Yes, the title is a question because I don’t know what constitutes a true gentleman any more.
You see, I have explained and discussed the differences between girls and boys with the Munchkin, but never in a “girls are delicate flowers” type of way. He obviously knows that there are physical differences and sometimes preferences toward dolls and such, but that’s where it pretty much ends. I’ve never told him to give girls any type of special treatment just because they are girls. I’m a feminist like that.
So this past weekend at a family gathering, I heard my father say to my son, “You need to let Jenna pick which seat she wants to sit on, because, you know, she’s a girl.”
And my father meant that in the most gallant way possible, that old-school thought process that opens doors for ladies, pushes in their chairs, and things of that nature.
Well, I have to say my son resisted the notion that Jenna should get to pick something over him just because she is a girl, and I have to say that I sort of agree with him.
Now, if my father had simply said, “Jenna gets to pick first because she is your guest” which she was, that is an entirely different story. But he didn’t, and the whole situation got me to thinking about how to deal with the whole chivalry thing.
So now I am torn.
I really do want my son to be the kind of person that opens doors for ladies and pushes in his girlfriend’s chair when they go to a nice restaurant.
But how to do that without sending the message that girls are deserving of special treatment, which many feminists say ain’t so?
Talk about mixed messages.
Or am I just overthinking this whole thing?