Tag Archives: #chivalry

Final thougths on feminism vs. chivalry

7 Feb

Mislabeled is a relatively new blog. We are still figuring out the nooks and crannies of who we are and how we blog.

But if there’s one thing we’re sure of, it’s that feminists are not all alike; ditto strong women in general. We all have different ideas about feminism, how it can be discussed, and what it means for our daily lives.

It is in that spirit that we were thrilled to post Kendra’s thoughts on chivalry. I speak from personal experience when I say that Kendra is a strong and smart woman. I value her opinion, and I am glad to give her a platform, even while I personally do not agree with everything her post says.

Still, we wanted to be able to post an opposing view to further flush out some thoughts on chivalry. Enjoy.

This post is brought to you by Rachel.

Despite my vagina, I can pay for myself

7 Feb

I’ve said it before, but I’ll preface my reaction to Kendra’s chivalry post with this: I’m a feminist. I have no problem at all with respect and kind gestures towards other people.

What I do have a problem with is the idea that I deserve that treatment from men simply because I have a vagina. Sure, if I’m walking into a building behind someone else, it’s great if they hold the door open for me. I do that for people all the time. It’s common courtesy. But having a guy rush up to open the door for me is totally unnecessary. If that’s your thing, go with it.

I can pay for my own dinner. I get that the idea of a man paying for a woman’s meals has been romanticized, but honestly, I prefer the idea of a man respecting my wish to pay for my food with the money that I worked hard to earn.

The whole threat-of-rape issue that makes women feel as though they cannot walk at night by themselves is a sad truth in our society. But that doesn’t mean that I always need an escort home. The idea that women are the only ones at risk if they walk home by themselves is insulting to me. Guys can get mugged, assaulted, raped. Why can’t we just all look out for each other?

I don’t think there is such a thing as “necessity of chivalry.” I think there is a need for the respect and common courtesy that I mentioned earlier. We can all benefit from that, regardless of gender.

This post is brought to you by Dawn.

A Defense of Chivalry

7 Feb

Have you noticed that more guys are opening doors for women these days? I honestly cannot seem to walk into a building by myself.

Not that I’m complaining, because goodness knows I love the attention. But can chivalry be too much? Is there a point when chivalry challenges the idea of female independence, you know, with it being all about the man doing things for the woman?

There must be a line that separates simple human respect and a complete lack of female ability. What I mean to say is, at what point is a man so chivalrous, so willing to do it all, that it seems as if he is overriding a women’s ability to do things for herself.

It’s funny, because it used to be that women rarely walked anywhere in public by themselves. They needed to have an escort. Feminism has changed that by emphasizing women’s independence, yet chivalry is thought of in terms like damsel and knighthood. I think woman have long since proven they can be their own knights in shining armor, but what does that mean for chivalry?

There are actually dating sites now that teach men how to be chivalrous without threatening a woman’s independence. This site actually has feminist views on issues and finds a compromise at the end. For example a man reaches for his wallet to pay for the first date, but his date wants to pay for herself. Acocrding to Askmen.com, the man should pay. In fact, he should just be ready to pay for the first couple of meals/dates until a relationship is established. A woman may offer at times, if she so chooses.

I don’t see anything wrong with this social custom. As females, we shouldn’t be threatened by chivalry, we should be using it to our best advantage. If a so-called line is crossed, then individual situations will be tested. But what about taking chivalry (and the advantage it offers) in a different direction? Can a feminist honestly believe it’s OK for a woman to walk down a street late at night by herself, maybe even in a big city? There is a reason for old customs, such as walking a lady to her door after a date. It’s not just about male ego, it’s about safety. We all wish it wasn’t necessary to be so careful, but facing facts, women can be viewed as the “prey” so to speak. It’s not the “weaker sex”, more like a “gender challenge” that exists simply because of birth, not strength.

Chivalry could never die, but women will always have the right to refuse it. The generalization that chivalry encourages a male ego is only relevant to a society that has made it so. Can we change that opinion? How about 2.0 Chivalry, where the necessity of chivalry is used and the offense of it thrown out. I think with a few safe walks here and couple of free first dates there, this generation can surely learn to appreciate all the benefits of chivalry.

This post is brought to you by Kendra .

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