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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 .

Growing up with feminsm

18 Jan

I don’t think there was ever a point when I didn’t know about feminism, or in my case, something like it.

My family is one of politics, and my childhood is a testament to that. My mother could plainly be construed as a feminist. At times my mother was irrationally against world, but then at other times she was just a woman not acknowledged. While she argued with countless people on the unfair treatment of her as an employee in reference to a male co-worker, I was watching from the floor playing with my dolls (an eclectic collection because my mother didn’t like Barbie). In the fifth grade I was never picked first for dodge ball, an event  my mother attributed to boys’ parents being horribly sexist, even though everyone in class knew I was a bit of daydreamer and always the first one out.

I was a girly girl who didn’t see the sexism or inequality, while my mother dealt with it directly every day. I was always taught that equality could never be expected of society; instead I was to work harder and trust that I was just as good, if not better. See, for my mother there wasn’t feminism, just a severe lack of respect for women and their roles in society. She was one of the many that were not heard and not respected.

It was different for her then, and while I don’t think it’s necessarily better, the growing support of feminism is encouraging. You can’t pretend it doesn’t exist anymore. What strikes me the most about feminism is its persistence and dedication to an ideal that this is a free country and we should all have choices.

Today’s feminist ideas are everywhere. It seems to be an age where we are all quite aware of the issues facing women in the workplace and at home. The blogs on feminism are everywhere, all discussing the women’s freedom of choice and getting the word out that feminism is real and strong. There are still women all over struggling to break free from classic molds created in the 40’s by irrational minds, but they’re trying to break free and they are getting the support to do so.

This post is brought to you by Kendra.

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