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Is Chivalry Dead?
toogoodreports ^ | 4/29/03 | Bernard Chapin

Posted on 04/29/2003 1:39:27 PM PDT by fhardesian

Is Chivalry Dead?

By Bernard Chapin

There are a great many burdens to shoulder in the modern world and surely one of them is whether or not we adhere to social mores. The challenge is whether we successfully can adapt to how the world actually functions in the face of what we learned as children. For men, one of the biggest obstacles is whether we should still incorporate the virtues of chivalry into our daily behavior. Chivalry is a practice that is in transition and may be, in a hundred years, just another quaint artifact of an obsolete age- like the horse and buggy are to us today. Males are currently taught that women´s equality has negated the need for chivalry. It seems our attempts to be chivalrous can be interpreted as attempts to assert superiority and return women to an inferior position in our polity. Chivalry was once deemed an obvious virtue but now it is shrouded in controversy. I feel that to abandon the practice of chivalry is to abandon something sacred on this earth.

The sans culottes of the sexual revolution made chivalry one of the first male behaviors to be attacked and deconstructed. In the airheads of the mad crew that embroiled our nation in so much suffering since the sixties, males opening doors or standing up as women entered rooms could only have been the result of a wicked plot to demean and subordinate 51 percent of the population. In fact, nothing was further from the truth. The act of deferring to women is an act of celebration and not of derogation. In my opinion, the radical feminists who laid siege to chivalry also laid siege to the basis of respect between the sexes.

In one´s personal life it becomes harder and harder to engage in chivalrous behavior. I still open doors for women and unlock the passenger side for them first. I still buy them flowers and pay for dates but these habits, at least logically, are regressive. There seems to be little societal justification why I, or anybody, should continue to engage in these retro conventions.

What the radical feminists ignored when attacking chivalrous deeds is that males like myself open doors for everyone regardless of their sex. I open the door for whoever´s behind me and many do the same for me and do you know what I say when they do? “Thank you.” That´s it. No accusations of an entrenched patriarchy or matriarchy flow from my mouth. My autonomy or humanity is not threatened by someone pulling on a handle in anticipation of my arrival.

What kind of weak-minded harridan would confuse simple courtesy with dehumanization? Answer, the spoiled, malicious joy kills who want to pass their ubiquitous depression vicariously onto us. No thank you. They didn´t have any good ideas 40 years ago and they don´t have any today. I´ll continue to open doors in spite of possible repercussions. I was disappointed last week as I walked into my gym when, in my usual post-work fog, I failed to notice a disabled man having trouble lugging his bag up the steps. He asked me to help him. I immediately carried his luggage up the stairs and apologized for not being quicker about it. Did I humiliate him in any way? Of course not. Helping others or opening a door is an act of communion with those around you and is not a nefarious political act.

Radical feminism has given birth to a society where men never really know where they stand on many issues or how to behave at all (you might say that this is the only type of birth that radical feminism has been successful at promoting). We never really know what is appropriate or what is not. In a society where the highest goal is to be non-judgmental, the lack of social stigma produces a wide gap between appropriate and non-appropriate behavior.

Unfortunately, radical feminists have seized on this condition and forged a Catch 22 as the status quo. Cathy Young in her book Ceasefire! tells of a young women who essentially laid bare her emperor´s clothes for all to see. She advocated “creative feminism” as a means of getting what you want in life. According to her it seems one should scream “sexual harassment” if threatened but defer to males when you need something ugly done-like killing a bat or an insect. She summed up the uncertainty of the male role aptly:

“So men are confused, and I say good…The more confused the men of this country are, the easier they are to manipulate…The more easily they are manipulated, the more likely it is that we´ll get what we want-whatever it is that we want.” [p.7]

I think her admission was clearly a mistake as she forgot a basic rule of life which is that no rube likes being called a rube. She should avoid work in sales as few commission checks are garnered by standing up and yelling “sucker!” after the customer signs on the dotted line. If we took her views seriously then clearly people like me would become Helots in her new sybaritic, yet still Spartan, world. I suppose that we should be lucky if she departs from history and does not set a time aside for the Helots to be flogged in the streets.

The central question is, since I have no desire to be soft clay for manipulation in a radical feminist´s 100 dollar manicured hands, do I abandon chivalry and treat women no differently from the way I treat everyone else? If men and women truly are equal then is chivalry inherently a dead issue with no more use to us than a five mile an hour speed limit?

These questions I will have to answer with a manipulated and cautious, “I don´t know.” It´s too late for me to abandon chivalry. It´s ingrained but, at least in my case, the radical feminists have had a huge impact on me as my chivalry is situational. I hate to admit it but I let individual women be the determinant as to how I´ll act on any particular day. The more feminine they are, the more that I´ll do for them. Women who sport a haircut like mine or dress or act like men I do not treat with deference. I treat them exactly as I would treat my male peers. Personally, I think that´s how it should be. I regard courtliness as being something reserved for the worthy and not a thing to be granted to everyone by fiat.

I suppose I´m constructing a double standard, which is alright by me as the words “double standard” are anathema to the average radical feminist which makes the phrase welcome in my lexicon any day. I don´t mind bowing to the gracious but never before the shrill and bitter. Sacrifices should always be made for the exemplary and this is often the case with men in general. As Vox Day put it “Southern belles always get what they want. Watch and learn, grasshopper.” He couldn´t be more right and those are the women for whom chivalry should be reserved.

My belief is that the future of chivalry will rest with women as if they are estimable males will forever treat them respectfully and sometimes even be in awe. As with all gender issues the symbiotic relationship in this one cannot be slighted. We, as males, are a product of the way we´ve been treated. Danielle Crittenden sums up the dynamic perfectly: “I happened to watch the movie Emma with a thirty-two year old single woman friend of mine, who afterward exclaimed sorrowfully, ‘There are no Mr. Knightleys!´ But if there are no more Mr. Knightleys, then it´s because there are no Emma Woodhouses, either. The two can only exist in a world in which each supports and reinforces the character of the other.” [WHAT OUR MOTHERS DIDN'T TELL US, pp.41-42]

Without reinforcement, chivalry will soon be extinguished for all time.

As of late, there are promising signs that more and more men do not look for guidance from politically correct sources. Now it is the turn of women to salvage something magical and meaningful in this skeptical, post-modernist age. What they need to recover are their inner selves. They need to recapture the allure they possessed before the sexual revolution. It must be women who stand united and say “enough is enough, the radical feminists are driving us into the ditch and there´s no reason to listen to them any longer.” Pia de Solenni put it much more eloquently in the current issue of the National Review:

“Women have forfeited control of their destinies…they´ve set the moral bar so low that men don´t need to rise to the challenge of being good men. They don´t have to because women don´t demand it.” [p.52]

Chivalry´s jeopardy is yet one of many possible casualties in radical feminism´s eternal war against our society, and, as long as these harpies continue to completely deny that there is a biological basis for difference between the sexes, chivalry will soon fade away like smoke from your grandfather´s pipe. Unless we thwart the intentions of the radical feminists, chivalry and virtue will have to be referenced in the endnotes of future generations and no longer be a part of the interactions between us. Until we expel them from our society, we will echo the words of Trotsky and “have no peace and have no war.”

To comment on this article or express your opinion directly to the author, you are invited to e-mail Bernard at bchapafl@hotmail.com .


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: chivalry; feminism

1 posted on 04/29/2003 1:39:27 PM PDT by fhardesian
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To: fhardesian; xsmommy; RikaStrom
I don't understand the question:

Is the writer actually asking if we should "still" treat people with dignity and elegance?

Or is he assuming that since liberals treat conservatives with hatred, lies, and deceit, that's the way everybody else treats all people?
2 posted on 04/29/2003 1:42:59 PM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE (I support FR monthly; and ABBCNNBCBS (continue to) Lie!)
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To: fhardesian
Radical feminism has given birth to a society where men never really know where they stand on many issues or how to behave at all.

Radical feminism has given birth to a society where men prefer pornography to the company of women. Men know exactly how to behave - they are dropping out of the game.

3 posted on 04/29/2003 1:44:16 PM PDT by Mr. Jeeves
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE
Re-reading it, perhaps he does agree with me:

Forget the liberals (in NYC) and the hate-filled feminazi's; and treat people as you wish to be treated.
4 posted on 04/29/2003 1:44:57 PM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE (I support FR monthly; and ABBCNNBCBS (continue to) Lie!)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE
Good point about "people." Everybody should be respected with respect if they respect us I think. Also, I like the stuff about abc...lies on your title. That's cool.
5 posted on 04/29/2003 1:45:00 PM PDT by fhardesian
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To: fhardesian
I ALWAYS hold doors open for women, open and close the car door for my wife, etc... and I insist that my 4 boys do the same. This PC nonsense is pure BS, and any woman who is insulted by an action that is given as a sign of respect is probably pretty bitter about lots of other things as well.
6 posted on 04/29/2003 1:47:23 PM PDT by ThinkingMan (How's my posting? Call 1-800-UR-RIGHT)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE
Chivalry lives at Chez Chan. I treat all women as I would expect another man to treat my wife, mother, or sister. This includes not cursing in their presence or calling older/unfamilar women by their Christian names (both pet peeves of mine). My putative sons will be raised to the same standard.

Here in Texas treating ladies like ladies is seldom a problem, anyway. Most of our women prefer to be treated gently.
7 posted on 04/29/2003 1:47:58 PM PDT by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: ThinkingMan
Good point, hopefully if enough parents instruct their kids as you do, some of this PC junk will blow away.
8 posted on 04/29/2003 1:48:34 PM PDT by fhardesian
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To: fhardesian
Chivalry is not dead among men and gentlemen. Just dead with the emasculated Wussie Democrap Male (WMD) ie Leperman. It was killed by the Woman Man Democrap(WMD)ie Hitlery.
9 posted on 04/29/2003 1:52:36 PM PDT by Conspiracy Guy (Saddam is seeking the democrat nomination)
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To: fhardesian
Southern Chivalry Rocks! It's not dead, there are gentlemen and ladies down here.
10 posted on 04/29/2003 1:53:49 PM PDT by stainlessbanner
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To: stainlessbanner
Yeah the south is a different and, maybe, better planet.
11 posted on 04/29/2003 1:55:56 PM PDT by fhardesian
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To: fhardesian
"Anesthetized"
12 posted on 04/29/2003 1:58:19 PM PDT by _Jim (Guangdong doctor linked as source of SARS in China: http://www.biomedcentral.com/news/20030320/09/)
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To: fhardesian
I believe part of the reason we are seeing such nobility being displayed in Iraq is that our military is disproportionally Southern. It makes my heart swell with pride to watch the news and see a man loaded down with firepower say gently to an Iraqi woman, "M'am, please don't go in there", with that familiar drawl.
13 posted on 04/29/2003 2:03:56 PM PDT by Warren_Piece (America - proudly providing the world with democracy, whisky and sexy since 1776)
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To: fhardesian
bump
14 posted on 04/29/2003 2:07:28 PM PDT by KantianBurke (The Federal govt should be protecting us from terrorists, not handing out goodies)
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To: Warren_Piece
There's some article out this week on that topic called Iraq and "Johnny Reb". Youd like it.
15 posted on 04/29/2003 2:11:06 PM PDT by fhardesian
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To: Warren_Piece
Yes, but perhaps disproportionately rural would be more accurate, because I'd expect the same from a South Dakota man over there.
16 posted on 04/29/2003 2:30:05 PM PDT by SoDak
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To: fhardesian

17 posted on 04/29/2003 2:50:00 PM PDT by Dumb_Ox
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To: Dumb_Ox
that is really cool
18 posted on 04/29/2003 2:51:44 PM PDT by fhardesian
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To: fhardesian
Chivalry is velvet sexism.
But you won't get much sex
without it. Hm.
19 posted on 04/29/2003 3:02:09 PM PDT by gcruse
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To: fhardesian
Pia de Solenni put it much more eloquently in the current issue of the National Review:

“Women have forfeited control of their destinies…they´ve set the moral bar so low that men don´t need to rise to the challenge of being good men. They don´t have to because women don´t demand it.” [p.52]

Pia de Solenni has many interesting things to say on this subject. I hope she writes a book soon.

Contrary to what some others here think, feminism will only be successfully defeated by women, not men.

Cathy Young, on the other hand, is the wrong person for the father's rights movement to align itself with. Her message is poisonous.

20 posted on 04/29/2003 3:04:06 PM PDT by independentmind
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To: independentmind
really? tell me about Cathy YOung. I don't know anything about her.
21 posted on 04/29/2003 3:06:14 PM PDT by fhardesian
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To: fhardesian
Well, I might have to retract my earlier statement. I may have been confusing Young with another writer who has had several articles on the website called Dadi. I'll have to get back to you later.
22 posted on 04/29/2003 3:16:51 PM PDT by independentmind
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To: fhardesian
Chivalry is not dead--at least, not in range of me. I find that when I act like a gentle lady, men become gentlemen. In some cases it takes some delicate persistence before they wake up and realize that they want to be chivalrous to this (usually) white-clad, (usually) smiling lady, but a soft voice and a supportive manner eventually have their effect. And then how much easier and more pleasant everyone's life is.

Feminism is the ideology of the ugly, the embittered, the vicious, the fascistic. It brings nothing but sorrow and hatred.

23 posted on 04/29/2003 3:18:28 PM PDT by Capriole (Foi vainquera)
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To: fhardesian
the south is a different and, maybe, better planet

BUMP

24 posted on 04/29/2003 3:19:41 PM PDT by Fraulein
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To: fhardesian
I open the door for whoever´s behind me and many do the same for me and do you know what I say when they do? “Thank you.” That´s it.

And you know what I do when they don't? I make a mental note that the person is an a__hole so the next time they're an appropriate amount behind me, I'll actually pull a locked door shut just to make their day that litttle bit more of a pain in the butt if I'm able.
Screw 'em!

25 posted on 04/29/2003 3:22:35 PM PDT by michigander
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To: fhardesian
Too many fat chicks. They really need to start acting like they want someone to like them.

Where is Norman Vincent Peale when you need him.

26 posted on 04/29/2003 3:26:41 PM PDT by HIDEK6
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE
"Or is he assuming that since liberals treat conservatives with hatred, lies, and deceit, that's the way everybody else treats all people?"

This shoe can certainly fit on the other foot. I never saw whining over losing an election until Bush, Sr. lost in 1992. That is when the bumperstickers came out in our neighborhood saying "Don't Blame Me--I Voted for Bush." I was appalled that members of my party would whine so very pathetically and ungraciously. While backstabbing in the political arena in the legislative departments of our governments has been the norm since Brutus and Julius, I feel like we started the whole mess at the proletarian level. Since then it has been a disgusting left and right free-for-all that my grandmother would have stopped in a New York minute in the name of grace and good manners.

I once heard a wise man say, "If you want people to treat you differently, treat them differently." I, for one, would like to get back to the days of polite discourse and continue to win at the polls because we have smarter, more ethical candidates.

27 posted on 04/29/2003 3:28:31 PM PDT by thetruckster
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To: ThinkingMan
ThinkingMan wrote:

I ALWAYS hold doors open for women, open and close the car door for my wife, etc... and I insist that my 4 boys do the same. This PC nonsense is pure BS, and any woman who is insulted by an action that is given as a sign of respect is probably pretty bitter about lots of other things as well.

***************************************

ThinkingMan, I am SO glad you do this!

Some of us out here still appreciate chivalry.

I try HARD to ALWAYS express my appreciation when a fellow offers me an open door, holds my chair, or helps me with my coat!

Usually, I smile at the man and say, " AH! Thank you! You are a Gentlman and a Scholar"!

Everybody likes to be appreciated.

Too many women today are just plain rude, and I can see where some guys would be tempted to throw in the towel on the whole thing!

Glad that your sons will know how, too!

Tia

Who tries to behave herself

28 posted on 04/29/2003 3:32:03 PM PDT by tiamat ("Just a Bronze-Age Gal, Trapped in a Techno World!")
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To: tiamat
Every time that I go to the store, I am amazed (disgusted) at the number of times that I see a man walk in before his female companion and just let go of the door- not just younger men, but middle aged as well. I am firmly convinced that the decline of civility and decency in our society is a symptom of the decline of morals and standards overall.

Last year I coached a pee-wee football team (8-9year olds), and the player that had to run the most laps in practice the whole season was because he let fly an f-bomb, right by group of little sisters that were hanging around the practice. After running 2 laps for the word itself, he had to run another 2 because he let it fly around females. His mother heard about the incident from him (having to run 4 laps) and asked me if I thought that was a bit excessive (remember the age). After I finished explaining my reason for the discipline, she thanked me and said another lap would probably not have hurt. The boy's father was a non-entity in his life and he did not have a strong male influence to teach him how to be a man. I am sure that the prevalancy of this exact type of situation (no male presence) is one of the reasons that chivalry is fading out, and will continue to do so. (as an aside, after several tests of my will, the boy became one of the better players on the team- and was much politer by the end of the season.)
29 posted on 04/29/2003 4:25:27 PM PDT by ThinkingMan (How's my posting? Call 1-800-UR-RIGHT)
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To: ThinkingMan
It sounds as if your kids have a great coach!

I have the great good fortune to live in a rural area.

Most of our farmers are true gentlemen.

They may look a little rough, but they are knights in shining armor to me!

Nice to meet you, ThinkingMan!

Tia

30 posted on 04/29/2003 4:49:49 PM PDT by tiamat ("Just a Bronze-Age Gal, Trapped in a Techno World!")
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To: tiamat
nice to meet you too- welcome to FR.
31 posted on 04/29/2003 5:44:46 PM PDT by ThinkingMan (How's my posting? Call 1-800-UR-RIGHT)
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To: ThinkingMan; Robert A. Cook, PE
i am trying very hard to train my 11 year old son to hold doors. his sisters and i have a hard time remembering to stand there til he remembers to do it, but we are working on it.

when on vacation last week, the kids and i were out shopping. FINALLY, my son remembered to do it and the girls and i remembered to let him. he continued holding it for a stream of other shoppers who just took advantage of the open door WITHOUT SAYING A WORD TO HIM. i was appalled at their lack of manners at not acknowledging the attempt at a kid to be mannerly. and there were both men and women that went through the door he was holding. i thanked him, myself, for having held the door for a whole pack of ingrates.

32 posted on 04/29/2003 5:52:27 PM PDT by xsmommy
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To: xsmommy
It is amazing how many people seem to have stricken the word "thank-you" from their vocabulary. Once your son get's used to doing this, it will become a lifelong habit. (and with that many women around him, he should be able to get plenty of practice!)
33 posted on 04/30/2003 5:45:18 AM PDT by ThinkingMan (How's my posting? Call 1-800-UR-RIGHT)
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To: xsmommy
. i thanked him, myself, for having held the door for a whole pack of ingrates.

I'm afraid I would have thanked my own son within earshot of these folks if I had been in your shoes. (Miss Manners shudders.)

34 posted on 04/30/2003 6:15:43 AM PDT by Quilla
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To: Quilla
oh believe me, they were still well within earshot and i did not whisper.....
35 posted on 04/30/2003 6:16:22 AM PDT by xsmommy
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To: fhardesian
I have lived in NYC most of my life. I always hold doors for ladies and wait for all females to exit an elevator before I do. I always offer to help any lady carrying a heavy object (such as a stroller) down the stairs. No woman has ever complained to me for doing any of these things. 99% of the time they give me a smile and a "thank you." I believe the myth of the "feminazi" who takes offense at men holding doors for her is an overblown urban legend.
36 posted on 09/16/2003 12:07:07 PM PDT by presidio9 (If the rest of the world likes Americans only when we're dying, the rest of the world can go to hell)
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