I'm going to apologize in advance-- I'm not nearly as eloquent as many of you. I'm one of your younger, sillier Atheists. I hope though that you still give my ideas a chance. Who knows, maybe my directness will prove refreshing!

Chivalry has always baffled me. In my mind it generally equates to "Men repressing the asshole side of their personality so that you will bear their young". To others, it means, "Open the door for me, pussy." I've always felt like men sort of do that sort of thing because their parents have always told them they have to. Like church. But maybe I'm wrong?

There's this boy in my art class. He took one of my besties to prom. He happened to hear that I went to a feminist lecture and he laughed a light (but direct), condescending laugh... which I ignored because I'm so... feminine. A few days later, I walk into class, and it's the first period of the day so the chairs are all stacked on top of the desks. I go to take my chair down, and this kid immediately starts yelling and runs over, takes my chair, and sets it down. I yell at him, mostly joking, and I point to Joe, sitting across from me and ask why he had to steal my chair instead of Joe's.

Him: "Because Joe's a MAN!"
Me: "Haahh, so you stole my chair because I'm a woman?!?" <-- Thought I was joking
Him: "YES!! ...It's not a BAD thing..."
Me: *says nothing in utter shock*

I marvel at this boy's idea of the world. He's in for a good shot of disillusionment in college. I've heard men complain at how women will get mad if you open a door for them, and also get mad if you won't. I've never seen this happen, personally, I think it's mostly a paranoia.

This is a bit different. This is not anything groundbreaking or horrid, but it did make me think. It's the equivalent of stopping a girl from 20 feet back, pushing her away from the door, and then opening it for her. It doesn't make anyone's life any easier. Meanwhile, poor Joe may be carrying a stack of boxes, and no courtesy is shed upon him.

So what have I done to deserve the "respect" that is portrayed through the opening of doors, walking of home, and picking up of pencils? (Maybe I'm not accustomed. When I went to prom, and the door was opened, I would literally wait a second or two before realizing it was for me.)

It sounds nice enough on the surface, but really, I don't think my vagina qualifies me for anything special that we can't bestow upon men as well. I've never been a huge fan of the feminism where we treat women like men. Really, I think we should be treating men like women.

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Chivalry is in the eye of the beholder. It is dependent entirely on the female's mood, ideology, preconceptions, what self-help books she's read and what phase of the menstrual cycle she's in. Often as not it is also called "sexism".

This unfortunate typhos gives rise in males to what are known as "strong, silent types" that for some reason seem to attract females. There is nothing mysterious about these men. They either -

a) know better than to play with unexploded bombs, or

b) simply no longer give a fuck

Hope this helps.
It's hard to resist the strong silent ones, because the mystery helps us to delude ourselves into thinking that this man is not like all negative male archetypes we've been exposed to. It's as if we're trying our hardest to be convinced that they hide all sorts of intelligence and passion... Wishful thinking, I suppose.
"and what phase of the menstrual cycle she's in. "

Please tell me youre being sarcastic?
Now Bearcat, your hubby is ever the scientist. I'm sure he was just collecting specimens to put under a slide later. It is pretty funny he had a backup t-shirt, though. Probably a holdover from his Boy Scout days of always being prepared. Do you suppose all Scouts are required to carry condoms? Yeah, I don't think so either.
It's all just biological, reminescent of mating displays. We can't help it, its hard wired. :)
You're probably sarcastic, but I'm gonna call bollocks, just in case :P Women can squash their own freaking spiders, for all I care!
I like spiders. Is that weird? I mean I'll shoot back if they jump at me, but I think they're sort of cute. I name them.

However if there's ever a snake in the bed-- Oh who am I kidding I'll be alone.
I like spiders just fine, and snakes too (my husband is terrified, but he comes from India, and the snakes there don't fuck around).

But bees (and wasps, and hornets)?! I run screaming from them!
I do my best to catch them and take them outside. I don't kill spiders unless I have to. They kill insects like misquitoes that annoy me.
I definitely agree with all the thoughts on courtesy for everyone. And I want to reassure you all I'm not the type to make a scene over any of this.

I was talking to a friend a while back. He's still Mormon, although his views are ever-shifting. He once accepted the "truth", although he didn't like it, and informed me that I was going to hell because I don't go to church. I really couldn't find it offensive, it was too funny. Now he's rearranged his opinion so that the church still fits into his views and he's much more normal. We had this conversation once, and he described a fairly typical Mormon view where women are to be revered and respected and opening doors is a sign of that respect. Naturally when I inquired why men couldn't afford the same, he told me that men didn't get that same respect. I don't get it, I've never acted much like a lady in front of him. And it's not as if I find it really offensive, but when men translate so consciously, "Women are to be revered, men are just men", I wonder what world they live in! I think these rules only apply to women you're trying to court, however. Most guys shove in front of me and let the door close on me. More courtesy, less chivalry, peez!
(I apologize ahead of time, this may turn out more like a rant/venting session :P)

I'm gonna second what your friend said about Mormonism. I grew up as a fundie Mormon, and the mass of privileges that women got was just staggering to me sometimes. Not that it necessarily outbalanced the loss of official power routes, but I'm just saying there were two directions to this thing.

I had it lectured into me over and over again - women are special, women are princesses, and if you don't treat women like that, you're basically scum (on the other hand, I was always hearing about how all that men were good for is picking up heavy things and squashing spiders, that men had less faith than women [which they considered a bad thing], that men were inherently less moral than women, and so on. It really made me wonder, if men were so bad, then why were they supposed to be in charge of everything? It made no sense.). You were supposed to treat women quite literally as royalty, and when you inevitably failed because you didn't earn enough, or real life got in the way, or whatever, you were supposed to flagellate yourself for being such a weak, poor sinner.

Ideally, women didn't need to do yardwork, or financially provide for themselves, or get up at 5 AM on Sundays for the church lessons that only men had to have, or study scripture as hard, and so on. On one church camping trip, to give a specific example, women got a full bathroom with showers plus a powder room, whereas men got a single port-a-potty, a bar of soap and a hose - and you weren't allowed to take your clothes off, since that was immodest, so bathing was tricky. And the women still complained because the showers had curtains instead of doors!

Again, I'm not saying that it was all a secret matriarchy, or that women were so lucky to live in a gendered society or anything - but I have to admit that when people talk about how "women had no rights" or "women were treated as personal property", I feel like I have to take it with a pinch of salt, since my own personal experience in a highly-gendered society seems to clash with the traditional viewpoint on this.
I think for a lot of us that's part of having no rights. Why, oh why don't I have the right to shower in a port-a-john with a hose?!?
In reality, it is uncomfortable to be treated like that. It's okay, I'm just a person!

I dislike the idea that so many women accept these roles, because men are only human and at some point, they'll be married, and very disillusioned with the imperfections of that "sacred" relationship.

I find it very, very difficult not to bring up Mormonism in every possible conversation. Someone could be talking about dogs, hamburgers, ipods, doesn't matter. It ends in a rant. If they're lucky I won't relate it back to gay rights. So any time you want to rant it out, please do.

I live in Utah Valley, it's fun times. I'm still stalked occassionally. There was a time where I'd be afraid walking home-- every time a car would pass I'd be afraid it was people from the local ward trying to get me to go to some church meeting. Inactive for 17 years isn't good enough, apparently.

Thanks to facebook and the bus, though, I know a handful of self-proclaimed Atheists. It makes me very happy. Although that kid on the bus needs a good push. His main argument was that there were no horses in Book of Mormon times. Come on, little bee! There's so much more I could teach you... </3




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