Disclaimer – This letter speaks from the author’s personal experiences with and confusion resulting from feminist behavior.
Dear Modern Feminists,
After your recent March on Washington, you have left both me and many other people like myself confused as to what it is you really want.
Equal rights for equal work, equal opportunity… We’ve heard it all before, and we have heard you. Change has come, and American women today have more rights than anywhere else in the world. Not just rights as women, but rights as people. There is no more “glass ceiling,” and there is truly nothing you can’t do. Women are strong and capable.
I am not here to argue about that, nor am I here to argue about wages and jobs. What’s on my mind is this: what do you really want to achieve from a social perspective?
A little while back, I asked a girl out on a date. She graciously accepted, and we went to dinner the following night. There was plenty of intelligent conversation, and when the topic of gender-roles came up, she quickly stiffened up into a feminist routine. She made some points that I hadn’t considered before, and I was thoroughly impressed with how well she expressed herself.
She spoke about her feelings with conviction, and it showed. “A new era has come. There should be no more roles of men and women in the home.” While I disagreed, I could tell she was adamant about her opinion and I wasn’t going to be the guy to change it.
We received our dessert and when the check came, with no hesitation I picked it up to pay. Standard procedure on a dinner date, if you ask me. But then it occurred to me: if there shouldn’t be any gender roles in the home, why isn’t she splitting the bill, or at least offering to? I reached for my wallet and clumsily juggled it around, all in an attempt to grant her time to make some gesture to pay. Alas, it never came.
When we exited the restaurant, I held the door open for her, and I held the door again as we climbed into the car. I was thrilled that, even with her strong views, she allowed me to be courteous to her as a man to a woman.
However, the courtesy on that date stood in stark contrast to another experience I had on a dreadfully rainy day in New York City last winter.
I was entering a Starbucks location in Midtown, and behind me was a group of three girls. When I pulled the door and gestured at them to enter, their reaction shocked me. They berated me in front of the entire coffee shop and called me a “misogynistic SOB.” “We are perfectly capable of holding a door open for ourselves” they shouted. They continued in their attempt to degrade men’s treatment of women and even said “we don’t need no man.”
I would have held the door for for a group of guys just as easily. However, it amazed me that a common courtesy provoked such a reaction, just because it was from a man to a group of women.
I know these are two extremes, and there is plenty of room in between. But the level of confusion within the feminist community itself has dumbfounded me. There should be clear goals, or at least some sort of consistency.
“If a women doesn’t at least offer to pay the bill, she wasn’t taught right. If a man doesn’t pay the bill, he wasn’t taught right.” This is a statement I grew up hearing, and it still rings true today. However, women can’t demand this double standard and then exclaim that chivalry is dead. There are gender roles in the home as well in a society, and they aren’t demeaning to either sex. Enjoy the benefits of whichever sex you are, and live as fulfilling a life as possible. Not as a man vs. a woman, but as human beings on this earth.
A concerned man.