making overtures on behalf of their group then they can blamed as part of the problem – especially not on the basis of tiny minorities like terrorists and abusers.

            • Eduardo García says:

              Oirish,
              I can offer this as an explanation, other than that I would just agree to disagree.

              As a minority, I realize that my actions reflect directly on every other Latino Man. People do not view me as “me alone” without any reference or repercussion to the rest of us. Society does generalize, for good or bad.

              So every time I mentor Latino boys, I make sure that they understand how their actions reflect on the rest of us, the same way I get pissed I see some “Cholo” giving the rest of us a bad name. I try to be a proper example of a Latino man, not only to show boys a proper role model, but an example of what a NON-gangbanger, non-“wetback” Latino man is.

              This similar attitude can be viewed within the Black community, with mentors and leaders who understand how they must be examples. They are the first ones who try to educate the younger generations on the needs for education and to “get their pants up to their waist”.

              Sure, not everyone can choose to live as being an example to others or to influence the opinion of others. But the reality is that because you don’t choose to live like that, does not mean you are not an example to others, for better or worst.

            • Some of us prefer to challenge that in-group bias, Eduardo. Irrespective of who it applies to.

              Others, apparently, buy into it.

      • John Anderson says:

        @ Eduardo García

        “You are the father who teaches by example his son on how to treat a woman. You are the father who teaches his daughter how a man is supposed to treat her. You teach your friends how they should talk about girls. You are the society that thinks “she was asking for it” when ignore the statistics.

        We live in sad times when we accept that 1 in 5 women women will be raped, and our only reply is “well I didn’t rape her”. Guess what? Every time you encurage the rape culture, you helped rape her!”

        Yes, men also kill men much more often then they kill women. You are the father that teaches men this. You are the role model that teaches men this based on your actions and words. We live in a society that believes that men are disposable. When you tell men that they should treat women better than they treat men, you are reenforcing this “male disposability culture”.

        There, I didn’t say one thing about what women should do. I’ve only spoken about what men should do. Men should value men as much as they value women. I disagree with you based on what you said not what women have done.

      • John Anderson says:

        @ Eduardo García

        Another thing is that women kill men much more often than they kill women so like you said I guess men and women have more in common than thought. And before you start complaining about you’re complaining about what women are doing, let me point out that you by your actions are teaching your daughters how to treat men. Don’t we as men have a responsibility to raise our daughters too? When you say that men should not critique how women treat men in society on GMP, it seems that you don’t. Are you surprised that they’re learning the same thing as your sons? You might want to teach them a better way. It’s what a good man would do.

        • You decided to respond to the statistic about how 1 in 5 women are raped by your own statistic about how men. This tells me that you believe talking about the things that happen to men directly is more important than talking about the things that happen to women. And that is the exact problem I see around here time and time again. An unwillingness to discuss the merits of the things women deal with without someone believing discussion about women marginilizes men somehow. Or suggests that men don’t suffer things.

          What does the fact that 1-5 women are raped have to do with your other (no less important) statistic? How is your statistic about men a response to the statistic about women? Do you believe that your statistic negates the 1-5 woman raped statistic? Do you believe that 1-5 women rape statistic should not be discussed at all until all the murder in the world toward men in solved? I am trying to figure out your point of view here and what you believe it accomplishes to respond to statistics about women, with statistics about men. Don’t both deserve their own space to be discussed? Is there a way we can talk about the things happen to women at certain times and the things that happen to men at other times? How do we do that?

          Do you know what it says when you ignore a fact that happens to women in favor of highlighting a fact that happens to men? It says that it doesn’t matter what happens to women because what happens to men is more pressing and deserving of attention then what happens to women. What this says is that apparently the fact that 1 in 5 women are raped is not as worthy a discussion when faced with the facts you can put out there that you believe trump it.
          And yet you attempt to tell Eduardo that he wants women treated “better” than men. All because his article focused on things that happen to women, how he as a man wants to take responsibility to help women and teach younger generations of men to live by his example. This angers you but it does not anger you to highlight, focus on or address the violence that happens against men.

          What if instead it was you who said “Did you know that more men kill each other than kill other women.” and I said in return..” But one in five women are raped!”

          Whether you meant to or not, you are basically saying that women being raped is not a worthy discussion. But things that affect men are. The rape and murder of men: important issue. The rape and murder of women: not an important issue. And that is why when confronted with the 1-5 women are raped statistic, all you could say was to point the conversation to what you believe is a more worthy discussion regarding men over women.

          • Eduardo initially made reference in his article to men being attacked by men (you know, something that happens to men) to show the similarity between that and women being attacked by men.

            Why are you not extending that criticism to Eduardo? He is talking about things that affect men as well. So why are you criticising John for responding in the terms Eduardo set out?

            This is, yet again, why the sorts of points we’re making are not derailing. You cannot bring these things up in an article and then criticise people who are making reference to them in their replies but taking an opposing point of view. All that is effectively doing is silencing criticism.

          • John Anderson says:

            @ Erin

            You’re a very passionate person. I don’t mean that in a mean way. A lot of guys are taught to look at things critically or clinically. That’s why your voice is important to the conversation. Sometimes guys especially in my age group sometimes forget the human aspect of things in favor of the logic aspect of things.

            There is a test on the interwebs sometimes incorporated by feminists, sometimes incorporated by MRAs, but it’s used to determine “fairness”. The concept simply put is reverse the genders and see if the argument still holds. I did not select what I selected to minimize the suffering of women. I needed a real example that mirrored Eduardo’s argument, but with the genders reversed to test his theory. That’s why the phrasing is close. Could I have just reversed the genders and said 1 in 5 men are raped. Sure, but then then complaint would be that the statistic is fabricated.

            When the genders are reversed, does it feel offensive?

  15. John Anderson says:

    It seems we may need to address another silencing technique used almost exclusively against men on a site for men to figure out what it means to be a good man. That is this is about men. Don’t bring up or be concerned with what women do.

    Good men should raise their daughters as well as their sons. When we talk about abused men, good men should be concerned with all victims of abuse. When we talk about abusive women, good men should be concerned about stopping all perpetrators of abuse. When we talk about how women treat men, good men should never accept shoddy treatment from another because they’re a woman, because that condones and perpetuates the behavior.

    These are ALL valid topics for the site. These are ALL things GOOD men should be concerned about. If you don’t believe that a GOOD man should stop a woman from raping a man or child, then you need to examine your definition of good.

    • You are confronted with statistics about things women face and your only response is to talk about things men face instead. Who exactly is trying to silence who here.

      • John Anderson says:

        @ Erin

        GMP gave Eduardo an entire article. I doubt very much that his point of view is being silenced. You might want to try reading my comment next time before you reply. I’m referring to comments made by others that suggest that specific avenues of conversation are inconsistent with the mission of GMP. Conversations about “things men face” is precisely what they object to. That’s why they’re listed as well as the reasons why they are relevant to the site.

  16. John Anderson says:

    @ Maryangie Carmona

    “wish to write about the psychological effects of PMS in women, then, under your view, not only should I write about how it affects woman, but also how does it affects the men around me, right?”

    But if a woman wrote an article about the effects of a woman’s PMS on the men around them, wouldn’t you expect that she would mention it’s effects on women since it’s probably not the PMS, but how the woman deals with it that is impacting the men. If that was left out of the article, would you bring it up in the comments section?

    It’s not like white women are flooding the how to explain white privilege to a broke white person article and telling the detractors that they’re privileged. Why do you think that is?

Trackbacks

  1. […] we discuss the issues of what it means to be a good man or about the obligations of Gentlemen, the generalized comments and reactions from many men present me with a paradox that seems to be in […]

  2. […] to address in this article. In other words, I’m taking a break from ranting to the guys about their obligations to […]

Speak Your Mind

*