Feminists often complain about traditional gender roles or patriarchy “infantilizing women” or “treating women like children” or being “paternalistic.” The idea is that it is insulting or wrong for men or society overall to treat women like children. I wonder though, is it wrong for men to view or treat women like children? Maybe a woman is like a child in many ways in relation to men. Maybe treating women like children is exactly what women need, what women are entitled to, what women are owed by men.
What is a very desirable and attractive young woman called? A “babe” as in “check out that hot babe.” Men even use the term “baby” as a term of endearment for their wives or girlfriends sometimes such as “Hey baby, come over here” or “Baby, what’s wrong?” Men may also refer to a woman as “kid” in a playful affectionate way. It is very common for men to refer to women as “girls” when referring to women in a romantic or sexual way; for instance the popular “Girls Gone Wild” videos or if a man says “I’m going out to meet girls” what he means is seeking women for romantic opportunities. What about the famous order “Women and children first?” Why are women and children being grouped together as part of the same protected class? A man hitting another man is bad but a man hitting a woman is much worse as indicated by the moral edict “You don’t hit the girl.” with the term “girl” referring to women. Likewise an adult hitting a child is particularly loathsome just like a man hitting a woman is particularly loathsome.
“Every woman deserves a man who calls her baby, kisses her like he means it, holds her like he never wants to let her go, doesn’t cheat or lie, wipes her tears when she cries, doesn’t make her jealous of other women, instead makes other women jealous of her, is not scared to let his friends know how he really feels about her, and lets her know how much he really loves her.”
So why is it that when a man feels romantic and affectionate towards a woman he naturally starts to think of her as “baby” or “kid” or a “girl” and why is it that women and children are often grouped together as a protected class deserving of extra strong protections against danger or abuse? Women are even often seen as “innocent” and not fully responsible for their actions in much the same way that children are viewed as “innocent” and not fully responsible for their actions.
I think the reason for men tending to view women as childlike particularly when a man is viewing a woman romantically is because a woman is in fact childlike in relation to the man in the areas where men contribute to women as is the case regarding men’s romantic behaviors towards women. A man will naturally view a woman in a similar way to how he views a child when a man is romantically oriented towards a woman because the romantic feelings in a man tell a man to care for and protect and control a woman similarly to how an adult (male or female) will naturally feel a desire to care for and protect and control a child under their care.
Going back to basics here. What is the job of the man? To provide for and protect the woman. What is the job of the woman? To provide for and protect the child. The man provides for and protects the woman while the woman provides for and protects the child. The relationship of the man to the woman is analogous to the relationship of the woman to the child. The man’s role in relationship to the woman is similar to the woman’s role in relationship to the child. This means the man views the woman similarly to how the woman views the child. In particular the man’s role in relation to the woman is based on the man’s romantic relationship with the woman and the man’s romantic feelings towards the woman. So it is the man’s romantic feelings towards the woman in particular that causes the man to see the woman in a childlike way, as someone he needs to provide for protect and control just like as an adult he needs to provide for protect and control the children under his care. The woman is under his care just like the child is, the woman is under his authority just like the child is; this is why he views the woman and the child similarly.
There is another similarity between the woman and the child in relationship to men other than the similarity of the man’s role regarding both; that is that the woman has reduced capacity in the masculine realm compared to the man just like a child has reduced capacity overall compared to the adult. It is not only the man’s role to provide for protect and control the woman; the woman actually has an inferior capacity to provide for herself, to protect herself, and to discipline herself compared to the man’s ability to provider for her, protect her, and impose an orderly environment upon her. The woman has skill deficits compared to the man in the areas of male superiority (the masculine realm) just like a child has skill deficits compared to the mother overall. This is an additional way in which women are similar to children in relation to men.
Men evolved superior skills in the masculine realm because men had to be superior in the masculine realm to succeed as men. The man’s job is to provide for women, to protect women, and to control women. A man has to provide for women and protect women because that is how he contributes to the well being of his children and therefore passes on his genes. A man then has to control women in order to be able to provide for and protect women because the man has to make sure his contribution is used for the purpose intended. In every kind of relationship where one is the giver and the other is the receiver the giver always has to be dominant over the receiver. So for a man to succeed as a man the man must provide for women, protect women, and control women. Because these are necessary functions for the man the skills and abilities related to these functions developed in the man to a superior level compared to the woman because the woman did not have to excel in these areas to function as a woman. The woman developed superior skills and abilities in her feminine role as a woman that fit with her more direct supervision and care of the child but regarding the masculine realm the woman is inferior as she did not need masculine skills to the same extent the man needed masculine skills.
So regarding the masculine realm of resource acquisition, protection from danger, and rule setting and establishing order women’s relation to men is very childlike both in terms of the man’s role in relation to the woman and the woman’s underlying weakness and inferiority in providing these needs for herself independently.
Is it wrong to treat a child like an adult and on that basis refuse to provide for the child or to punish the child by abandoning the child rather than giving to the child corrective discipline and then continuing to care for the child as before? Of course; such behavior towards a child is child abuse. Well, a woman’s status relative to a man is similar in many ways to the status of a child relative to their parents. It is abusive to a woman to refuse to provide for her in a marital context. It is abusive to a woman to deny her basic provision and protection when she does wrong to a man when corrective discipline can be imposed upon the woman instead while the woman continues to receive the basic support and protection she needs. When a woman is “out of control” it is the fault of men requiring male intervention to fix the problem just like it is the fault of parents when their children are “out of control” requiring intervention from adults to fix the problem. Just like parents are never entitled to abandon their children and deny their responsibilities towards their children and just like adults as a community are never entitled to abandon their collective responsibilities towards children overall men are never entitled to abandon women and deny their responsibilities towards women and men as a collective body are never entitled to abandon their collective responsibilities towards women overall.
This brings us to the issue of Chivalry. Chivalry is men’s responsibilities towards women. Chivalry involves the subordination of men’s interests to women’s interests and is the mechanism by which men assert domination over women. Chivalry is men’s duty to provide for and protect women. I always emphasize that Chivalry is an unconditional duty; not dependent upon the woman’s behavior or any other cultural or legal factor. This is because of the childlike status of the woman in relation to the man; the fact that the man is necessarily in authority over the woman and that the woman is dependent upon the man’s support to function and succeed as a woman. A parent likewise is necessarily in authority over their children and the child is dependent upon their parents’ support to be able to grow and develop successfully into a high functioning adult. A man owes women Chivalry unconditionally just like a parent owes support and protection and love to their children unconditionally.
Another thing I will add, men have a duty to elevate women’s interests above their own interests in the same way a parent has a duty to place the needs of their children before their own needs as adults. A man who treats the woman’s interests as equivalent to his own interests is abusing the woman because he is in authority over the woman and the woman is dependent upon the man’s support for her own well being as the man has a greater ability to provide for the woman than the woman has the ability to provide for herself and the woman providing for herself is damaging to the woman and is contrary to the woman’s natural role as a woman while the man providing for the woman is consistent with his natural role as a man and is part of the man’s superior strength as a man.
The man treating the woman as an equal while he maintains his dominance over the woman and while the woman is dependent upon the man makes no sense; it is outright abuse against the woman treating the woman as an inferior. The thing that must be understood is that the woman is always under the authority of the man and the woman is always dependent upon the man simply because of the reality that she is a woman and inferior power and dependency are fundamental attributes of the status of being a woman. Because of these fundamental attributes of what it means to be a woman men must always elevate women’s interests above their own while at the same time claiming the dominant position relative to the woman they are entitled to after first subordinating their interests to the woman’s interests as is their duty as men.
Unconditional Chivalry is the mechanism by which proper gender relations between men and women are established as Chivalry places women’s interests above men’s interests while at the same time establishing male authority over women. Good relations between men and women require both elements; both male dominance and the privileging of female interests. Feminists don’t like the male dominance part while MRAs (Men’s Rights Activists) don’t like the privileging of female interests part. Regardless, for society to work both sides of gender hierarchy are necessary; both the part that protects men and also the part that protects women. The relative positions of men and women are fixed; what it means to be a man is fixed and unalterable and what it means to be a woman is fixed and unalterable. The Chivalrous duty is a byproduct of what the status of women is in relation to men. Chivalry is therefore fixed and unalterable just like what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman is fixed an unalterable. This is why Chivalry is an unconditional duty men owe to God on behalf of women.