I thought I was done with this. I was paired up with an older woman in my sketch comedy class to work on a sketch. The gender of the protagonist became a question. I said, I didn’t think it mattered. She said, “yeah I don’t mean to bring it up. I’m not one of those…” Really?!? You’re not one of those…? I replied: “I am. I am one of those. So no need to worry.” How can one admit to not being a feminist. That’s like saying. Don’t worry I’m a fuckface. I’m not going to offend you because I’m a waste of a human being.
I went to work where I expected my female co-workers to be more enlightened. Instead I spent the entire shift explaining to a co-worker and a customer that expecting a man to pay for the first date is the reason we have domestic assault. I had to explain why chivalry is a way of continuing a patriarchal system, while they defended their shallow desires with claims that being nice wasn’t a bad thing.
They’re right of course. Being nice is not a bad thing. But being nice to one group of people forces you to expect something back from that group of people. When men constantly open doors for women or get up from their seat for a woman or pay for womens’ meals they are creating two things: 1. They are making women seem weaker than they are. Women can stand on their own, open doors on their own, and pay for their own things. Most women make more money than me, have stronger thigh muscles than me, and stronger arm muscles as well. 2. It rips away any semblance of agency that a woman might have. She can’t refuse a drink that’s paid for because then she’s a “bitch,” but if she accepts it she is allowing a man to make decisions for her. He decides when you drink, when you walk through a door, and when you sit down. This is a power he can rip away at any time and does because this forced agency teaches men to think that they have to tear down the woman who they “gave so much to.”
I don’t think my argument here is profound, or even edited because I don’t want to have to read a monologue I’ve performed a million times before, but rather I think that this should be common knowledge. I didn’t take any women’s and gender studies classes at my school, neither did I take any media analysis classes, but it isn’t just through class that we learn. People need to pay attention to the world around them and then maybe they’d stop being so goddamn stupid and I wouldn’t have to rant at people in bars about why the fact that chivalry hasn’t died is directly correlated to the continuing existence of predominantly male to female sexual assault.