My dad loves Rush Limbaugh. Did I ever tell you that? It's true. At home, my mother somehow confined it to his office, but in the car, he was the man, he drove, he controlled the radio. It got to the point where I would do anything to avoid being in a car with him. It wasn't just the general meanness of Rush, it was that Rush coined "feminazi" while I was in high school and he delighted in whipping it out at every opportunity. I felt, as a nascent woman, demeaned and belittled every time I heard it, as Rush intended.
At the time, I had no training in logical argumentation and no education in feminism. All I had was the knowledge that there was nothing a man could do that I couldn't do just because he was a man*- other than get an erection, and judging by the struggles of boys in math class, I didn't think I was missing out on much. So I sat and listened to my entire gender, the core of my being, repeatedly slandered and dismissed in frustrated silence, while misogynistic garbage seeped into my subconscious. Thanks, dad!
Now, I know better. The feminazi is a strawman, a construct of Rush's imagination representing an evil that does not exist, an evil so outsized and ludicrous anyone could knock it over. Problem is, if you repeat something enough, a certain number of people will simply assume it's true. If I didn't think it would end very badly for us all, I'd start telling people that 2+2=5. If enough of us did it, we'd change the world forever . . . in a really bad way.
Anyway, let's play Spot the Strawman with this post:
So…this post is directed more towards guys, but, girls, you are welcome to comment and back me up on all this…because I know that you’ll agree with just about all of these. ;)
open doors for us. I know that some feminist women out there don’t, but don’t let that discourage you. The more times women (who don’t know what they’re talking about!) snap at you for holding a door open for them…the more times you should.
1. Has anyone ever snapped at someone for holding a door open for them? I never have. Neither has anyone I've held a door open for. I say "thank you" and the most negative reaction I've ever gotten for holding a door open is no reaction at all.
2. If a person, male, female, other, requests that you not do something for them, no matter how polite you meant to be, don't do it. Now you're not being polite, you're being rude. Being rude should not be your goal. All this proves is that you're an enormous asshole with control issues.
ask if you could help us with anything. This can either be carrying a bag (not necessarily heavy) to the car, taking something for us, holding something for us…you name it. We appreciate it.
In what context, exactly? Asking people you know if they would like help is, again, simple manners. I do it all the time, at work, at home, wherever. Asking people you do not know if they would like help, especially in the context of woman/man unknown to her, is significantly more risky. By "risky" I mean that you may scare the woman in question. I've been freaked out by that. More than likely, those men were being nice and only wanted to help me, but I don't know that and I've been raised on "she looked in his direction and then he raped her!" stories, so, no, it's not polite or nice to scare complete strangers.
Then there's the creepy factor. If I'm carrying a small bag and some guy asks if he can help me with that, c'mon now, you can tell I don't need the help. You're hitting on me, aren't you? Look, I'm just trying to get this dog food home so I can feed my dog. Leave me alone. See? Again, not a positive interaction.
offer to help make dinner. You have NO IDEA how much we love seeing this in a guy. No, kitchen duty isn’t ‘girlie’ or ‘for women’. Honestly, a guy who enjoys cooking and being in the kitchen is…a good catch. ;) My Dad (and I’m not saying this to put him down or anything!) cannot make anything more than some eggs and toast. And HE has told me to marry a guy who can cook – because he knows how much of a help it would be to Mama if he only knew. ;)
If he only knew. Is he incapable of learning to cook? Does he have some sort of cooking specific learning disorder that prevents such knowledge from entering his brain? What an asshole. "Oh, sure, honey, I'd love to help, but I just don't know how! Too bad, so sad!" Gah! (Full disclosure: my husband has quite a talent for cooking and enjoys it, so he does most of the cooking. I have no real talent for it, but, since I can read, I can follow a recipe when I have to, which I do when my husband needs the help.)
Also, cooking is girlie? Since when? Professional cooking is a man's world that women have trouble breaking into. Turn on the cooking channel and watch the serious cooking challenge shows that involve head chefs at successful restaurants. Most of them will be men.
offer your arm. So what if this is old-fashioned? And it doesn’t have to be ‘romantic’ or anything. People make it out like that all the time in this flirty culture. But honestly, I think it is romantic (in a pure way!) when a guy courteously and gentlemanly offers his arm to a girl – either to walk her into a building, out to her car, up to the door of her house, etc. Of course, this also depends on how far the girl’s family’s standards on guys-girls-touching…maybe you guys could ask the dad. ;)
You know what, why don't you ask her how much touching she is comfortable with. I have no comfort with touching strangers. At all. I will avoid doctor's appointments for this reason. However, there is a practical reason for the whole arm thing, and if you've ever worn 5" platform heels to an outdoor wedding, you know what that reason is. What I can't figure out is why is that particular touch "pure"? Oh, I know, it's old-timey!
ask our dads for permission to be in contact with us. Okay, so don’t freak out. :) You may be thinking, ‘wow! But I’m just e-mailing this girl as friend. I’m not interested in her or anything’. Okay, I think that’s great! :) But we feel honored and respected when a guy takes the time to contact her dad for permission to e-mail/talk on the phone/be friends on FB . . .
Really? You don't feel like maybe you should make your own decisions about whom you talk to? You don't feel like maybe you're an adult and by now you should be trusted to be able to speak to people without being monitored? I has a sad for you.
So, there it is, the vicious feminazi, snapping at men who open doors, carrying her own bags and making her own friends. Oh, she is just so awful!
*People like to say things like "lift heavy objects, durrh", but that's a function of me being small and physically weak and other people being larger and/or stronger, not sex. Or, as my husband likes to say, "I don't know who plays Xena, Warrior Princess, but I do not want to get into a fight with her."