femmecomplexe

The Patrick Reaction: male friends part 3

In Anecdotes on September 13, 2010 at 7:51 am

            The last reaction I faced when telling my guy friends about my feminist blog is my personal favorite, because it is so like Patrick to think this way, especially when he gives off the air that he is so liberal – though I suppose everyone picks and chooses according to their own desires.  Grace McGarvie said: “Republicans are against abortion until their daughters need one; Democrats are for abortion until their daughter wants one.”

            Thus, according to Patrick, “Feminism is a crock of shit, they want all the freedoms but they still want men to hold doors for them. You can’t have everything thing in this world.”

            For the matter of having doors held open, for chivalry as men call it – since supposedly being polite these days to women is an amazing feat of gentlemanly behavior – means absolutely nothing to me.  If someone is coming behind me as I go through a door, or if there are two of us heading simultaneously towards the same door, shouldn’t the natural thing to do be to step aside for the other person – male or female? Why does propriety have to have a gender label on it? 

            Or, let’s say we do put a gender label on politeness.  Yet in return for this, women must succumb to the dominance of men.  They put us up on a pedestal and yet, as Gloria Steinem said, “a pedestal is as much a prison as any small, confined space”. Don’t put us up on pedestals, because you can’t keep us up there, your arms will get tired, and then where will we be? If society continues to try and inculcate the idea into girls that they must be a certain way, and behave towards men a certain way, and that men must behave towards us in a certain way…when will we be free?

           And no Patrick, women – in the collective – don’t want everything in this world, we simply want equality.  We don’t wish to walk ahead or behind, but beside.  Robert Mueller made an interesting observation: I asked a Burmese why women, after centuries of following their men, now walk ahead.  He said there were many unexploded land mines since the war.” Where’s chivalry now?

          And another thing, why are people so bent on stereotyping an entire group? It’s like Clare Boothe Luce said: “Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, ‘She doesn’t have what it takes.’ They will say, ‘Women don’t have what it takes’.”  I like to look at all the men who rule countries and run the administration of this world, and you see that for the most part, the world is a mess…but do we say that men have no idea what they are doing? Or that they are incapable? No, we simply look to the next man, hoping that perhaps he’ll be different, that he’s not like the rest of his gender.  When will women have a real fighting chance in positions of power, in politics? And have a fighting chance wearing what they wish and styling their hair as they wish. 

         As not to completely bash my friend, I will say that when I showed him a quote by Pat Robertson he immediately returned, with his favorite 4 letter ‘F’ word + ‘er’.  The quote is almost funny because the idea is so ridiculous I can’t actually believe anyone really thinks this way.  It’s completely unjust. 

[Feminism is] a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians. 

          And then I said, “I’m glad you’re not a complete tool.”

         I do wish to make one more point.  After informing all three guys that I would be using them for my blog, they immediately wished to be thought better of.  “Don’t make me seem chauvinistic” said Martyn, “I’m was joking!” exclaimed John, and “Let me rephrase what I said so I don’t seem so unintelligent”, said Patrick.  They all wished to seem less, how to put this nicely, less themselves (?) The idea of feminism may not be something every man can wrap his head around, but I suppose with some of them, we’re getting to the point where they care what is thought of them in relation to women’s rights.

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