Chivalry vs. Chauvinism

At Biola, the actions of chivalrous gentlemen can develop into crutches for the recipients.


Olivia Blinn/THE CHIMES

Annah Pritchett and Annah Pritchett

Sophomore Bryan Coy displays a common act of courtesy. | Photo Illustration by Olivia Blinn/THE CHIMES

I recognize that you are a gentleman; please recognize that even though I am a lady, I get a slight thrill from my own ability to open a door. At this most prestigious academic institution persists the interminable effort to appropriately navigate the relationship of the XY chromosome to its double-X-chromosomal counterpart. In layman’s terms, the Biola community is a place highly concerned with the reinforcement of male-female stereotypes.

Every Sunday in the Biola dorms, brother floors all across campus weave in and out of their sister floors picking up trash in exchange for freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. The cookies are baked exclusively by the women, while the trash-collecting is a burden borne only by the men … Am I the only one that sees a discrepancy here? While the exchange of service for goods is an economical practice that transcends time and place, this specific service in exchange for those specific goods serves to reinforces a time-honored stereotype of male-female prejudices that pervades Biola’s community, welcomed by both men and women with open arms.

There is an interesting meme that has been littering my Facebook wall lately that reads: “Biola University, preparing men for the church and women for the home since 1908.” Obviously this is not wholly true; women receive excellent educations here, and go on to do excellent things. It is also obvious, though, that outside parties have preconceived notions of what we do here at Biola, and there are seeds of truth in most every little rumor. Is this the reputation our student body wants to send out? There is just not enough room to shrug one’s shoulders and decide on complacency. Biola is a place teeming with strong women that are being sent into the career field to make a difference; let’s work towards a meme that upholds that reputation.

In 2011, 53.1 percent of unmarried U.S. residents who were 18 or older were women, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The fact of the matter is that some women will live alone. You know what this means, don’t you?  There are simply more single women than there are single men to go around, with this in mind, ladies should intentionally pursue self sufficiency. This includes changing the oil in their cars, being confident in their ability to lift heavy boxes, and yes,  dumping their own trash. These types of skills are not being demanded of women at Biola. Worse, common thought would argue that it would be offensive to leave a woman to fend for herself!

College is a place where people are forced to grow and expectations are meant to be challenged. Biola has been an institution where the same old stereotypes are being tailored to fit a new generation. Women at Biola are blessed; they are blessed to be cherished and valued by multitudes of chivalrous men. But we must not get comfortable to the point of expectation. Despite gender, there is power in the knowledge that you can lift something heavy! So ladies, I challenge you, I implore, I beseech you, to say your “thank yous” every time a man treats you with kindness. But don’t let yourself grow limp in the comfortable warmth of chivalry. Push yourself onward and upward. Do things that thrust you out of the role you have been assigned. You probably know how to bake the perfect chocolate chip cookie, but sometimes the most key learning occurs when you pick up your own trash, plug your nose and take a trip down to the dumpster.

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