How Chivalry Could Heal American Misogyny

I just found on my Facebook wall a post titled „5 Reasons Why Women Should Celebrate the Death of Chivalry.“ It made me jump to the ceiling. Since Woody Allen scandal came up again few weeks ago, I’ve been thinking about women in the United States a lot. Actually, I’ve been thinking about women in United States a lot since I moved here three years ago. Before I moved here, I lived in Croatia and Austria. And I just can’t stop being shocked about how much, and how deeply women are hated in this country. Something went terribly wrong here and somewhere along the path to equality, and instead of partners, American men and women became competitors, even opponents.

My slow and sobering realization of what is going on in this country was accompanied by huge disappointment: Women in Europe are continuously being told that women in the USA are treated way better and that here, equality has come way further. In Europe, women are shown amazing US statistics of female CEOs and politicians and working mothers and equal pay. What they are not told is that this pretty picture hides a very dark side. They are definitely not told that in spite of the statistics, women in Europe have it way, way better. Because they are truly respected – as women.

Back home, women have dignity and pride. Men don’t go to private dinners where they are served by women in lingerie (or topless). Strip clubs are not commercialized  - it is not normal for men to visit strip clubs on regular basis with their friends. And their girlfriends would definitely not be “OK with it,“ let alone think that joining the men and sticking bills in women’s panties is “cool” or “emancipated.” Back home, people understand that no woman really feels comfortable selling herself, that dancing naked in front of strangers is humiliating. Back home, women don’t think it’s cool to take a pole dancing class. Crazy bachelor parties with strippers and sex with prostitutes are unfortunately just a recent copy of American tradition. Back home, TV ads don’t show women in bikinis giving sausages blow-jobs. TV series don’t look like soft porn. Women aren’t expected to be bare between their legs like porn actresses. Or dress like them.

Faced with this amount of disrespect and degradation, no wonder American women are angry. They hate. They hate men and they hate themselves. They go around screaming at men “We don’t need you!” and “Chivalry is bad!” and “There aren’t enough women in media!” when what they want to say is “Respect me!” The message is wrong. And it creates a catch 22 situation – the angrier and more militant women are, the more they attack men and tell them „I’m same like you so I don’t need you!“ the more men will yearn for womanly women and run to strip clubs where sexy ladies will seduce them and purr into their ears and make them feel like the center of the universe, especially when they take out their hard earned cash. We all want to feel special and appreciated. Men want to feel like men! Just like women want to feel like women. Each in their different ways.

Yes, the difference. Vive la difference! La Difference is the mother of chivalry. Not shying away from La Difference would make the lives of both women and men in this country much easier – and more enjoyable. We are different. Nature made us different. This difference is the very source of life. It’s the source of magic. I can’t lift as much as my husband can. I’m not strong enough to repair the shower or move the fridge. I can cook dinner and I can sew. And I can carry a baby for 9 months and use my body to keep it alive for a year. During which, I will be grateful if he would protect us and take care tasks of I will not be able to handle. We are different. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have same opportunities, same pay for the same work or same rights. What it means is: It’s OK for a man to help me with the luggage – he is the stronger one. It’s OK for him to open the door. Just as it’s OK for me to cook him a special meal. It’s OK for me to admire his strength and for him to adore my femininity. Men and women should act like ying and yang, complementing each other and creating an powerful whole. That’s chivalry – enhancing each other, giving each other respect, showing each other tokens of affection by taking away the tasks which are for one a piece of cake and for the other a burden. It’s being nice to each other. Why for heaven’s sake should we celebrate it’s death?

(And by the way, doesn’t the immense success of “30 Shades of Grey “ tell us something? In spite of telling men they don’t need them, women here yearn to sometimes just let go and let men take over.)

I realized how bad the situation really is in this country when Woody Allen scandal hit the media again couple of weeks ago. (In case someone doesn’t know about it: Allen married his adopted daughter from the relationship with Mia Farrow when she was 19 – after Farrow found pornographic pictures of the daughter in Allen’s apartment. Years before that, their other adopted daughter Dylan claimed Allen molested her. She was 7.)  What really shocked me was the reaction of my American male friends: They concluded in all seriousness that women are so emotional about Allen’s child molesting case because it involves their biggest fear: that one day their husbands are going to leave them for a 19 old girl. This came from educated, intellectual circle of married men with children – who should be very much aware of the horrors of child molestation. When I heard this, I was so shocked, I had a physical reaction. I felt sick. I dare say with full conviction that men back home would never, ever come to such a misogynistic conclusion.

It seems to me that to American men women are just self-centered, hysterical, frustrated, jealous, insecure beings who want their share and men’s share and who are ready to chop men’s heads off in revenge and anger. And partially, it is women’s fault. As long as they yell at men that they don’t need them, that they don’t need their help, as long as they get offended if a man offers to pay for dinner or opens the door, the men will be dreaming of escaping with a naive19 year old who is still amazed by all those things. The last thing women in this country need is the death of chivalry. Actually, it’s the opposite: they should bring chivalry back. They should celebrate the difference. Enjoy being women. Make men feel special. Bring back the lost respect, and admiration for each other. And fight misogyny – softly and gently, the way only women can.

Which by the way doesn’t mean they should give up their equal pay and CEO positions.

Here's the link to "5 Great Reasons Modern Women Should Celebrate the Death of Chivarly"