Say Hello to your Gender Fairy…Godmothers.

 

According to feminism, and feminists of all stripes women – all women – are forced into gender roles, not only that, this nefarious patriarchal plot has been going on for ever.

Don’t know about anybody else, but the gender fairy didn’t fly into my room every morning, drop my gender script for that day’s performance of my “role” on my head, and fly out again.

There were no lines to learn, no costumes to wear, no character to “get into to” in fact I’m sure my parents and everybody’s else’s parents would’ve noticed fairies flying in every morning and dropping gender scripts on their children’s heads!

I say children, because apparently it is as children we “learn, or are forced to learn” our gender roles – presumably as we grow up, we have the lines and character down pat, and have played our part so many times that it becomes second nature to us.

But but but……feminists will protest, it is society that forces people – and when feminists say people, they mean women – into gender roles. Men are “not people” they are oppressors, patriarchal bastards and all round bad eggs, so they get to be the part of society that imposes these gender roles.

Hmmmm, is that so? Well I’m “people” ergo part of society, some of my family and friends are “people” though a majority are of the “not people” category, but nonetheless, therefore also part of society – and nope – never once in my entire life has any one of these “not people” – men, forced me to play some scripted gender role.

Actually, quite the reverse, when it came to either saying directly or by insinuation that there was a right way and a wrong way to “be a girl” it was invariably females. Any attempted oppression or threat of social disapproval for stepping outside the “girl” role came without exception, from other females.

Which brings on to another aspect of acting out a role – or being forced to act out a role – there is always a script – someone has to write the script for these roles. Now who could that be?

Who have always been, throughout history the ones who spent the vast majority of their time worrying about, writing about, setting down the rules, and dictating what is or isn’t proper behaviour for “men” and “women”?  It should be noted that some men did write about proper behaviour, but curiously mostly confined themselves to the behaviour of men or of men towards women.

“The basis of good manners is self-reliance. Necessity is the law of all who are not self-possessed. Those who are not self-possessed, obtrude, and pain us. Some men appear to feel that they belong to a Pariah caste.

They fear to offend, they bend and apologize, and walk through life with a timid step. As we sometimes dream that we are in a well-dressed company without any coat, so Godfrey acts ever as if he suffered from some mortifying circumstance.

The hero should find himself at home, wherever he is: should impart comfort by his own security and good-nature to all beholders. The hero is suffered to be himself. A person of strong mind comes to perceive that for him an immunity is secured so long as he renders to society that service which is native and proper to him, — an immunity from all the observances, yea, and duties, which society so tyrannically imposes on the rank and file of its members.

“Euripides,” says Aspasia, “has not the fine manners of Sophocles; but,” — she adds good-humoredly, “the movers and masters of our souls have surely a right to throw out their limbs as carelessly as they please, on the world that belongs to them, and before the creatures they have animated.” (*)

(*) Landor: Pericles and Aspasia.”

From: The Conduct of Life.  V: Behavior  (1860, rev. 1876) by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Interestingly Ralph Waldo Emerson talks of “…..observances, yea, and duties, which society so tyrannically imposes on the rank and file of its members…” the question to be asked though is, WHO imposes these “observances” and “duties” on the members of society? WHO has always dictated the proper behaviour for men and women – in essence WHO wrote the script (s) for these gender roles that apparently only women are, or were ever, forced to play?

Let’s just take a look at perhaps the most famous of all experts on etiquette,  Emily Post 1873–1960. Etiquette being just an old-fashioned way of describing how people should behave – i.e. – play out their gender roles.

Now Mrs Post was writing at a time when the expectation was that people got married – though in a previous post (See: Forsooth! Oh Save me Oh gallant Knight) not all men were inclined to do so, and one Mrs Charlotte Smith had some harsh words for those reluctant “patriarchs”. For those who did get married the inimitable Mrs Post had some wise words for new bride.

From:  Etiquette.  1922.  Chapter IX.  One’s Position in the Community.

“A bride whose family or family-in-law has social position has merely to take that which is hers by inheritance; but a stranger who comes to live in a new place, or one who has always lived in a community but unknown to society, have both to acquire a standing of their own. For example: “

Now that she has established that a new bride’s social position is not based on any merit, or on any skill, but simply on the circumstances of her birth, she continues to set the stage for civilised behaviour in a civilised society. 

THE BRIDE OF GOOD FAMILY

The bride of good family need do nothing on her own initiative. After her marriage when she settles down in her own house or apartment, everyone who was asked to her wedding breakfast or reception, and even many who were only bidden to the church, call on her. She keeps their cards, enters them in a visiting or ordinary alphabetically indexed blank book, and within two weeks she returns each one of their calls.” 

What this is saying is that our new bride merely waits for others to “pay their respects” to her – on the sole basis that she got married. There is no onus on her to make any real effort to go out and forge her own way. 

  “As it is etiquette for everyone when calling for the first time on a bride, to ask if she is in, the bride, in returning her first calls, should do likewise.

As a matter of fact, a bride assumes the intimate visiting list of both her own and her husband’s families, whether they call on her or not. By and by, if she gives a general tea or ball, she can invite whom, among them, she wants to.

She should not, however, ask any mere acquaintances of her family to her house, until they have first invited her and her husband to theirs. But if she would like to invite intimate friends of her own or of her husband, or of her family, there is no valid reason why she should not do so.

This is the most interesting passage, because it is here that we see exactly who controls “society” who dictates who is or isn’t worthy of being included in civilised society. Remember we are talking about a time when people entertained in one another’s homes – when being invited or not invited was the mark of acceptance or rejection – by – Society.

Lo and behold, as soon as our bride gets that ring on her finger, is SHE who assumes control of the only social outlet available at that time.

“As a matter of fact, a bride assumes the intimate visiting list of both her own and her husband’s families, whether they call on her or not. By and by, if she gives a general tea or ball, she can invite whom, among them, she wants to.”

If we travel a little further forwards in time we see that it was always women who dictated the proper behaviour for both men and women;

From: 177.9 A425-1 (1950) Behave Yourself! Etiquette for American Youth by Betty Allen

“[Women] aren’t supposed to know how much dinner-for-two comes to or how generous your escort tips. So don’t look very interested when the waiter brings the check. It’s his privilege to scan the figures on the bill before paying it. During this little episode you could perhaps be gazing out the window or looking for an imaginary something in your handbag.”

Mind Your Manners by Betty Allen

And this little snippet from 177.9 E77 (1953) Esquire Etiquette

“Hold all doors for her, just as if she hadn’t a muscle in her body.”

Even the most cursory delve into the area of etiquette, and what is or isn’t proper behaviour – or if you prefer – the correct way to play your gender role, will show that it is and always has been women who have dictated the parameters of these oppressive (to women) gender roles:

 Other notable 20th century etiquette experts included:

 — Amy Vanderbilt (1908-1974), a New York City native, newspaper reporter and public relations consultant, who published “Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Book of Etiquette” in 1952. She also hosted television and radio programs on good manners. Vanderbilt — a distant relative of the famed Cornelius Vanderbilt family who did not share in their wealth – was regarded as a successor to Emily Post, and her books, like Post’s, have been updated numerous times.

 — Letitia Baldridge (born 1925), daughter of a Congressman and sister of a Reagan Cabinet official, served as First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s White House social secretary from 1961 to 1963. She wrote two Amy Vanderbilt etiquette books in the late 1970s (after Vanderbilt’s death) before branching out on her own in the 1980s.

 — Judith Martin (born 1938), author of the “Miss Manners” syndicated advice column. Martin’s columns and books – with titles such as “Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior” and “Miss Manners’ Guide to Rearing Perfect Children” – are known for their wit and humor.

 — Marjabelle Young Stewart (1924-2007), an Iowa native who learned good manners from the staff of an orphanage she lived in for several years after her parents divorced. As an adult, she became a professional model and sponsored charm school classes for all ages. Her annual list of America’s “best mannered” cities frequently cited Charleston, S.C., Savannah, Ga., and – surprisingly — New York City.

 Baldridge, Martin and Stewart all lived or worked in Washington, D.C. and were part of its social scene during their careers. Baldridge and Martin still live in D.C., while Stewart spent her later years in Kewanee, Ill. after marrying her second husband.

 

So, feminists – what was that you were saying, about how men imposed oppressive gender roles on women?

 

Advertisements

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. donzaloog
    Jan 14, 2014 @ 14:44:25

    You did a good job of deconstructing this lie. Feminists lies usually fly in the face of what most normal people know to be true.

    Reply

    • Anja Eriud
      Jan 14, 2014 @ 14:53:28

      Thank you donzaloog,

      My own thinking is that women, not just feminists perpetuate this “we are/have been oppressed….blah blah blah…” lie by using the MOST oppressive techniques – social approbation and dissaproval, relational agression, insinuation and passive aggressive behaviours, and by being the very one’s who make all “rules” – cognitive dissonance anyone?

      Reply

      • donzaloog
        Jan 14, 2014 @ 15:00:15

        Oh yeah. Cognitive dissonance is part and parcel with the feminist package. They way women use their power is subtle. They manipulate people to get them to do what they want through the methods you stated. But men’s power lies in the physical, so it’s easy to paint us as the bad ones because our strength is evident o everyone.

        It’s like Dr. Warren Farrell said: “Man’s greatest weakness is his facade of strength. Woman’s greatest strength is her facade of weakness.”

  2. wtfwtf13
    Jan 16, 2014 @ 18:42:34

    Patriarchy ????????????
    uhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhohohohohohhahahahehe……….

    Who the fuck was “oppressing” whom?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: