Monday, April 17, 2006

Chivalry today?

Another woman writer remembers the heroic men of the Titanic and promptly exploits them to argue that modern man is an uncivilized grunt who's forgotten his manners. She laments an assumed decline in "gentlemanly behavior", even while managing to point out by quoting one suspect gentleman that "women are adopting 'an à la carte approach to women's rights and civil euality'". She goes on to say "A man giving up his seat to a woman ... [is] ... a simple show of respect. Respect not just for the woman, but also for himself. It shows that this man believes himself to be a gentleman and holds himself to high standards. Those standards are more important than enjoying the comfort of a seat on his morning commute." She finishes by thanking the men of the Titanic for their "gentlemanly gestures" in dying for their women and children.

On behalf of those men of the Titanic and speaking as a man with some remaining shreds of gentlemanly self respect, albeit badly tattered by the modern machine, I would like to ackowledge Ms. Lukas' gratitude. However, I would like to point out that the men she thanks are long dead, heroic, but long gone, so are their women and many of their children. I would also like to know what of ladylike behavior today? How is she going to show her respect for me? What do I get, these days, in return for giving up my seat to a woman who is supposed to be my equal? It is very hard not to see it as giving up a tiny advantage in the race of everyday life. Now that women are running alongside us, this is akin to ceding the race before the starting gun is fired.

In short, I think Ms. Lukas is a wolf in sheep's clothing. She wants her cake and eat it - all the advantages of being both a "lady" and a "woman". That said, my conditioning is strong enough that I would more than likely hold a door open for her, but I'll think twice about giving up my seat unless she's pregnant, old, or infirm. Suck it up ma'am.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Right On Dog!

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