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‘Chivalry is dead and feminism is to blame’ – Sophie Kelleher Comments

‘Chivalry is dead and feminism is to blame’ – the title of the ridiculous article that today appeared on my newsfeed. I knew I ought not to take the bait but I couldn’t help myself, I felt compelled to read it. Upon finishing it I was left with the overwhelming urge to publicly humiliate the man who wrote it.

Amongst the article’s highlights were claims that gender equality was to blame for a decline in heroism (defined in the author’s own words by acts such as carrying heavy things, holding open doors and making his mum a cup of tea) because, as he justifies, “you might offer to help change a tyre and get a slap for being sexist.” He calls rape culture “serious and frightening” yet seems to think that most of the issues that constitute feminism are either too dull to engage his attention, or apparently a figment of the female imagination: “I lose the will to live when feminist bloggers find sexism in places where it doesn’t exist.”

The supposedly informed journalist who wrote it, Martin Daubney, has the idea of feminism completely warped. My spine shivers at the thought of all the men in the world, beginning to feel disenfranchised by declining male privilege, applauding him.

Let’s get one thing straight – doing somebody a good deed is not chivalry it is courtesy. I hold doors opens for people too; does this make me a knight in shining armour? I also make cups of tea for my dad so clearly I am messing with the gender status quo as well.

Martin Daubney seems to think that womankind is suffering from the death of gentlemanly behaviour. He assumes that heroism is exclusively male based on an assumption that women are the weaker, more helpless sex. Women apparently need random male strangers to help them change tyres and, as suggested by the main photo in the article, to rescue us from flash floods. In truth, all we need in those sorts of emergencies are trained professionals – gender not specified.

Ironically, Daubney’s whole mode of thinking is just a stones throw away from the ‘rape culture’ mentality he believes to be so abhorrent. Do your homework mate; male-on-female rape stems from an inherent belief in male authority, it is about keeping women powerless. Telling a woman that she can’t accomplish anything without a man isn’t that far off from physical oppression; they are two sides of the same coin, all boiling down to the struggle to maintain power and control.

I am sorry that Daubney feels exhausted by the prevalence of misogyny in everyday life, but perhaps he should spare a thought for the 50% of the population it actually affects. However, we angry feminists are usually too preoccupied with the objectification of our bodies, the rising pay gap, female genital mutilation and sexual harassment to shout abuse at strangers for offering to help us carry heavy things.

Intrigued by the man himself I delved further into Google, only to be more horrified by the abundance of anti-feminist spiel attached to his name. Martin Daubney is a keen activist for something he terms ‘mannism’- clearly his attempt to save the world, one white middle class male at a time. 

Of course, exposing himself as the rampant sexist that he is, I am hardly surprised that Martin Daubney doesn’t like feminism very much. I only wish he didn’t have the platform of the Daily Telegraph website to spread his chauvinistic beliefs.

The article makes a number of outrageous claims, not least that that his mum enjoys folding laundry. The only useful thing that I could glean from it was that the struggle for gender equality might mean that insecure men cease to hold doors open for me. I think I can cope with this. Personally, I don’t need an excuse to treat anyone like a decent human being.

Read for yourself at:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/thinking-man/10648415/Chivalry-is-dead-an…

Photos: Taken from the original article.

2nd year English Lit student at the University of Bristol
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