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. 

Advertisement

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.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.

Why all cracker names sound alike.

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

The Afghan Town With a Legitimately Good Tourism Pitch

A Futurama Writer on How the Vietnam War Shaped the Series

  News & Politics
Photography
Sept. 21 2014 11:34 PM People’s Climate March in Photos Hundreds of thousands of marchers took to the streets of NYC in the largest climate rally in history.
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
  Arts
Television
Sept. 21 2014 9:00 PM Attractive People Being Funny While Doing Amusing and Sometimes Romantic Things Don’t dismiss it. Friends was a truly great show.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 21 2014 11:38 PM “Welcome to the War of Tomorrow” How Futurama’s writers depicted asymmetrical warfare.
  Health & Science
The Good Word
Sept. 21 2014 11:44 PM Does This Name Make Me Sound High-Fat? Why it just seems so right to call a cracker “Cheez-It.”
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.