Ladies, I think we can all agree that chivalry culture is canceled
If you’re a woman who exists on Planet Earth, you’ve experienced chivalry culture. But it’s not something we talk about nearly often enough, so pull up a chair, readers. Even if you don’t immediately recognize the term, you will in a minute. Let’s start with this viral tweet thread that perfectly illustrates what we’re talking about.
Author Rebecca Mix was casually browsing some makeup when she was approached by a man. You know the type. A Very Helpful Man™ who was going to save Mix from making a regrettable lipstick purchase.
so. something v weird happened earlier.
I was picking out lipstick at target & some older dude said in a pretty condescending voice “You don’t need that stuff, you’re already beautiful.”
Which like, fuck off, who asked you?
Instead I just said, “Yeah, I know.”
& he got mad.
— Rebecca Mix (@rebeccarmix) July 15, 2018
Ladies, I’m sure you’re all with me now, nodding along. This is common. When women accept compliments from men, it tends to make men angry. They retract their compliments. They hurl insults instead. This is a well-documented phenomenon. You know what’s coming next.
him: I gave you a compliment— Rebecca Mix (@rebeccarmix) July 15, 2018
Me: I didn’t want it
Him: you’re SUPPOSED to say thank you
Him: Vanity is ugly. And you’re actually quite plain. I was being nice.
Me: guess I better buy more lipstick then.
at which point he left pretty pissed at it’s like? fuck? off?
Mix is already well versed in this bullshit.
I started responding to “compliments” from random dudes w/ “thanks, I know” a while ago and this is ALWAYS how it goes down.— Rebecca Mix (@rebeccarmix) July 15, 2018
Women don’t exist to be validated nor do need they to be. I quite like myself, and I fuckin love lipstick. If I don’t ask your opinion be? quiet?
meanwhile the few times women have commented on the makeup I’m buying it’s some variation of “bitch that red will look KILLER on you!!!!!”— Rebecca Mix (@rebeccarmix) July 15, 2018
if someone is shopping for a new shirt I’m not gonna go up and be like you don’t need that 🙂 the shirt you have on is fine :))
anyways this is a small thing & and it’s unimportant but it’s just a v odd pattern I’ve observed and I’d bet my next paycheck other women have had the same experience.— Rebecca Mix (@rebeccarmix) July 15, 2018
like, siri show me fragile masculinity
Mix told Scary Mommy that the response she’s gotten to the tweets has been a mix of support and… more men proving that this is a thing.
“I’ve gotten a lot of support, but it’s…interesting how furious some men are,” she said. “The tweets they’ve been making and tagging me to make sure I see them calling me a whore/ugly/telling me to die are wild.”
She continued, “Honestly, I feel like men with that kind of toxic masculinity are so used to responding with anger that when someone says, ‘Hey, this behavior isn’t okay,’ they perceive it as a personal attack instead of a problem with the larger culture as a whole so they automatically lash out.”
And that includes some kind of scary responses to her Twitter thread.
“Some of them tracked me down on Instagram to scream at me? I was like, ‘What the fuck?'” she said. “I feel like every woman that’s spoken up about something online is inevitably harassed by the men who are most likely guilty of the behavior she’s condemning.”
Frankly, it’s garbage that this is such a common thing that women everywhere have experienced exactly what Mix is talking about. If a man really means the compliment he gives to a woman, shouldn’t he be delighted when she confidently acknowledges that it’s true? Why do men get angry when we agree with their compliments?
Oh, yeah, because chivalry culture exists. It demands that we be self-deprecating and demure. It demands that we respond to a compliment with a blush and a “thank you,” because the compliment isn’t actually about us. It’s not given selflessly to make us feel good. Men use compliments to force us to pay attention to them, whether we want to or not. They use them to make us validate how kind and polite they are, even though they’re actually often assholes who should keep their opinions to themselves and let women go about their days in peace.
What this all boils down to is that there should be no expectation for how women interact with other people. We deserve all the freedom to react in whatever way we feel like, no matter how that makes a fragile male ego feel.