Forget Feminism: What About Kindness?

The Acculturated symposium, “Can Men be Men Again?” has evoked a very spirited and inspired response from our writers–and a rather passionate response from our readers.  Our writers have argued that there has been a breakdown in manly behavior in our culture. So in the comments section and in some of our posts, a question has arisen: Whose fault is it? Men’s or women’s?

I think this question misses the point. At least part of what lies at the heart of the degeneration of manly behavior and the general breakdown in how men and women treat each other is, I maintain, selfishness, ego, and what results when those two things exist excessively in one person: a decline in compassion and empathy, or the ability to put yourself in another person’s shoes.

This point really hit home reading Ben Domenech’s thoughts on the state of manliness in our culture. As the girlfriend of a complete gentleman and the sister of a fourteen year old who is learning the rules of gentlemanly behavior, this section of Ben’s post particularly moved me:

I remember the first time a woman swore at me, in Manhattan, for holding a door for her according to my Southern instincts, an indictment of old-fashioned manners in a compressed Bronx vowel. It was a jarring moment, and I have never forgotten it. I haven’t stopped holding doors open, but I’ve noticed others have. Men are all overgrown boys, after all (myself most definitely included)–it’s experience in life, the lessons we take from our mistakes and our triumphs, that makes us men.

I’ve seen this happen before to men with whom I am very close and it’s upsetting, to put the matter mildly. To put the matter more frankly, I think that there is something fundamentally wrong about what women like this do.

Being a good person is an act in two parts. It involves treating others well, as Ben tried to do here, but it also involves gracefully accepting the kindness of others. This woman failed to gracefully accept Ben’s kind act because she thought Ben was being sexist. Was Ben being sexist? I’m sure if you asked Ben–or any other man who holds doors open for women–why he did it, he will say that he was trying to be kind and gentlemanly.

But instead of taking that kindness on its own terms, this woman imposed her own beliefs and ideology onto Ben, as she probably has done with countless other men. In doing so, she makes these men feel like unenlightened sexist brutes. Why? Because she just has to make her political point. The social and moral cost of her ideological position is attacking men like Ben and their kindness. If that doesn’t constitute selfish behavior, I don’t know what does.

I think women like her underestimate how profoundly damaging and hurtful behavior like that is for men–and I think women have a moral responsibility, not to mention a social one, to consider that it’s not always appropriate to wave the feminist flag. (As for women who open doors for men and offer to help men with their groceries: If you do it out of kindness, and not for any political reasons, fine. But if the man insists on holding the door for you and carrying the groceries for you, why would you deny him the opportunity to do something that he thinks is good and decent?).

That said, I think that men have a moral responsibility too. I recently wrote an article in defense of chivalry for The Atlantic, challenging both men and women to higher standards of behavior. With the exception of a small handful of shrill ideologues, women (including many feminists) responded positively to my piece, which was a little bit surprising. But many men–too many men–did not. These men thought that women today did not deserve to be treated in a gentlemanly manner; they thought that women need to choose between accepting feminism or living in a culture where gentlemanly behavior is valued and encouraged; if women chose feminism, they should expect to be treated poorly.

What incentive, these men asked, do men have to treat women well? Their responses were, in fact, very similar to the responses you can read in the comments thread of Ryan Duffy’s recent post for Acculturated, where Ryan argued that men need to be trained to behave better.

I find these responses to be rather disturbing. The incentive to treat women–or anyone, for that matter–well is obvious. It’s the right thing to do. The moral systems from the major world religions, especially Christianity, are clear on this point. Even if you are not treated well by another person, you have a moral duty to be kind to them.  Women, who for physical reasons tend to be more vulnerable than men, merit special treatment in special circumstances, regardless–by the way–of their views on feminism.

So who is to blame for the cultural breakdown? We all are. Unfortunately, no one thinks that they need to change their behavior because they think the other side is to blame.

Actually, our relationships would be much better and stronger if we each put our egos aside and, rather than concern ourselves with how others should act, took extra steps to be better, kinder, and more loving to everyone–especially people we disagree with, especially people who treat us poorly. If we could each, individually, pledge to be more compassionate and empathetic, we would move forward in a really meaningful direction on such matters.

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Editor’s note: This piece is part of a symposium in which a variety of writers and thinkers weigh in on the question: “Can men be men again?” See earlier takes by Emily Esfahani SmithMark JudgeRyan DuffyMark TapsonR. J. MoellerBen DomenechAbby Schachter, and Anthony Dent. All of the posts are compiled here.

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85 responses to “Forget Feminism: What About Kindness?

  1. I remember once reading a comment about about Jane Austin and her enduring popularity with modern readers. One response that seems to come up over and over again is “where are the Mr. Darcy’s of today?” Yet if one looks at the world in which we live and compare it to that depicted in novels like pride and Prejudice, it becomes clear that the values of chivalry which Ms. Esfahani-Smith values so highly are impossible to the modern world. There can be no Mr. Darcy with an Elizabeth Bennet, no Mr. Knightly without Emma Woodhouse. The one reinforces the other, they draw forth the better sides of both their natures.

    In other words, there can be no chivalrous men if there are no women worthy of being chivalrous towards. And such women are very light on the ground nowadays. As a young(ish) man reading the article above, I can only find myself asking, “Chivalry? Why? What’s in it for me?” And the answer to that is “nothing at all.”

    Social codes are a mix of both expectations and rewards, with the latter being granted for meeting the former. In the Good Old Days the rewards for being a mensch were pretty straightforward – respect from society, a wife and family that, come good or bad, would likely stay by you…and yes, the prospect of sex on a semi-regular basis. But nowadays, what can a man who adheres to this code expect to receive? Not respect or a family…quite the opposite. Any man who displays those old virtues will be seen as a sap, a sucker, just waiting for the day when cupcake gets bored with the marriage, cheat on him with the bad boy at the local bar and runs off with the kids, the house and half his worldly wealth. As for sex…ever heard of Internet pornography?

    And for all this, thank the harpies of the feminist movement. Any attempt to restore respect and honor in the relationship between the sexes has to start with an honest acceptance of the differences between the genders, and that is something the femmies will never accept…unless it means they can proclaim the End of Men (thanks Hanna Rosin) or that Men Are No Longer Necessary (Maureen Dowd, bless her withered heart!) or every bilious exhalation by Marcotte, Valenti and their ilk. According to these ladies (and I use the term very loosely) Chivalry amounts to “soft sexism…” or some other nonsensical term that only an academic could have come up with. In other words, by holding a door open for a woman, a man is oppressing her. Glad to clear that up.

    It’s no surprise that fellows like Roissy, Roosh, the brave souls at A Voice For Men and other manosphere sites are seeing an increase in business. They speak to modern men about the world they actually live in, in words that are plainly understood. And they make it clear that chivalry is a suckers bet, and when it comes to the “fairer” sex, the best response is unremitting suspicion unless proven otherwise.

    1. God made and gave Man strength; physical, spiritual, emotional and intellectual. He did this so that man could ;
      !. Be a fit recipient of communion with Himself.
      2. Protect and provide for the needs of the Woman that God made for him.
      3. Protect those without strength.
      4. Subdue the earth
      The Chilvalric Code was the best expression of the 10th century mans desire to turn those strengths to those purposes.
      A young man should should be taught to honor that code because it will please God, fulfill his reason for existence, make for a society that is far more pleasant to live in that the prison mentality that seems to pervaid ours, and keep his soul from rotting from the inside out.

  2. “But if the man insists on holding the door for you and carrying the groceries for you, why would you deny him the opportunity to do something that he thinks is good and decent?”

    I agree with this. Kindness is kindness. I think the problem comes in if there is an expectation of submission on the part of the woman for accepting this kindness. IOW, don’t make the offer of kindness with an expectation of reciprocity (other than common civility) attached to it. Same thing goes for women who extend a kindness towards the opposite sex.

    “Actually, our relationships would be much better and stronger if we each put our egos aside and, rather than concern ourselves with how others should act, took extra steps to be better, kinder, and more loving to everyone”

    I absolutely agree with this.

  3. Men should support and love the women who love and support them back. Men (collectively) don’t owe women (collectively) ANYTHING other than law-abiding behavior.

    The world of chivalry and women on pedestals is GONE. It’s over. Women abandoned that social contract in droves, and now men are too.

    You may not like it, but it is the reality.

  4. “These men thought that women today did not deserve to be treated in a gentlemanly manner; they thought that women need to choose between accepting feminism or living in a culture where gentlemanly behavior is valued and encouraged; if women chose feminism, they should expect to be treated poorly.”

    Living in NYC and finding it practically impossible to meet a woman holding anything close to resembling traditional values, I totally understand this sentiment, though I believe it could be more accurately described as the thought that all of us – not just women – need to choose between accepting the results of a specific form of leftist feminism or living in a culture where gentlemanly behavior is valued and encouraged.

    The fact is that chivalry, to an extent, had a degree of give and take. The idea of a society in which chivalry permeated all regardless of behavior or station is a myth. I can assure you that gentlemen in the 1800s were most certainly not holding doors open for women from the lower orders – heck, civilian casualty lists from the Civil War even differentiate between ladies and ‘washer-women’. The terms ‘lady’ and ‘gentlemen’ are not mere synonyms for ‘woman’ and ‘man’, but denote those with specific values, manners, and behavior. If men are to start behaving like gentlemen, women need to start behaving like ladies too. It’s that simple. It seems pretty obvious that the decline in men behaving like men was brought on by consequences of radical feminism and the sexual revolution – i.e. the normalization of promiscuity and sexual relations outside the bonds of marriage. Until we address those situations the problem of the millennial man-child isn’t going to go away.

    1. Ed,

      Your way of thinking is part of the problem. “Women need to make the first move” is a childish way of looking at things. “They started it” might be a quasi-factual claim, but the question now is “now what?” Be a man in the way you think and in your own life. You are supposed to be a leader and that includes leading by example. That includes leading other men as well as women. Trust me, as much as women do not appreciate chivalry in theory, they will truly understand once they meet you (or me) who both believes and lives the code of men which they have only read about in fantasy books. They might not even like it initially, but have faith that you are doing the right thing and eventually they will start to believe it too.

      1. Anytime someone says, “be a man,” he’s about to hit you with something nasty and sanctimonious.

        Women are the civilizing element of society. They have abandoned decency and traditional mores. Men who are still chivalrous and get trashed for it stop.

        So what else are they supposed to do? Apart from “man up,” which they got trashed for doing?

  5. 1). It wasn’t men who set out to reconfigure male-female relations back in the late 1960s. That was women. So the unintended consequences need to be laid at their feet.

    2). Chivalry, in its classic form, was something men offered to women in deference for women’s respect. I don’t see the latter coming back anytime soon, so don’t expect the former to materialize.

    Saying we should “each put our egos aside and, rather than concern ourselves with how others should act” is sidestepping the problem, what social conditions created it, and what exactly men would get out of such a deal.

  6. “Men (collectively) don’t owe women (collectively) ANYTHING other than law-abiding behavior. ”

    Seriously? You are suggesting that people do not owe one another simple courtesies because “feminism?” Some pretty egregious behaviors fall short of criminality, and if you are claiming that people no longer have an obligation to avoid such conduct because women are seeking social equality, I am honestly not making the connection.

    1. But chivalry is courtesy given to women solely due to their gender. She’s mixing kindness and chivalry up, and they are two different things. What gets these guys irate is that it seems to them that women want egalitarianism when it benefits them, but also chivalry and preferential treatment when it does too.

      It can get humorous at times. The same people who rail against gender stereotypes when they get older also tell men to “man up” and bewail the lack of manly men when they need those qualities in their lives, like when they need a husband or lover. Kindness is done without regards to gender and its a gift; you don’t expect it, I agree, but you don’t demand it either.

      1. ” What gets these guys irate is that it seems to them that women want egalitarianism when it benefits them, but also chivalry and preferential treatment when it does too.”

        I hear this a lot, and am never quite sure what the point is…? Egalitarianism is primarily about treating others as you yourself want to be treated. Give us an example of the distinction you are attempting to make.

      2. I hear this a lot, and am never quite sure what the point is…? Egalitarianism is primarily about treating others as you yourself want to be treated. Give us an example of the distinction you are attempting to make.

        The point is that women want to be considered men’s equals, but at the same time, they expect men to defer to them. They want the benefits of manhood and womanhood.

        This is an example. It’s Emily Esfahani Smith’s own article in The Atlantic.

        Here’s another:
        http://dalrock.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/suzanne-venker-on-womens-rights-mens-responsibilities-and-why-she-divorced-her-first-husband/

        (Using Dalrock’s blog to provide context; Venker doesn’t consider herself feminist, yet she behaves this way.)

      3. Spot on, dmdutcher. Unfortunately, it’s a matter of convenience. Women do want egalitarianism when it benefits them but still expect chivalry and preferential treatment when that benefits them. For the cupcakes and special snowflakes out there, egalitarianism/equality/equality and chivalry/preferential treatment are mutually exclusive.

        ahunt says, “I hear this a lot, and am never quite sure what the point is…?”. Perhaps you should actively ask why you hear this a lot instead of mewling about your lack of understanding.

      4. Fair enough.

        Male-only clubs and schools: sign of the evil patriarchy

        Female-only clubs and schools: necessary safe space for women.

        Women in military: egalitarian ideal.

        Seperate physical standards so that women can qualify for it: preferential ideal.

        Along those lines. When arguments about manning up or manliness are made mostly for the benefit of women, when egalitarianism tends to make for men comfortable in not leading or fulfilling their old roles, we get the “Where have all the cowboys gone?” songs.Mostly because chivalry was always both good and bad.

  7. Yes , indeed … why should I act the gentlemen when there are no ladies about ?
    Women swear like sailors , do drugs and smoke just as men do , and aren’t bashful with their “I am woman , hear me roar !” stuff either.

    We keep hearing the question “Where have all the good men gone ?” being posed. Well , I have an answer for those with that question : They’re off with all the “good women”. When you find that place , let us know.

    It’s such an incredibly one-sided question. Everything about it is so ignorant and proud. “Where are the manly men ?” is asked as though there are any womanly women kicking around who deserve said mens’ attention.

    A little introspection is what women really , really , REALLY need today.

    1. “Yes , indeed … why should I act the gentlemen when there are no ladies about ?
      Women swear like sailors , do drugs and smoke just as men do , and aren’t bashful with their “I am woman , hear me roar !” stuff either. ”

      So what? You are essentially holding SOME women responsible for YOUR boorish behavior as well as their own. And that is as unmanly as it gets.

      Grow up, and take responsibility for your own conduct.

      1. It’s more than that. It’s about social expectations.

        Men are exhorted to respect women, yet women are told not to respect men, since respecting men is sexist.

        In a social milieu where women are told not to give much consideration to what men want, it makes no sense for a man to defer to a woman simply because she’s a woman.

        Sure, not all women are like that, but enough of them are and the culture insists they stay that way.

  8. I will be a chivalrous gentleman when I see a lady committing reciprocal acts… and I have not seen one in over 40 years.

    Open your own doors.

    Pay your own way.

    Protect yourself.

    Provision for yourself.

    Go fight for your life.

    Go get knocked up by the feminized youth being spit out by single mother homes, which constitutes over 80% of our imprisoned violent offenders.

    Where did all the real men go?

    We are right here… but you changed us…

    We are now indifferent about you and disinterested in you… indifferent and disinterested in your safety and security, health and wellness, or any other issue concerning you. In fact, if you were in front of us – on fire and dying – we would look quizzically at you, with a slightly cocked head, and we would not even piss on you to put out the fire.

    1. All the men, or just you and those with whom you speak, Jim? Your attitude is the opposite of Christian or of common decency.

  9. The question remains: what are women doing to deserve such treatment? Chivalry wasn’t granted to all women in the past; they had to be ladylike and of a high social class, pretty much the opposite of how modern culture teaches women to behave. In other words, only certain types of women got the treatment, and only if they behaved themselves.

    It’s not enough to say “treat women well just because”; acting like the old ways are still around won’t bring them back. Women have to do something to deserve deference.

    1. Once again YOU are responsible for your own behavior. Full stop. Feel free not to accord women any special deference, but the second your indifference crosses into boorish conduct, expect to be held accountable.

      1. Sounds fair, but I highly doubt that women will be held accountable for their boorish behavior toward men anytime soon. Our feminism-drenched culture will make sure of that.

      2. The problem though is a lot of this isn’t really about boorish behavior. It’s not boorish to like video games or dress casual, but both have been called unmanly here. While I don’t think the bittterness you see a lot of the MRAs have is called for, manliness is a different quality and argument altogether.

  10. At the very least, *Christian* men should treat even rude and disrespectful women with respect and kindness, because that is the way of Our Lord. He commands us to love those who hate us and to pray for those who persecute us. This command certainly applies to me, as a Christian man, and to how I should treat any radical feminist woman who acts disrespectfully (or even hatefully) towards me.

    1. Respect + kindness = Awesome. More people should practice compassion.
      Defining “showing respect” by a very specific set of tenth-century European customs and then imposing it on anyone, especially someone you don’t know well, and especially when it might be offensive to the other person (whether you understand why or not) = self-righteous hubris.

      When modern/feminist women say they want respect, they probably mean they want you to respect their boundaries, take their opinions seriously, boring stuff like that. Chivalry-style politeness with your aunt or your wife, if it’s something she likes, is just something personal and “nice”.

      Also, Christians haven’t cornered the market on being good people; again, hubris.

  11. “Women, who for physical reasons tend to be more vulnerable than men, merit special treatment in special circumstances, regardless–by the way–of their views on feminism.”

    No they don’t. Women deserve to be treated no better, nor worse, than men. This special pleading for women has to stop. Women like you who plead for special treatment for women while demanding equality in all areas are manipulative and exploitative – you are using your femininity to acquire special advantages. Your appeal to ethics and empathy only serves to disguise your selfish interests in advancing this argument.

    What you are doing, Ms. Smith, is using the feminist tactic of trying to obtain desired male behavior through pseudo-moral coercion rather than rewarding it with a reciprocal exchange. But today, women do not want to do anything for men. So it should be no surprise to you that men will reject these weak arguments to compel them to give women the special treatment you think they are entitled to.

  12. There was nothing disturbing in the comments section of the Ryan Duffy post. It was poorly thought out and reflected the lopsided nature of gender treatment in our culture today. His one-sided post deserved the criticism it received. This article, while not quite as overt as Ryan’s, is just as one sided. The onus, it appears, is on men here. As several others have pointed out, this is hypocritical, one-sided, unfair, and indicative of the entitled mentality from which many of modern society’s women seem to suffer.

  13. “I’ve seen this happen before to men with whom I am very close and it’s upsetting, to put the matter mildly. To put the matter more frankly, I think that there is something fundamentally wrong about what women like this do.”

    AND DID YOU SAY ANYTHING TO THE WOMEN IN QUESTION?

    Did you say “Hey, that’s rude/conceited/uncalled-for”?

    DID YOU?

  14. “These men thought that women today did not deserve to be treated in a gentlemanly manner; they thought that women need to choose between accepting feminism or living in a culture where gentlemanly behavior is valued and encouraged; if women chose feminism, they should expect to be treated poorly.”

    Not “poorly”. We’re simply treating feminists as the equals they always wanted to be. We’re treating you the way we would treat another guy, and you think this amounts to being “treated poorly” because you’re not used to it. Get used to it.

  15. I also remember the first time a woman swore at me. I held the door for her, her rejoinder was: “Who the hell do you think you are…Lord Fauntleroy?” Well, no, just an admirer expressing respect. Now I still hold the door for women, my mother wouldn’t have understood any other action. She was a Southern Lady. But ladies, we are growing tired of your behavior. My boys, 21 & 23 now, have girlfriends who I hope appreciate their behavior. The rest of you can go and enjoy the terminally rude boys you have created, and apparently want? Hell is what you create for yourselves.

  16. “In a social milieu where women are told not to give much consideration to what men want, it makes no sense for a man to defer to a woman simply because she’s a woman.”

    So the next rational question is…what do men want? Please be specific.

    1. That’s easy. A woman who is:

      – Good-looking and fit, putting effort into her appearance. Being under 30 helps immensely.

      – Kind and supportive, doing her best to keep her man’s spirits up (as opposed to incessantly demanding her way)

      – Sexually open to him (not withholding sex all the time) and loyal (cheating and cuckoldry don’t even cross her mind.) If a wife, she should not have had a large number of sex partners beforehand.

      – Appreciates the things he does for her (this goes triple if they’re married.)

      All of these drive feminists up the wall, since they state that a woman should actually do things to please her man if she wants a relationship with him, rather than have him do all the compromising.

      1. Um…none of this sounds unreasonable, nor particularly gender specific. Seem like decent advice for men and women alike, (though the “under 30” thing could be a dealbreaker in these modern times.)

        No, what I need you to show me is when-where-how feminists have objected to women pleasing their men and expected men to do all the compromising. Please be advised that the a single quote from a crazy person does not constitute evidence.

    2. Also, here’s something to illustrate what you quoted (I made this comment earlier, but it got stuck in moderation):

      I hear this a lot, and am never quite sure what the point is…? Egalitarianism is primarily about treating others as you yourself want to be treated. Give us an example of the distinction you are attempting to make.

      The point is that women want to be considered men’s equals, but at the same time, they expect men to defer to them. They want the benefits of manhood and womanhood.

      This is an example. It’s Emily Esfahani Smith’s own article in The Atlantic:
      (studebaker)/sexes/archive/2012/12/lets-give-chivalry-another-chance/266085/

      (replace (studebaker) with http-colon-slash-slash-www-dot-theatlantic-dot-com)

      Here’s another:
      (packard)/2012/11/29/suzanne-venker-on-womens-rights-mens-responsibilities-and-why-she-divorced-her-first-husband/

      (replace (packard) with http-colon-slash-slash-dalrock-dot-wordpress-dot-com)

      (Using Dalrock’s blog to provide context; Venker doesn’t consider herself feminist, yet she behaves this way.)

      1. Uhm…here is the problem. Smith rightly points out that modern feminism rejects chivalry in favor of “egalitarianism’…that is, treating others as you want to be treated.

        It is Smith who wants a return to the bad old days. The rest of us can get by with holding doors open for one another, splitting the check, picking up the check, assisting one another as we may, and just generally treating one another with mutual respect.

  17. All right then, let me shower you with real examples of feminists telling women not to respect men’s preferences or give him what he wants in the relationship.

    Here’s one good example:

    (buick)/5972788/no-one-is-entitled-to-sex-why-we-should-mock-the-nice-guys-of-okcupid

    (replace (buick) with http-colon-slash-slash-jezebel-dot-com)

    It attacks awkward men who want sex as “entitled” and “misogynist”; men who were nice to women because that’s what they’re told. Thus men must adjust their standards down; that is, they must compromise, whereas women don’t need to.

    Here’s another:

    (ford)/2012/07/25/women-and-objectification_n_1701275(tahoe)

    (replace (ford) with http-colon-slash-slash-huffingtonpost-dot-com and (tahoe) with dot-html)

    It is well-known that men like slender women. This, and a slew of similar articles, attacks that tendency as dangerous, calling it “objectification.” Since a man wanting his woman to be slender and sexually attractive to him is “objectification,” it is implied that she shouldn’t do it.

    This Daily Kos article is much more direct on this point:

    (toyota)/story/2012/08/12/1119353/-Objectifying-Women-Not-A-Progressive-Value

    (replace (toyota) with http-colon-slash-slash-dailykos-dot-com)

    Quite an open attack on male sexual preferences, damning them as illegitimate.

    Now, for the social aspects of womanhood and pleasing men: the concept of femininity is attacked in women, calling it a “gender stereotype” that must be defied:

    (chevy)/health-topics/sexual-orientation-gender/gender-gender-identity-26530.htm

    (replace (chevy) with http-colon-slash-slash-plannedparenthood-dot-org)

    Also consider the quote “Well-behaved women rarely make history.” Hardly a way to encourage niceness toward a man.

    And with all the emphasis on careers for women, housewifery is seen as awful:

    (jeep)/most-women-would-rather-divorce-be-housewife

    (replace (jeep) with http-colon-slash-slash-blogher-dot-com)

    Here’s a coup-de-grace from Christianity Today, of all places:

    (honda)/women/2012/november/how-not-to-help-all-single-ladies(accord)

    (replace (honda) with http-colon-slash-slash-christianitytoday-dot-com and (accord) with dot-html)

    Note that these are not rinky-dink blogs or organizations wallowing in the dark corners of the internet in obscurity. They are quite influential, and they don’t intend to change their tune about men anytime soon. The message is clear: men’s preferences are just some awful form of oppression.

    1. Sigh

      1) The vast majority of people want sex. While I despise mean-spirited mocking of anyone, the article is not questioning the desire, but rather, any sense of entitlement. It may be a bitter lesson, but it is one men and women alike learn pretty early. The socially awkward young woman will not be dating the handsome college quarterback, and is just as likely to be held up to ridicule and derision.

      2) The objectification of women is harmful to women. Full stop. It is not oppressing men when people to object to practices that are damagingl to women.

      3) Gender stereotypes are harmful to both men and women.

      4) “Well-behaved women rarely make history”

      Well, they don’t. Neither do well-behaved men. What’s your point?

      5) “…can turn into an intractable situation: a man who won’t give up his role as the breadwinner and a woman who would rather do anything than be a housewife.”

      I got nuthin’. What do you suggest?

      6) Venker…again?

      1. The objectification of women is harmful to women. Full stop.

        Now we’re getting somewhere. Objectification is merely when a man makes his sexual ideal known. This is very much a feminist attack on male sexuality, much like telling women to sleep with the “Nice Guys of OKCupid” rather than the guys they actually get aroused for. If a guy isn’t even allowed to be honest about what he wants, then male sexuality is being singled out for attack by feminists.

      2. When women demand a man that has a white collar job, they are objectifying men.

        When women demand a man that is much taller than the average man is, they are objectifying.

        Women objectify men as much as is the reverse. But women are blind to this, because they see their objectification as merely “preference” or “standards.

        Okay then, my “standards” are that you need to be in shape with a nice figure. Not objectification. Just can’t be attracted to women with extra weight.

        Sorry.

  18. “Objectification is merely when a man makes his sexual ideal known. ”

    Uh no…objectification is roughly, the viewing of women as sexual objects first and foremost, and subsequently determining a woman’s value based on her sexual attractiveness. (I think I have it right…feminists here will correct me if I didn’t, I’m sure.)

    1. “Objectification” is a feminist buzzword to describe and demonize male sexual desire. Like all modern liberal thought, it is an attempt to make words superior to physical reality.

    2. First off, visually evaluating women in a sexual way is a basic aspect of male sexuality. Feminists, however, want this defined as deviant, pathological behavior, since they are suspicious of male sexuality and seek to repress it as much as possible.

      Second, value as what? If you mean “value as a girlfriend,” then sexual attractiveness matters very much since the man plans to have sex with her (however, it is the height of idiocy for a man to evaluate one’s girlfriend or potential wife on looks alone — and most don’t.) If you mean “value in terms of personal accomplishments,” then emphasize these accomplishments, but don’t expect it to increase your sexual options. That being said, ignore comments about your looks if you don’t bring up sex and relationships.

      1. “First off, visually evaluating women in a sexual way is a basic aspect of male sexuality”

        I’m pretty sure it is a basic aspect of female sexuality as well, so it looks like feminists are seeking to define fundamental human sexuality as “deviant, pathological behavior.” Who knew?

        Value as a person, I believe is the issue. For example:

        person ex-green-bay-packers-cheerleader-fights-back-vicious-cyber-bullying-article-1.1260173

        Replace “person” with:

        http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/

  19. I’m pretty sure it is a basic aspect of female sexuality as well, so it looks like feminists are seeking to define fundamental human sexuality as “deviant, pathological behavior.” Who knew?

    It takes far more than looks to get a woman aroused. A man needs to go in the direction of “dark triad” traits to truly heighten his sexual pull. Women are not kept turned on by mere looks; while they do gravitate towards muscular men, musculature won’t be enough if he’s too compliant or “nice.”

    Even if male attraction triggers and female attraction triggers were identical (they aren’t), feminists do want to stop men from expressing their sexual desires, calling it “shallow” and the like.

    1. I don’t agree with this. Game stuff is mostly anecdotal, and originated out of very shallow men trying to pick up very shallow women in a hookup culture. It persists not because it’s been proven to be true, but it makes for a compelling story that flatters male prejudices about women; that they are irrational, self-harmful, and easily manipulated.

      Emphasis on compelling, especially when combined with real issues that men suffer, like how culture tends to ignore the man’s role and private pain in divorce, or how men are aimless and struggling to find new roles in which to live. I can understand why people believe it, but most of its philosophy needs to be called out as harmful and unrealistic.

      1. I doubt it’s anecdotal. That’s why I’m pulling up these academic studies; they show, systematically, that women have attraction triggers as well and that they aren’t random. Just like makeup, dresses, and an hourglass figure (not necessarily model-thin; one can have meat on the bones and still pull it off) hit most men’s attraction triggers and pave the way for female sexual success, Game paves the way for male sexual success. This is especially helpful to men who have been unable to attract the women they want, and don’t know how to do it.

        One doesn’t have to be sociopathic; they just have to be confident, show sexual interest, stay emotionally solid, and not grant a woman’s every request.* Passive, compliant behavior is the enemy.

        If men can get the women they want, and women can get the men they want, everyone wins.

        * I am not saying that if she refuses sex, push it on her anyway. I am saying that a man shouldn’t just give a woman something simply because she demands it.

  20. “dark triad” traits = women only want to be promiscuous with hot jerks…got it.

    I hate to belabor the obvious, but once again, all this silly meme boils down to is that women some/most men might want to have sex with do not reciprocate the desire.

    It is Club Scene soap opera.

    Now, where were…oh right: objectification.

    I would also point out to you that Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi, both women of power and influence…,and not, I think, generally considered potential sack partners…are still subjected to the nastiest of sexual objectification.

    Any thoughts?

    1. I would also point out to you that Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi, both women of power and influence…,and not, I think, generally considered potential sack partners…are still subjected to the nastiest of sexual objectification.

      They’re politicians. Everyone speaks viciously about politicians they don’t like, whether through sexual insults, religious insults, racial attacks, even accusations of treason. Unfairness is the rule, not the exception.

      1. Lemme get this straight.

        You appear to be claiming that sexual objectification of women is purely about mate evaluation, and that in pursuit of short term sexual gratification, men must be creepy man-whores.

        Yet every day, women see how sexual objectification is used personally, professionally, and now via social media… to insult, silence, hurt, intimidate and humiliate…

        (And we get to ignore it because what…boys will be boys? What?)

        …and every day people have no trouble finding people who actually like them to have sex with…long term, even.

        And yet you cannot understand why many women might view your claims with suspicion, thinking them disingenuous and self-serving and decidedly unsexy?

    2. I would also point out to you that Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman, both women of power and influence, and not, I think, generally considered potential sack partners, were still subjected to the nastiest of sexual objectification — BY FEMINISTS.

      1. Actually I’ll need cites on this, as every feminist I read, from McEwan to Marcotte called this crap out….repeatedly. And yes Bill Mahar is a misogynist little gnome. And don’t get me started on the disgusting sexist garbage hurled at Coulter.

  21. …in pursuit of short term sexual gratification, men must be creepy man-whores.

    Because if you’re a man, niceness won’t get you anywhere.

    Yet every day, women see how sexual objectification is used personally, professionally, and now via social media… to insult, silence, hurt, intimidate and humiliate…

    (And we get to ignore it because what…boys will be boys? What?)

    Women, to hear the feminists tell it, are just as tough and strong and independent as men. However, when verbal slings and arrows get directed at them, they suddenly become damsels in distress, appealing to either the authorities or to emotion to get the bad people to stop saying mean things, since they can’t handle it.

    As a result, the very idea of men checking out women’s physical attractiveness is demonized. If you state what you like on a woman, you’re a dirty pervert.

    1. “As a result, the very idea of men checking out women’s physical attractiveness is demonized. If you state what you like on a woman, you’re a dirty pervert.”

      Straw Man Much?

      I am actually fairly confident that good guys are having plenty of sex, because good guys do not believe they are entitled to sex.

      By your lights, men want it both ways:

      Demand that women endure buffoonery as the price of equality and then whine about how women are mean for rejecting buffoons.

      1. I am actually fairly confident that good guys are having plenty of sex, because good guys do not believe they are entitled to sex.

        I agree that no one is entitled to sex.

        By your lights, men want it both ways:

        Demand that women endure buffoonery as the price of equality and then whine about how women are mean for rejecting buffoons.

        Enduring buffoonery is the price of equality. If men can be castigated, women can too.

        However, I do not begrudge women for their attraction triggers. That means if they sexually reject the “Nice Guys of OKCupid” or any other unattractive guy or nice guy for that matter, I don’t see them as wrong.

        However, as the “dark triad” paper shows, buffoonery actually gives a man an edge in attractiveness to women. There’s also this:

        (fiat)/435388/article-1G1-139516525/young-women-dating-behavior-whywhy-not-date-nice-guy

        (replace (fiat) with http-colon-slash-slash-business-dot-highbeam-dot-com)

        Here’s the abstract:

        (hyundai)/content/klu/sers/2005/00000053/F0020005/00006758

        (replace (hyundai) with http-colon-slash-slash-ingentaconnect-dot-com)

        * All this is necessary to avoid the moderation filter.

  22. “However, as the “dark triad” paper shows, buffoonery actually gives a man an edge in attractiveness to women.”

    Uh Yeah…I was young once and all about the drama and the danger. I grew up. People do. By the time the postrgrad is out of the way, we gals pretty much have abandoned the fantasy of the sexy bad boy redeemed by the love of a good woman, and move on into relationships with the cute, smart, funny guy from Topeka.

    “Enduring buffoonery is the price of equality. If men can be castigated, women can too.”

    Again, Do not whine when women call out the mentality with all the contempt and derision it deserves.

    1. Problem is enough don’t move on that it leads to the men thinking bad boys are what they want, especially when things like fifty shades of gray exist. I think we as a culture really need to tell more stories that show that women really do appreciate and love good men over bad or flashy ones. Or even wounded ones; beauty and the beast for example has the bad message that a hot monster can be fixed, where a normal man secretly is a jerk.

      In the old stories, a woman would fall under the spell of a powerful or forceful man, yet come to realize he was harmful, and the other man who lacked those qualities was the worthwhile one if just because he tried to save her while she was being tied to the railroad tracks. I worry that these days, too many stories have the woman lined up to be tied up. When this happens, philosophies like Game arise.

  23. So, you would be unwilling to extend courtesy to me, since I am well over 30? Really?

    I was talking about sexual relationships, not common courtesy.

    1. But the subject of the article is courtesy. I realize that, as an older handicapped female, I no longer exist to some people…anyway, yay, my comments are finally out of moderation! I thought another year would have to pass….

  24. “When women demand a man that has a white collar job, they are objectifying men.”

    This one is interesting on a bunch of levels…man as wallet. Let us take them one at a time.

    Gone are the days when executives married their secretaries, doctors married their nurses and lawyers married their paralegals. These days, men are marrying their peers as never before (probably an important factor in the widening income gap), and I’ll see if I can find the peer reviewed studies that suggest younger men are looking for economic partnership in their marriage.

    It only makes sense for men to desire women with solid earning capability as lifemates, As women no longer need marriage to acquire financial resources, men are rightly seeking the benefits of sharing the financial load. More later.

  25. “Along those lines. When arguments about manning up or manliness are made mostly for the benefit of women, when egalitarianism tends to make for men comfortable in not leading or fulfilling their old roles, we get the “Where have all the cowboys gone?” songs.Mostly because chivalry was always both good and bad”.

    I’m in sympathy with this, largely because we are still struggling with concept of “power-sharing.” We’ll get there.

    “Male-only clubs and schools: sign of the evil patriarchy”

    Again, the only objection I have is when segregated schools are supported via tax revenue.

    Male only clubs come under fire as power-brokering stations that exclude women from the process. They are going the way of the Dodo because more women are moving into positions where exclusion would hurt the bottom line. My own guess is that men’s clubs will eventually make a comeback more as civic institutions with a specific mission. (Full disclosure…for roughly the last 20 years, the Better Half has participated in the monthly Men’s Hot Pepper Cooking Club. Its genesis was around the fire at hunting camp while the guys consumed some wicked venison chili. After two or three months, the ladies were invited, because apparently showing off for one another got old quick. The men still handle the main course and side dishes. We gals get the salads and desserts and we make them as sinful as possible.)

    “Female-only clubs and schools: necessary safe space for women.”

    Yeah, somehow guys are not as interested as in women’s clubs…this could change…and sooner rather than later.

    “Women in military: egalitarian ideal.”

    It was coming, largely because it was already here.

    “Separate physical standards so that women can qualify for it: preferential ideal.”

    Again…women are already facing combat…and w/o appropriate training…what is the alternative?

  26. My apologies for arriving late to this party. I would like to add my observations to something I witnessed just yesterday. My wife and I arrived at her doctor’s office at approximately 2pm. This was our first visit to the new office and it took a little getting used to. The waiting room was cramped and filled with patients older and younger than ourselves.

    There was a large flat screen TV to entertain us. The cable box was tuned to a program called “The Talk” hosted by Sara Gilbert (of Roseanne fame), Sharon Osbourne, Julie Chen, and Sheryl Underwood. The topic of conversation for the entire episode was about moaning loudly while having sex. Each guest was asked how loudly they moaned.

    I was appalled. At one point I lamented: “What ever happened to Merv Griffin?” I further fell into depression when the woman who was my senior replied: “Huhhhh?” Later, my wife informed me that other women looked at me like was a kook!

    Call me a kook but I remember a time when people were civilized. Merv Griffin is not commonly known as a great intellectual but he did possess an uncanny skill for disarming his guests. His guests primarily consisted of highly accomplished actors, actresses, and comedians.

    I remember one particular interview with Lucille Ball, who was getting on in years but was nonetheless elegant. At one point Merv asked her about Rock Hudson, who had recently passed away, and was then known to have been homosexual. (Remember at the time this was earth-shattering news.) To her credit Ms. Ball acknowledged the fact but focused on Mr. Hudson’s achievements in film and his great humanitarian spirit. She was diginfied. I know it sounds strange but she made me proud. At one point she resurrected her famous “Lucy” character to break the seriousness. We all laughed. It was indeed special.

    These types of interviews characterized Merv Griiffin’s style. His guests were famous unto themselves but his genious was in the way he evoked his guests to speak about other famous people in a biographical way. From the television watcher’s perspective you were treated twofold, first by the guest’s candidness, and second by the insight you gleaned.

    I remember two favorite guests of mine: Phyllis Diller and Dr. Joyce Brothers. Phyllis Diller, the comedienne, was the crazy aunt that wish you had. And Dr. Joyce Brothers was such a happy and sweet soul that I wanted to give her a big hug. She seemed to have multiple on-again-off-again relationships with the actor Burt Reynolds.

    I know that this sounds all terribly superficial. The point that I want to make however is the diginity and decency of it all, something that you find very little of today.

  27. ” Women, who for physical reasons tend to be more vulnerable than men, merit special treatment in special circumstances”

    How awfully sexists of you! Misogamy much?
    No, women do not ever deserve special treatment or consideration.
    (Anymore than a fish needs a bicycle,lol)
    We’re all ‘equal’ now. (Check your privilege !)

    Let me give you a real world example;
    In times past, if I were to witness a man, or woman beating a woman I would have intervened. (did once in each case, the second was a lesbian).
    What do I have to gain by doing so now?
    I will not get the respect or gratitude that I feel is owed me.
    Why should I risk my personal safety, life and limb for a woman ?
    Is her life more valuable than mine because I’m male?
    Wouldn’t it be quite ‘oppressive’, insulting and sexist of me to assume that she needed rescuing ?
    Like I said in an earlier post, I am a gentleman to MY women, most of the rest of you can go straight to h3ll.
    I owe you absolutely nothing. Expect that and you will not be disappointed.

    “regardless–by the way–of their views on feminism”.

    Her views on feminism – by the way – is the difference of me feeling empathy for her plight, or cheering her attacker on.(seriously)
    ‘Equality’ has consequences, as some of you women are just now starting to realize. (Gee toiling in the ‘salt mine’ isn’t as ’empowering’ as I had imagined. Gee, being a single mother, in poverty, isn’t as ‘liberating’ as I was led to believe.) Hence the flurry of recent articles attempting to shame men for the purely selfish choices that you women have made.
    It’s not our job to save you from yourselves. Nor is it our duty to make your loose daughters ‘honorable’.
    I for one, no longer have any issues with holding you to your ideology of man hate.
    Your misandry and male bashing was all fun and games while safely tucked away, inside the confines of your coven (women’s study group). What’s the matter, are you finally starting to realize that the real world is slightly different?
    Guess what ‘princess’, the world doesn’t care about you. It is cold, dark and mean. It has no regard for you or your hate masked as ‘independence’.
    Good luck with that.

    “So who is to blame for the cultural breakdown”?

    Women, who for intellectual reasons tend to be more gullible than men. Evidenced by the fact that they blindly worship a doctrine of man hate and perpetual victim hood, with a gospel of entitlement and privilege thrown in for good measure.
    ‘You don’t need no man sister cuz big daddy gubbermint, (the evil patriarchy), will supply all your needs according to his riches that were stolen from….. men’
    (and decent women). The hypocrisy and irony of women and feminism is just too much.

      1. maybe in terms of the violence bits, anyone deserves help in that situation.

        but in terms of the rest, i don’t know if a lot of the people here and certainly none of the women, understand what life is like for nice guys. i do, i was one for 15 years of mostly-celibate adult life.

        at some point you realize what ahunt said above, even she went through her bad boy phase and was looking for the nice guy down the road when she was thirty or whatever. a lot of women feel the same way– after a divorce, a pile of kids, etc etc.

        no offense, but i didn’t make a bunch of choices that will affect my life forever, so i’m not about to saddle up with tired women with kids looking for the nice guy to take care of them after they’ve been through the ringer that they chose to go through while ignoring guys like me for decades.

        most guys will choose to just be what women want, and in fact what they demand us to be by their approval, rewards, responses, etc. and that’s the bad boy. no question.

        again most people won’t understand, but it’s akin to taking the blue pill in the matrix. the entire world of women opens up, women smile at you, they laugh and touch your arm when you speak, and they do pretty much anything else you lead them to. in droves.

        my mom is a wonderful woman and she raised three boys to be the nicest guys ever. of course in retrospect, she married her adulterous boss to have us, and raised us to be perfect mates for a forty-year-old divorcee.

        what women say, and what women respond to, are entirely different things. i don’t have a biological clock that’s going off right now. i’ll risk all my worldly possession and likely loss of custody to have kids when i’m a lot older. for now i’m just the kind of guy girl love and it’s a hell of a lot more pleasant than being a heel.

        i’m still exceedingly polite, by the way. i’m just not someone’s white knight anymore. it was not a role that was in demand.

  28. So I experienced the lady getting angry because I held the door for her. She cursed said what ever blah blah blah. To all you immature idots trying to justifiy your own impolite actions, get a dam clue. You do not have to be rewarded for your actions. I hold doors and do nice things because I want to. It’s my way. I hold doors for women, children, old people, young people, and people carrying things etc. If you dont like that i do it or feel oppressed or what ever to dam bad. I do what I think is right regardless of how you feel about it. If you tell me you dont want it before you clear the door I do as you ask and let go. If it smacks you in the face you did it to yourself because you told me you didnt want me to be nice to you. At that point its done. I am from the south and not one single time has anyone got angry with me for an act of kindnesslike that in my 31 years. However in the north it seems to be rampant. As for the problem with man boys, A good asswhoopin has solved more of these issues than you can ever imagine. When you let children run a home because if you whoop that behind you could go to jail the world gets jacked up. The kinds dont learn right and grow up to be dirt bags. Ladies you need to learn about yourself and know your own limitaions. I can lift 300 or 400 pounds if need be. If you are struggling with that 40″ and dont want any help from me that’s fine. I hope you get it where you need to get it without any damage. I am pretty sure your back will be pissed with you about later. Point is you want to be equal but on average there are things you cant do alone. Me helping you is not calling you weak. You are prolly a on your way to being a lawyer or doctor. Thats awesome cause imma gear head/machinist/tech guy. I helped you tote your tv and you do my back surgery. No one person or gender can do it all we all have our strengths and weaknesses. I also have observed that the Feminist leaders or most hard core feminists seem to take on all the qualities of the type of men they are supposedly against. Anyone else notice that. It was pointed out to me by a lesbian friend of mine some years ago. Anyways imma end my rant. Enjoy…..

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