Sunday, February 23, 2014

Harry Dresden is such a Good Dude, huh?

"Maybe my values are outdated, but I come from an old school of thought. I think that men ought to treat women like something other than shorter, weaker men with breasts. Try and convict me if I'm a bad person for thinking so. I enjoy treating a woman like a lady, opening doors for her, paying for shared meals, giving flowers - all that sort of thing."
- Storm Front, Jim Butcher 

My entire first response to this paragraph was to just take the words "Fuck" and "you", string them together, highlight them, copy them, and then hit paste for about 5 minutes. I suspect it would get my point across and be nice and cathartic, but isn't particularly eloquent.

Let's just go ahead and start at the "shorter, weaker men with breasts" part. Really? That's the impression you get from treating women like equals? That if you were to treat a woman as someone who is exactly the same as you, a human being, you must necessarily acquiesce that A) they are shorter than you, B) they are weaker than you, and C) oh they have breasts too, that's the important part. In fact, the worst part about that is if you take out all the adjectives entirely. "I think that men ought to treat women like something other than men." Men are due one set of actions, women are something (something?!) that is due a set of separate actions. There's no global set of "oh, you're human, I should treat you like this." Nope.

Okay, well what are these magical actions? Opening doors for her! Oh, gentlemenly!

Criteria for holding doors open for someone according to Harry Dresden:
  • Boobs
Which, I suppose means that if you don't have boobs, you should strive to make sure that door is closing before the other person gets there. Fuck them, they're a man. They can operate a door, unlike a lady, whose delicate features may shatter and crumble under the weight of the effort. Here's an alternate set of criteria that I think would benefit everyone:
  • Going through the same door as you, right behind you.
It's a difficult concept thinking that maybe it's polite to go ahead and let someone through a door when they want to, regardless of genitalia, but my gosh. There it is. Oh, you say, maybe that dude will get all uppity and be like "Well, I could've held the door myself you know, it's quite awkward to have a dude hold a door open for you." Touché! Except- that is the exact complaint from the woman in question in the situation that this quote is from. She prefers to be treated like any other human being and Harry insists on fucking racing her so that she doesn't get her way. I just. I buh.

I haven't read this book. I barely started (this quote is fromt he second page of chapter 2). So I'm giving Jim Butcher the benefit of the doubt right now that maybe this is just A) Harry Dresden's opinion and not his and B) it's something that will get pointed out and rectified. But judging from the defensiveness and insistence that it's correct from the rest of the quote, I will say:

You're on notice.