|chauv-alry/ "benevolent sexism"
||[May. 4th, 2012|12:33 am]
wtf? that's sexist!
Does anybody else get even remotely as ticked-off as I do at "benevolent" forms of sexism (which I like to refer to as "chauvalry")? I can't stand it when I get treated like I can't/shouldn't/shouldn't have to perform simple-if-tedious mundane tasks (like catching a bus, hanging up a sweater, opening a door, etc.), or always need help with semi-everyday tasks like carrying stuff just because I'm female. I hate guys that constantly ask me "Are you okay? Are you okay, honey?" (*puke* for any use of cutesy pet names used in earnest by non-significant-other/close friend/familypeople.) for no apparent reason as if I must constantly be in some kind of distress purely by virtue of having two X chromosomes. I dislike the othering aspect, I dislike the implication that I (and women as a whole) are high-maintenance at best and helpless at worst, and I dislike the patronizing behavior packaged as fondness and affection.
Worst is when some middle-aged man is staring down at me (I'm rather tiny at 4'10", which I strongly suspect compounds this/attracts more of this type of behavior than if I were simply female + conventionally attractive; but, of course, I've the triple threat) from the door he's holding open with a big ol' smarmy smile on his face. It seems to happen at least once a week to me, ugh. I once told such a guy, "Come on, let the door go. It's not like my hands don't work." He patted my head and made a snickering comment about "oh, well, aren't you Little Ms. Independent" whilst leaning back with his hands in the air - the universal gesture for "Hey, I'm unarmed!" (i.e. "I'm innocent and you're just being an oversensitive douche!"/"It's easier on my ego to make over-dramatic gestures instead of actually thinking about the effects my words and actions may be having on you!") Yet another guy, to basically the same comment, said in the type of kissy-lipped voice one uses when talking to puppies, "Well, they're just so delicate that it's hard to remember that you even have hands!" Uuuuughh, kill me.
Most infuriating of all is that, when I tried to explain to a man that it's othering - it's treating me like I'm something different due to being a woman, he stared blankly, laughed, and said "but you ARE something different!" *eyeroll* Go ahead and grimace and whine about how you're "just trying to be a gentleman!" all you want; I'm a fucking individual, and the way to be gentle and polite to me? Is to get the fuck out of my way, and let me do shit for myself.
Perhaps even more infuriating than that, is that when I tell other women I know about this, they side with the men, saying "aww, he was just trying to be nice!" or "Sometimes you just have to play to that to get your way - guys love that damsel n distress thing; it gives them an ego boost! So sometimes you just gotta be nice and let them think what they want!"