Monday, March 12, 2012

RELATIONSHIPS : What Every Man Should Know


I wasn’t aware. No one told me. And then the other morning, I read it in the obituaries. The murderous, unruly death of chivalry! My heart skipped a beat-- my hand almost let go of my vanilla latte. How in the world did this happen?! How come no one could stop this?!
DO NOT roll your eyes at me. Maybe I am being a little dramatic, but the message holds true. There is an epidemic, and it’s dangerous (especially for the safety of the ill-mannered young men who happen to run into me). Young men everywhere are forgetting how to be gentlemen. And I, so selflessly, am here to stop it. 
This situation is particularly ironic here, at UC Berkeley. In class, many of these very men are absolute geniuses: bioengineers inventing prosthetics, brilliant mathematicians whose walls are made up of white boards, young philosophers delving into the purpose of life. They are impressive, discovering and creating incredible things just as undergrads. And yet, these same brilliant men seem to lack the basic intelligence that would lead them to open a door for a woman. Has adaptation fazed out common courtesy in our males? If you can recite to me the first 100 digits of Pi, but you cannot open the door for me? You should realize that, socially, you are screwed (or helplessly alone except for the companionship of your own hand.)
Not all men have forgotten chivalry. There are notable exceptions, like the men who offer their seat on a crowded bus to a woman, offer to help her carry that heavy bag she is so clearly struggling with; men who not only open the door for a woman, but actually wait to enter after her.
Now, if you are at all thinking,

“These rules no longer apply in an age where woman have gained rights (almost) equal to men.”

 “Isn’t it sexist to assume a woman is 'weak,' and not able to carry her bags on her own?”

What may not be fully understood by the male population is that being a gentleman is one of the most attractive qualities a man can put on the table. The "bad boy," "attractive because he's an asshole," all men try to embody? Yeah, that's only attractive in high school. Women mature past that, and if you want to get with the women that are actually worth your time? I'd suggest adapting: become a gentleman. If not for women, for yourself. More impressive than the size of his biceps, the number of 30 racks he drank last night, or his ability to “pown” all opponents in Call of Duty, is his ability to forget about himself for a minute and act in a way that shows compassion. That shows genuine interest in the opposite sex. 
So, boys, I am giving you this million dollar advice (or at least, finally getting a trophy girlfriend advice), free of charge. You're welcome.
When a woman walks by, open the friggin' door (and no, weak pushing-back-the-door-quickly as you speed through does not count).
If I woman is clearly struggling to carry something, offer to carry it. Chances are she will be too prideful to accept your help, but the gesture itself will be very much appreciated.
Open the woman’s car door when she is entering and exiting the vehicle. (Ladies: sit in the car until he walks around to open the door for you.)
And lastly, don’t you ever, even for a moment, think that it is okay to honk your horn on the driveway as an indicator you are ready for her to come outside. I’m really glad your horn works. Now that you’ve tested it out, can you please ring the doorbell?

The Woman Behind the Fitness Section:
Samantha Salis is a Psychology Major and Political Economy Minor at UC Berkeley. She is a dedicated young woman, ambitious and sharp as a whip. Our dear Samantha tutors high schoolers and works at a Psychology lab at UC Berkeley. Even with this busy schedule, Ms. Salis creates the time to divulge to us her passion about the fitness and health of women, and is (fortunately for us) very well informed on these topics. Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

First off, you are a college student. You're basically going to school with "boys," no matter how smart or old they are. They aren't really men yet, no matter what the legal definition is.

Secondly, this article reeks of self-entitlement. I'm not against men being more gentlemenly, but at the same time, they not going to give it out to a girl who feels like she deserves it for no reason what so ever, and your excuse of "women pushing out babies" is neither appropriate nor fair, as it implies a relationship that you aren't even looking for. You're simply asking every man to drop what he is doing in order to make your life easier by opening every door, carrying all your bags, and giving up his seat on the bus just because, if you allowed him to, he could get you pregnant.

Sorry, but maybe the whole reason men aren't gentlemen anymore may have to do with how egomaniacal most women seem to have become. I quite often hold the door open for women, but I do it because of my desire to be nice, not because you feel like I should have to do it for you. I hold the door open for guys as well. It has nothing to do with how great you think you are, but rather just being nice others, men and women alike. Get off your feminist high horse and realize that the world doesn't revolve just around you.

Anonymous said...

The idea of men having to open doors for women is a little old-fashioned, isn't it? Shouldn't we all just open doors for anyone? In essence, the idea of a woman waiting for a man to open the door belittles the woman and implies that she is incapable of doing so herself.

Samantha Salis said...

I think that you missed the point of my entire article completely. My examples apply to all areas of life----not just the extremes that you are making them. Are there exceptions to everything? Of course. Do I offer to help men carry things when they are struggling? Yes. People IN GENERAL should have these forms of courtesy toward each other. I am not disregarding the importance of this reciprocation. Rather, I am emphasizing that there is a generation of men who have forgotten to do THEIR PART. The example of giving up your seat to a woman is the same exact thing as giving up your seat to an elderly man. At what point in your life did someone teach you to respect your elders? At that same time, did nobody teach you how to respect women? You are making the same assumptions of women that you are arguing against for men. Some men are gentlemen some men or not, but you are making a very grand statement by saying all women are "Egomaniacs." I think that your feeling of threat from a strong woman or a standard gentleman has distracted you from the difference between confidence and entitlement. Women do not need the help of men; we have shown our success in all academic fields. But, it shows a great deal of confidence, caring, and humility to acknowledge that kindness yields kindness. The women whom you are opening the door for: do you have any idea what kind of person she is, what she does in her spare time, if she is respectful toward others? No. But if you risk executing this simple gesture, opening her door, because of not knowing the answers to these questions, then what kind of person does that make you?

Anonymous said...

Hi again Samantha,

You bringing up the bus is an excellent analogy I'd like to expand upon. As the other commenter noted, suggesting I give up my bus seat or holding open the door inherently implies that women are not equals. You say that women are just as equally capable, and I agree that they are, but you're asking they are given precedence over a man in every situation. I do respect women, and I respect them as equals - as I noted, I hold the door open for anyone who is behind me, regardless of gender. I helped an old blind black man cross the street and go down the block just a couple weeks back - it had nothing to do with his race or gender or anything else. He was blind and needed help. If he was a young, blind woman I would have helped as well. But you can't ask for special treatment and ask to be considered an equal at the same time. It's hypocritical and ultimately degrading to women.

Your style of over the top "journalism" isn't helping your point either. First off, you misquote me. I noted most women are egomaniacs, and you say that I said all of them are. There is a different. Most simply means more than half, it implies the average, and could be anything from 51% to 99%. Where does the actual percentage of egomaniac women fall? Who knows for sure, but it certainly isn't all women. Second of all, like I pointed out in the last comment, making statements about how women are the child rearers and other such factually incorrect comments are disrespectful. Just because men can't give birth doesn't make the importance of a father figure in a child's life any less important. The physical act of giving birth is important, but once again, you can either consider yourself an equal to men and, as such, consider the act of birth to be a non-issue, or you can ask for special treatment just because you have a different chromosome.

I'm merely pointing out the large, gaping holes in your argument. I didn't miss the point at all, but your only response to the counter-argument is that women have babies, and thus the counterpoint is invalid? Are you serious? If women want to be taken seriously and be considered equals, you need to have a better reason than that for us to stick up for you.