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Author Topic: The End of Courtship
Aros
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My family has always required hats removed indoors and at the dinner table. I never thought it was odd.
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Parkour
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
I'd reckon that it's the opposite of chauvinism. Traditional Southern etiquette isn't about putting women down . . . it's about elevating them.

When that really conservative catholic school told another school that they could not field a girl, then the other school fielded the girl anyway, then they dropped out from playing them, they used the same logic. They said that they elevate women, and "respect" them in a way where the poor little dearies must never play sports. It is the same result, and the same issue with behavior that you tell yourself is to "elevate".
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steven
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
I'd reckon that it's the opposite of chauvinism. Traditional Southern etiquette isn't about putting women down . . . it's about elevating them.

Not to be rude, but...why are you talking about Southern etiquette? Utah ain't the South, man.

However, coming from the rural South, I can definitely say that women/girls are generally off-limits for teasing/etc. (by anyone other than their family members). There was a lot of stuff that my wife and her friends, growing up in a school NOT filled with rural Southerners, had to put up with. I find the stories amazing. We didn't tease girls, hit them, mock them, etc.. We also didn't flirt with our female teachers.

I've read that the South is an informal "gynocracy" of sorts, and I suspect that started right after the Civil War, when so many men simply didn't survive. It's not an issue of treating women like they're stupid or incompetent. Teenage girls play sports in the rural South, they are often the valedictorians, they have jobs, drive cars, etc.. Granted, some men have some fairly antiquated attitudes about gender roles, but that's mainly the older generation. It's pretty much an undisputed fact that the women run the community social life of the rural South, in my experience.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
I'd reckon that it's the opposite of chauvinism. Traditional Southern etiquette isn't about putting women down . . . it's about elevating them.

Elevating them... because they are weak, delicate flowers that need a strong man to protect them.
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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
I'd reckon that it's the opposite of chauvinism. Traditional Southern etiquette isn't about putting women down . . . it's about elevating them.

When that really conservative catholic school told another school that they could not field a girl, then the other school fielded the girl anyway, then they dropped out from playing them, they used the same logic. They said that they elevate women, and "respect" them in a way where the poor little dearies must never play sports. It is the same result, and the same issue with behavior that you tell yourself is to "elevate".
It seems that you are making quite the leap in your argument. Going from a few simple acts of gentry to banning women from sports.
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Rakeesh
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No kidding. The only real reason we don't think of the idea of a person behaving towards another as though they need all sorts of incidental, trivial things done for them (not one of which, by the way, would cost them much effort to do themselves nor cost the one doing them much effort either) because of their gender is, well, because we're taught that it's not somehow.

But none of the customs being lauded as 'gentlemanly'* were birthed in a time where the decision was 'let's do small, helpful things for our fellow human beings just because it's the nice thing to do'. They are directly tied to little 'don't worry your pretty little head' bits as well, unfortunately.

*Unless I'm in an big hurry, I'll hold a door for someone behind or in front of me pretty much as a matter of course. Not quite sure why. An easy way to feel friendly, and besides, the extra 'effort' in holding open a door is minimal compared to opening the door at all. I don't know. Something I've done since I was a kid, really.

Even when I was young, though, I couldn't rationalize-even when I was being taught it was the gentlemanly thing to do-that the man would pay for meals and outings as a rule, pull out chairs or open car doors, or decide entrees. That last one especially struck me as bizarre. Even when I was a child, the most anyone told me what I'd be eating at a restaurant was 'he'll have a salad'.

I think the truth is, much of this behavior ends up being about making ourselves feel better as it is about helping other human beings. Unless she's loaded down with stuff, have I really done anything meaningful for her by opening a door? Unless he's got a bad back, have I done much by pulling a chair for him? Not really.

I think it might be different for a kid, though-doing small little things they think are fun because it makes 'em grin. Tying them to gender is silly and anachronistic, though.

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AchillesHeel
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When you start with what is proper behavior for males towards females it isn't far from what isn't proper for women to do in general.
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theamazeeaz
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
quote:
Originally posted by El JT de Spang:
Your ideal of a gentleman is chauvinistic, so don't get too comfortable on your high horse.

I'm pretty flabbergasted by the popular opinion here. So, the argument is that men shouldn't open doors, pull out chairs, walk on the road side of the sidewalk, etc, because it's misogynistic or chauvinistic.

This site is truly a bubble of evil sometimes.

http://www.askmen.com/money/successful/41b_success.html

Misogynistic is the wrong word. My dictionary gives no other definition than "reflecting or inspired by a hatred of women ".

The word you are looking for is patronizing or "treat with an apparent kindness that betrays a feeling of superiority". The door and the chair thing comes off as patronizing. Everyone agrees you should not drop doors in people's faces*, it's just that such a superficial gesture of human decency gets too far elevated. You are also taking away her ability to do the same for you.

quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
I'd reckon that it's the opposite of chauvinism. Traditional Southern etiquette isn't about putting women down . . . it's about elevating them.

It's still sexism. It's very hard to convince people that positive stereotypes, while much less evil than the negative ones, still hurt because someone is making a snap judgment about that person, or their abilities. The most obvious example is saying all Asians are good at math. While it's nice to assume someone is automatically talented, I'd like to leave it as an exercise to the next posters to give reasons why the person the receiving end would feel uncomfortable. Cover the case where it's both true and not true.

*unless it's locked door with card access. I have too many friends with stalkers, so don't try this with me.

[ January 15, 2013, 04:00 PM: Message edited by: theamazeeaz ]

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Rakeesh
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Elevating them right out of, say, having jobs...
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Dan_Frank
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Stone Wolf, here's an easy litmus test: would you offer your coat, carry groceries, etc. for a smaller, weaker man? What about for a woman who was bigger and stronger than you?
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Aros
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This is stupid. It's not a "don't worry your pretty head" about it issue.

Is it wrong for a guy to take the "dirty jobs" around the house? I'm all for job equality, pay equality, etc., but should a man not take out the garbage? Change a tire on the side of the road? It's not about the man being better than the woman.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
This is stupid. It's not a "don't worry your pretty head" about it issue.

Is it wrong for a guy to take the "dirty jobs" around the house? I'm all for job equality, pay equality, etc., but should a man not take out the garbage? Change a tire on the side of the road? It's not about the man being better than the woman.

Then what's it about? Is it about the man being worse? That's not an improvement!

Fewer and fewer people know how to change a tire these days. I've stopped and helped men and women both. Same way I've held doors open for both, and bought dinner for both, and even given my coat to both!

I'm not arguing against common decency and treating others with respect. But why base it on their genitals?

People should do the jobs that they know how to do. And they should do the jobs they want to do.

What's the argument for doing it any other way?

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Stone_Wolf_
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It's about men and women being different! For God's sake!

If I was with a person regardless of gender who was mechanically inclined (as I am, not my whole gender) and we got a flat while they was driving, I would offer to -help- with the tire. If I was driving with some who was not, I would offer to fix the flat myself.

I -have- offered to help men with carrying things, and offered my coat to a male friend who was obviously cold when I was fine.

Men and women are different, there are common traits, such as size, strength, etc which are more often to be present with one gender then the other.

Insisting that men and women be treated exactly the same is as silly as insisting that one gender is better or worse than the other. We are different. On average. The hugely vast majority of things that a man can do, a woman can, and vice versa.

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rivka
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All my kids, male and female alike, are expected to take out the garbage. They frequently claim I had kids for the free slave labor.

They're right, of course, except about the "free" part.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
It's about men and women being different! For God's sake!

If I was with a person regardless of gender who was mechanically inclined (as I am, not my whole gender) and we got a flat while they was driving, I would offer to -help- with the tire. If I was driving with some who was not, I would offer to fix the flat myself.

I -have- offered to help men with carrying things, and offered my coat to a male friend who was obviously cold when I was fine.

Men and women are different, there are common traits, such as size, strength, etc which are more often to be present with one gender then the other.

Insisting that men and women be treated exactly the same is as silly as insisting that one gender is better or worse than the other. We are different. On average. The hugely vast majority of things that a man can do, a woman can, and vice versa.

I'm not insisting on people being treated exactly the same. On the contrary, I advocate treating people as individuals based on their exact individual situation and preferences.

Their gender doesn't dictate that, though. And I'm against assuming attitudes based on gender.

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theamazeeaz
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
All my kids, male and female alike, are expected to take out the garbage. They frequently claim I had kids for the free slave labor.

They're right, of course, except about the "free" part.

My mother told me frequently throughout my childhood that the only reason she had children was so she could have slaves.
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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
I'm not insisting on people being treated exactly the same. On the contrary, I advocate treating people as individuals based on their exact individual situation and preferences.

Their gender doesn't dictate that, though. And I'm against assuming attitudes based on gender.

That's fine, but there are some traits which are common to both genders and not being aware of them puts you at a disadvantage.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
I'm not insisting on people being treated exactly the same. On the contrary, I advocate treating people as individuals based on their exact individual situation and preferences.

Their gender doesn't dictate that, though. And I'm against assuming attitudes based on gender.

That's fine, but there are some traits which are common to both genders and not being aware of them puts you at a disadvantage.
What are you talking about?

Bearing in mind everything I said in the post you quoted, can you explain what this disadvantage might be?

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Parkour
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
It's about men and women being different! For God's sake!

Are women different in a way in which they need have the man's tipping habits concealed from them, or expect doors be opened for them by males?
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stilesbn
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No one has argued that it is courteous for men to conceal their tipping habits. No one has argued that women should expect doors to be opened for them by males.

So the answer to your question is no.

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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:
No one has argued that it is courteous for men to conceal their tipping habits. No one has argued that women should expect doors to be opened for them by males.

So the answer to your question is no.

I did argue that it was poor form to flaunt your tipping habits. It is generally recognized that one should be discrete and not show everyone the check.

Also, it would be poor form for someone to open up a check someone else paid to find out how much they tipped.

And my daughter DOES expect me to open her door. But this is part of the relationship between her and I, and there's nothing wrong with that.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Our brains make sense of the world by compiling facts into stories that make sense, even if the story is entirely fictional.

By attempting to (I doubt your brain is fooled) remove all gender norms from your predictions on what is about to happen, you are just denying the story your brain is already telling you. *shrug*

It is great (no sarcasm at all) to treat people as individuals and not lump them in with any other group, and it should be done when dealing with people, but regardless of how you treat others, your amygdala is predicting what you will be facing long before your conscious mind ever gets a single at bat.

Aros: Concealment and discretion are not the same, though they can seem similar. And your daughter having a special bond with you is miles away from all women everywhere rightly expecting for all men to treat them predominantly. Parkour's is a throw away question and stilesbn's response is appropriate.

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scifibum
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quote:
And my daughter DOES expect me to open her door. But this is part of the relationship between her and I, and there's nothing wrong with that.
I do think it's sweet that you treat your daughter with so much kindness, just to clarify.

But I think it would be good to reflect on what you are teaching her about her place in the world, too.

Is she actually more deserving of this special treatment than your son would be? (If you have a son, what does he conclude from this?) If she (or he) doesn't conclude that she has somehow earned special treatment as a reward for being female, what other conclusions may be drawn? (Possibly: that girls are less capable of helping themselves and others in this particular way than boys are?)

If you intend for your daughter to plan her life around such ideas, then I suppose you should carry on. When I consciously avoid such lessons*, it's not because I don't think my daughter is special or deserving of kindness, it's because I don't want to falsely convince her of fundamental differences between her and boys. If the differences are truly fundamental, I suppose that they will be expressed despite my failure to deliberately reinforce them. (And, to be sure, she learns these lessons from the culture around her. Without isolating her, I can't prevent it entirely, nor do I want to prevent it entirely. I think finding a comfortable fit with the culture around her is important; that may include some gender-based roles and behaviors. The important thing to me is to help her keep her options somewhat open, so she will be [more] free to figure this out for herself, based on what makes her happy.)

I hope that whoever my daughter spends her life with treats her the way she wants to be treated. I'm aiming for her to determine how she wants to be treated by experiencing being helped and helping others, being deferred to and deferring to others, leading and following and cooperating. I don't think it's necessary to impose rules predicated on her sex for how she should expect to interact with others.**

*...This is not always. I was certainly brought up with some of the same behaviors and beliefs and habits, and they are still there, and they come through in various ways, I'm sure. I try to avoid passing on the things that don't make sense or that contribute to rigid social customs that I think can be harmful.

**Same goes for my boys.

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Parkour
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
Parkour's is a throw away question and stilesbn's response is appropriate.

I think on some level having you in particular decry my questions as "throw away" validates them in some way, because of your tendencies here as a "debater".

While this could be a throw-out insult, it's not in this case, you just really are constantly impervious to what people are trying to tell you and then you accuse them of playing some sort of runaround game and saying things like this, so stop. It's not them. It's you.

quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:
No one has argued that it is courteous for men to conceal their tipping habits. No one has argued that women should expect doors to be opened for them by males.

So the answer to your question is no.

Okay. If the idea here is not courtesy then what is it.

quote:
Originally posted by Aros:

And a tip should be discreet. If a lady sees how much a gentleman is tipping, he's either flaunting it, she's being nosy, or she's just happened to glimpse it in passing. Not saying that he should hide the check when he's filling it out, but signing a check isn't something everyone should see.


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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
I'd reckon that it's the opposite of chauvinism. Traditional Southern etiquette isn't about putting women down . . . it's about elevating them.

Not really. It's about putting them on a pedestal- there are various implications regarding the woman's place in society when the goal is to place her out of reach of normal social engagement. "Elevating" women is not that much different from degrading them. The object is to distance the person from the image of the "lady." [
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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:
quote:
Originally posted by Aros:

And a tip should be discreet. If a lady sees how much a gentleman is tipping, he's either flaunting it, she's being nosy, or she's just happened to glimpse it in passing. Not saying that he should hide the check when he's filling it out, but signing a check isn't something everyone should see.


Parkour, I guess we're Aros differently here. I read this as saying, "You shouldn't flaunt your check. If someone sees the tip, no big deal but don't flaunt it." This is more in line with how Americans deal with money and keeping how much they make a private matter (I believe this was discussed sometime last year in a thread). I don't think it has much to do with chivalry and that to be courteous you must hide the amount you tip like a paranoid Gollum.

So like SW said, "Concealment and discretion are not the same."

Edit: UBB Error.

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ElJay
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Moved to the Chivlry thread, 'cause I didn't notice it was there before posting here.

[ January 16, 2013, 12:58 PM: Message edited by: ElJay ]

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Tuukka
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Things are just more varied nowadays. Back in the old days there was a more rigid "system" to dating. There were steps you were more or less expected to take. Now it's more loose, and the system of dating varies a lot, depending on what kind of a person you are. It's just one more sign of cultural fragmentation that has happened in the last couple of generations. And it's going to get even more fragmented in the future.

Old-fashioned courtship hasn't disappeared anywhere. Taking a girl to a cup of coffee, or a dinner, or movies, is still probably the most common way. There are just more alternatives, and more people use them.

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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
I think on some level having you in particular decry my questions as "throw away" validates them in some way, because of your tendencies here as a "debater".

While this could be a throw-out insult, it's not in this case, you just really are constantly impervious to what people are trying to tell you and then you accuse them of playing some sort of runaround game and saying things like this, so stop. It's not them. It's you.

I'm being lectured by the king of the drive by snipe...LoL!

I am a debater, and proud of it. I actually get in and discuss things, not just sit back and make snide comments. And I am open to being convinced, as proven by the many times I have acknowledged that the other side made fair points and changed my opinion. Two things I have never seen you do...change your mind or engage in meaningful discussion.

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