Posts Tagged ‘chivalry’

So if you follow me on twitter (I don’t recommend it, I’m banal and highly annoying), you might have seen me going back and forth with a number of other twitterers about gender, male privilege, and some other highfalooting concepts with which I’m sorely underqualified to deal with. I’m a very tactile person. I deal best with what I can touch, taste, smell, and feel. I like the feel of boobies, the sound of a Hemi exhaust, and the taste of bacon. The conceptual and theoretical, I sometimes have a hard time dealing with because I don’t necessarily see how it relates to the real world. That said, there are people far better than me at explaining the theoretical, especially in terms of race and gender politics. I present:

Saida

SisterToldja

R. L’Heureux Lewis: Who wrote this treatise for the existence of Black Male Privilege

Here’s Brother Lewis speaking at Morehouse’s Founder’s Day Symposium:

If you’ve been an unfortunate witness to my sloppy back and forths with the above folks, you’ll know I carry a certain amount of skepticism about the concept of “Black Male Privilege.” I’m not saying it doesn’t exist. I just haven’t necessarily been sold on the idea that there’s something particularly special about Male Privilege as it relates to Black men.

What’s more interesting, I think, is how we address these concepts in reality, and in particular, in relationships. What a lot of my intellectual friends have suggested is a pathway towards making men and women more equal. Reducing the negative effect of male privilege and patriarchy on women, so that they have greater opportunity, safety, and stature.

I fully support this. But one of the things that I think will make an interesting sideshow to this is the fact that:

women still want a man that’s more powerful than she is!

Even a couple of the women I’ve mentioned above have had conversations with me saying that they either want or expect either an Alpha Male, or for a man to contribute financially to a relationship on a higher level than she is. If that’s the case, isn’t that a huge disincentive for men to give up what privilege they have from a socioeconomic perspective? After all, if women typically want a man that has more power/money/status than they do, why would men want to dismantle the power structure that provides them with these traits? I ask this as a means to discussion, not to prejudge an argument. Seriusly, I really think this needs to be talked about. I find it especially interesting that even very feminist women who rail against patriarchy are often themselves still somewhat tied to gender roles in their personal lives. I was watching Millionaire Matchmaker the other day (which probably deserves its own slice of the gender/socioeconomics discussion as men who have some kind of male privilege basically get to pick and choose from throngs of young, attractive women) and saw this:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Ain’t it wild to see women pushing for what many consider to be antiquted gender roles which clearly label the man as the stronger, protective party and the woman as the person to be taken care of while the man argues against it? I mean, think about that for a minute. Who’s right? And where does buddy’s hesitance to engage in chivalry come from? Is it a legitimate attempt to treat women as equals as opposed to being patronizing, or is it just laziness and narcissism? And is Patty right? If gender roles HAVE worked for millions of years, what happens when those gender roles change? How do both men and women adapt successfully to these changing roles? Or is that impossible?

As women and men: how do you deal with these sometimes conflicting issues? Discuss.

So if you stopped by yesterday, you saw a pretty heated debate both here and on the Twitter (I like adding the word “the” in front of stuff for no reason) about Morehouse’s new dress code. In summary, some supported it, some didn’t, but pretty much all the disagreement was centered around whether or not men should be allowed to wear women’s clothes on Morehouse’s campus. No one even touched the issue of sunglasses or gold grills or sagging pants or hoodies inside, so I’m going to have to infer that everyone’s fine with banning these things. After all, these are accoutrements of the underclass, and no one wants to be associated with poor blacks. It’s fine to judge and look down upon people socio-economically, as long as it doesn’t infringe upon a gay person’s right to wear the new Louboutins (sp).

But what about a straight person’s right to do the same? Aisha1908 on Twitter made the point that dressing in women’s clothes and being gay aren’t necessarily synonymous. There are straight dudes who wear women’s clothes:

Do I have a problem with the above gentlemen’s choice of haberdashery? Nope. Do I respect the right of a private institution to say, “naw, folk, you ain’t fina come to class like that.” Yup. But we’ve already hashed out that discussion.

The question that lingers in my mind is just this: Is there any room for gender roles left in our society? Am I, and the people who agree with me, a bunch of out of touch dinosaurs hellbent on maintaining a heteronormative society by brutally squashing people’s right to express themselves?

Whooo! Fuck womens rights! Yeah!

Whooo! Fuck women's rights! Yeah!

If you were wondering, from Wikipedia:

Heteronormativity is a term for a set of lifestyle norms which indicate or imply that (1.) people fall into only one of two distinct and complementary sexes (male and female) with each having certain natural roles in life, and that (2.) heterosexuality is the only normal sexual orientation, thus making sexual and marital relations appropriate only between members of the opposite sex. Consequently, a heteronormative view is one that promotes alignment of biological sex, gender identity, and gender roles to the gender binary.[1]

Those who identify and criticize heteronormativity say that it distorts discourse by stigmatizing and marginalizing some forms of sexuality and gender, and makes certain types of self-expression more difficult when that expression violates the norm.[1] Non-heterosexual and gender-variant people who transgress heteronormativity include homosexual, bisexual, asexual, intersex, and transgender people in addition to people who are married to or form pair-bonds with more than one partner such as polygamists or polyamorists.[citation needed]

By the above definition, I’m technically not completely Heteronormative in the sense that I don’t believe that straight relationships are the only valid relationships. I know enough gay folk to know that, well, they’re gay. You can’t pray it away, suppress it, destroy it, or treat it with medicine if you wanted to. I know at least one transgendered person. And for me to say that they CAN’T or Shouldn’t be with another person of the same sex would be ludicrous to me. You’re an adult, that’s your call.

But what about the gender role part of that equation? And let’s assume we’re talking strictly about straight people, since obviously the gender roles in non-straight relationships are going to be much more complicated. Since we’re saying it’s ok for gay people to throw off the yoke of societally acceptable gender roles, should straight people be allowed to do the same? Should they want to?

Let’s look at a couple constructs in dating. The homette Kimmy Frye did a blog a while back about a “Turnaround Party” in New York. Her take:

Hmm. let’s review the key points:

  • Ladies pay a stiff cover.
  • Ladies are encouraged to buy the man drinks.
  • Men’s turn to relax.

Ummm – No thanks, i’ll pass.

I have zero interest in meeting a man who thinks this is an awesome idea. That would give him a totally false perception of who I am.  Set all kinds of the wrong standards. I’m all about playing the role of a woman and my man being, well, a man, in all the most traditional ways.

OK, she’s not a fan. Let’s see what the commenters had to say:

2 Responses to “Turnaround Party?”

  1. where they do that at? @trgriff said this on August 20, 2009 at 2:46 pm
  2. I love that @trgriff commented…when I saw your “um no thanks Ill pass and I have zero interest in any man who thinks thats an awesome idea,’ I died laughing. Of course we will pass…not for me! xoxo missbridge said this on August 25, 2009 at 5:10 am

From another enlightened-esque woman, Blackie Collins:
I like men. Let me rephrase that: I like manly men. I do not like skinny jeans wearing, Zac Efron hair flipping, weird, non-prescription glasses sporting, take longer than me to get ready men. Nothing makes me feel more butch than feeling like I’m the guy in our union. And nothing makes me feel more feminine, than being with a man who is just that: a man. There’s something about broad shoulders, a nice suit or regular fitting jeans, maybe some crisp Tims, a few tattoos, those nice cuts along the abs…ok, you get it. If you’re the kind of guy who waxes his eyebrows, you’re out.

Let’s be honest, if you’re too busy at your waxing appointment, you won’t be around to protect me (and maybe you should be protecting Steve instead). I need to feel protected. I need for you to be the dominating animal in our pack. I need to know that if something goes down, you’re on it, or at least we’re in this together. Even my gays can remember they’re men when shit pops off (have you seen those guys fight!), so I know you can do it too, punchanella, punchanella.*

Jackies real life boyfriend, Earl

Jackie's real life boyfriend, Earl

Guess that vastly unscientific poll of women says no, this does not rock. But why not? I mean, over the last 30-40 years, we’ve seen a dramatic crumbling of “gender roles.” Women now have the right to equal pay (whether or not that’s fully realized), economic equality to buy what they want and start businesses, be CEO, run for President, run for Vice President, and all kinds of other stuff that I think most people agree is a good thing. I’ve had women bosses before, most of whom were just as if not more competent than male bosses I’ve had.

But let’s look at what else has happened over the past 30-40 years. Divorce rates have shot through the roof, something like 70% of black kids are now born into single parent households, black men trail black women in huge numbers in college and graduate school admittance and achievement. Are the two linked? NO idea. I’m not a sociologist, and don’t pretend to be.

But it does occur to me that if we’re going to throw out some facets of gender roles, why not throw them all out? Here are some things that would happen:

1. Men would no longer exclusively approach women. As equals, women would now also have to approach men.

2. Men would not pay for first dates. you have a job, we’d split the cost.

3. Men would no longer walk on the outside, open doors, or pull out chairs. These would be seen as an insulting infringement on a woman’s independence.

4. Men would no longer help build bookshelves, move furniture, or mow women’s grass, nor change their oil. This would be patronizing and assume women are too weak or mechanically ill-inclined to do things themselves.

5. Forget about Alimony. Leave with what you came with.

6. Men would have the option of being house husbands. It would be insulting to assume that women are somehow naturally better child-rearers than men.

7. Women should no longer expect any show of chivalry, sacrifice, or romance by men to garner their affection.

8. Engagement rings would no longer be purchased by men to propose to women. When the parties agree to enter a marriage, they would exchange watches.

9. Women would no longer be expected to be good cooks or have any household skills. Attempting to seduce a man with cooking skills would be looked down upon as an archaic celebration of oppressive gender roles.

10. Fathers will no longer tell their sons ridiculous things like “Boy, take the trash out!” or “Don’t you let your mother carry those groceries in here by herself” because these would suggest that the woman is incapable of doing manual labor and feeds into the stereotype that men should do “man’s work” or help “weak” women.

So is this a better construct than the current state of heteronormativity that so many people feel is so bad and so oppressive? Would you prefer to enjoy a freedom from gender roles, or would you just laugh if a man expected you to pick him up and pay for his meal? Discuss:

And so it was spaketh

And so it was spaketh

Dear middle class black brethren:

And by that, let me add upper class and working class aspiring to break into the middle. We need you, guys. By we, I mean the race. You are the key to figuring this thing out. Listen, we go hard at the women all day for their failings, their insecurities, their attitudes, etc. But let’s be clear, they’re actually doing alright. Statistically, they’re getting it in much harder than we are. Academically, professionally, financially. And that’s an embarrassment.

Ladies, if you’re reading, some of this may come off as mysogynistic and maybe a tad sexist. Log off now if you get easily offended or want to wave your woman flag. You’re welcome to get in this conversation, because you’re an important part of it, but it’s not really directed at you.

Without you succeeding and thriving, black guy, this whole wagon train doesn’t go anywhere. Kids don’t get raised as right as they should be, families can’t put together wealth like they should, and the yung’uns don’t have the big homies to look up to like they ought to. So in this series, we’re going to discuss a couple things I’ve been seeing and hearing out in the world, and we’re going to get back on track here. For a lot of you that read this, you’re already there, and this is remedial for you. Congratulations. Make sure you pull some other brother’s coat that needs some help.

This first issue is going to be really broad brush stuff, but I think it’s important. As the leaves begin to change color, and Saturdays are the province of college football, I think it’s a great time for renewal and re-dedication. With that said, here is manlaw for Fall 2009

See the ring. Its the ring of focus. Now kiss it.

See the ring. It's the ring of focus. Now kiss it.

1. Focus, dude. A lot of us spend a lot of time and money on very low-value activities. I’m as guilty as anyone. I ran some numbers the other day, and had I been more disciplined in how I managed my life, I would have had enough money to buy a used but well kept Ferrari cash. That’s a lot of dicked off money. And worse, we dick off a lot of time. Because we’re unfocused. We’re unsure of what we want and need a lot of the time so we default to the easy or the right in front of us or the socially accepted. What we all really need to do is take a little time figuring things out before we act. Look at the scenarios, run the sensitivity analysis, figure the variables. This can relate to anything. A lot of people I know have side hustles. Very few successful people I know have side hustles. What’s Mark Zuckerberg’s side hustle. Oh, wait, he was too busy turning Facebook into a media conglomerate to have one. You think Tim Tebow plays minor league baseball on the side? Fuck no. He’s focused. On winning that third championship. Meanwhile, you have a square job which you half-ass at, a non-profit you haven’t put any work into in two years, and you try to throw parties every now an again. Focus, man. Figure out what you can be great at or at least enjoy, and go balls to the wall on that. Once you have that straight, then you can start expanding. But splitting time just equals half-assing two things the majority of the time.

The same can be said of relationships. If you want to be in a relationship, focus on it. Make sure you have the right person, and if you’re meeting people, throw the wrong ones out. Dating is expensive, and if there’s no future to be had or you’re lukewar about it, let it go. Be ok with being the bad guy early, so you’re not Hitler later on. If you want to be pimping, pimp hard. don’t have a bunch of girls sucking up your time, money, and emotional energy up because they want to be in “relationettes” (blog coming soon).

This ni**a GETS chivalry

This ni**a GETS chivalry

2. Do Chivalry. There’s a lot of hemming and hawing on the blogs and around the bars about women not appreciating chivalry or wanting to be all independent and open their own door and shit. Or even mouthing off when chivalry is offered. Shut that shit down. Stop being all sensitive about whether you’re gonna get a thank you card or a smile. Chivalry is not about reciprocity, it’s about you as a man doing the things that are right. If she doesn’t appreciate it, that’s fine. Another one will. I walked my ex from a bar to a club a few blocks down the other week. Interrupted my delicious  beer and my conversation because it was the right thing to do. I didn’t want her getting preyed on or whatever by drunken perverts. She’s my ex, so I wasn’t going to get any sex out of it (or was I?) but I would have felt like a douche if I just sat there and let her wander off into the night by herself.And trust me, when I came back, other women at the table noticed. And they approved.

Open the door for a woman and if she gives you some lip about “I can do that myself”, let her know that she’s the woman in this relationship and that you wear the pants. You’re gonna open the door because that’s what you’re gonna do. When a woman challenges your chivalry, she’s disrespecting you, and as a man its your job to put her ass in check. you’re doing the both of you a favor here by letting her know that it’s alright to accept kindness.

I run the show, woman.

I run the show, woman.

3. Stop letting these women run the show. A lot has been made about a woman “letting a man be a man.” Let’s end this all here. A man is a man or he ain’t. A woman can respect and appreciate him doing a man’s job or she can choose not to. But she doesn’t let him do shit. If you want to change your woman’s oil, change it. Don’t wait for her to start that yap about how she can go to Jiffy Lube herself. Take your dirty wifebeater and an oil pan and drive down to Jiffy Lube yourself and pretend that you did it.

(Everybody thinks changing oil is this cool manly thing to do yourself, but frankly, it’s really not. Unless you have an SUV sitting high, you’ll need a lift to get the car up, and then you’ll need to take the used motor oil, properly contained, to a service station or garage that can dispose of it without killing baby seals. It’s really not worth the hassle unless you already have the equipment.)

The same thing goes with other behavior. Men worry way too much about how women are going to perceive or react to something and thus change their behavior. Quit. Men lead, and women will choose. If you’re being or doing something that’s not your bag so a woman will choose you, she’s not really choosing you, she’s choosing your representative. that gets expensive in divorce court.

4. Remove basic bitches from your life. Seriously. Unfollow them on twitter, stop worrying about their whereabouts, and quit complaining about their basicness. They’re not your constituency until you make them such. A lot of basic bitches look really good. That’s why they’re so fucking basic, because you all keep allowing them to be by paying attention to them. if you stopped, they’d have to throw their basic ass tendencies away and focus on being a full, well-rounded responsible adult. But as long as you’re trying to pretend they’re not basic or overlooking their basicness, they’ll continue on being what they are.

This goes for the whole gold-diggery thing too. Listen, women like money. Stop crying about it. It’s a good thing. You can make more money. It’s not like looks or height, or talent, which you have or don’t have. Frankly, if women didn’t like money, you wouldn’t bother getting it. I mean, think about it, if you worked 70 hour dog ass weeks for years, got a penthouse and a Maserati, and could only pull the same women that Tyreefus from South Dakota Avenue could get, wouldn’t you be pissed? Thanks. If you’re on a budget, just quit taking HOES to expensive ass places. And don’t get mad if they choose a richer or trickier dude. Just charge it to the game and move on. and stop being a sponsor if you don’t want to be. If you’re trying to decide where to take a chick, imagine that the scenario ends up being that you guys decide you don’t want to go out anymore. Would you be upset about how much you spent? If yes, go somewhere cheaper.

5. Lose the extraness. Some of you ni**as done started acting like bitches. You dress like bitches, talk about bitch things, and are generally womanly in your handling of life. It’s called douchery. An intrinsic part of being a man means being comfortable with who you are, not trying to put on a masquerade for the world. That’s women’s business, because they’re judged so much by their appearance and other silly things. As a man, you WILL after all is said and done, be judged by your accomplishments. Have no doubt about this. People will not remember what club you bought out the bar at or what outfit you wore to the picnic. These may play some small part in a larger narrative, but in and of themselves, no one’s going to remember. So stop making a fucking spectacle of yourself. It’s unbecoming.

I want to be the black version of this guy

I want to be the black version of this guy

Look, you’re an educated, successful black male. You don’t have to do a lot to beat the curve as it is. So all the attention-whoring and self-aggrandizement just comes across as what it is: raging insecurity. The bow-ties, the ascots, the mohawks, yada ya, please, let them go. (If you’re a homosexual, this does not apply to you. You guys have a different set of standards, and since I don’t really know what’s appropriate for you guys, I’m not going to try and tel you what to do. Go gay marriage!) If you’re just naturally a creative or artsy person, that’s cool. The reason Prince gets away with looking like he does, is because that’s who he is. In his core. If tht’s you, do you. But when you’re doign all this to try to get people’s attention, it just comes off wack

6. Go to they gym. Not just to look buffer for women, but because you feel better. I’ve picked up about 10 lbs. of Muscle in grad school, and I physically feel great. It’s awesome. And it helps when you have to do manly things, like put up drywall or give tall girls piggyback rides. It’s awesome.

More later. Discuss