Society » Gender, Culture, Sexuality: "Feminists Don't Deserve Chivalry?"
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Feminists Don't Deserve Chivalry?
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In this article, I want to briefly discuss this particular idea that feminists don't deserve, or should not receive, chivalry from a male spouse or boyfriend. Many people have this idea, which basically originates from a few misconceptions about feminism and chivalry.

  The Big Misunderstanding

So, my argument here is that, just because you are a feminist (which remember, that means you want equal treatment and respect, not for people to view you as a man) does not mean that you have no rights to any kind of chivalry. Some men, my own partner for example, feel that this is simply having manners, and being a polite and caring person. It’s something he chooses to do; he is not forced to do it, and it comes naturally to him. He would have to make an effort to stop being a gentleman and begin treating me like I am another male. That would be tough, because he can clearly see that I am not another male.

The biggest misunderstanding, where this argument is concerned, is that some people misunderstand equality as being viewed as another man. Just because I believe in equality, and could be considered a feminist does not mean that I want to become a man. It does not mean that I want to urinate in a urinal, stand up to pee, and change who I am to act as a man.

Anyway, so what if I did?

Having feminist views means one thing, though—that I want women to have the same rights that men do, and I want women to be respected equally. It's not a favor to give us equality; it's called treating us as humans.

Many people take this whole thing and turn it into way more than it is, and this happens on both sides—feminists and non-feminists, males and females.

The bottom line is, just because you may identify as a feminist does not mean that you have to act like a man. You do not have to be treated like a man, and you do not have to give up kind treatment from your partner. It does not mean that you have to take out the garbage yourself, or that you have to start doing the work that your male partner often does himself. Why should it mean that? It has nothing to do with that!

In order to receive kind treatment from a willing spouse, you shouldn't have to act like a lady, cross your legs when you sit, never say a curse word, and be all smiles and sunshine every second of every day. You can simply be you, whether that means being a little loud every once in a while, wearing a pair of boxer shorts to bed, or heck, wearing jeans sometimes! You don't have to be only one thing—masculine or feminine. In fact, every single one of us is made with a bit of both. It varies, but they're both in us all. Since when did anybody have to choose to only be masculine or feminine, anyway? And yet, feminists are told that we have to choose one or the other!

So what if you "want it all"? What's wrong with wanting to have your cake and eat it too, so long as nobody's being forced or hurt in the process? If your male partner wants to be a chivalrous guy, why deny acts of kindness simply because some people believe that it isn't deserved? Guess what? It is! If you want to be a feminist and enjoy kind acts from your spouse, eat it up, girlfriend!

So, keep enjoying those thoughtful acts that your spouse shows you out of the kindness of his heart. Let him open a door for you to show you that you being in first is important to him. It does not mean that he’s in control of you, as some people tend to believe. It does not mean you are not a feminist if you allow him to open a door for you without feeling guilty. No, it simply means that you know how to receive a kind act from someone who is thoughtful. And yes, you can be a feminist and choose to be a stay-at-home-mom. Feminism is about equality and choices. It's as simple as that.


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Contributor: Wicked Wahine

Good job, Kendra. I'm glad to see you address this often accepted notion regarding feminism. You're an engaging writer & made it easy to follow your point. I like that you don't get bogged down in pedantism.

Contributor: ImaGodiva

Very nice! Feminists can do nice things for their significant other also, and shouldn't be judged against some made-up standard. Sometimes respect (going both ways) is just doing that little thing that you know makes your partner happy. I like how you think, Kendra.

Contributor: K101

Aw, Wicked Wahine! Thank you! That meant very much to me. ImaGodiva Thank you for your thoughts. I agree. It shouldn't be so much about what you deserve and don't deserve simply because of your beliefs, but it should be about pleasing each other and both being happy. Thank you for your sweet comment. Thank you both for reading. I was so glad to see ya'll's nice comments.

Contributor: Sassy Pam

Great article Kendra! I do believe it's a general misconception of many females and males that being a feminist means you are out to serve only yourself and you do not think of others needs or have any needs of your own.

Contributor: K101

Thank you, SassyPam. I agree -- that is a very common misunderstanding. Well, it may be how some are, but not the majority, I don't think. Thank you for reading, Sassy Pam! I am glad you read and commented.

Contributor: MrWill

Can I say anything without being strung up? :-P

Great article. I'll be entirely honest... I was raised to be chivalrous. I'm all for equal rights and pay. I LOVE when I get to the point with a woman that she doesn't feel a need to be prim and proper just to keep my attention. If she wants to sprawl out on the couch in a pair of sweats and eat popcorn while watching movies... I just need room to sit down.

I want my lady to be comfortable and happy.

Contributor: K101

Mr. Willy -- I definitely don't think anyone here would string you up... someone may tie you up though. LOL. Kidding. Kidding. Bad joke I could not resist. Anyways, I love that a male shared on this! That's really awesome to hear too. It's nice to just be able to be comfortable with each other without judgement. And it's even better to have a partner who wants you to be comfortable and happy & doesn't worry about less important things like whether or not you're sitting like a lady. Thank you for reading and for sharing your own thoughts.

Contributor: Chastity Darling

Great post. I really enjoyed reading it and will be sharing it will some friends of mine.

Contributor: K101

Thank you Chastity Darling! That's so nice to hear.

Contributor: FieryRed

I agree, very well said, and entertaining as well! I used to misunderstand the term "feminism" to mean the belief that women were better than men. (Heh.) Because of that, I denied being a feminist. Now that I understand what the term actually means--simply the idea that women are just as valuable and worthy of respect as men are, and should not be told what they can or cannot do with their own bodies, or treated like objects--I am proud to call myself a feminist.

Contributor: TransMarc

Except women can naturally stand up to pee and use urinals, they still do in some countries like Ghana. First it was considered immodest, then it was rationalized that they shouldn't because they don't have dicks. But if they have equal rights, they should have the right to without being hurt or harassed at worst or just mocked at best, and people shouldn't lie voluntarily or not to them as children about their bodies' abilities. Urinals in women's rooms (or unisex rooms) could be useful, because often there are way more peeing facilities in men's rooms than in women's rooms, so all the women's toilets are taken. And, also, why shouldn't women have the right to pee in urinals? Are women, cis or not, who pee in urinals less women? Isn't it bad that some adult women have psychological blocks about peeing standing up, that they don't know their bodies can and how? And when some of them make a mess like my 3-years-old cousin the first times they try, they think it means society is right that they shouldn't and can't do that, yet nobody would tell that to someone perceived a 3-year-old boy who has to learn. The right to pee how you want may be less important than that of equal pay, but you still need to reach it to reach equality. as a trans* person perceived as being a woman and sometimes identifying as a woman, I'm really scared when I'm camping or even in toilets that someone will notice me peeing standing up, but it's more convenient because of knee issues. Also, I just have the right to pee how I want, to not be ashamed or told that I can't or risk to be mocked or worse. Plus, lots of men don't use urinals, some women want to, other people of other genders want to or do not want, so to hell with it.



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