- Exaggerated or aggressive patriotism.
- Excessive or prejudiced loyalty or support for one's own cause, group, or gender.
Although commonly attributed to men, chauvinism is gender-blind or at least neutral. I offer this definition to offset any confusion or to placate the more politically correct, but mostly for a working/manageable discourse. Also, I must make clear that I will be stepping on a few toes, and I will become very irritable very quickly if I am personally accosted for my views or daring (as a man) to address the grievances of women. Although, I believe my own affinity for the softer side of human beings gives me license enough, let alone my personal association with angry feminists who seem to take on more "rights" than is due them. Personally, I see countless parallels between grievances of gay men as well as women in our society. Both are denied equal legal protection, rights, and even social equality. Gay men are too feminine, feminists are too butch or lesbians (something else which should have no bearing on equality), they are "unnatural" and worst of all they are fascists, not to mention fighting for equality of opportunity. As W.E.B. Dubois points out, there is Veil, a double consciousness, that women have which straight, white, affluent males do not. Such is probably why women are, though a peculiar and relatively new phenomenon, ingratiated with homosexuals, particularly feminine men. Both champion equality of opportunity and self-expression, as well as abandonment of sexist notions of gender or sexuality.
I think most people forget that equality does not mean usurpation of male privilege, or excessively exclusive consideration for females, but for equal treatment and social opportunity for men as well as women. In that sense, Feminism is not different, nor could it have had grounds without the early suffrage movements of black Americans, as insulting as it was to women that even uneducated black males had more social standing than them, at least politically. Feminazis, though mostly myth, DO exist, and I'm sure we've all encountered one person who made us want view all feminists in the harsh light of cynicism, but we must remember that feminism is more than mere equality of opportunity (whether social, political, or economic) but also of consideration. This increased sensitivity to diversity comes across as politically correct, but it is not: it is compensation for the lack of consideration given to women in our current society. However profound for their time liberal feminists were (and I'm using this from a political theory perspective), we must remember that they were functioning on the same flawed concepts of personal and societal progress or success. We no know beyond any doubt that having someone love you is more important than even a roof over your head for some (such as my ex-boyfriend).
Which leads me to my second acknowledgement. Though circumstantially based, as are all individual experiences and needs, we need each other and everyone needs or wants different things; this is completely ok. However divorcing context from principle, liberal feminists argue for a monolithic sense of womanhood and personal satisfaction based on the male-centric concepts of political realists. Affluence and material wealth is most important, education is only for vocation/profit, and political equality does not need consider the differences in political injustice. In all of these assertions, none are resolutely or absolutely true. Liberal feminism merely demands what man has said is most desirable for men, and applies it equitably to women. In this regard, I have no problem with feminism. Indeed I have no problem with feminism itself at all. I have a problem with the hubris afforded to "Feminazis", however. That is, some have overtly declared themselves on some righteous crusade against manhood. I too thought this was all Rush Limbaugh lunacy; that is, until I saw it in my own life.
As a shy, insecure, and scrupulous young man, I realize that nice guy is usually used interchangeably with these traits of the "pathetic man". However this expression of disgust, as other feminists have noted, is partially a failure of liberal feminism. Men are supposed to aggressive, firm, and resolute in their personal autonomy as well independence, particularly in their freedom for producing personal profit or capital. Not only is this endorsing a subtler chauvinism, this time it is being perpetrated by those who are most marginalized by it (women). It is basically butching-up the concept of women, and sticking that label on every human. Sensitivity, though given lip-service, is second to power and the personalities we associate with strong, successful men. The truth is that anyone who is neurotic or scrupulous will necessarily be more prone to being subjected to personal humility or abject insecurity. This is not any sign of someone who is pathetic, nor is it really why some feminists hate "Nice Guys".
The real reason is an enmity produced by the cognitive dissonance between what is ideal and what is reality, in regard to attraction and ideology. Women know they should like men who are meek, humble, and courteous, but still bear the social scars of male chauvinism. In turn they project these injustices onto those who are least likely to complain: insecure or passive males. Males are still expected, subconsciously, to be stoic, as are now women; they are to be resolute, with firmly established (though completely illusory) "boundaries", which are but a grievance against excessive honesty; lastly, they are too be macho, to a fault which usually corresponds with confidence. Unfortunately the distinction between a "confident" man and "asshole" is elusive even to seasoned women. I have no problem becoming close to others in a matter of days granted the right circumstances, I was told to think that this is undesirable. Something I firmly believe to be absurd, and even personally offensive or damaging to those she would probably deem as similarly "open" about who they are and want others to be as well.
This kind of entitlement to not only your own freedoms (which are completely deserved) but the right to hold men up to an antiquated notion of what Man (in the universal sense) should be, is not only sexist, but deserving of its association with fascism. Why is a lack of confidence a bad thing? I'm not speaking of insecurity, but a healthy humility and sense that you are no better than others. Science elucidates even further the illusory nature of personal merit through autonomy, albeit indirectly. Why is femininity considered unattractive, even "gay", by the foremost laymen proprietors of femininity? It is because it is not attractive, nor "normal". They are disgusted by it sexually, perhaps even mentally, and feel a need to justify (as everyone who is challenged on their dogmas often are) their lack of attraction to so-called "Nice guys. Very little has anything to do with unattractive characteristics. In fact, shy, meek, humble, and yet smart men who are feminine are extremely attractive to me. So much so I have pangs of sexual arousal offer distraction even driving when I consider my ex, and our mutual feminimity. Another more obvious reason is that many gay men are "nice guys" in the very same sense as most rejected "nice guys". Am I, or is any free-thinker, to believe this is entirely due to some fault of the "insecure" nice guy? Such a claim is asinine, and yet it is what "Feminazis" are incessantly complaining about, and demonizing. Suddenly they treat women well, not because they want to be nice, or are simply nice people, but because they want to get in women's pants. Such assertions are as patronizing as they are personally insulting.
A prominent issue is that women are, in fact, usually disgusted with the overly feminine man who cries when he sees a sad movie, or a man who doesn't act as the aggressor in a relationship (I myself had to be the one to do so in my relationship with my ex-boyfriend, as even he said he was more in the "female role" of the relationship in this regard), we're supposed to flirt, and we're supposed to be decisive when doing so. Well, unfortunately this leaves very little up to personal choice or preference, and even less to personal concepts of what's attractive. Why this model? Why, because it's "normal"; it's been that way in society for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years (although there was no need for any aggression, as there was no concept of dating or romantic love in the past). True few women actually hate men, though some do out of ignorance or abuse, but the culture of "rights" has brought about an unprecedented sense of female entitlement. The same can be seen in radical (as in bat-shit crazy) black political activists, such was the case with the black panthers, which had their basis in genuine personal grievances, or even white guys decrying affirmative action or some sort of reverse-racial chauvinism
One must not seek political or social vengeance, nor should one embrace any sort of reverse-chauvinism or sexism. Lastly, I must say that the indignation with which I was accosted for merely challenging the notions of a "pathetic" 'nice guy' was in an of itself enough motivation to write this, however I also saw it was something that was serving to pervert the just cause of feminist liberty and equality. Women seeking their own emancipation, indeed, all disenfranchised groups, should not even inadvertently subject others to the subjugation or presumptuous expectations that they themselves were once subjected to, nor should they seek some sort of vengeance or usurpation of the power men used to have. Such power is that of the Bourgeois Big Owners, who themselves are reprehensible human beings, and embody everything that is wrong with Liberal 18th-21st century Enlightenment Philosophy (especially Laissez-Faire capitalism). Such are powers of exploitation, not of natural right or justice. If such is the new purview of Feminism, then I can no longer call myself amongst them. Thankfully, as anyone familiar with Feminist thought know, this preoccupation with exploitative power is only desirous to vindictive lay feminists or those of professional, personal vendettas of bitter vengeance. Liberty and true femininity do not allow for such despicable influence. Just as offensive is the assertion that men, and only men are the problem or proprietors of feminine subjugation. Though my professor thinks it does not actually exist, I have to beg to differ based on personal observations. Though the efficacy or pervasiveness of these unfair, disingenuous assertions are in question, the existence I do not believe itself can be, which was the main reason I wrote this blog entry.