Monday 18 July 2011

The Sexist

A few weeks ago I was accused of being a sexist.

But it’s worse than that, dear reader – apparently I am a benevolent sexist.

To be fair, I wasn’t the only person accused of this heinous crime. The accusation was aimed at a huge amount of men who are clearly as bewildered by the charge as I am.

In an extraordinary attack, a bunch of feminist psychologists targeted me and many other nice fellows with claims that are outrageous.

Here’s what they said about me:

(1) Whenever I open the door for a woman, I am being sexist.

(2) Whenever I say that I love women, I am being sexist.

(3) Whenever I call another woman “Sweetheart”, I am being sexist.

(4) Whenever I refer to another woman as being lovely, I am being sexist.

(5) Whenever I offer to carry a heavy bag for a woman, I am being sexist.

(6) Whenever I help a woman buy a computer, I am being sexist.

(7) Whenever I compliment a woman who has cooked a delicious meal, I am being sexist.

What is happening to the world?

Sometimes I am absolutely certain that the whole world is going mad.

Have these people nothing better to do?

Let me just state one thing: I am not sexist, not even in a benevolent way. At least I don’t think I am. If I were to believe every idiotic report from a bunch of people who are on some moral crusade then I would most likely end up living in a little cave somewhere in the Lake District, too scared to come out or open my mouth in case something I did or said turned me into a pariah.

Rant over, dear reader, but please allow me to answer this peculiar charge.

(1) I am guilty of opening the door for women. I am also guilty of opening the door for men. I don’t call that sexism (benevolent or otherwise) – I call it good manners. Next time I see a feminist I shall shut the door in her face and let her complain about that. No doubt I will be accused of being a malevolent sexist.

(2) I love women. I am fascinated by women. I live with a woman who intrigues me, entertains me and enthrals me. Most women I know are fascinating creatures. Why am I sexist for that? I am male – I can’t help my feelings and I am not going to hide them because somebody takes offence when I offer to chat to them and find out about them. And I know women who are equally fascinated by men. Does that make them sexist?

(3) I don’t call women “Sweetheart” but I have been known to call them “Love” as in “Are you okay, love?” Women, particularly older women, call me “Dear”, “Love”, “Sweetheart” and all sorts of other terms of endearment without fear of me accusing them of anything.

(4) I appreciate female beauty – I am a man – I can’t help it. But equally, women I know also appreciate male beauty. Mrs PM often remarks on the appearance of guys on the TV. Is she sexist for doing that? She simply can’t help it. She is a woman.

(5) If I see a women struggling with a bag I will offer to help her. Equally, if I see an older man struggling to carry something I will offer to help him. I have helped mates move furniture. I have helped children when they kicked their football into a tree. I have even helped men push broken down cars. Again this is good manners and all due to the fact that I am a nice guy. Sexist, my arse.

(6) Mrs PM helps me buy cloths because, in her opinion, I am useless at it. Is that because I am a man and she is a benevolent sexist? Nonsense, total and complete nonsense.

(7) I love eating food and I will compliment the chef even if that chef happens to be a six foot five bruising animal who plays rugby with other guys of a similar ilk. To be honest, people who take the time out to cook a meal enjoy the praise no matter who is giving it.

I will confess to one thing, dear reader.

During my first week at university way back in 1981 I was wandering around looking for decent university societies to join when I stumbled across the “Feminist Society”. I was slightly taken aback, as were the two lads I was with. Before I knew it, I had walked up to their stall and said:

“Excuse me, can I join?”

A rather angry looking woman with bright red hair glared at me and said:

“No, you may not join.”

“Why not?” I replied.

“Isn’t it obvious?” she sneered.

“No,” I said.

By this time, my mates were chuckling.

“You’re a man,” she said, slowly and deliberately as if addressing a total imbecile with the IQ of mouldy cheese.

“THAT’S SEXIST!” I declared as loudly as I could before storming off in a huff.

Sadly, on that occasion, maybe I WAS being a little sexist – just for a laugh, you understand.


drb said...

Hi Mr PM,
There is nothing wrong being a sexist. I am a sexist - men and women are different, not one sex is better than the other sex but just plain different!

Men should open door for me; men should carry heavy bag for me; men should love women and shower than with compliments and gifts, and pay for women.

I would rather stay at home and cook lovely meals and arrange flowers than to run around and bring home the bacons. I have never voted in my life, which is fine as one party is as bad as the other.

I don't know what some women are thinking and they are ruining it for the rest.

Elephant's Child said...

It is scary (and silly) attitudes like that which gives feminism a bad name. Yes, I would call myself a feminist. But I would also be happy to have a meal I cooked complimented and a door opened for me if I would find it difficult (for whatever reason) etc,etc. I would not be happy to be told 'you cook well for a woman' or similar crap. Nice to hear that you are a person with manners.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi drb,

Mt relationship with Mrs PM is different; we both work, we both cook. However, I do buy her flowers - because she likes them.

I don't like to be pigeon-holed by anybody, especially those who would pop me into a box labelled "sexist". Such women, for me, are as you say, ruining it for men like me and women like you.

They do not like being tagged as "men haters" but in some ways they are. They've had a pop at real sexist men and now they want to have a pop at every other man.

Thankfully they are in a minority and the rest of us normal people can enjoy treating other people in a good way.

Phew - my soapbox was out there again, drb - I love a good rant.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi EC,

I don't think you are a feminist - at least not in the same way as the extreme woman with red hair in 1981.

Women have every right to be what they want without being pigeon-holed. I would never add the phrase "for a woman" at then end of any compliment - I would deserve a slap if I did. Mind you, between you and me, I do sometimes wind up Mrs PM with jokes like "Get in the kitchen woman and cook my tea. And while you're on, bring me my slippers." This usually follows the question from her "Who's on tea duty? Is it me?"

And invariably I get the slap I deserve.




River said...

I'll echo your comment>
"what is happening to the world?"
and add one of my own.
What is wrong with people?
There is nothing wrong with good manners, being polite or giving and receiving compliments. And saying thank you for all of those.
Feminism, sexism, racism, all are words that should never have been invented.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

Once again wise words from you and I agree totally.




Anji said...

It's nice to know that there are some people left with good manners. I hold doors open for people too and I'm a woman. A lot of it is common sense. I cook the meals, but I also do any simple repairs around the house as my husband is hopeless at it

We (men and women) are different and I think in relationships it's up to the people involved to decide their roles. It's no one else's business.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Anji,

Very wise words - I totally agree.