Against Chivalry

This morning, the Examiner’s Justin Green issued a series of tweets that provide a nice window into how those on the right think about gender relations. Here is the relevant exchange:

So, in Green’s mind, women are filed alongside the elderly, the disabled, the tired, and the disheveled. Given that the theme unifying the last four groups is weakness and disability, Green’s addition of “women” to the list is highly suggestive that he believes such traits characterize women as well.

Many people are willing to write off chivalry as a mere variant of politeness or tradition. However, to do so is to overlook how small gestures shape the way we understand ourselves and others. By yielding a seat to a woman, a man affirms his own superiority over the entire gender. His concession is an affirmation of inherent gender differences whereby women are understood as incapable and inferior. And, by endorsing such differences he legitimizes all of the associated social structures that would place the lesser sex under his supervision and authority.