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When a man says.......

(49 Posts)
MattBerrysHair Sun 08-May-16 21:04:48

'I have enormous respect for women' it grates on me. I find it 'othering' and misogynistic, but I can't effectively articulate why. My bf says such things on occasion and I have attempted to present a coherent explanation as to why I don't like it, but I don't think I've yet succeeded.

If anyone can articulate why it's a misogynistic thing to say could you please help me out? Or if you don't agree with my feelings on it could you explain why?

Thanks very much.

Didactylos Sun 08-May-16 21:11:29

Its the way its said as though they are asking for a cookie

eg ' this isn't the natural order of things but look at me, Im a great guy giving you all this respect'
you don't get praise or kudos for meeting the basic requirements of being a decent human being

Rollinginthevalley Sun 08-May-16 21:15:39

I agree, OP and it often comes just before a statement which demonstrates lack of respect for women (cf "I'm not a racist, but ...")

It sounds condescending.

And it sounds as though, as you say, women are "Other" - that we need to point out their worthiness for being respected, when for men, it goes without sating.

A simple, quick way to help you determine if something is exist is to reverse the terms: do we habitually say "I have enormous respect for men" ??

I think not.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MattBerrysHair Sun 08-May-16 21:35:28

This is a great help, thanks everyone. Does anyone have good explanations as to why being a 'gentleman' is misogynistic? Ie not allowing a woman to walk on the curbside, carrying the shopping for her, and generally doing things that she is fully capable of doing herself. I don't mean just being courteous, but the difference in treatment of men and women by men.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OddBoots Sun 08-May-16 21:42:30

Because she is an adult and doesn't need treating like she is a child.

IrenetheQuaint Sun 08-May-16 21:45:59

"A simple, quick way to help you determine if something is exist is to reverse the terms: do we habitually say "I have enormous respect for men" ??"

YY - also worth trying it with an ethnic minority term "I have enormous respect for black people". Sounds bad, eh - generalising and patronising.

AnyFucker Sun 08-May-16 21:46:31

Baggage Reclaim's take on the charming man

Mamabear1980 Sun 08-May-16 21:51:27

Irene thankyou for that post. Simple is often the most effective way.

Kidnapped Sun 08-May-16 21:58:51

Also feels like there is a zing coming at the end of it in the same way as "With the greatest of respect, Kidnapped, I think you'll find...."

"I'm a good person" is often said by people who are caught red-handed being horrible in some way.

And thieves will often talk about how honest they are. "I'm as honest as the day is long, me".

And liars often do the "I swear on my children's lives" thing.

Most normal, reasonable people don't say any of the above about themselves.

MattBerrysHair Sun 08-May-16 22:06:17

Thanks for the reading suggestions. AF, that's a great link and I've known a few people who fit that description. Fortunately my bf isn't one of those types. He's a white male who hasn't previously given any thought to the privelage that it brings, or that misogyny isn't always an overt display of contempt.

Kidnapped Sun 08-May-16 22:11:07

You could ask him for examples of the respect that he has?

Pin him down to what exactly it is that he has enormous respect for.

Does he have enormous respect for Angela Merkel? Mary Beard? Katie Hopkins? Rosemary West? All of them, the same amount of respect?

MattBerrysHair Sun 08-May-16 22:18:23

I shall ask him that very question Kidnapped smile

Kidnapped Sun 08-May-16 22:32:24

It's a hard question.

Not sure how I'd answer it.

I'd probably answer it Very Badly. With a lot of "No, no, I didn't mean..."

shinynewusername Sun 08-May-16 23:28:18

It is treating women as The Borg, not individuals. I don't have enormous respect for women - some of us are arseholes grin. I have enormous respect for some women and some men.

VestalVirgin Mon 09-May-16 05:52:22

A simple, quick way to help you determine if something is exist is to reverse the terms: do we habitually say "I have enormous respect for men" ??

I suggest taking up that habit.

"I have an enormous respect for men ... but they really cannot drive" (when reading about the latest car accident caused by a speeding male.)

"I have an enormous respect for men ... but they do commit 90% of crimes"

And so on and so forth. I think that will illustrate the point. grin

scallopsrgreat Mon 09-May-16 10:09:35

For me its a case of why would you have to say that? Why wouldn't you have respect for women? Why did you feel it necessary to tell me that?

OddBoots Mon 09-May-16 10:35:21

If he respects women then get him to sign the petition for a statue of a suffragette in Parliament Square.


Cheeky link to a thread about it that may not be noticed because it is in the Feminist activism section

powershowerforanhour Mon 09-May-16 13:35:05

Is it in the form of that old chestnut "But you're so good at shitwork" eg"I have the greatest respect for women. They take all the night feeds and nappy changes and settling in the face of miserable colicky crying in their stride. Right, I'm off to the spare room again even though I don't have to work tomorrow"

MattBerrysHair Mon 09-May-16 17:10:18

No Powershower, it's not in that context. From what I can gauge it's almost as if he expects men to be bastards. So benevolent sexism for sure.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHorrid Mon 09-May-16 20:34:43


"I'm a good person" is often said by people who are caught red-handed being horrible in some way

Yep totally agree. Why would you feel the need to say that?

To be fair I don't think I've heard this in RL with the exception of a very good friend who was taking the piss and it was very much a joke

MommaLama12929 Tue 10-May-16 05:57:23

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

TheDowagerCuntess Tue 10-May-16 06:26:55

Ironically, I do not have enormous respect for men. grin I like an awful lot of them individually, but I definitely do not have enormous respect for them as a unit, due to them causing most of the woes in this world.

That's the point though, isn't it? You can't respect or disrespect MEN, due to utter diversity of the group.

'I have enormous respect for women' is something Trump is often quoted as saying. He doesn't respect any woman, so enough said, really.

TheDowagerCuntess Tue 10-May-16 06:36:02

For the record, many men have been a force for incredible good in the world - life-changing, life-saving good. But they're also vastly over-represented as the cause of many of the ills.

You can neither respect, nor disrespect them - as a group.

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