Chivalry

Posted: November 30, 2011 in Uncategorized
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“But the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever.”~ Edmund Burke
 
This post is probably going to be beating a dead horse for some. But I’m going to write it regardless.
 
Most of us when the word “chivalry” is spoken, the instant thought that comes to mind are knights in shining armor and damsels in distress. They are both right AND wrong.
 
The attitude comes from the Middle Ages. The attitude of how men and women interacted with one another. It just so happens that the men were in armor and a lot of the times women were in distress. The men took it upon themselves to save them.
 
However the definition covers a broader area than just riding on horses, wearing suits of armor and killing the bad guy before the lady is overcome and defeated, just in the nick of time. The definition is “being courteous, especially towards women.”
 
So then, let’s ask: Is chivalry dead??
 
I personally do not believe that it is. To quote the film, “The Princess Bride”, it is ‘mostly dead’.
 
The word of chivalry comes from 1292. And that is a very LONG time ago. The world was nowhere near like it is today in the 21st Century. But as most things, the meanings and definitions as well as the understanding of language evolved. The word actually means “of horsemanship”. Yeah. Not so romantic, is it??
 
With the introduction of equality, chivalry has seemed to begin the final chapter of its existence. What used to be considered an act of chivalry, now is interpreted by many as condescension.
 
Most importantly, there is a vast difference in how things were in Europe nearly 800 years ago to the world as it is today.
 
Women were not seen as equals back then. They were considered weak and frail. And it was upon the shoulders of men to protect them. And now today, it’s a whole new situation as women are standing up for themselves in the public eye.
 
But before this gets off track, I want to go back to the original definition that was found. “Being courteous, especially towards women.”
 
There are still men who are courteous in this world. Particularly when it comes to women. I know that some women would say that they no longer exist. And those are the ones who are sighing in their bedrooms all alone, waiting for their Prince Charming. And they just are unable to find those who would be courteous towards them. So their ultimate reasoning based on their experience is that it doesn’t exist any more. Or they’re standards for men are far higher than any one person could possibly measure up to.
 
It doesn’t mean that chivalry is dead though. It’s just on life support… as one dared to joke.
 
I will notuse profanity in the actual presence of women. (Unless I know them to be profane themselves, which then just becomes dialogue.) I allow women to walk ahead of me. I open doors for them, whenever it is possible. They are first in line before me. I say things like “please” and “thank you” and smile while doing so in the presence of women. And if it is someone who I do not know personally, I always say, “ma’am” or “Miss”. I look them in the eye when I and speaking with them.

Chivalry is 'mostly dead'.

 
Why do I do all of these things? Because I am being courteous towards women. And let’s not get off track here about how it is all just a ploy to take advantage of someone in the hopes and tasks of getting what I want. No!! It is called having a respectful nature towards women.
 
For those women who have had some kind of interaction with me, they know all of this to be true. But I am not asking for their testimony either.
 
I am stating that I am one that does NOT want to see chivalry die out. I believe that it still is important in the 21st Century as it was in Europe in the Middle Ages. And I think that it doesn’t have to die. Even in a world were equality has become a focus. And there is nothing wrong with equality, I believe that there are some women who actually appreciate the courteous nature of men. HONEST men.
 
 

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