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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Interesting, because that isn't what I've usually heard about Mormon society, but I can definitely believe it. (I also didn't read as much about mainstream Mormons as I did FLDS, where women were married off and told to "keep sweet".) This makes me think about how a lot of societies that claimed an elevated status for women usually were the same ones where we hear about oppression of women. Islamic society, which supposedly used to be about letting women be pampered, queen of the house/tent, men having to stay outside until women can let them in--Muslim women still claim that they are treated great, get to sit inside and do their nails all day (BORING!) and the men have to make them come first (HAH!).

Basically, it seems very easy for something that is supposed to be about protecting, sheltering, pampering, into being possessive or treating someone like property--either because men resent the princess treatment, or because the behavior gives way to a possessive attitude. Probably both the princess and the property attitudes are in effect in societies like this, depending on the person, the group of people, region, etc.

When I think about the days when our society was supposedly more chivalrous, they were also eras where women didn't have that much say in a household (the "breadwinner" paying for their room and board, but also having the last say), were not allowed to do certain things (women had to be back in college dorms by midnight--men could stay out all night) and were still disrespected if they didn't act like a "lady".

I would not want to be confined to my house whether it's because I'm a princess or not. The scenario you described is not feminism--if women are treated like they're better, then it's female supremacy, which to me has nothing to do with feminism. Either way a highly gendered society sounds like it usually ends up giving a bad deal to at least one gender, and probably both.
The FLDS church is always a fun one because of how little responsibility the LDS church will take for them. I don't think I knew they existed until the rest of the world was sucked into the drama, when I went to an LDS school. The FLDS church I think is more similar to the roots of the LDS church than the modern LDS church, ironically. Nowadays you'll see FLDS polygamists every once in a while. They even had an "Escape Polygamy" billboard on the freeway.
But naturally since the LDS church is a "living" church, nothing they say really matters because when the world cries out "injustice!" they'll wait a decade and then get a magic word from God that it's time to change the rules.

"The scenario you described is not feminism--if women are treated like they're better, then it's female supremacy, which to me has nothing to do with feminism. "

Absolutely. I wonder what these young boys are taught though, that they laugh at the word feminism. I honestly think that they have skewed ideas that involve angry, power-crazed women yelling at men for being men. Thanks to which stereotype, feminist women deny their feminist title, thinking the title is far more radical than it is. My understanding is the word feminism was used because at the time, it was a movement for equal rights for women. In reality, it should just sound more like non-sexism.
You're splitting hairs. My point was that some men are just fine with bullying women, and I don't know there was as much of this back in the days of "chivalry". At the same time, some women interpret criticism or discussion with being disrespected, and some women also assault men and then use the "you can't hit a girl" double standard. I'm wondering who is going to disagree that men and women shouldn't be verbally and physically abusive to each other.

I think the word feminism has gotten too much of a bad connotation, so much that people have to give the "I'm not a feminist or anything" disclaimer when they say something that has everything to do with women's equality. For me feminism really has a lot to do with both genders, because any rights that women should have (like not being constrained to gender roles) men should also have. Even the term "radical feminist" doesn't mean female superiority--it's just the idea that women and men are no different (other than physically).

Really the problem with the word "feminist" is that it's thrown around too much. People who call themselves feminist include Cosmo magazine, the writers of the Rules and the Surrendered Wife, burqa wearers ("the veil is women's liberation"), chick-lit female supremacists, lesbian female supremacists (the women who sneer at a woman when they find out she has a male partner), and few are actually thinking of equality.
But that's not feminism, it's outrageous so-called "feminists". The idea of feminism shouldn't be ridiculous to them. I guess it's asking too much not to stereotype from radicals.

I know that a lot of women have a bitter view on men. Sometimes I do, in fact. I'm in therapy (for mostly other things) and that helps. But more importantly, I recognize it's wrong and I don't throw it out there as some sort of doctrine, and it shouldn't be associated with feminism.

Other than that, I agree with everything Prog Rock Girl has replied, so I wont be redundant...
I always hear about these radical feminists that take it too far but as a feminist I have yet to encounter one. Can you give me some examples?
I think these types of guys mistake respect for women with treating them like theyre incapable of doing things for themselves. Its more infantalizing/impotizing and when its assumed that guys dont need this because theyre more capable and able bodied than women it sends a disempowering message. I think they confused respect with 'put her on a pedestal.' That was one of the things used to keep women from voting. It was said it would take away their 'special place' in society. I think that guy cant tell the difference. Its common for guys to be confused about that especially when its compounded by how good it makes them feel. Its like the woman becomes some sort of abstract vulnerable archeotype that makes him feel good for doing things. He becomes distracted by that good feeling and becomes blind to what hes actually doing.
"Terry Jones' Medieval Lives: The Knight" has some good information on how chivalry started, and how it came to be romanticized. .

You put a lot of energy into this query. Cool that you can. Smart is cool.

If I may, I would suggest that always looking to adjust the little "details" can be rather time consuming, when there is more to be gained by your intellect by prioritizing the values of each thought-set.
In other words, is not your time best served dwelling on an at-best hypothetical outcome, or to use that well-above-average IQ to best plan for future challenges?

My point is there is a phenomenon I call "Futile Physics".
It's where no matter how much energy you expend to logically figure something out, the end result will have gained you nothing. So if it's discovered that what you're working on has a vague outcome at best, you have to decided where to "shut that one down" and move on.
There are many examples, and one, ironically, is why you're here, talking to me, in the first place...

Take Baseball for example; Great game, even had a pretty good arm then too :)
Your team plays. One time they win, next time they lose. Repeat.
So ultimately, no matter how much effort you put in, the very best outcome you can hope for is an inevitable exact repeat of the previous event. Game after game, month after month, year after year.
It's fun, yes. It's also futile. Order=Play the game. Chaos=Who wins

The next example is perhaps the most telling; You're an atheist. how did you arrive at that conclusion?
Maybe you're smarter than the average bloke and started seeing absurdity in religion. Maybe you're eyes are wide open. Good for you. Good for all of us.
Nevertheless, there is obviously an endless debate that will continue to rage throughout humanity, and as it's done throughout time.
Every once in a while, someone is "gifted" by a higher-order of intelligence (present company included :)) and sees things clearly.
Are you aware of the magnitude of what we've accomplished by actually having the sheer balls to go up against a vast majority of the world's population, those with a lifetime proven history of violence, ignorance on an order never seen in ANY history?
Yeah...we got sand.
The interesting part is, at least in my camp, is; I'm not doing anything really special here, I'm just looking at the facts. The result being if not easy or light, was always inevitable. And I'm cool with that.

Personally I generally try to avoid contact with the "thumpers" if I can. I rarely discuss or share my thoughts. I mean, why bother? It seems to me that any "trending" I've noted even within this forum, are the stories of how you became an atheist.
Overall, this is a decision that for many, flew in the face of the very core of our belief system.
This decision didn't come easy, it was ultimately personal and life-changing.
Something so personal doesn't require a 'recruiter'.
Besides, even if I did convert someone, I can never forget that the guy I'm talking to actually believes in spook and spirits.
...Did I digress? (sorry. ADD, Type-A, stoned.)
Ha, thanks for the disclaimer, They. Full disclosure is always nice.
Its just courteous to play the gentleman and chivalric role but for everybody(just my thing) if i can but as a rule I always ask e.g. "you need help? "Can you carry that by yourself?" or Even offering seats on trains and buses(only the older women and the pregnant). I always ask to make sure the person "really" needs my intervention. It's tricky but doable. I have sisters that's how I developed my ask first rule.
The original intent of being a Gentleman, or chivalrous was meant as "how you show respect for another". After that, anyone's perception/interpretation of that base concept is subject individual responses.
For me? I believe in holding doors for ladies. I hold seats for ladies, I'll throw you out of the burning building first (btw; this serves two purposes-1, I generally like the gender, and I'm familiar with the rescue thing. 8 years Coast Guard teaches you a thing or two about 'keeping your head', working the problem, etc..
I also know there is a disproportionate percentage of population who not only produce bad reactions in a crisis, but some don't even know what planet they're on. So, given the confidence of working in a hostile environment, I can and will, if possible, help as many folks as I can before escaping myself.
The second reason is women make great insulators. A woman is generally pretty light, so if you are in a burning building and can't find a mattress or other suitable means of protection, find a woman.
There's no real downside here;
Scenario #1: You grab a woman (make it a pretty one. I'll explain in a moment), throw here over your shoulder and haul ass.
If you're successful, you just got out, the girl make it too making you a 'hero', and among other things, the girl would fall in love with her rescuer. (that's why you want the pretty one.)
Happy ever after...

Scenario #2: With woman over shoulder, you encounter a hallway totally in flames.
If the fire is overhead, you can flip the woman over your back and use her "insulating value" (they're mostly water you know...) to shield you as you run through the flames (remember; always lift with your back). (Note; woman might be rather 'steamy' afterwords)
If however, the fire is on the floor, you can throw the woman down in front of you, effectively creating a "fire break" so you can safely exit.
In the end, you win; you're either alive, a hero, and get fame and the woman of your dreams, or you're at least alive. (I wouldn't mention the "woman-fire break" part.)
Happy ever after...

Just a thought...

I digress.

I treat woman as different, because they ARE different. Thank the stars they're different! I find a personal and ultimately high value in women. So why wouldn't I treat someone I value differently? Like the lines on a sleek sailing ship, a beautiful woman is probably the ONLY vision worthy of "doubting your atheism". :))
Show me a truly beautiful woman, and make her super-smart, I'm ok with that.

So for whatever reasons a guy decides, or not, to be a 'gentlemen', it'll always be for different reasons, and asking here wouldn't be as useful as actually talking to your other half, and work it out.
The original intent of being a Gentleman, or chivalrous was meant as "how you show respect for another".

No, actually, it wasn't. I posted a video that touches on the origins of chivalry.




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