We've all heard the expression 'chivalry is dead'. Chivalry didn't just go and die on it's own. Feminism's done everything in it's power to destroy it. Many men see no reason to be chivalrous...after all, isn't that what women wanted? Complete and total equality? Despite having been dealt crippling blows, you'll still see men engaging in acts of chivalry. Regardless of their disillusionment with women, some men still end up being chivalrous. They might do it whilst sighing and rolling their eyes, wondering in the back of their minds why they're even bothering, but many still do it. Despite all the villifying and maligning, despite being insulted, belittled, mocked and scorned, many men will still go to the aid of a woman. Honestly, considering the entitlement attitude of many women....I have to shake my head in wonder.
I'm also amazed that so many women, having declared men unnecessary, having mocked and scorned them, having treated them like a dirt....would even think such a thing as chivalry might still be on the table. Why should a man feel the need to take care of, protect and defend someone who has blatantly said, "You are not needed."? I suppose chivalry would be an o.k. thing if a man were honored and respected. As it is......I hardly see why today's 'empowered woman' would expect such a thing from men.
It's not that I'm opposed to the concept of chivalry. The definition I attribute most to chivalry is that it is "based on brave, courteous and honourable behaviour". I think we should All act chivalrously as our abilities allow. While I might be of little use lifting something heavy or fixing a car, I would always try to help someone in need to the extent of my abilities. Chivalry, in my eyes, has more to do with what we expect from ourselves than what others expect of us. My husband is very chivalrous towards me. If we're out shopping and it's cold or raining, he drops me off at the front door so I don't have to walk and then parks the car and walks through the rain and cold himself. Now, I would never expect him to do such a thing, but I imagine that's part of equation. Any act of charity, kindness or benevolence is damaged when it's expected, utterly destroyed when it's unappreciated.
As usual the key element that women miss is that these things have to go both ways. I imagine, if I never lifted a finger to do anything selfless for my husband, if I treated him like with the kind of exasperation and irritation that hallmarks many of today's marriages....he'd be a little less inclined to indulge in these displays of chivalry. We both act according to our abilities to take care of the other. If he knows I have to go somewhere early in the morning, he'll go out and shovel the driveway that night so that I don't have to worry about it, he makes sure he fills the cars up if he knows I'll be driving them so that I don't have to stop and get gas......All these little things that make me amazed at how wonderful he is. By the same token, I go out of my way to do little things I know make him happy, backrubs after work, taking care of things in the morning so he can sleep in, planning his favorite meals.....we act chivalrously towards each other.
As for the widely accepted definition of chivalry, i.e., a man protects and defers to women regardless of how they are treated by said women, that's just out of line with human nature. People need to feel respected and appreciated. People who are treated with scorn and contempt do not feel compelled to aid the person who belittles them. The idea that women are entitled to chivalrous behavior from men, for no other reason than by virtue of their gender is, quite frankly, ridiculous. By it's current and generally accepted definition, chivalry needed to die.
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