Gee, didn’t we resolve this one by the end of the 1970s? I thought even the most strident of feminists eventually came to the conclusion that they liked having doors held open for them by men. Are we going to refight this backwater skirmish in the culture war yet again?
I guess so. First up, the shot:
If you’re the sort of gentleman who holds the door open for a lady – or the sort of woman who expects him to – then be warned.
Such acts of chivalry may actually be ‘benevolent sexism’ in disguise, according to researchers.
Experts say this type of sexism is harder to spot than the ‘hostile sexism’ we are more familiar with – because it often masquerades as gallantry. It is typified by paternal and protective behaviour, from encouraging smiles to holding doors open.
US researchers argue that while women may enjoy being showered with attention, benevolent sexism is ‘insidious’ and men who are guilty of it see women as incompetent beings who require their ‘cherished protection’.
Professor Judith Hall, of Northeastern University in Boston, said: ‘Benevolent sexism is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing that perpetuates support for gender inequality among women.
‘These supposed gestures of good faith may entice women to accept the status quo in society because sexism literally looks welcoming, appealing and harmless.’ [So a variation on the false consciousness trope that socialists have been claiming only they can spot since the days of Friedrich Engels 120 years ago. Gotcha.–Ed]
—“Why chivalry may not always be what it seems: Men who hold doors open and smile may actually be sexist, study claims,” the London Daily Mail yesterday, in their Science & Tech(!) department. (Shades of Ace’s recent “I Love Science Sexually” Twitter persona.)
And now the chaser:
Almost every time a pop-feminist critiques science or a scientific study, their argument is built on a strawman. In general, pop-feminists misrepresent published scientific work without providing links to primary sources. Pop-feminist articles (found here and here) are generally put-together wholly from second-hand material – stories about studies – not the studies themselves. Not only is this bad feminist critique; it is bad journalism.
It is ironic that in 2014, the women who confirm Thomas Gisborne’s eighteenth century sentiments are feminists who enjoy the most media privilege. (Academics in gender tucked away in universities all over the world, have used close application to develop nuanced ideas). Pop-feminists have not.
And it is sad that we have reached a point where to criticise anything labelled as “feminist” is to invite a slur on one’s character. Slurs of “sexism” are ubiquitous. Any disagreement – no matter how sensible – is “trolling,” “abuse” a “backlash” or a “silencing”. Women like me, who simply call for feminism to rediscover Enlightenment principles, are labelled “female misogynists” on Twitter. But the slurs really must stop. Writers who wear their ignorance as a badge of honour are not models of empowerment. News outlets should not have to disrespect women’s intelligence to make their platforms viable.
—“Bad Feminism,” Australian blogger Claire Lehmann, March 5th. Always nice to see a bogus study “prebutted” the week before it runs. But if some women want to go through life believing that every man who holds a door for them and/or smiles at them is “insidious” and secretly believes they’re “incompetent,” hey, have at it. Sounds like both a self-fulfilling prophesy and a recipe to go through life in a perpetually miserable mood.
Speaking of which, that last sentence we quoted from Lehmann dovetails well with two items making the rounds on the Blogosphere today, which we’ll explore right after the page break. I’d click the page break for you, but that would be highly problematic on so many, many, multifaceted levels.
First up from the land of the Socialist Justice Warriors, from Ace:
● “OMG: YA Author Explains Why He Has Few Female Characters In His Books, Says the Most Sexist Thing Possible.”
And the usual SWJs explode on Twitter then dive for the fainting couches. (Both despite the author being, I believe, a fellow lefty.) Note this pushback from Ace:
I saw one person try to claim that feminists didn’t hector and bully Smith by tweeting, “Shall we revisit the difference between criticism and bullying?”
And yet she herself is now complaining of the “bullying” that Smith’s “critics” are now facing.
So yes dear-heart, let us revisit the difference in your stupid Hate-Robot mind between “criticism” and “bullying:” “Criticism” is what you do to others, but “bullying” is what others do to you.
Is that pretty much it, Princess?
Sorry Ladies, if you want to be taken seriously as thinkers, it’s time you started showing the chops of a serious thinker. And this constant “One rule for me because I’m special and another rule for you because you Suck and you’re Boy!!!” nonsense is not adult thinking.
It is the thinking of a spoiled, rotten stupid child.
Do you really think that you are the only ones permitted this ugly, nasty third-grade-girls game of choose the Butt and circle around him and spit venom and humiliation at him?
And then from Stacy McCain:
Wow, I had no idea one author and columnist could shape so much of today’s culture! What on earth did Pavlich do? Twitchy notes that she spoke at “Iowa State University on the topic of “Sexual Assault on Campus: A Conservative Perspective” and made the suggestion, that you know, carrying a gun and knowing how to use it is a pretty darn good rape deterrent. Common sense for the rest of us, highly, highly problematic to those “co-majoring in ISU’s Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture (GPSA),” which include such valuable farm-related topics as “symbolic interaction, narrative construction, inequality, gender, social change:”
the construction of masculinity in agriculture, the integration of justice within the sustainable agricultural paradigm, feminist pedagogical approaches, the symbolic uses of “human nature” and its connection to social inequality, the control and revision of cultural narratives, gendered organizations and institutional change, the privatization of the public university and the changing place of public science, and environmental justice social movements.
As Stacy writes, “The question is not why ‘controversial’ Katie Pavlich was confronted by protesters at ISU. The question is: ‘Do Iowa taxpayers know what kind of lunatic gibberish is being taught at ISU?'”
Hey, those Starbucks counters don’t man themselves you know.
Related: How much benevolent sexism is implicit in the men who hold the doors for women on their way to sharing an Eyes Wide Shut party together?
Life is just so complex and problematic these days, particularly when you’re living in the midst of those wallowing in perpetual “Offensitivity.”
More: “What’s fascinating here is that the social justice left has created a device to literally cocoon themselves away from the world. This isn’t a tool to avoid harassment (or, at least, it isn’t in my case). It’s a tool to willfully ignore any argument that they disagree with. I mean, let’s be honest, the odds of me organically running into a person on Twitter with the handle ‘SJW Vivian’ is very very low. Minuscule. But she can’t take that chance! She can’t risk hearing someone offer a thought she can’t handle! So she must build a wall to keep all impure thoughts out. Her feels, her feels, won’t someone think of her feels!”