Why Boys Don’t Read Girl Books, and Other Horrible Things

robyn-budlender-112521

When I was a precocious preteen, I heard that boys struggled to enjoy reading. I found that hard to believe, because I found it hard to believe any actual human could dislike reading, but I accepted it. Boys seemed rowdy and sporty and unable to sit still, so it was conceivable they weren’t the best readers.

Around the time I learned this information about the sad state of boys’ reading abilities, I ran into a poster at the library encouraging boys to read. It listed around fifty titles to tempt the reluctant male reader. I stood there for a few minutes to read the whole list.

I didn’t find a single “girl book” on the list. Girl books, you ask? You know — girl books. The books with a girl as a main character. Ick. (Well, maybe I misspoke — The Hunger Games might have been listed, but precocious preteen Bailey didn’t know The Hunger Games featured a main female character because she was too busy reading through all the Newbery medal books. Girl books, mostly.)

Even with my patriarchal upbringing, I remember the distinct feeling of disgust: first, that R. L. Stine wrote a disproportionate number of the books on that list; second, that there was this unspoken assumption that a book about a girl would definitely not encourage my illiterate male peers to read.

Now, of course, the librarians who put together this list weren’t altogether off. What typical boy wanted to read a first-person account of a female coming-of-age story that involved first crushes and a period scare? What ten-year-old male wouldn’t stop an adventure series in disgust when the later books got too…girly? (“Girly,” this no-longer-ten-year-old male defined for me, meant “mushy.” To my chagrin I married him, anyway.)

Boys typically like adventure stories, pirates, war, and, apparently, R. L. Stine. Nothing wrong with that. And kids love to see themselves represented. American Girl started a “Just Like Me” line of dolls that look vaguely just like the girls who moon over them in the catalogs, so, of course, in the pre-pubescent era of cooties, a guy would relate more to a guy who does guy things. It makes sense that a boy would prefer Jedis over Judy Moody.

Again, nothing wrong with celebrating representation. After all, that’s why we feminists are all pumped about Rey, Wonder Woman, and Jodi Whittaker’s The Doctor.

What I found interesting, and slightly offensive, was that boys were not expected to have the same broad range of interests that girls did. As one girl wrote to American Girl magazine, “I love being a girl because I can do girl things and guy things!”

It’s true. Nobody makes a comment on a girl’s preferences if she loves Star Wars or Harry Potter. They’re just great, period. Girls read Lord of the Rings because it’s a fantastic series and relate to Frodo and Sam because they’re fantastic characters, even though it’s a book of primarily male characters doing traditionally male things. Tris and Katniss star in dystopian action novels without a hullabaloo. There’s always a token female sidekick in almost every “male-oriented” movie — but really, ladies, do we watch Supernatural for the female sidekicks, or do we watch Supernatural because Dean and Sam are objectively the best?

Women consume guy media all the time — action, adventure, plot-oriented movies, male-dominated stories. Women do guy things all the time — sports, video games, business. Women wear guy things all the time — pants, flannel shirts, fedoras. And apart from an occasional op-ed about how women these days want to be like men, it’s cool with almost everyone. Nobody except Mr. Op-Ed questions your womanhood.

It’s like masculinity is both distinctly masculine and the gender neutral expression of humanity.

Can you imagine men watching a chick flick just because it’s “such a good story”? Have you met swarms of men obsessed with Jane Austen to the level everybody is about the Lord of the Rings? Can you picture a straight, cisgender boy wearing pink sparkles or a dress? Do you know any male preschool teachers or stay-at-home dads? Have you ever been in mixed company and decided neutral territory was a rom-com over a Marvel movie?

While women are quite capable of enjoying “guy things,” men are not seen as capable of partaking in anything distinctly female. Femininity, it seems, degrades masculinity in a way masculinity does not degrade femininity. Femininity has way too much of women in it to qualify as a general expression of humanity.

Women don’t have a woman card to lose. And even if they do, they don’t lose it standing in line for the premier of Spider-Man: Homecoming.

I love this flexibility that living under patriarchy has required of any woman interested in interacting with culture. As a woman, I don’t balk at male priests or presidents, I read whatever genre of book I find interesting, I cry at tender depictions of motherhood, laugh at Bridget Jones, and cheer on the men as they save Private Ryan. I love the worst of rom-coms, the best of Marvel, and the classics. I am capable of learning from and emulating male role models. I enjoy the best of fiction and nonfiction, regardless of who wrote it or who features in it.

And I am not one iota less of a woman because of it.

I have to consume male media, because men have dominated, well, everything in the Western world for the majority of its run. I don’t find the literature, entertainment, or ideas of the men of the Western world something to snub my nose at merely because they’re thought up by men and not covering periods, babies, or what to wear to your friend’s wedding next weekend. (But seriously. What?)

This is, I think, the most crucial area feminism must focus on — not merely encouraging women to express their full humanity, whether in traditionally masculine or traditionally feminine ways, but encouraging men to express their full humanity, including their feminine side. We need to raise men who see femininity as equal an expression of humanity as masculinity. We need to teach men that their masculinity is not threatened or compromised by femininity — that girl things are just as good for men as guy things are good for girls.

We ought to encourage men to cultivate the broad range of experiences, tastes, and preferences women have had to even when there were no lead females in Star Wars.

HUGE DISCLAIMER THAT PROVES I AM NOT A MAN-HATING FEMINIST WHO WANTS TO ERASE NATURAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN: None of this is to exclude or diminish male role models or representation for boys. They are vital. None of this is to force guys to prefer the traditionally feminine over the traditionally masculine. Generalizations happen for a reason. None of this is even to suggest that it’s necessarily wrong to lure reluctant male readers with Harry Potter instead of The Fault in Our Stars. Harry Potter is objectively better — objectively. And he’s not an angsty teenage girl in the first couple of books.

It’s just to say that after a boy has learned to enjoy reading with this reasonable ploy, he should grow to find a role model in Annabelle from Wolf Hollow; he should learn to appreciate a well-written romance, maybe even enjoy the occasional chick flick, definitely to quote Mean Girls obsessively; he should empathize with the angsty first-person narratives of both Harry and Hazel; and he should obsess over a range of good books — from My Side of the Mountain to Ella Enchanted.

Just like we girls do.

Photo by Robyn Budlender on Unsplash

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44 thoughts on “Why Boys Don’t Read Girl Books, and Other Horrible Things

  1. telltalesnotlies

    I think you’ve hit a live wire. I think we have spent so much time in “Equality” meaning females somehow “rising to the level” of males that we have forgotten they were on the same level all along. Maybe now the emphasis should be put on males and females both being okay with their likes. I’m a nurse and once I did a teaching bit for children. One small boy wanted to put on a nurse hat, so I gave him one. His big brother chided him that only girls could be nurses. I tried to do damage control, but the enthusiasm was gone. Too bad.

    Like

    • Bailey Steger

      Well said! Equality is not about “rising to men’s level” but recognizing that we’ve been equal all along.

      Your anecdote saddens me (except the part where you step in and encourage him!). No child, male or female, should be limited because his or her interests don’t align with “masculinity” or “femininity.”

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Jasmine Ruigrok

    Heck, my brothers grew up learning to knit, reading Little House on the Prairie and were able to bake a lemon meringue pie better than I could. One of my bros even read the entire Love Comes Softly series and thought it was awesome. They’re familiar with Jane Austen flicks, and even if their not rabid fans, they do appreciate a rom-com. Yet they’re some of the manliest guys I know who love their bikes, guns, and water sports. From what I can tell, I think the thing you’re driving at is simply well-roundedness in a guy. Whether it’s girly or manly, both men and women should be able to appreciate the opposite based on its own merit without being afraid of losing their identity in the process.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Bailey Steger

      Wow! I couldn’t even make it through Love Comes Softly series and can’t bake a pie to save my life! :D Your last sentence sums up my rambling post perfectly. Also, every time you mention something your brothers, I always make a desperate prayer that any future boys of mine turn out like them! They sound very well-rounded indeed. :)

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Fran Johns

    This is absolutely wonderful. IT ought to be required reading for every parent of every boy in the world. Interestingly, I grew up in a small Virginia town in the 1940s (locus of the short story collection I will publish if I live long enough,) in a mixed-gender gang because there weren’t enough kids to segregate — and because we all equally loved the same tree-climbing, capture-the-flagging games that consumed our days until well into high school. But after we finished the Nancy Drew book we got for Christmas the girls ALWAYS traded the boys for their latest Hardy Boys book; similar trades also lasted well into high school. It’s a small-town thing I’m sorry we lost to Little League.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Bailey Steger

      That would have been my dream childhood! I had a short stint of something similar when I was ages 5-7, playing in mixed-gender gangs. We didn’t trade books, though, which might explain why I read almost all of the Nancy Drew books and never any of the Hardy Boys books! ;)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Remnants of Wit

    Oh my goodness, I’ve had these same thoughts bottled up for so long, and you’ve expressed them beautifully. I agree that this should be one of our main issues as feminists. Thank you so much for this article, I want everyone to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Forty-Two Thoughts

    This is a really cool article, and I think hits the nail on the head. One thing, you say that women are generally not judged for wanting to do ‘guy’ things, but I think there is still a culture of judging women who are into stuff which are stereotyped as being the domain of guys and doubting that they are really into them often from within the community (e.g. female video-gamers, female comic book fans etc.). Of course, it’s not to the degree that men are attacked for being ‘feminine’, but just a thought I had. Thanks for the article, it was very interesting to read :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jasmine Ruigrok

      I’ll testify to this. When I was growing up in Christian homeschool circles, it was an unspoken rule that girls didn’t do the roughhousing, the sports, or the outdoorsy stuff the boys did. I turned out to be a closet tomboy; I’d wear the skirts, do the sewing and talk about cooking when I was around the homeschool group, and at home switch to my jeans/shorts and go play football or ride motorbikes with my brothers.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. 4barkeep

    Well said. We ask for more rounded individuals of all genders and yet as a society, we do not fosture such development…and when people are trying to form platonic and romantic relationships often complain about the dirth of compatoble choices.

    Liked by 1 person

      • 4barkeep

        As I guy, I’ve chosen to err on the side of respect and always just asked a woman what she wants and is comfortable with. The thing that has always irked me is the underlying expectation that gender relationships are static. People are always free to renegotiate boundaries and comfort level all the time and have that respected. That nuance is being muddled too much these days.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Evan Willis

    You’ve already heard my two cents on this on the Facebook discussion. Thanks for saying this. As a guy who enjoys Jane Austen, Fault in Our Stars, and Ella Enchanted (I never really enjoyed My Side of the Mountain…) it’s nice to hear good sense. If a book is well written, I want to read it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Bailey Steger

      I figured you had read all of these (though how on earth did My Side of the Mountain not make it onto your reading pile?!)! As I was writing this, I was thinking, “Evan. I essentially want guys to a certain degree to be like Evan.” Thanks for being an example of a cultured man. :)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Angie

    I think it’s one of the things I most love about my husband: in his natural state (with no nagging from me), he chooses to read ALL well-written books, regardless of their target audience. Same goes for movies. Unfortunately, he seems to be firmly planted in the minority.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am Aranab

    All of Sidney Sheldon’s books are women centric and any guy who has started reading books with mystery/John Grisham stuff has read those books. Boys do not need to shouldn’t have to read anything that they do not enjoy. I once read a romantic novel called Kiss or something like that and I hated it so much that I never looked at another. And that is my personal choice. Just like how women do not need to read any men centric books if they do not want to. I read books written BY women and enjoyed it thoroughly when they are not meant to bash men like Sheryl Sandberg did in her book. So much so that after 44 pages my sister stopped reading it. It is really getting ridiculous in our time to make every one do everything in the name of equality when we are all actually looking for equity. And equal opportunity.

    PS: I absolutely love chick flicks and openly admit to watching them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bailey Steger

      Of course nobody should be forced to read (much less enjoy) something they don’t like. You like what you like! I think both boys and girls should be exposed to a range of good literature, genres, and perspectives (both female and male).

      Some of this might just be my literary snobbery showing — I am equally exasperated with women who like exclusively chick flicks with happy endings or people who won’t budge out of their preferred genres to try something new. Perhaps, at its core, this article is a push for all people to simply be well-read. ;)

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Abigail

    I LOVE this and totally agree. I think that some people fear that feminism will be less effective if it turns its gaze to “men’s issues” as well, but there are so many glaring double standards that negatively affect the whole of humanity. Justice for all, not just for women. A book I like which addresses both male and female implications of feminism is “Unfinished Business: Women, Men, Work, Family,” by Anne-Marie Slaughter.

    On a personal note, I was deeply proud of my brother when he read all of the Babymouse books — it’s the pinkest and most sparkly graphic novel series imaginable, but clever and entertaining. When I praised him, my brother shrugged this off as no big deal, and then I was even more proud.

    Like

    • Bailey Steger

      Thanks for the book recommendation! As I’ve been musing more on these issues, I realized I should probably start reading up on them. :)

      Aw!! That’s awesome! A far cry from my kindergarten boys, who refused to use pink scissors. :D

      Like

  11. Mike Stearns

    Eh… among masculine guys who read regularly, we don’t read feminine literature because we find it boring moreso than degrading. I remember belonging to a book group when I was in college and we considering reading feminine literature just to try it out and see if it’d help our social lives. The long and short of it is it felt so scatterbrained and shallow in fussing over little details. We wanted more depth, purpose, and intrigue on why the characters did what they did. We wanted to see their sense of time unfold in many directions simultaneously in considering all the possibilities of what might happen while preparing to make the most of things while avoiding the worst of things. Instead, we read a lot of drama where characters were compelled to learn from experience the hard way and had to cope with it while having regrets.

    I mean when we were boys, we liked action-packed adventure stories, but as we matured, we wanted something more cultured, passionate, and romanticist. We wanted characters who really cared about the sophistication of love instead of just wondering if someone was attracted or not. On top of that, female authors seem to be rather bad at writing love-making scenes. There’s a ton of foreplay in setting the scene, there’s a considerable amount of teasing, and then the lovers go at it for a couple of paragraphs before it’s over.

    I remember we used to actually joke around about this because we’d acknowledge how in real life, women are afraid of this happening. They don’t want the man to lure them into bed with immense effort just for things to be over in five minutes. They want the build-up to symbolize how things are going to fire off, and when things do fire off, they want it to last while the act of making love represents how they bond together while ensuring the future. In turn, we used to joke around about becoming authors ourselves instead to show these authors how it’s done. Some of us considered that it was deliberately not elaborated on because the authors were worried about men reading what they wrote to get hints on what to do, so it would be a form of betrayal for fellow women who want genuinely original men.

    Regardless of romance, we just found feminine novels to be too fussy. Yea, we wanted the characters to be concerned, but we wanted their concerns to be deep. It didn’t matter if they were cooking, dressing, dancing, talking, etc. We just wanted more insight on what’s going on in their heads that we weren’t getting.

    Like

    • Bailey Steger

      That’s a very interesting critique of “feminine” literature that I definitely don’t share. Certainly I can see how a manly man would find a girly book boring, but not for the reasons you described! I’ve never heard anybody complain that books about women and by women didn’t have emotional depth or skimped on telling the reader what was going on in their minds. Normally the accusation is that there is too much self-awareness and emotion. I’m hoping you’re not implying that female authors as a category are worse at writing than men as a category. What were you reading that you consider “feminine” literature?

      Like

      • Lea

        Yeah…and romance novels frequently have sex scenes that go on and on and on (which I generally skip through!).

        So odd critique overall.

        Not to mention the common use of female names by men for certain styles of writing and vice versa, because some things sell better.

        Like

      • Mike Stearns

        It’s been several years since I graduated, so I don’t really remember, but we still keep in touch and try to dive back into the idea now and again. Just looking through my book stashes here, I have Kristen Ashley’s The Gamble, Chloe Neill’s House Rules, Eileen Goudge’s Once in a Blue Moon, Kate White’s So Pretty It Hurts, and Nora Roberts’ The Witness. Those were all a couple years after I graduated though.

        The thing is there’s a difference between emotional quantity and quality. Again, it’s boring to read about characters that are scatterbrained where the writer just gives you a flurry of shallow emotions, but you don’t really see how they tie together. A character who simply gets caught up in the moment is exciting at first, but it gets repetitive and predictable as the plot moves forward. You want to read about characters that are concerned about what can go wrong, enticed by what can go right, and trying to balance the means with the ends in order to maximize the chance of success without spoiling the thrill of what success really means.

        I know this is an unusual criticism too, but I’m talking from the perspective of someone who actually enjoys reading. A lot of guys don’t like to read in the first place, so they’ll only read something that’s attention grabbing. If you’re a guy who’s committed to the endeavor though, then you’ll have a deeper expectation. As you mature, you realize how motive matters. Actions are a dime a dozen. Intentions behind actions make the characters who they are.

        Maybe we were just reading shallow samples though.

        Like

      • Bailey Steger

        I haven’t read any of those books or authors (though I have a Nora Roberts’ book on my reading list, so I’ll keep your critique in mind). I’ve read some pretty terrible, boring books by both men and women. Have you ever read classic female authors like Flannery O’Connor, Virginia Woolf, George Eliot, Marilyn Robinson, or Jane Austen? I’ve read lots of good modern novels written by women too. I just find it interesting that you’re critiquing all women authors as subpar and boring because you’ve read a handful as female authors and didn’t like their style. That’s as meaningful a critique as it is to say female comedians aren’t funny. Some female authors (like some female comedians and some male authors/comedians) aren’t good and fall into predictable patterns that any person would find grating, but female authors write in such diverse ways that there’s no way you can peg a female author’s style simply by her gender.

        Like

      • Mike Stearns

        When I hear “feminine literature”, I interpret it as literature intended for female audiences, not literature written by females, especially since (like Lea said) authors and publishers can use pseudonyms just to sell what they write better. The point I’m making is society and the market don’t seem to be judging feminine audiences as wanting to read emotional depth.

        (Along with Lea’s other point, that’s exactly why so many people are wary of roleplaying in erotic communities – they don’t want to fall for trapping genderfakers, so they only RP with others they can hear the voice of either in call or on a recording.)

        On the side, I will say I’m part of a few literary roleplaying communities with considerable if not predominant female memberships, and that position seems rather realistic. If you try to elaborate on emotional depth, you get ignored a lot. Sensational drama gets the most attention in those communities, and even the more sophisticated women who are exceptions to the rule complain about their peers’ shallowness, especially since that shallowness seems to be the cause of why membership is decreasing in general. At first, it’s exciting, but over time, people want maturity.

        I do remember reading Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway in college, but that was my freshman year before I really developed consideration towards feminine literature. If I have some free time, I could pick it up again to reread it. I’ve read George Elliot’s Middlemarch as well which is rather remarkable, yes. I’d definitely have to qualify it as the exception to the rule though, and the fact that it was written so long ago begs to wonder where modern sophistication in feminine literature has gone.

        Like

      • Lea

        ” I’d definitely have to qualify it as the exception to the rule though”

        Every good book by male or female is an exception. The rule is mediocrity.

        If you haven’t been exposed to fantastic female authors, you should branch out.

        Like

  12. itchywolfpaws

    This is a wonderful and thought-provoking article. I also had similar thoughts on this topic. Though, I think as children grow up their taste in books change too. If they stick to reading as a hobby, they’ll tend to explore various genres and find what they like and don’t like. I think it should be a duty, like you mentioned, to expose all sorts of literature to all children while they’re young so they can discover what they like without any sort of stigma for liking a book that is “girly” or “boyish”.

    Personally, I like to read all kinds of books with all sorts of protagonists and antagonists – regardless if written by a female or male author.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Lea

    In general, I think school should require kids to read a variety of decent books so they are exposed to different styles, but individuals should read what they like without judgement. I did read a study once that said men are less likely to buy books with female authors, which women will buy either. [and as I think I mentioned above, the whole nom de plume thing makes some of this just marketing!]

    Like

  14. Archerry

    About masculinity, the phrase which you quoted by saying masculinity is degraded by feminity, but is not vice versa, it seems that men and women, boys and girls are all been brought up like that. For millennia, boys have been taught to be boyish and do the boy stuff. Whereas the girls can be anything even boys. Boys have been brought up in such a way to undermine the status of girls. It is prevalent all over the world.

    Read our blog posts on
    https://youthsutra.wordpress.com

    Like

  15. camwiie

    Very good post!

    I also realized society doesn’t “allow” men to like “girly” stuff, which is just a shame and too bad for them, really.

    I often encourage the men around me to forget the social rules and just get the damn strawberry daiquiri if that’s what you want!

    Like

  16. JustHeretoTalk

    Thanks for this article, as a guy it really tells the other side of the story that I have been ponder for a while. As a very slender not in my mind very manly sort of guy I have always wondered where I fit into this whole masculine thing. I am athletic but only really do good at sports that require speed more than strength. So as a guy I feel like I am expected to only like guy things. For example my favorite colors are orange and yellow but finding much as a guy to wear in bright colors like that is difficult. So I enjoy wearing my bright colored t shirts when I can but outside of that options are usually slim. I am usually stuck wearing typically male dark colors whereas whenever I go through the women’s department with my wife it seems like there’s a whole plethora of bright colors to choose from.

    I am curious though Bailey what your viewpoint on chivalry is? Growing up in a very traditional Christian home I was taught to protect my sisters at all costs. I don’t have a problem protecting my siblings as the older brother but I always got this feeling when it came down to it my life was worth less to my parents. If for example I got beat up or took a bullet (neither of which ever happened) for my sisters that would have been applauded but in reverse I would have been demeaned for not being first to the front line. Maybe some of it had to due with age but it always made me feel like my sole purpose was to protect woman, hold doors for them etc. (not that I have a problem doing any of those things) but I couldn’t ever expect others to do the same for me.

    Another thing is and I am not sure how this is for woman but making friends for me has always been very hard. I have a few not very close guy friends but making friends with woman has always been off limits. For one my wife doesn’t like me being beyond casual acquaintances with woman as she isn’t sure that is good for me or our relationship. For instance I have an old friend who at one time was interesting in dating me (I didn’t see our relationship going beyond friendship so I kindly kept it at that). I still value the friendship though and wish I could keep it going beyond liking each others facebook posts but with the gender issue in question and both of us now being married its hard to really be friends.

    Again thanks for the post it speaks a lot of whats wrong with our culture and how far we need to come.

    Like

    • Bailey Steger

      Thanks for being so open about this. Yours is a fascinating perspective. My husband wears lots of bright colors too — he won’t throw out his ratty hot pink t-shirt! ;)

      Regarding chivalry, I believe we who are not defenseless should always protect the defenseless and that everyone should look out for everybody else. I don’t believe it’s gender based. As an older sister, I am naturally protective of my younger siblings; as a wife, I would hope I’d be brave enough to take a bullet for my husband if need be; I hold doors open for everybody, particularly people who need it (elderly, people carrying many things, etc.). I am not naturally a strong, physical, confrontational person — you won’t see me going into the police force or the army! Helping and standing up for others is, I think, a human thing we are all obligated to do, not just men. I can see how getting stuck as the only chivalrous one would make you feel less inherently valued; I’ve seen how entitled some women are about having doors opened for them or things carried for them or whatnot, while they would never dream of doing the same for their guys, and I always felt bad for the guys. Sounds exhausting to know nobody has your back. :/

      Well, I do struggle with making new friends now that I’m out of college, but not for the same reason you mentioned. My husband and I are fine with our friendships with the opposite sex (they are all more or less mutual friends we met at college, though). I kind of understand the thinking that opposite sex relationships can be bad and tempting; I was really jealous and upset when my husband wanted to remain friends with his former crush. (And then I became friends with her too and she got married and it wasn’t a big deal anymore.) Then again, I am always 100% myself with any friend, guy or girl, and that has never been problematic for me or my marriage — I’ve never been tempted to have an affair or made my husband jealous or felt I was spending too much time with a guy friend instead of my husband. I tend to view opposite sex friendships as not a problem until they are. And my husband and I are pretty open about our friendships with anybody — he’ll talk on the phone with one of his female friends while I’m in the same room; I’ll be messaging a guy friend with my husband nearby and relay parts of our conversation (unless it reveals private information my friend does not want disclosed). We do the same thing with any of our friends, really, but I imagine it helps make opposite sex relationships unproblematic.

      Like

      • JustHeretoTalk

        Thanks for the reply and the perspective. I think some of my viewpoints are unique to the way I was raised and therefore not as applicable to others. The door opening thing is kind of fascinating. I remember I was at a race (5k running) where I held the door open before going inside, I thought someone would grab the door but both men and woman passed me for what felt like 5 minutes before someone finally grabbed the door so I could go in. So maybe its more of a people feeling entitled whether men or women. I’ll grab the door for anyone but would prefer if people didn’t expect it.

        Thanks for the take on chivalry my view may be just all my interpretation. People should always defend the defenseless.

        I see what your saying on having friends of the opposite sex and I see how that could make things less problematic. I may have to work on that with my wife in the future.

        It’s interesting, I think part of my problem is I try to apply the way I was raised to others and I don’t think most families operated in the way mine did. Not to say I had a bad childhood or anything but I come from a classic, home schooled, conservative Christian environment. I have to realize everyone doesn’t grow up under a rock ;).

        Like

      • Bailey Steger

        Same here. It took me a very long time to adjust to the fact that everybody else didn’t have my same assumptions because they didn’t, as you said, live under a rock. ;) Your views make PERFECT sense with how you were raised.

        Like

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