Yes! I am a male feminist in that I believe women should have equal opportunities, pay, and the like. Also I despise pornography and the objectification of women. But I do have a question regarding "being a gentleman". As a fellow who is straight I like to act chivalrous towards women which usually regards the quaint little things such as:
-Getting/holding the door for a woman
-Walking her back to her home/dorm/car
-Paying for the first date
Now what I'm wondering is if this is wrong? I realize in the end it is a different treatment women from men than how men treat other men, but does feminism mean absolutely identical treatment of both sexes in nearly every regard?
I'd like input on this.
I think it should be done for everyone. I mean, I try to hold the door open for people, just in general, and it's a kind thing to do to want to walk your date back home, or wherever, or to pay for the first date. However, you shouldn't feel like you have to. If she wants to pay for it, then by all means, let her. If she wants to walk you back home or wherever, then there shouldn't be a big problem with that. Overall, I think chivalry is just an extension of good manners, and it's really nice that you practice this.
I'm actually a bit annoyed by the whole ''walking me home'' thing. I am a trained martial artists whom could take most people in a fight, but my male friends still insist on walking me home because I'm a girl and therefore always a victim they have to defend.
On a side note: It's nice to treat everyone with manners.
I think that there is nothing wrong with those actions in general.
I've met many feminists who say they are fine with a guys being "gentlemen" in those manners.
But I also find the word "gentlemen" to have multipule and very different meanings for each person who encounters it.
Personally, I get pretty indignant when guys just hold the door open for me. I have two hands; I can do it myself.
And if walking me home, if we are engaged in intesnse conversation and I don't feel that there is an underlying motive ("I HAVE to walk her home and make small talk becasue it is what a gentlemen does." as opposed to "I want to walk her home because I want to talk to her/spend more time with her/etc." is NOT okay).
As for paying on the first date: I don't think it is a RULE that guys should pay on the first date. I honestly think that women shouldn't take that for granted. I offer to pay for my own food even with family. I agree, though, that if a guy insists that he would like to pay for your food, it is okay. I'm not really one to take charity...but in this case I'm afraid I make exceptions.
Basically, though, I think every girl has their own views as to what makes a gentleman a gentleman, and, if the guy wants to be "perfect", he should endeavor to know the specifics of the desired female and act accordingly. Still, though, I would rather someone be themself (even if that self is the complete opposite of the female's definition of "gentleman") instead of acting like someone they just completely are not.
In my personal opinion, holding the door for anyone is lovely, I accompany and am accompanied by my male and female friends places, and the person who asks for the first date should pay for that date. I'm bi; if I ask out a man or another woman, should (s)he have to pay?
I was just about to say all of those things. So, two votes on this opinion.
Also, I frequently walk my small girl friends to safety, simply because I am much larger than they are. Also I generally carry pepper spray.
As long as you expect sex simply because you held the door, paid for the date, and walked her home, no, I don't think it's wrong. I understand some women may disagree with me about the things I just listed, but just as John Green said that marriage is about mutual generosity, obviously the relationship leading up to that should be about mutual generosity as well.
For example, my boyfriend and I: who ever is in a better financial situation (typically him) is the one that pays. But I have paid for dates before and a lot of our dates were watching shows from my netflix because we're poor college kids. But even when he is generally spending more money, I still return his gesture of paying will small things that add up overall, like shoulder massages, make him hot chocolate (when he's stressed with homework, but too proud to ask), and one time I finalized his school schedule for the fall semester and did his math homework because he was in Ireland with our university's marching band!
Also, specifically about walking a girl home/to her car/to her dorm: I used to go salsa dancing without my boyfriend because it wasn't his thing, and I would go by myself because I would just meet people there that I knew to dance with. He offered to walk me there but 1) I still had to walk home alone and 2) it was winter at the time, and I told him he didn't have to since it was so cold and kind of a long walk. However, one night I was approached by two guys that I hope were drunk-- I hope no sober person would be as crude and forward as they were-- and they followed me for a few blocks. After that, I gave up salsa dancing completely because I was so scared that night and it scared my boyfriend as well.
To sum it up, as long as your intentions are good, and the relationship consists of mutual and equal generosity, there is nothing wrong with expressing your affections in what could be considered "special treatment" or "outdated" or whatever else is said about chivalry.
Don't you mean as long as you DON'T expect sex just because you did nice things? Typos like that can carry a lot of weight.
hahaha whoops you are right.
negatives are usually pretty important.
I don´t know the situation in the U.S. but in Austria (german- speaking small Country in Europe) i think the "date- culture" is very differse. I think most people would expect the man to pay for the first date, maybe also when the date went bad. But of course there are more open-minded people who don´t want to fit into such stereotypes and so the check is split or the women pays or they have dinner at home or they do something completely for free so that noone has to pay for nothing. :)
If your asking because of a specific situation in your life, for example whether you should or should not pay for the first date with a person you like, i will quote John and say : "use your words".
I hold the door for everyone.I offer to walk people home/to their car/wait for their rides to come pick them up, etc. And personally, I've never been on a date, but when I do go on one, I won't expect the guy to pay for me, and I won't let him do it. I feel like the American society makes men feel like they have to hold doors and do other "chivalrous" things because that's the only way that a girl will respect you and eventually, trust you enough to have sex with her.
I would have to say that holding the door for people is a rather expected variety of chivalry, regardless of gender. I would also have to say walking someone home is a good thing, because even if she is a black belt, getting accosted is never fun. Paying for the first date is a little antiquated, and in my opinion seems like flaunting cash in the direction of someone who statistically will not make as much as you do, especially if you met her at work. The offer to pay is fine, but don't make the assumption that you should pay.
Ultimately, I think what worries me most about your question is that you still think of it as "chivalry". "Chivalry" was started as an elite code of conduct for horse-riding knights (les chevalier), and is foremost concerned with the rules of engagement (in battle). These rules are greatly concerned with fairness, especially to those who do not have a horse to ride.
In the late 19th Century, when England was at the height of its Empire, and the so-called "White Man's Burden" was at its most intense, chivalry was revived for the general masculine populace. Informing this chivalry at that time, more than the time before, were the ideas not only that women were weaker physically, intellectually, and morally; but that they represented an earthy and corrupting factor on men and that they represented the motherland and needed to be protected. It is this kind of chivalry that finds itself alive today, a kind of chivalry that sees women as inferior, dangerous, and ... well, inferior again.
So ... stop calling it chivalry. Stop thinking of it as your masculine duty. Just be good to people.
"Just be good to people." - Ivy
^I like it.
The key phrase (for me) is "I like". You like to do it. You don't have to, you're not obligated to...it is not forced upon you. Will you meet women who don't appreciate that? Absolutely. Are there women who look for doors to be held for them? Certainly.
For me, feminism is about giving everyone the choice (when respecting everyone else) to be exactly who and do exactly what makes them happy. To work a job they enjoy, to wear the clothes that express their soul...to respect everyone for exactly who they want to be/who they are. (men, women, transgender/agender included).
So my answer is that feminism is not treating everyone identically, but giving everyone identical degrees of respect and opportunities for financial self-sufficiency, safety, self-expression and civil rights (on a societal/governmental level).
Does that make sense?
So, as far as the door - if you're worried, just ask her! :)