Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché;
I just have to share this and ask what you think.
A male friend, Dan, stopped by here today and we went for a walk.
As we were getting ready to cross a street, and were both looking to see if cars were coming, Dan suddenly put his arm out and said “Watch out! Stay back!” as a car I was staring directly at, and was making no move to walk in front of, drove past us. When I sighed instead of acting pleased, he got upset. He had perceived himself as being the manly protector. When I told him that quite honestly, such a move was more indicative that he thought I was an idiot who was going to jump in front of a car without looking, he was affronted and said “well, what difference does it make if I save your life!!?” He was actually convinced he may have saved my life. He just couldn’t understand why his protective gesture was offensive and upset me. He got all huffy.
I told him that instead of being upset, he should be grateful I told him how it affected me. If his intent was to inspire admiration for his manly protective qualities, it was backfiring miserably and he shouldn’t keep it up. But when he left, he was trying not to show how offended he was, somehow convinced that I was ungrateful for not appreciating his concern.
Why are men such idiots? And why do they think women want to be treated like five year olds who can’t cross the street by themselves ?
Not a frail flower
Dear Not a flower,
Whatever! Your friend reacted because he thought he saw imminent danger. Whether there was danger or not isn’t really relevant. How you felt about it is a discussion for afterward- but do realize this is really your problem, not his.
If a man holds doors for a woman and picks up all the checks, that’s another story- then, he is being chivalrous. What’s the big deal, most people would enjoy that. If you don’t like it and want to be treated as one of the guys, say so. But just this incident in isolation makes it seem you have some deeper issues.
You say he is your friend yet you would rather see him watch you get hit by a car in front of him? That’s not very nice. Keep that up and next time he will yell look at the squirrel when a car is coming at you.
Why do men feel the need to act chivalrous towards woman? That’s both socioeconomic and cultural; in some places men have been taught to do that.
Be warned that chivalrous behavior doesn’t actually correlate to how a man will really treat you regarding cheating, finances and things that really matter. What matters is respect- and respect and chivalry do not always go hand in hand.
Dr. Brilliant Cliché
Granny says: I ran this scenario by two different people and got two different perspectives.
A guy I mentioned it to said that the woman in question is just going to have to accept that men have an instinct to protect women and it’s not even personal, it’s simply reflexive. He thinks the woman over-reacted and the guy’s heart is in the right place.
The woman I ran it by was exasperated with the guy’s reaction. She wondered if he also braked for leprechauns. Her assessment was that he was looking for an opportunity to display some sort of manliness and manufactured one where it didn’t exist. There was nothing to save the woman from! He wasn’t being chivalrous, he was either posturing or hallucinating.
I think the answer lies in between the two reactions. The guy’s intentions may have been in the right place, but it was an unnecessary gesture, since there was no real danger. I can understand the woman’s annoyance- if I were standing quietly waiting to cross the street and my companion suddenly shouted and threw his arms in my face, it would scare the crap out of me.
My guess is that there IS a deeper issue here- the guy has feelings towards the woman that she doesn’t want to encourage. He wants to become more intimate with her, and she wishes he would stop hovering and back off.
No one is right and no one is wrong…but I don’t see much hope for a future relationship.