“Benevolent sexism” is men looking after women, holding doors open, walking on the off side of the pavement, helping women with their coats. With the right person it can be pleasant occasionally, and the man’s motivation may be caring, but it reinforces the idea that men are strong and women, who are weak, need looked after, and makes it more difficult for women to be authoritative. “Oh, don’t worry your pretty little head about that.”
I heard that feminists did not want doors opened for them before I heard of BS. I had no idea why. So the term is very useful, expressing elegantly the problem: this is sexism, treating people differently on the ground of their sex, and it has the pernicious effects of sexism. If doors are too heavy for smaller people to open without too much effort, make them lighter! But men still show they don’t understand.
Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified. Sadly for Paul Ryan, there are few opportunities to be a hero in modern civilised life. Women do not need champions, and saying we should not be “objectified”, while true, does not make you one. You can get to be a hero in fantasy role play, perhaps. Reverence is unnecessary too: respect is sufficient.
Hitting on married women?… Such vile degradations demean our wives and daughters. Mitt Romney thinks men should protect the women who belong to them?
I’ve never said I’m a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I’m not. It’s not a good idea in an apology to start on “It’s not that bad really”. Say the apology and move on. But if your highest claim to decency is that you are not hypocritical about your abuse, you are a psychopath. Any healthy person knows that they should pretend not to be quite as vile as Mr Trump’s remarks reveal him to be. He would grab women between the legs, and kiss them on the lips. He would sexually assault them for his own sexual gratification. He is a noisome liar, but these remarks have the ring of truth.
Paul Ryan’s and Mitt Romney’s remarks show their attitudes are scarcely better. If Republican condemnation of Trump’s boasting of groping women between the legs does not indicate that women are equal, those who condemn do not believe that women are equal. Even Mitch McConnell’s remarks aren’t quite it. As the father of three daughters, I strongly believe that Trump needs to apologize directly to women and girls everywhere, and take full responsibility for the utter lack of respect for women shown in his comments on that tape, he said. So, unmarried undergraduates need not believe the same? What about, “As a human being, recognising that women are human too”?
Representative Jason Chaffetz seems closer: If I can’t look my fifteen year old daughter in the eye and tell her these things I can’t endorse this person. He points out that was an apology for getting caught.
Conservative Evangelicals, to end with: What have we taught our boys about respecting women? What have our little girls learned about men? That was Dr James Dobson of Focus on the Family. Character matters, and the American people are hungry for that message. We care about the conduct of our leaders, and we will not rest until we have leaders of good moral character. Was that conservative Evangelicals standing on principle? No; they were talking about Mr Clinton, in the 1990s. David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network tweeted, This just in: Donald Trump is a flawed man! We ALL sin every single day. What if we had a ‘hot mic’ around each one of us all the time? Mmm. Does Brody grab women between their legs, too?
Here is Mr Trump’s initial statement, in full: “This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course – not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.”