02 June 2011

Where Have All the Princesses Gone? Why I Want My Sons to Watch Princess Movies - Part 2

Me and my Bro
My parents did a fantastic job raising me and my brother. They taught Joshua from infancy how to treat a lady. Being siblings, we were often at odds, but he knew how to treat me. He still opens doors for me, offers to let me sit down before he does, carries my shopping bags or my children, and for my birthday a few years ago he took me to dinner and to see Phantom of the Opera live. He treats me like a lady and I know without a doubt he loves me. Yes, that’s my BROTHER I’m talking about (by the way, as alot of women don’t know how to enjoy being treated like a princess, he is available and I’m accepting applications on his behalf...). My response is to honor that treatment by respecting him, yeah we joke around and tease and drive each other crazy, we ARE siblings for goodness sake; but I would die before I did something that truly embarrassed him or made him look bad.
They also taught me alot. I learned many aspects of being a real princess. What I failed to learn was how to let a man be chivalrous. I’m not sure how much of that was due to my parents teaching and how much was due to society. But while my brother learned how to be a gentleman, I learned how to be independent nearly to a fault. I started to work on letting men be men thanks to a guy friend in college who actually made me go back inside a building because I hadn’t let him open the door for me. We were never anything remotely more than friends, but he was taught to treat all women with respect and care; as a result, he is now happily married to a very lucky woman.

Jake getting me out of yet
another pickle
Unfortunately for my husband, Jake, he’s the one who pays the price for my independent streak the still occasionally runs amuck.
While I very much appreciate him opening doors for me to get into the car, I don’t even consider waiting until he has the opportunity to get around the vehicle to open the door for me to get out of the car! He acts of chivalry are all to often met with “I’ll just do it.”, “No, I got it.”, or “That’s ok, I can do it.” I have a very difficult time letting him do something for me that I know I can do. I don’t want to  waste his time, and I often forget what he often reminds me: He wants to do things for me. He loves me and knows that I’m capable of doing anything I set my mind to. But just because I have the ability to do it doesn’t mean that I should have to.
As tween, teenager, and college student I loved the song “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?”, with the release of Shrek in 2001 “I Need A Hero” regained popularity from the 80’s. I, like many young women believed that all the real men had disappeared. Now I see that maybe my generation of women worked them out of a job.
 How long will a Knight wander around looking for someone to rescue when all of the damsels in the land make it perfectly clear that they don’t need or want help; and that to even offer help is an affront and the surest sign that an otherwise nice young man is a chauvinistic pig?

Jake recently wrote a short blog about Chivalry and the new blockbuster Thor. I can tell you that I was not the only woman in the theatre who exhaled a completely involuntary “Awwwwww” when Thor kissed Jane’s hand instead of going in for a lip-lock. In that one tiny gesture every double-x chromosomed being melted and anything Thor might have asked for in the entire world was his. 

Then chivalry was murdered.

Jane kissed him. She didn’t know what to do when confronted with a true gentlemanly gesture. She’d never been taught how to respond to something like this. So she did what made a great movie scene, she just planted one on him. *Sigh*

It’s a vicious cycle, women want chivalry, they want to feel like they’re worth a million bucks, but they’ve been taught that to allow a man to do anything for them means that they can’t do it for themselves; they don’t possess the ability. Or at least that’s what they’re taught to think that the man is thinking. Convoluted already isn’t it? So add the other half of the cycle, the men see this affront and in an effort to keep from offending yet another woman, they don’t offer assistance again to anyone. Women wonder why no man ever treats them like they’re worth a million bucks...

So,I am a product of a society that told me that princesses are for little girls who don’t know any better and that any boy who treats you nicely wants something in return, he couldn't possibly just be treating you as a lady. Guys my age are products of a society that tells them not to think they’re any different than a woman other than obvious physical attributes, treat them like you would another guy.

And that’s where the princesses have gone, into the oblivion that society has created to hold both them and the handsome princes. Thus, no woman ever feels appreciated for the princess she is, and no man has a princess to fight for.

Check out Part 1 and Part 3 and follow on Facebook or Twitter so you don't miss out!


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