“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
First I’d like to dispel the myth that Chivalry has anything to do with sex or gender. All definitions from the Oxford English Dictionary.
The word Chivalry has changed over time. Starting out in the Middle Ages (early 1300’s but who’s counting), the world simply meant Knights or horsemen equipped for Battle. It was adapted from the French Chevalerie which meant man fighting on horse.
Shortly after, it was changed to mean acts of bravery or honour on the battlefield.
Let’s skip a few hundred years. In the early 1800’s it started to mean “Gallant Gentleman” and represent everything that is knightly.
The wonderful French and British Romantic poets glorified the simpler time that was the dark ages and what they called the Chivalrous Code. Which meant, “The brave, honourable, and courteous character attributed to the ideal knight; disinterested bravery, honour, and courtesy.”
Nowhere before 1832, did Chivalry have anything to do with women. Other than that the Chivalrous Code said that knights must protect the weak.
Victorians were dumb
I like my steampunk as much as the next geek but the time period is horrible for women. We are still dealing with the shit that the Victorian’s shoved into our collective consciousness.
It was during this period that Chivalry took on the more modern and disturbing meaning of, “courteous behaviour, especially that of a man towards women.”
Even then Chivalry wasn’t only towards women.
When they were handing out brains, you said, “No thanks I’m afraid of flying.”
Somehow, chauvinistic morons have tried to appropriate a word that meant being nice to people and killing the bad guys into a word that means women are deluded and weak.
The author states that in our world of instant hookups (sure dude) chivalry is dead.
“All I know is, the more I look around, the less I see men treating women the way that we’re raised to. What happened to paying for dinners and drinks? What happened to pulling out chairs and holding doors? What happened to walking on the outside, closest to the street and all that sh*t?”
Avoiding the horrible crime of ending a sentence with a preposition, why does he think these things are important?
A man paying for dinner and drinks makes perfect sense in a world where women have no money of their own but when women make as much money or more than the man why the hell should a guy go broke for a date?
Pulling out a chair is respectful and something that should be done with anyone who would have trouble moving their chairs back towards the table alone. Women in tight corsets and pencil skirts might have this issue, men in skinny jean will also.
As for walking on the outside on a sidewalk, well some rules were developed for a different time. This was established so women wouldn’t get shit on their heads or splashed on them from carriages. Now they might get splashed by a car or bus (stupid busses) but walking on the outside isn’t going to help a girl in this case since the wave of water won’t be blocked.
And my personal pet peeve. I have been berated, insulted, yelled at, and in one case kicked, for opening a door for a woman. That hasn’t stopped me from doing it for the simple reason that I don’t do it for women exclusively. I do it for any human being and occasional pets. If I get to the door before you, I will open it for you and hold it open. I don’t care who you are.
The rest of the article is a combination of shaming and pining for a better time, in other words bullshit.
“Be excellent to each other….and….PARTY ON, DUDES!”
Let’s take back the word Chivalry and give it a new meaning. Let’s make it mean something positive and loving. I propose a new definition:
“The act of being noble, selfless, kind, and helping others without reward or ulterior motives.”