Manners or misogyny?

I am going to say something controversial here: hiding behind the mask of good manners, men are actually misogynistic when they hold doors open for females.

This is what I am hearing from social justice warriors (SJWs), third wave feminists, a few of my female friends. Such sentiments have grabbed my attention, especially over the past year or two, when I my hunt for counter arguments to feminism, the pros and cons – arguments from multiple perspectives. I wanted to form my own opinion, and to know that I had listened to voices from both side of the fence. My conclusion? I am ambivalent, as I cannot say that SJWs are positioning their argument from a place of selfish malevolence, nor can I say I disagree with the core belief that all should be equal. And yet, as is inevitable when dealing with subjective opinions, there are many facets to the subject of sexism.

Specifically, in regards to the title of this post, one point of view tells us that women are just as strong and capable, and don’t need to be pandered to. They are not the weaker sex, so don’t treat them as such by trying to compliment them, or by offering to carry their bags. As a man, you shouldn’t be holding doors open for females, making space for them to walk through the door first is an insult. No. Just. Don’t. Do. It. And don’t get offended when you ask ‘why’ you shouldn’t. Don’t expect an explanation, and what ever you do, don’t start ‘mansplaining’ your opinion on the matter. You have no right to; as a man you should know that you are inherently wrong in your perspectives regarding the two sexes.

And yet, a different view point to consider is that of manners: politeness, curtousy and respect for our fellow human beings. Now, before I start offend people that adhere to the previous opinion, let me state that I believe in equality. “An equalitarian!”, I would shout, if a label was required. That we all, regardless of sex or gender orientation, race, culture, status, age (ad infinitum), have the right to be treated fairly and with decency. But what I am finding unsettling is the current mindset of modern day/ 3rd wave feminism/ SJWs. The attempt to silence the opinions of the ‘others’ under blanket statements. ‘Internalised masogyny’, ‘cis white male’, ‘privileged’. Some arguements go so far as to say that, as men all have the capacity to rape, they are all rapists, whether having committed the offence or not.

What is happening here? Really. What?

I can only speculate that we are in a time where a new dogma is being dictated, and those that choose not to succumb unquestionably to its manifesto have their opinions dismissed with truisms, fallacies, anything so as to not open up a wider discussion and debate.

Back to the subject of title. The moment that inspired this post during my time at work this week – a building with many doors in many corridors, and men and women of all backgrounds as employees. A man, whom I can only assume is in his 60s, opened a door for his colleague, and said ‘hold on, let the lady (me) through first’. Now, who am I to stop and argue with a person that has been brought up with a set of manners by which to live? Am I really going to insult this person for his politeness? He was being considerate, doing what his manners told him was respectful- I would not consider to abide by the SJW dogma and tell him about his privilidge and misogyny. I cannot believe that someone with intentions to be polite, taught by a previous generation to respect and treat women with decency, deserved to be offended by countering his gesture. He is of a different generation to me, indeed, but yet why should we not respect that some aspects of the past can be socially graceful and not consider them an indirect comment on inequality?

At this point, I am sure that those that disagree with me will think, ‘he’s probably the sort to think women should be in the kitchen, not working’, or ‘all women should only be secretaries’. I don’t know what his opinion is on this. And I am not going to speculate. But what I will say is that we are lucky, all of us that live in a western society that has laws and rules, HR departments and, if we need them, courts that protect us from any abhorrent  comment or treatment based upon our sex, gender, (ad infititum). The protective measures are not perfect, but this is the case for BOTH males and females – both sexes suffer shortfalls in protection from unequal treatment.

I will touch upon this in a later post, but for now, how about we show a little respect for others who truly believe that they are being a polite member of society through little gestures, such as opening doors. There are greater things in the wider world (female genital mutilation, forced marriage, education gaps for females) for SJWs or modern day feminists to focus on. For that is the pure cause of feminism- to fight for equality among the sexes. Not, as we have it currently under this new-wave movement, to silence men by shouting fallible western issues in their faces.

This post was a little hasty, so I am sure is full of things that need expanding on, grammar issues and typos, but leave comments if you’d like a discussion.

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