I had an interesting conversation very recently…
Before I start, the word ‘chauvinism’ originally meant what could basically mean extreme patriotism. For this post, I use the word as its latter context for believing one sex is superior to another.
I was talking to one of my coworkers, named Suzie, who is among the Boomer generation. She and I frequently have in-depth conversations, mostly about how society is going downhill. She and I agree on virtually everything regarding how men and women are, and how men and women ought to be, though I would call her views about women to be cynical, where I think mine are just simply realistic.
Recently, she made a mention, very much in passing, about how her father was chauvinistic. She said that, “When he told me to make him a sandwich, I had to do it.”
This was the first time I’d ever heard a real-life story about a man exerting power over others simply for the sake of it. I was a little shocked to hear it. I’ve never heard of men actually being like that (you only see it in movies, and we all know Hollywood is a left-wing cult), and also, that’s just not how men are supposed to be. Suzie outright described her father as chauvinist, contextually meaning that her father thought of women as inferior and thus he treated them as inferior.
I remember telling Suzie, “That’s too far.” Plain and simple. She seemed to know what I meant. But for those reading this post, I’ll explain what I meant.
Her father seemed to have been the type who believed that might is right, as if men are better simply because we are stronger. That’s a corruption of the truth. Yes, I do believe men are better than women in nearly every way, but 1), that is because we are supposed to be, in practice, and 2) we are still less important than women. It is in our nature to sacrifice for our loved ones, whether that is sacrificing our time, our money, or our very lives. That instinct is not within women, nor are women supposed to have that instinct anyway. They are more important than we are. If we give our lives to defend our home, or our country, it would be counterproductive if the people we die defending are, you know, also gone.
So, I most certainly would not qualify Suzie’s father as masculine. My idiot generation would call her father’s treatment of women ‘toxic masculinity,’ but there is no such thing. For men to treat women as if women belong under their foot is not masculine; it’s just plain wrong. Ordering your daughter to make you a sandwich or grab you another beer is not masculine, it’s just being tyrannical. There is nothing protective or provisional about treating others that way. Nor is that “making tough decisions,” it’s just being authoritative for the sake of it.
Chauvinism cuts the other way, too. Very much so. Plenty of women (most, it seems) think men are inferior to them. We are less important to our species, yes, but we also do not belong under the foot of women.
I see anti-male chauvinism when it’s perfectly okay to say negative things about men but it’s the most offensive thing imaginable to say the exact same things of women. These days, the word ‘sexism’ is a one-way street. We point to old movies where they say things like, “We can’t have a woman on this ship; it’s bad luck!” and call that sexist, but nobody thinks to call it sexist when…
- Women have never been susceptible to conscription. If the government orders people to go to war and die, it’s always the men, and never the women.
- Women can strike men whenever they want, as hard as they want, but men can’t do it, even in self-defense.
- Women can lie about being abused with 0 legal repercussions, whereas when men come forth about suffering abuse, they aren’t taken seriously whether it’s true or not.
- Women are the first on the lifeboats if the ship is going down, regardless if there’s enough for the men.
I could make that list go on, and on, and on. We all know there’s a double-standard here. And honestly, there should be. Because men and women are different, and we all know it!
That’s part of being the better sex: We stay behind when the ship is going down, we charge at the intruder in the house, we work overtime to earn extra money, we hold in our tears so that they can let theirs out.
So, when I told Suzie her father went “too far,” that is what I meant. Do I believe men should be the head of the household? Yes. But there is being the strong one, and then there’s being a tyrant. Real men know the difference.