Monday, August 6, 2007

Place the bill in the middle of the table and your tip will be niiiice

Ladies,
When you are out with a boyfriend, husband, friend…whatever it may be…where is the bill usually placed? From my experience it is usually in front of the male whether the server be male or female. Keep this assumption that you are engaged in a patriarchal relationship from being true and cover your own part of the bill. Open the door for this male. Demand the same amount of respect as he. Put an end to this chivalry which to me is just inequality. What reason does a male have to treat a female one way and not expect the same treatment back? Do we as women intend to receive but not to give? These little steps, rebellion some may even see it as, reject small signs of dominance exerted by males on the day to day basis. What makes you believe that you shouldn’t be responsible for paying for your own expenses? And if you’re going to allow him to pay for you, when will you offer to pay for his? Right now are you saying you shouldn’t have to because he is the man? Well does being the male entail financial superiority? If not, why are financial responsibilities on the list of manly duties? These practices are rooted in a misogynistic culture. Will you continue to follow these guidelines?
You think a real man pays the bill all the time? No. A real man is so wrapped up in “being a man” that he is intimidated by a woman who can cover her part.

Stop making that move from a patriarchal household to a patriarchal relationship. Remember, cash rules everything around me. CREAM get the money. Dolla dolla bill y’all.

In order to respectably demand equality on a greater scale you must first demonstrate your ability to embrace it on a smaller one.

4 comments:

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Kyle said...

I suppose my question is what does equality look like? Starting from a biological basis, there are stark inequalities (or should I just say differences) between males and females. Women can bear children; men can't (trust me, I'm okay with this one). Men are on average stronger, taller, and faster. Men have a greater ability to contribute genetically to many offspring while women endure 9 months of pregnancy for one child. You get my drift.

I won't pretend there isn't a side of this dichotomy that I can't experience. However, I think the quest for "equality" often subverts the unique characteristics that men and women bring to their interactions with one another. I think being complementary is more important, if only because it seems that attempting to set a tipping point for male/female equality becomes an elaborate scorekeeping game, which I am loathe to start. I'm curious to hear about the motivation behind the chivalry of other men, as well as the way in which other women receive it. Historically it has roots in Medieval knighthood, with heavy emphasis placed on social restraint and moral fortitude, though it has evolved into an idea of men treating women as the "weaker" or "fairer" sex. To me, respecting a woman does not mean treating her like a man. It means valuing her unique personality and character and expressing that value through our interactions. Does equality mean denying or ignoring difference? It reminds me of the arguments some people make against distinctions of race and culture. If someone purports to be colorblind, does that negate (or necessitate) the existence of racial and ethnic markers of difference? I'm curious to hear other opinions.

Elizabeth said...

kyle,

though much of what you have said is true, i point to how treatment of women along lines of sexual difference have rarely been in our favor. in fact, the language of chivalry for women happens to be that of justification for the limitations of women's rights.
i want to challenge the language of power we use when describing those who are differently cable from ourselves. for example, you note that men are "stronger, taller, and faster", as though those words would not immediately denote a hierarchy of value where men are, to put it simply, better. its useful to understand that one of the reasons why women's movements have often chosen to deemphasize the body in liberation is because body difference has been used as evidence of weakness. no doubt there are limitations in doing this, but avoiding grounding rights on physicallity is more than irate feminist politics. there are tactical advantages to doing so.

of course, none of this precludes both sexes treating one another with civility, with consideration. manners need not be gendered - this is the key point which i think brittani notes.

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