Some vehicle engineer at BMW thought they’d put a “gentleman function” in the 2009 BMW 750i. What is a “gentleman function,” you ask? On the driver’s side door, there is a switch allowing the driver to adjust the passenger’s seat—forward, backward, up, down.
It registers a “meh” on the chivalry scale. And with a name like the “gentleman function,” it’s clear what kind of genitalia BMW thinks is behind the wheel of their cars. Really, if the BMW did something chivalrous as a “gentleman function,” I’d prefer it paid for dinner. [Edmunds Inside Line] Keep reading »
A few months ago, I accidentally shoved my foot in my mouth on a listserv I participate in. I got a bunch of irritated emails and issued numerous apologies. What did I do? I addressed the women as “ladies.”
Some women hate to be called “ladies,” I came to find out. It’s an outdated word, they said, which brings to mind white gloves, tea sandwiches, and balancing a book atop one’s head for good posture. (Betty Draper on Mad Men, for example.) The directive to “be a lady” or “act like a lady” usually encourages women or girls to become more like a retro gender construct—polite, smiling, quiet, compliant, modest, presentable—and they want nothing to do with it. I just assumed that because the word was so outdated, it meant nothing—and I was wrong.
So now I’m wondering, of course, about a lady’s counterpart. If “being a lady” has a stigma attached to it, does “being a gentleman” have a stigma, too? And what does “being a gentleman” even mean these days, anyway? Keep reading »
A male blogger named Anthony Michael Rojas posted a little list entitled “How To Treat A Woman On A Date: The Basics” on his Tumbler blog this week and it got quite a few angry reblogs from women who felt like his suggestions were sexist. Rojas clearly believe his suggestions to be basic “chivalry,” while his detractors seemed to suggest that there is a difference between chivalry and manners, because chivalry is rooted in sexism. I found many of the responses to not only be silly, but also bordering on unintentionally satirical of “feminist” anger. It was clear to me that the original poster wasn’t being a jerk, so why did the responses treat him like one? Still, the back-and-forth did bring up the issue of whether these eight seemingly harmless gestures are actually offensive because they supposedly treat women as the weaker sex. Let’s go through them one by one, shall we? Keep reading »
It’s no secret that the women of The Frisky are obsessed with Patti Stanger from “The Millionaire Matchmaker.” But last night I found my devotion to her screed rise to a new level, as I found myself yelling at the screen, “Yes, Patti, YES! Preach sister!” Sure, I disagree that men and women should stick to traditional gender roles and hate her staunch anti-curly hair stance, but Patti’s got gems. I was cheering when she touted just how far a guy can get by showing a little chivalry. “Chivalry is free and it gets the girl.” Indeed, Patti, indeed. You see, my current dating situation — with Chicken Parm, for those taking notes — is kind of lacking in that area, and while he’s practically perfect in every other way, this has become a major stumbling block. Patti and I disagree a little about what kind of chivalry is really necessary and will get the girl (at least this girl) — Patti’s big into door opening and meal ordering, but I don’t care so much about that. After the jump, five chivalrous moves I think Patti and I would co-sign. Chicken Parm better take notes. Keep reading »