Is There Room for the Gentleman in Modern Feminism?

Sensible answers to the questions of modern manhood.
Oct. 23 2013 3:21 PM

Is There Room for the Gentleman in Modern Feminism?

A debate between the Gentleman Scholar and Book of Jezebel editor Anna Holmes.

Please send your questions for publication to gentlemanscholarslate@gmail.com. (Questions may be edited.)

Troy Patterson.
Troy Patterson

Photo by Christina Paige

How long does the intro have to be, like 50 words?
—Anna Holmes, founding editor of Jezebel

Thank you for the nudge in the direction of breviloquence. 

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This week brings the publication of The Book of Jezebel: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Lady Things, a coffee-table version of the feisty feminist website. The Book of Jezebel defines a gentleman as "a man who believes that by conforming to a certain code of behavior—opening doors, pulling out chairs ... —he may cultivate a benevolent superiority over women."

I'd argue that this perspective is problematic. I did, in fact, argue as much in the course of this conversation with the book's editor. I somehow didn't win the argument. How might a gentleman best engage the issues of contemporary feminism? Here is an audio recording of the Gentleman Scholar auditing a women’s studies course. 

Troy Patterson is Slate's writer at large and writes the Gentleman Scholar column.

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