Are You Being Held Back by Benevolent Sexism?
Are holding the door and smiling at a woman hidden acts of benevolent sexism?
Inequality of the sexes is in the news again. It doesn’t seem to matter what a man does. He is damned if he is hostile, in the slightest way, to a woman as a chauvinistic pig. Now, it has been found in a study by Jin Goh and Judith Hall at Northeastern University in Boston that men being patient and kind to women were really being sexist.
“While many people are sensitive to sexist verbal offenses, they may not readily associate sexism with warmth and friendliness. Unless sexism is understood as having both hostile and benevolent properties, the insidious nature of benevolent sexism will continue to be one of the driving forces behind gender inequality.”
They studied 27 pairs of undergraduates playing a trivia game. Results were based on physical gestures of the men using software to analyze them.
Reactions Are Interesting to Benevolent Sexism
The recently published study, in the journal Sex Roles, is getting a lot of buzz on the internet. I also listened to a local talk show hosted by John Gormley about the same article. Even the news media is picking up the story.
Most people, men and women, find the study ridiculous and a complete waste of taxpayers funding. There are a few very angry men, who have obviously been hurt by the feminist movement, commenting that women just want it all their way and men are either invisible or to blame for everything. A few feminists chimed in with their comments that it was right because men really are just sexist pigs.
I was glad to see the majority of people lamented the passing of good manners and community civility. Most said they would continue to open doors and use other polite gestures for either sex and if a woman didn’t like it, that would have to be her problem.
Does Anyone else see a Multitude of Problems in the Study on Benevolent Sexism?
The sampling is far too small to count scientifically even for psychologists. Relying on software for analysis of subjective matter is suspect to me.
From the original Telegraph article, “The researchers, from the feminist Society for the Psychology of Women” shows the study to be done by gender studies academics. They tend to see sexism in everything. The journal about sex roles is from the same group of people.
Only 1 in 7 women self identifies as a feminist. I for one am glad they are a minority. Although their movement has been around for a long time and they are very loud and fierce in their beliefs of inequality for women, they have never been as popular with most women as they like to think.
One Comment Summed it up for Me. Benevolent Sexism is BS.
Are Men and Women Unequal?
Men and women are different. We know it from living together on this planet and it is scientifically proven. We are physically, emotionally and mentally different. God designed us to be different. We are made to come together to make a whole unit. Our roles in that unit are different.
We are also equal in God’s eyes. How can I say that with such confidence? My husband and I are reading the Bible again in our morning devotions. Right from the beginning, God created woman because the man needed her. Women love to be needed.
Throughout the Bible, women have the same respect and love from God and are used mightily by God in many roles. One of the early Judges of Israel was a woman. I always thought Deborah was a general, which was impressive, but on this reading, I saw clearly that she was a Judge. Judge was the highest office before the time of the kings.
I had not noticed before the story of the women left without male relatives who petitioned for the right to own land. The human custom was for men only to own land and pass it to the next generation. When the newly conquered land was being divided, they had no right to any land. Moses took their request directly to God who said they should be given their portion.
Men are to Cherish their wives and look after widows and orphans
The biblical pattern for men to cherish and protect women seems to be a real thorn in the side of a feminist. They see it as benevolent sexism intended to make us a weaker sex. Well, generally in the physical sense, we are weaker but our strengths lie elsewhere. If we live by God’s plans, we celebrate the differences while acknowledging our equality. We need to remember apples and oranges are both equally fruit.
I personally enjoy being cherished for my womanhood and I respect the men who treat me well. I am a strong woman with leadership qualities. I am not a doormat to anyone. If any woman does not understand the role of a Christian woman, I invite them to read Proverbs 31. The picture here is of a very strong woman buying land, running a business and caring for her household.
Women are portrayed in the Bible in many roles. They are queens to peasants and heroes to villains. God befriends and calls upon prostitutes and virgins alike.
God Has a Plan for Each of the Sexes
I am glad to be a part of a scriptural church family where the men have the spiritual leadership. Women still have ministry roles within the church and we can speak to the congregation but we leave the spiritual leadership to the men in the church and in the home.
I always felt God has given me more than enough to do. Supporting a husband is a very important role. In fact, when we induct a man into church leadership, it is the couple that is prayed over.
Our men take their roles very seriously. I have seen men in tears as they describe the virtues of their wives. We feel truly cherished when God’s plan is working. We respect each other as people in every way. The men are involved in child rearing and often have a child in their arms. The kitchen work, dishwashing, and vacuuming at our church camps are shared by men and women.
Celebrate the Differences in Our Equality
We are children of God and Brothers and Sisters in Christ. I know in some churches men and women stay separated and the women do not address another woman’s husband. I look to the Bible where Jesus and Paul clearly associated with women and treated them as equals.
Societal and cultural differences abound. Humans can mess up God’s plans. Churches that do not have female ministers and pastors can be viewed as sexist and some think Christian women are victims of sexism. A study of God’s word shows us what God intended and we have found it works very well. Any extreme has its flaws.
I think this latest study is ridiculous, as do most people. I do not feel inferior to any man. I love to be treated with love and kindness. I have many friends who are male and have always been fond of men. Yes, I am married to the one I am most fond of and he is my very best friend. He gets the car for me and holds doors but he would never think of me as less than him or unequal.
We need to keep simple manners and kindness alive. Men deserve better than to be made villains at every turn until they don’t know what to do. Let’s keep our heads on our shoulders and celebrate the differences in our sexes while respecting our equality before God.
Do you appreciate being treated like a lady? How does romance fit into this topic? Do you feel just as comfortable opening a door for a man? Do you feel less than equal to the men in your life?