We are all chivalrous now.

One response I’ve noticed from many women when the topic of chivalry comes up is to suggest that chivalry isn’t really dead, it is simply a matter of gender neutral courtesy.  In response to my post Chivalry on the Titanic, Big Little Wolf offered a link to her own post Chivalry: Here today, gone tomorrow, ALWAYS in fashion:

Chivalry is about courtesy and generosity. I say YES to chivalry on my planet which, incidentally, is neither Mars nor Venus, nor poor pitiful Pluto, tossed from the fold by hapless hacks with PhDs!

My planet is called Fred – where I get to pick and choose the typically masculine or feminine behaviors that suit me.

A bit later on she elaborates:

Pick up the tab for a date? Yes – I will expect that.

But I believe in high quality, low cost first dates – coffee or a glass of wine. And thereafter, cozy restaurants or even take-out to be shared is just fine by me, as long as it’s shared, mmm… chivalrously.

I’m not wooed by money or pretension, and not looking to break the bank as we get to know each other. That’s courtesy, generosity, and good manners on the woman’s side.

A little further down she reiterates:

What we deem as chivalrous behavior is about manners and upbringing. I often open and hold doors for people.

She also explains in the post that men opening doors is something she values but sees as optional.  However, if you drive a truck or SUV she will expect help getting in not because she is a woman but due to her diminutive stature.  One word of caution I would offer men who are confused about the whole business is not to apply this same rule to a short man;  he is extremely likely to take offense if you offer to give him a boost.  So don’t apply the same rule to a small man as you would a small woman.  Just to summarize Big Little Wolf’s rule on women and trucks;  chivalry means giving the little lady some extra help.  I’m hoping that should be easy enough to remember.

Susan Walsh expressed the idea of chivalry being gender neutral courtesy more succinctly in her comment on my post Chivalry only comes from a position of strength:

It seems to me that in a post-feminism world, chivalry is an element of character that should apply equally to both sexes. It should mean taking responsibility for a fellow human being, regardless of gender. Historically, men (the stronger sex) have been chivalrous toward women. One could argue that today, women are in a stronger position is some arenas – they certainly are stronger in higher education.

24 years ago I was riding the T in Boston, 8 months pregnant. I got on to a crowded car and held on to a center pole as best I could. No one offered me a seat. After someone got off the train, a teenage girl “saved” their seat for me so that no one else could take it. Since then, I have tried to be generous (chivalrous?) to anyone of any age that looks like they could use a break.

Chivalry is noble, but should not fall only to men.

I think Susan is on to something, and we probably should explore whether women are aware of the obligations which come with their power.  But I disagree that if a given courtesy or gracious gesture is gender neutral that it should be called chivalry.  Chivalry is inherently masculine, and we already have generic terms for courtesy and charity.  Rolling the general in with the specific will only confuse things further, and the concept of chivalry in our society is already messy enough as it is.  This is especially a problem because real differences between men and women do (and always will) exist.  Susan mentioned graciously offering her seat on a train to those who look like they need a break.  As she says this kind of act is noble whether performed by a man or a woman.  However, I wouldn’t call this chivalrous when done by a woman just as I wouldn’t call a man ladylike for being polite.  Furthermore, while she might offer her seat on a train she won’t be told she should expect to offer her seat on a lifeboat should the ship she is traveling on experience a sudden loss of buoyancy.  This is exactly what Anonymous age 68 describes being instructed on a cruise ship in the 1990s:

The first thing we did was lifeboat drill. The men had to stand behind the line, while all women went to the front. There were old men with canes, who had to step back, and young, strong, healthy women who looked ready to run marathons who went to the front. After 30 years of feminism, this was a perfect example of the hypocrisy of the modern women, not one complained about the sexism involved.

Like it or not, there are still differences even at this extreme level. Rolling gender neutral courtesy into the term chivalry denies this reality.  It isn’t just that men can still be formally required to give their lives so that women and children can live;  there are and will always be social expectations on men which women don’t have.  No one ever questions why the unsinkable Molly Brown accepted the seat on the lifeboat while half of the very sinkable children on the ship didn’t get a seat.  However, the 1,000+ men who stepped aside (and died) so she could have that seat would have faced accusations of cowardice had they not done so.  As different as things are in many ways nearly 100 years later, that basic distinction hasn’t changed.

In a more mundane example, while Susan would undoubtedly call 911 if she witnessed a crime in progress or call a tow truck for a stranded motorist (assuming she could do so safely), a woman is highly unlikely to ever be asked the following question by a member of the opposite sex:

  • Why didn’t you stop that big guy from beating up the small guy?
  • Why didn’t you offer to fix that person’s car?
  • Why didn’t you stop them from robbing me?

I’m not suggesting men should feel obligated to act in the situations described above;  as I said in my last post on the topic, chivalry is a gracious gesture only if it is freely given.  However, this doesn’t change the fact that many do feel that men have a nearly unlimited obligation to put the wellbeing and safety of others (including strangers) above themselves.  Saying chivalry is no longer associated with being a man denies this fact.

Beyond expectations, there is also the question of real world abilities and behaviors.  Doomed Harlot envisioned a brave new world where gender neutral persons exchange acts of chivalry:

To go back to Susan’s point, however, there should be an ethic of the strong-helping-the-weak. It’s just that in our society strong and weak or no longer determined based on gender. I also note that a person who is strong in one situation may be weak in another. For example, I may know how to change a tire better than someone, but perhaps she knows how to rescue me from drowning. Or a big strong man who carries heavy boxes for women may one day become elderly or disabled, and need help from someone carrying boxes for him.

So basically chivalry means from each according to his ability, to each according to her need.  As Doomed Harlot points out under such a reciprocal system a man gets to carry heavy loads of women and older men his younger life, and then have his heavy loads carried by younger men when he is older.  She also clarified a bit more on a further comment:

Fun story: last year i was stuck by the side of the road for 3 hours while waiting for a AAA (for non-Americans that’s an organization that sends out roadside assistance). It seemed as though about 30 men stopped to offer to change my tire (one after another) and I kept saying, “No, thank you, AAA is on its way. I’m all set. Much obliged.”

I checked the IP addresses, and the Doomed Harlot who thinks women are likely to stop and offer to change a tire for a stranger is the same Doomed Harlot who has experienced exactly the opposite in real life.  Her life experience (but not her theoretical musings) match my own real life observations.  All of the difficult, dangerous, or expensive acts which we call chivalrous are almost exclusively performed by men, even after decades of moxie.  For example, women can be protectors.  However, if a non family member puts themselves in significant risk to save your life statistically they are almost always going to be men.

My suggestion would be to take those acts women are equally likely to perform or face equal expectations to perform and call them by the applicable gender neutral term (charity, courtesy, etc) whether they are performed by men or women.  For those remaining acts which are performed almost exclusively by men or for which men face greater expectations to perform, we should call them chivalry when performed by men and use the generic term in the odd case where women do them.

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91 Responses to We are all chivalrous now.

  1. Gorbachev says:

    Well-argued, Dal.

    I must concur. Chivalry is specific.

    I go further.

    Male chivalry was a response to female propriety.

    Since female propriety in the chivalric sense is dead and buried, and feminists have fought long and hard for this, then perhaps the “have your cake and eat it too” demand for male chivalry should also die.

    So we should stop being chivalrous.

    Maybe we could stop calling any of it chivalry – because it’s no longer appropriate.

    Chivalry implies that *men* owe something to *women* in terms of good behavior. The reverse is also true, but often glossed over for the convenience of women.
    If men fail to perform up to chivalric standards, then they’re belittled as less than ideal males. Maleness and shame are part and parcel of the concept.

    On the other hand, …

    There’s nothing stopping either gender from being courteous or kind.

    There’s nothing stopping us from being kind and courteous, gender-neutrally. That concept carries no gender of any kind.

    So I have to go with you on dumping the concept.

  2. Thag Jones says:

    There were old men with canes, who had to step back, and young, strong, healthy women who looked ready to run marathons who went to the front.

    That would make me uncomfortable.

    As for chivalry, I would say that I don’t expect anything particularly but it’s nice when, say, my man buys me lunch or offers to carry bags for me. Of course, it goes both ways because I like to cook a nice meal for a man too – it’s a nice thing to do. Some people really over analyze this sort of thing and make every little gesture between men and women into a political issue. Carried to their logical conclusions, you get feminists who think all heterosexual sex is rape (oy!) and that all men are inherently violent and it just gets ludicrous. There’s so much to enjoy in the differences between men and women and to try to make everything sex-neutral takes the soul out of it all. Vive la différence!

  3. Thag Jones says:

    I should add though that me cooking dinner isn’t an act of chivalry but service. I guess that would be the difference. Of course, the word service will get the backs of feminists up, but what’s wrong with serving someone you love? You could say I suppose that chivalry is a form of service too, but whatever, who cares? No matter how bad my attitude has been, I always liked bringing food I’d made to a boyfriend’s house and it felt to me like an act of service that said “I love you, I care about you” just like his carrying something heavy for me would say the same thing I imagine. The difference is that he is more capable of carrying heavy things, whereas anyone can cook a meal.

  4. @ Thag:

    but what’s wrong with serving someone you love?

    I am, as we speak, composing my thoughts on the subject of catering to my husband. I am not concerned about offending- that’s a given, even with my Christian female readership- but like you, trying to figure out why the idea of a woman serving a man (or anyone for that matter), is so controversial.

    @Gorbacev:

    Since female propriety in the chivalric sense is dead and buried, and feminists have fought long and hard for this, then perhaps the “have your cake and eat it too” demand for male chivalry should also die.

    I think courtesy and and serving others needs to be something we all strive to do, regardless of gender. Interestingly enough, this used to be the case. When my grandmother was a girl, it was common for the women to help take care of new mothers while they recovered to make the transition either. It was common for women to look after elderly family members and cook meals elderly peole who had no one to care for them. Now we are constantly warned about being too available to others. Everytime I read an article about women being nurturers who are so busy taking care of others they have no time for themselves I am astounded. Where are these women? It’s been only over the past three years or so that I have been actively trying to really reach out and be of service to anyone outside of my immediate family. That’s a shameful thing for a Christian to admit, but it’s true. I started checking in on a widow in my neighborhood last year and she was shocked. No one has really bothered in all the years she’s lived in that house. I wa ashamed because I’ve lived in this house for 9 years and didn’t even know she was there.

    The truth is that most women are only serving their own children, often at great disadvantage to their kids in the long run. I think that’s where I part company with so many. I put far more effort into keeping my husband satisfied than I invest intrying to be the perfect mother.

    I am a diligent mother, but I’ll be a wife long after my days of hands on mothering are over. Now that our oldest is 16 (just ahead of our 15-year-old twins) with I’m more aware than I ever was of how true that is.

    I think I just totally derailed your thread, Dalrock, so I’ll veer back on to the track by saying that you are right about how we sometimes change the definition of terms. Chivalry is much more specific than courtesy or kindness, which we are character traits we should all strive to cultivate.

  5. Badger Nation says:

    “Maybe we could stop calling any of it chivalry – because it’s no longer appropriate.”

    As I said before, chivalry is a term referring to a social code in the feudal era. It’s a non-concept in the equalist 21st century, it doesn’t compute.

  6. zed says:

    “The difference is that he is more capable of carrying heavy things, whereas anyone can cook a meal.”

    I’m kicking around some ideas in my head for an article on the practical basis of sex role specialization for the Spearhead. You hit on the heart of my point here, Thag.

    If we look at “carrying heavy things” and “cooking meals” as two items in the class of items “things which must be done in order to live”, there are a lot of reasons why “carrying heavy things” was typically expected to be done by men – one of the biggest being that they were simply more capable of it. And, while it may be true that “anyone can cook a meal”, it’s impossible to do very well, if at all, when a man is busy carrying heavy things.

    The cooperation between people made possible by sex role specialization allowed men to focus on doing things which their greater upper body strength (and other physical and social characteristics) simply made them more capable of doing than women. But there were a lot of other things that did not require that upper body strength which were every bit as essential to the maintenance of life. Women claimed these things as their turf in order to be seen as equally contributing to doing those things which were necessary to maintain life.

    As the practical reasons for sex role specialization have gone away, mostly due to technology, cooperation between men and women has broken down. Sure, a woman can change the oil in the car. But who is going to cook dinner, look after the little ones, and coordinate the couple’s social life while she is doing that?

    As women have rushed to try to invade the former roles of men, they have pretty much abdicated their traditional turf – leaving those duties to be outsourced, or simply undone. The contempt that modern women have for “women’s work” has left women without a uniquely female identity – except for sexuality.

    The only difference between a female police officer and a male police officer is that more men would be receptive to the idea of having sex with the female officer than the male one. There is only one reason in the world left why a man “should” pay for dates, no matter how cheap.

    After all, “anyone can cook a meal”, it’s nothing special at all, any more. And, if the man is paying someone else to cook for both him and the woman, what is she bringing to the table that is of any value at all?

  7. Hestia says:

    Both POVs have merit it seems. There is, indeed, truth that men are more likely to risk their lives for strangers than are women but this doesn’t address the full picture. By this I mean there is a population of men who actively are being “chivalrous” on behalf of everyone. From coal miners and garbage men to military members and firemen, there is a certain subset of men who is FAR FAR more likely to risk their safety and well-being than the general population at large. These men who have been aware of the risk of their death or grave injury when they agreed to fulfill a societal need and give of themselves for others by entering the career field they have. Just as we can’t compare a woman giving up her seat on the bus to a man giving up his seat in the lifeboat, we can’t fairly compare the Coast Guard rescue pilot who risks his life with nearly every flight with the man who stops to change the tire of a stranger woman on the side of the road.

    Some of these less risky but noble good deeds could be filed under “civility” regardless of the sex of the person performing the kind action. The more hardcore sacrifice could be that of “chivalry”. In the Army Values the term “selfless service” exists and typically is used to refer to both sorts of sacrifice.

    IIRC Will S or David Foster brought up chivalry as part of warrior ethos in the last conversation. The quote shared was very interesting and touches on some of the thoughts I’m trying to make with this comment.

  8. Susan Walsh says:

    I’m inclined to agree with Badger that the concept of chivalry no longer has meaning. In my comment on your earlier post, you’ll notice that I wrote “generous (chivalrous?).” I did that because I am not really aware of chivalrous acts expected of men as you define the term. I understand your objection to the rescue drill on the cruise, but that example hardly illustrates society’s expectations as a whole.

    Trying to get a handle on exactly what chivalry means, I googled it. There were two kinds of results: the first, and most common, refers to acts like holding a door open for a woman, walking on the outside of the sidewalk, opening a car door, etc. What you would call courtesy. The other is an historical perspective on the meaning of chivalry. Wikipedia defines it as originating in the military and encompassing the following “seven knightly virtues”:
    Courage
    Justice
    Mercy
    Generosity
    Faith
    Nobility
    Hope
    Obviously, none of these traits is unique to men. What I believe you are describing is society’s expectation that men should assume dangerous roles when necessary. As Obsidian has often pointed out, this can be seen in the jobs men do – working in mines, on oil rigs, etc. One exception, of course, is that women now participate in military combat.

    No doubt evo psych is relevant here as well. Women are programmed to look to men for protection and provisions. The last 50 years of feminism will not have changed that.

    Finally, re the questions you asked:
    Why didn’t you stop that big guy from beating up the small guy?
    A young woman of my acquaintance was recently punched in the face when she intervened while 5 white guys were beating her black male friend unconscious. Her nose was broken. When I suggested that getting involved hadn’t been a good decision, she explained that there was no decision. She reacted with instinct and adrenalin.
    Why didn’t you offer to fix that person’s car?
    I would counsel any woman to refrain from approaching a stranger by the side of the road unless it was another woman, and perhaps not even then. Hopefully, it’s unnecessary to point out that women are physically weaker than men, and can easily be overpowered and harmed.

    The same is true for interrupting a robbery. It seems extremely unlikely that a woman could successfully intervene between two men. A more reasonable expectation would be to expect a woman to take action available to her that is most likely to be successful. That might mean shouting for help, calling 911, etc.

  9. Doomed Harlot says:

    I am flattered to have been included in a post! And yes, you have summed my philosophy perfectly in the phrase, “From each according to his or her ability, to each according to his or her need.” And yes, I agree 100% that “chivalry” is really not the proper term to describe this philosophy, since chivalry has the specific gendered meanings you describe.

    Some quibbles:
    A) I never said women are likely to stop to help a stranger’s change a tire. Did I say anything about a stranger in my example? (I actually don’t think it is wise for anyone to stop for a stranger, unless the road is well populated.)

    B) The idea that only men perform services for elderly men is bizarre to me. I would be mortified if I let a man in his 60s or older carry anything at all heavy without at least offering to carry the item for him.

    C) I am shocked that there are so many Doomed Harlots around that there was a need to check IP addresses! But, as noted above, there is no real contradiction in my comments.

  10. Thag Jones says:

    I would be mortified if I let a man in his 60s or older carry anything at all heavy without at least offering to carry the item for him.

    I can’t speak for the feebleness of the average here, but my dad is 74 and can carry a helluva lot more than I can – in fact, I had to call him to come rescue me when I found that I couldn’t carry my Christmas tree home, lol.

    / my dad is stronger than your dad post

  11. Doomed Harlot says:

    As to the larger point of the post, my basic position is that I like courtesy, but I dislike chivalry. Some of the most courteous men I know don’t really go in for chivalrous gestures.

    I totally agree that greater privilege within society carries greater obligations. And there is no doubt that, thanks to feminism, I am far more privileged than I would have been 50 years ago. I am physically vigorous (thanks to athletics), well-educated, and enjoy some measure of professional stature. Of course all that carries obligation — from helping frailer people with physical tasks, to donating time to charitable obligations and indigent clients, to donating money and certainly paying for my own lunch at the very least. And, no, I don’t believe I have any claim whatsoever to be at the front of the line for the lifeboats.

    No, I am not an outlier. Sure, you can point to lots of women who claim that they expect a man to pay on a date or carry her stuff or whatever. But, again, social mores have changed dramatically. It’s no surprise that people of both sexes are all over the place in their attitudes about these things, because it has only been 30 – 50 years since sex roles started to shift. You can’t expect that the entire female sex will all at once en masse uniformly and consistently decry old behaviors by men that were once taken for granted. (Not to mention that those of us who do are harshly criticized by social conservatives.)

  12. Lavazza says:

    Thag Jones: I think the hard decline does not start until 75 YO. But I am quite convinced that the random 75 YO male is more capable when it comes to lugging about heavy stuff than the random 25 YO female.

  13. Hope says:

    Late to the conversation, but it is certainly a fascinating one.

    I do not believe chivalry actually entails self-sacrifice, which is more for martyrdom and service to others. It is more or less a code of honor among “knights,” and I do not see women as “knightly.”

    Re: Susan’s comment. I also gave up my seat on a crowded train for a pregnant woman, when I was in my early 20s. I saw this as a courteous thing to do, though in the big city I knew it was mostly “every man for himself.” I would have done the same for an elderly man. It is just how I was raised and educated.

    I also think acts performed specifically by men for women are more of a “gentleman” thing, rather than a “chivalrous” thing. I never insisted on men paying for my food on dates, and I always offer to pay for my share, sometimes paying for his share as well. I feel better doing the giving than receiving.

    In terms of helping a stranger in dire need, I do see this as a chivalrous action, which someone who embodies the “knightly ideals” would perform. The “dire” part is what women are less than good at, because in high-adrenaline and high-pressure situations, women tend not to perform at the same level as men.
    Finally, doing good for others from a position of strength is inherently masculine, while doing good for others from a position of subservience is inherently feminine. This may or may not be a deeply biological, primal feeling, but I think it definitely colors the conversation.

  14. Doomed Harlot says:

    Thag,

    Ha ha. My poor father. He is 69. I actually have no idea what his strength is relative to mine. But he never declines assistance. He always says, “Ah, yes, please take this. I’m an old man.” A lot of it isn’t a strength issue so much as an issue of creaky joints and an easily strained back.

    (With helping the elderly, it can also be symbolic of deference. In the very hierarchical legal profession, younger lawyers literally “carry the bags” for older lawyers at court appearances and such. And yes, these can be very heavy.)

    Of course, your dad may be stronger than my dad, but I am thinking Doomed Harlot is stronger than Thag. Tomorrow morning before work, I will be hauling my seven foot Christmas tree out of our house, across our yard and into the woods.

  15. Rhen says:

    Whether you call it chivalry or call it something else, the idea that people who have power also have responsibilities and in particular should be merciful to those who have less power (temporarily or permanantly) is essential to civilization.

    Someone may defeat a rival at work and then help him out in getting another job, for example…I guess you could call this “sportsmanship.” My observation is that women are less likely to do this than are men: a man is more likely to think that his rival just happens to be on the other side, while a woman is more likely to think that her rival has to be a bad person who deserves what has happened to him/her.

    For most of history it wasn’t so important to teach women this kind of sportsmanship, or chivalry, or whatever you want to call it, because women didn’t usually have power outside the family. Now they do, and a manager or VP or CEO or warship commander or government agency head without these attributes is scary and dangerous.

  16. zed says:

    “In terms of helping a stranger in dire need, I do see this as a chivalrous action, which someone who embodies the “knightly ideals” would perform.”

    I find this whole “knightly” fixation really interesting. What percentage of the population as whole actually were “knights”? 2%? 5%?

    I take a much more pragmatic view of the whole situation, related to the social contract, and to the sentiment “there, but for the grace of god, go I.” Observing a person in dire need almost inevitably brings up the idea “that could be me.” All social groups that wish to survive must function as mutual aid societies. If I would like someone to help me if I were in dire need, it therefore falls on me to help someone else if I observe them in dire need.

    That is basically what differentiates a civilized society from “every man for himself” barbarism.

    Helping someone under such circumstances seems to me to be every bit as much a “blacksmithly ideal” as a “knightly” one.

  17. Thag Jones says:

    Observing a person in dire need almost inevitably brings up the idea “that could be me.”

    This is the point isn’t it. A couple of days ago I was down town and there was a mostly toothless, dishevelled old man walking on the sidewalk holding his hat out for change, and all these workaday yuppies were walking past him like he didn’t exist, not even looking at him. That’s what bothers me more than anything. Poor guy must feel like a ghost. So I gave him a couple of bucks, touched his arm and wished him well and went about my day thinking about my observation.

    I usually at least try to say hello to the local bums – a lot of them talk to me because I stop to talk to them without necessarily giving them anything (because if I gave something to every bum I saw I’d be out on the street with a cup too). It’s crazy; how hard is it to acknowledge another human being? Who knows how they got there, but it’s not that far for anyone to fall.

  18. Hope says:

    zed, point taken about the actual percent of knights that existed. However, the reasons why such ideals persisted through time and became so popular in the masses’ imagination is because they resonated. Even in the East there is great admiration of these old Medieval and European ideals, honor, courage, justice and so forth.

    People want to aspire to greatness, and the true greats have never been the majority of the general populace. People often dream of their own small moments of glory and greatness, though their lives may be otherwise ordinary. A man who saves another from death is surely as affected by the experience as the person who was saved. This is a small glimpse of the “old” chivalry, a code that was forged at a much more dangerous time.

  19. zed says:

    “true greats have never been the majority of the general populace. “

    But “very goods” often have. Ever heard that old saying about “the perfect (or the best) being the mortal enemy of the good”?

  20. Badger Nation says:

    “Pick up the tab for a date? Yes – I will expect that.”

    She lost me here. If she gets “to pick and choose the typically masculine or feminine behaviors that suit [her],” then I get to do the same for me. I fail to understand how “you have to pay for the first date, but if I like you then we can split the rest of them” exhibits anything other than entitlement or an inflated sense of your own value, like your time is to compensated and his is not.

  21. Badger Nation says:

    On the subject of changing tires: if I get a flat (hasn’t happened yet, fingers crossed) I’m calling AAA and refusing civilian assistance. I’m not going to become the next Ennis Cosby or Michael Jordan’s dad because I harbor some fantastical notion that a perfect stranger is ready and willing to offer labor assistance with no questions asked.

    The same logic applies to why I don’t stop for disabled vehicles. I might pull over and ask if I can help call somebody or something, but I probably won’t be getting out of my car to do it. Sound harsh and unchivalrous? Getting attacked/robbed/killed by a stranger sucks, and you have absolutely no idea what kind of person you are interacting with in that situation.

    (Incidentally, that was also my reaction to the woman upset that soldiers didn’t offer to help her carry baggage in the airport – forget the obligation argument, what kind of clueless person plans to put her personal effects in the control of total strangers?)

  22. Oak says:

    This article is an excellent example of the diminuation and perversion of the English language. The thesaurus ruined our language. Words don’t mean the same as others. Chivalry and generosity mean different things. I also get tired of the misuse of the word ‘irony’ and ‘tragedy’. Irony has nothing to with coincidence, and unless a person’s personal flaw contributed to their circumstance, it’s not ‘tragic’.

    Back on topic, the problem with chivalry is, it turns women on. Women are smitten by a selfless act presented with gentlemanly flair. However, in an egalitarian society, there is no place for chivalry.

    So you read countless authors and bloggers sputtering about how they like chivalry, but then try to distance themselves from it’s direct implications. It’s intellectually dishonest.

  23. zed says:

    “It’s intellectually dishonest.”

    Going to my thesaurus,😉 the word they suggested for that was “hypocrisy.”

  24. MNL says:

    This whole interest in expanding the meaning of the term “chivalry” to encompass far more behaviors than in its originally meaning makes me want to puke. It’s an attempt at Orwellian newspeak.

    “Chivalry” isn’t, and never was, a gender-neutral term. Attempts to make it so, to redefine “chivalry” such that it means being polite to anyone of any age or gender who “looks like they could use a break” or to describe the act of being nice to someone who has a more “diminutive stature” is verbal subterfuge. It’s an attempt to reverse society’s recognition of (very real) gender differences and historical social roles–gender roles in which chivalry played a part and helped support.

    But we already have a word for such gender-neutral niceness: it’s called “politeness”. Mutation of the word “chivalry” into a synonym is a farce.

    The trouble with redefining “chivalry” to mean being nice to anyone of any age or gender “that looks like they could use a break” or who has a more “diminutive stature” is that far more women (than men) do indeed need an upper body physical “break” and possess more “diminutive statures”. That is, stature is correlated with gender. Application of the word in this more broad way, keeps the word itself alive (i.e., without calling it oppressive hate speech) while hiding the socially unacceptable correlations.

    Attempts to broaden the meaning of word help us avoid recognizing these physical gender differences–and, more importantly, prevent the more dangerous leap of recognizing gender differences beyond the mere physical–such as neurological and psychological gender differences (neurologically-based gender differences in infant care-giving, for example) and in social roles that may in fact be gender-optimal (gasp!) No, we can’t have any of that!

  25. Doomed Harlot says:

    I believe in both the knightly ideal and the “there but for the grace of God go I” ideal Zed described.

    I have never used the term “knightly” to think of myself, but I do view myself as a relatively privileged and socially powerful. This is due to accidents of birth (I am a white, able-bodied U.S. citizen who grew up in a comfortable family with access to opportunities and education at a time when women are considered relatively equal citizens) and choices I have made (i.e. educational and professional decisions). So I do think of myself as being more in the “helper” position than the position of the “helped” based on my “knightly” status. This may be appropriately termed “noblesse oblige.”

    At the same time, I am also acutely aware of “there but for the grace of God go I.” I know I could become disabled and surely I will become elderly and frail (unless I die first). I know I could lose everything tomorrow. I know that if I had been born in slightly different circumstances, I might be more in need of assistance. I suspect that women are more susceptible to exercising altruism motivated by this kind of thinking because even the socially-powerful among us are constantly aware of our own vulnerability in a way that men (who are more inclined to think themselves invincible) are not.

  26. Susan Walsh says:

    @MNL
    The meaning of the word chivalry changed long ago. That’s hardly surprising, as the original concept is no longer relevant to society. I’d guess 9 out of 10 people would define it as men being polite to women. Paying for dates or holding the door open would be the two most common examples given. Hardly comparable to the great, heroic feats of the Middle Ages.

  27. Dalrock says:

    @Susan Walsh
    In my comment on your earlier post, you’ll notice that I wrote “generous (chivalrous?).” I did that because I am not really aware of chivalrous acts expected of men as you define the term. I understand your objection to the rescue drill on the cruise, but that example hardly illustrates society’s expectations as a whole.

    The issue isn’t perfectly black and white, but there are huge differences in expectations based on sex. There is no equivalent for women to the stigma of being (or being called) a coward. I would say the closest would probably being called a slut or a whore, but as we’ve seen a large number of women now wear those badges proudly. I don’t see men as a whole embracing the concept of cowardice the way women as a whole have embraced sluthood.

    A young woman of my acquaintance was recently punched in the face when she intervened while 5 white guys were beating her black male friend unconscious. Her nose was broken. When I suggested that getting involved hadn’t been a good decision, she explained that there was no decision. She reacted with instinct and adrenalin.

    This fits with my point. If it had been a guy who was punched in the nose while protecting his female friend from real danger, I don’t think you would have asked why he got involved. Flip it around and consider both sex scenarios if the person hadn’t intervened. What would you think of a man who stood idly by while 5 guys beat up his female friend or girlfriend? The question might remain unstated, but it would be there.

    I would counsel any woman to refrain from approaching a stranger by the side of the road unless it was another woman, and perhaps not even then. Hopefully, it’s unnecessary to point out that women are physically weaker than men, and can easily be overpowered and harmed.

    I’m pretty sure you don’t mean it this way, but as a man it feels like you (and many other women) are saying lets just split everything equally, but then you have a long list of things which of course everyone knows you shouldn’t be asked to do (all the hard/scary/expensive stuff). The reality is it won’t be done equally. So I would prefer not to change the language to make it sound as if it is.

    This doesn’t mean women don’t have a great deal to contribute, or that I don’t value the assistance of women. We need to give credit where credit is due. As others have said, there but for the grace of God go I. However since we do and will continue to ask men to do the dangerous and difficult things, I would simply like to say it out loud.

  28. Paul says:

    Dalrock, I think that last comment hit on the head what irritates me most about feminism. It’s not that women can make their own money, or vote, or whatever… I have zero problem with that. It’s that they’re constantly looking up through the “glass ceiling” at the extremely few men (probably a few hundred at most) who happen to hold the power, meanwhile they completely miss the millions of men beneath them who are doing jobs that the vast majority of them wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole.

    Sorry tangent.

  29. Jack Amok says:

    The Knight angle is important, because as Rhen said, chivalry is about matching power with a sense of responsibility and mercy towards the less-powerful. Knights weren’t the majority of power-weilders in a feudal society, but they were (or at least were supposed to be) the exemplars of it, role models for everyone else as it were.

    In fact, I’d say the difference between chivalry and courtesy is specifically that chivalry is courtesy shown by the more powerful to the less powerful. It’s in effect a sort of false deference. I’m your boss, but I’ll offer to get you coffee instead of ordering you to get me some. I think it’s pretty important to have societal rules that powerful people are expected to treat the less powerful with respect. It helps keep the power from going to someone’s head, and unchivalrous behavior is a good marker for someone who shouldn’t be allowed to rise further in the power structure.

    That makes it significantly different that courtesy since it’s inherently bound up in power.

    As Rhen also said, it wasn’t traditionally taught to women as they didn’t usually hold much power. But once that started to change, society screwed up by not teaching it. And of course, once women started weilding power unchivalrously, men followed suit.

  30. Susan Walsh says:

    @Dalrock

    If it had been a guy who was punched in the nose while protecting his female friend from real danger, I don’t think you would have asked why he got involved.

    No I would not have. Nor would I have asked if it had been five girls beating on her friend. It was unwise for her to intervene because she is 5’4″ and weighs 115 lbs. You cannot discuss chivalry without discussing the biological differences between men and women. Men have traditionally protected the smaller and weaker, both women and children.

    it feels like you (and many other women) are saying lets just split everything equally, but then you have a long list of things which of course everyone knows you shouldn’t be asked to do (all the hard/scary/expensive stuff).

    Perhaps you and Paul didn’t notice that I wrote this:

    What I believe you are describing is society’s expectation that men should assume dangerous roles when necessary. As Obsidian has often pointed out, this can be seen in the jobs men do – working in mines, on oil rigs, etc. One exception, of course, is that women now participate in military combat.

    Is it chivalrous of a man to work in a dangerous environment? Or is it a function of the free market? Would women be welcome as miners, or working on the Alaskan pipeline? No one has conscripted men to do dangerous work. Presumably they are being compensated for the risk they are taking.

    You are right that men will do more of the dangerous work, and they probably always will. They are biologically designed for more arduous physical tasks, complete with the chemical responses to meet a threat with powerful aggression.

    I will point out that women throughout history have lost their lives doing something quite dangerous too: bearing children.

  31. Susan Walsh says:

    P.S. In speaking of men not being conscripted to do dangerous work, I am speaking of the present. Obviously, men have been drafted into wars. Today we have many women in the military, and if the U.S. were to return to the draft, it would certainly include women as well.

  32. Hestia says:

    @MNL- “Chivalry” isn’t, and never was, a gender-neutral term. Attempts to make it so, to redefine “chivalry” such that it means being polite to anyone of any age or gender who “looks like they could use a break” or to describe the act of being nice to someone who has a more “diminutive stature” is verbal subterfuge. It’s an attempt to reverse society’s recognition of (very real) gender differences and historical social roles–gender roles in which chivalry played a part and helped support.
    Chivalry in it’s proper usage also wasn’t an ideal or standard that all men were held to. Today we still have a form of chivalry in the traditional sense of the word; military ethos haven’t died away and the strongest and most aggressive of military men do have a code of ethics they are supposed to aspire to. The public still seems to expect much of their service members, especially the higher ranking or elite forces, and this will be well displayed in a military town where news reports wouldn’t say that “a man” committed x-crime but that a soldier/sailor/marine/coastie/airman committed the crime. If the service member happened to be in an elite branch the media will eat this up much as they did in 2002 when the now infamous ‘Fort Bragg Wife Murders’ were committed by men who happened to be part of Special Forces and Delta.

    This chivalric idea can go farther than media reporting and may impact court cases when service members are the defendant. On my blog and The Speahead I’ve said several times that should my family’s home need to be defended from a criminal that legally speaking it would be best that I, not my husband, pull that trigger. This isn’t because I am a woman but because my husband is a trained killer and I am not. A civilian man would make out better legally in such a case than my husband or his military peers would, just as would happen if it the case was their committing an assault. The argument would likely be made that the Special Forces soldier, well trained in combatives and other warrior skills, has the potential to be deadlier with his bare hands alone and should have had enough discipline to control himself. To this day society expects and hopes that their best trained warriors are disciplined not only in their trade but in self control as well. Chivalry in it’s original form hasn’t really died per se; the word and idea has been hijacked and used improperly (something I’ve been guilty of myself).

    @Susan- Presumably they are being compensated for the risk they are taking.
    IME many of the most aggressive men (not necessarily “bad boys” in the typical sense used in the manosphere) get sexually awarded and may even receive more loyalty from wives if they do marry. Military members in general have their groupies, aka tag chasers, barracks bunnies, corp whores, you get the point. Elite units attract female attention even more. A friend and I have joked that we should start screenprinting tee shirts that say “Support the US, Sleep with a Green Beret!” to sell around Fort Bragg. We’d probably make a good profit!

  33. Hestia says:

    FWIW, something that could be a modern day “code of chivalry” in the warrior sense of the word. There does exist a large difference between this creed and a philosophy of civility and propriety.

    I am an American Special Forces Soldier!

    I will do all that my nation requires of me.
    I am a volunteer, knowing well the hazards of my profession.

    I serve with the memory of those who have gone before me.
    I pledge to uphold the honor and integrity of their legacy
    in all that I am – in all that I do.

    I am a warrior.
    I will teach and fight whenever and wherever my nation requires.
    I will strive always to excel in every art and artifice of war.

    I know that I will be called upon to perform tasks in isolation,
    far from familiar faces and voices.
    With the help and guidance of my faith,
    I will conquer my fears and succeed.

    I will keep my mind and body clean, alert and strong.
    I will maintain my arms and equipment in
    an immaculate state befitting a Special Forces Soldier,
    for this is my debt to those who depend upon me.

    I will not fail those with whom I serve.
    I will not bring shame upon myself or Special Forces.

    I will never leave a fallen comrade.
    I will never surrender though I am the last.
    If I am taken, I pray that I have the strength
    to defy my enemy.

    I am a member of my Nation’s chosen soldiery,
    I serve quietly, not seeking recognition or accolades.
    My goal is to succeed in my mission – and live to succeed again.

    De Oppresso Liber

  34. zed says:

    “I fail to understand how “you have to pay for the first date, but if I like you then we can split the rest of them” exhibits anything other than entitlement or an inflated sense of your own value, like your time is to compensated and his is not.

    This is a great example of “cafeteria equality”, or “eek-WALLET-eeee” as it is often called in the manosphere. That attitude is fairly universal among the 2nd wave feminists who have made up the bulk of my female contemporaries.

    If she gets “to pick and choose the typically masculine or feminine behaviors that suit [her],” then I get to do the same for me.

    And there we get to the fundamental paradox of the 2nd & 3rd wavers – even as they declare their right to be free of any traditions, and position themselves in opposition to the SoCons, they do everything in their power to keep men trapped in their old traditional roles, counting on SoCon white knights to volunteer as their enforcers.

    Oddly, the “men in the middle” are simultaneously considered “the enemy” by both the feminine-ists and the SoCons, while at the same time it is control over these same men which both sides are battling over – who gets to design and install the software that the manbots operate on.

    I cannot help but feel a bit of pity for women like the youngish Christian female bloggers who endlessly kvetch about not having an adequate supply of sufficiently alpha males lining up to pay for their dates and meet the rest of their long lists of requirements – but only a bit, not too much. If they really wanted a man in their lives more than they want the ability to gripe about not having one, they might examine their own expectations and behaviors.

    My planet is called Fred – where I get to pick and choose the typically masculine or feminine behaviors that suit me.

    There is “Fred” cropping up again, Dalrock. I swear that guy gets around more than Waldo. 😉

  35. Doomed Harlot says:

    TANGENT
    Hi Paul, I wanted to respond to your tangent in which you stated:
    I think that last comment hit on the head what irritates me most about feminism. It’s not that women can make their own money, or vote, or whatever… I have zero problem with that. It’s that they’re constantly looking up through the “glass ceiling” at the extremely few men (probably a few hundred at most) who happen to hold the power, meanwhile they completely miss the millions of men beneath them who are doing jobs that the vast majority of them wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole.

    I think there are a lot of assumptions in this comment that aren’t quite right.

    A) I am not sure how you are defining men above the so-called glass ceiling. But I think feminists (or at least middle-class feminists like me) certainly care about having the opportunities to rise to the top ranks of their organizations. So defining our terms in that fashion, I don’t think it is right that there are “extremely few men (probably a few hundred at most)” who are among the decisionmakers of their organizations. There are certainly more than just a few hundred businesses or corporations or law firms that have a top tier executive class. There are thousands upon thousands of law firms alone. Now it’s true that the “glass ceiling” has risen higher and higher as women have successfully risen through the ranks. But it’s not right to say that the white collar elite consists of only just a handful of guys.

    2) I am happy to admit that I have no particular aspiration to be a miner or a sanitation worker. But I rather doubt that I would be a miner or sanitation worker if I had been born male. Most people don’t choose to be miners (or other dirty and dangerous jobs) if they have other opportunities. I don’t see what my lack of desire to be a miner (or similarly undesirable job) has to do with my desire to be treated like an equal citizen with an equal opportunity to advance in my workplace.

    Why is it so wrong for a woman to rail against being consigned to the role of permanent underling — which is certainly what women were in the workplace 30 – 50 years ago, and even now in some workplaces today.

    3) Women do work to enter dirty and dangerous professions. A few years ago, there was a movie starring Charlize Theron based on a true story about a woman who sued to be allowed to work as a miner. For her, being a miner was her best opportunity. Women are even agitating to be combat soldiers. I am sure there are many more examples.

    4) I am not sure why you assume that feminists are unconcerned with class issues (which assume what you mean when you say that feminist women “miss” the millions of men beneath them on the totem pole). First, there are many working class feminist women. Second, feminist women have certainly been heavily involved in the labor movement, the migrant farmworker movement, workplace safety issues etc. But women who involved in those issues aren’t involved AS feminists, even though they may BE feminist.

    P.S. I did once work on a dairy farm — which is a semi-gross job. Especially if you have ever had a cow crap on your head.
    /end tangent

  36. Doomed Harlot says:

    I think expecting the man to pay for the first date is tied to the expectation that the man INITIATE the first date. I am pretty sure it is tacky to initiate the date and then expect the other person to pay. (This would be true whether it is a date, or a professional lunch. If person A does the asking, person A should do the paying.)

    Of course, I truly wish women didn’t feel they had to wait to be asked out, rather than themselves initiating a dating relationship. I am a big believer that that script (man-asks-woman-out-and-never-vice-versa) is bad for women because it consigns women to anxiously hoping the phone will ring, which is kind of a pathetic position to be in. In my ideal world, women would feel free to pick up the phone and ask the cute guy whether he is free for dinner and a movie Friday night. Of course, this is a pretty unusual behavior so (at least back in my salad days), some men are bound to think you are a freak or else madly in love with them. So it is a hard thing for women to do. But it is worthwhile to act boldly rather than waste time mooning around hoping to be noticed and feeling like a loser. And yes, if the woman asks, she must insist on paying.

  37. Vincent Ignatius says:

    Gorb got it
    Male chivalry was a response to female propriety.

    Only ladies deserve gentlemen.

  38. Eric says:

    Historically, the Code of Chivalry existed in a cultural milieu where men and women owed one another reciprocal obligations. The modern Anglo-American woman wants men to shoulder their traditional responsibilities while giving him nothing in return.

    Men are no obligation to be chivalrous to American women until women prove themselves worthy of it. And they are doing nothing to prove it. American women lead every other female demographic worldwide in divorces, abortions, out-of-wedlock births, mental illness, chronic obesity, and false accusations. Ask any foreign man who’s been here what he thinks characterizes American women and you will hear selfishness, sluttiness and shallowness mentioned every time.

    On top of that, American women’s dating preferences seem to run counter to the chivalrous, alpha-male type anyway. From what I’ve seen, American women prefer the weaklings, the thugs, the meatheads; any male whose only quality is making the female look superior by contrast.

  39. DarkCity says:

    Back in my days as a student, the women I hung around with complained loudly and constantly about chivalry being dead. Upon further prying I discovered that what they were really ticked about was being treated as men by the males around them (including me).

    This “equality” of treatment stemmed from the campus having a rather active and loud Womyn’s Centre. For the guys it was just easier to treat the ladies just as they treated their male friends. This, of course, lead to a number of “open your own door”, “it’s too heavy? Hit the gym” etc. comments.

    It lead to some interesting correlations in behaviour. The women who complained the most about chivalry being dead were also the ones who had the biggest sense of entitlement and were the ones who most easily fell for the what is now classified as PUA lines/techniques. They were also the ones nobody had a long term relationship with because nobody would put up with them for more than a few nights.

  40. Paul says:

    DH:

    I didn’t make my point very well (probably because I wasn’t really trying to make a point, but never mind)

    My point is that when many feminists are asked what they mean by “privileged men” they typically paint a picture of the CEO, the politician, or at least the “rich guy.” The problem then, is that these feminists then conflate those men with the rest of us, and paint us all with the same brush.

  41. Dalrock says:

    I’m not sure Big Little Wolf was saying men should only have to pay for the first date. I think her comment about sharing after the first date meant sharing the food, etc. and not sharing the bill.

  42. Badger Nation says:

    “any male whose only quality is making the female look superior by contrast.”

    You are on to something; I heard a woman say that she had been raised with the idea a woman was morally “better” than men, so she tended to semi-subconsciously choose lowlife men to fulfill the prophecy that she was superior. In other words, pumping false Victorian ideals can truly f**k up people’s lives.

  43. Badger Nation says:

    “I’m not sure Big Little Wolf was saying men should only have to pay for the first date. I think her comment about sharing after the first date meant sharing the food, etc. and not sharing the bill.”

    It’s crazy to think how much better their lives could be if young women put as much effort into bettering themselves, staying healthy, pursuing their (non-relationship) passions and enjoying life as they did complaining about the men around them and telling men what they “should” be doing for women.

  44. Alexander says:

    First timer so I’ll keep it short and sweet.

    @ SW

    That’s not quite right. Women at the present cannot serve as active combat troops, nor are women part of the conscription/draft system at this time. While this makes obvious sense from a future demographic point of view, I don’t see women protesting in the streets for equality on this, and I don’t really see this changing anytime soon.

    So in terms of the warrior/protector culture, women have no legal obligation to partake in it, and voluntary service – while most certainly honorable and as we’ve seen, still carrying a large risk – is nontheless awarded some level of protection from the most dangerous tasks.

    Perhaps the most hilarious twist to the most recent changes to the military is the large number of women demanding that homosexual men be allowed to openly serve, without so much as a peep about their own current inequality.

  45. Höllenhund says:

    I agree with Alexander on this. The only democratic country that ever drafted women is Israel, and that was mainly due to it being hugely outnumbered by its surrounding enemies for decades and even they never deployed women as combat troops except for some instances in the 1948 War of Independence. It’s also one of the most highly militarized societies in the world. The security situation of the USA is not even comparable. A gender-neutral draft there is out of the question.

  46. Paul says:

    Not only that, but if a draft were to start up again, I can’t see them bothering to go to the trouble of registeig all eligible women, when they already have a ready-made registry of men.

  47. Dalrock says:

    I don’t know. I could see them implementing a draft of women so they could move all of the men to the front lines and backfill the non dangerous jobs with women.

  48. Anonymous age 68 says:

    No, Susan, wrong. Women, at least in the US, need to learn about concealed weapon permits. There is no reason in most places today for women to live in fear. The much hated NRA has classes designed especially for women, so women can live in absence of fear. The fastest growing group of license to carry are women. If you live in UK, everyone is at risk. Toss out those fools.

    DH, I am 68, and I can still carry 110 pound bags of concrete. However, if I encounter you and you wish to carry my widdle bittie bag of groceries, I will let you. Heh, heh.

    Make that 80’s.

    If your dad is in that bad shape, send him here to rural Puebla in Mexico and we will help him renew his youth. But, I give you fair warning he will soon enough be getting hot offers from 20 year olds.

    As far as knights, don’t y’all understand chivalry was for ladies not ho’s. Sir Galahad was not going to risk his life for the prostitute in the bar outside the castle. Yet, today, women who have had dozens of lovers imagine they are Lady Guinevere and expect to be treated as a lady.

  49. MNL says:

    This is good banter.

    @Hestia. You’re likely correct that, were your home invaded by an intruder, you would suffer fewer legal repercussions and risks if it was you that shot that intruder rather than your warrior-trained husband. But the word “chivalrous” likely wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) be ascribed to you in such a context like it would to your husband (unless we torture the meaning of the word).

    @Susan. I confess to coming across very dogmatic in my description of chivalry being gender-charged. You’re correct and your points are articulate and nearly always well-taken: chivalry in the middle ages involved much more than simply respecting women. The code of chivalry required piousness, elements of asceticism, protection of all the weak and defenseless–and above all– allegiance to king. But expressly mentioned among the dozen or so principles of chivalry (as listed in the Song of Roland/Charlemagne’s Code of Chivalry written around 1098) is that chivalry very definitely required the “respect the honour of women”.

    Couple this with the fact that knighthood was nearly universally a patriarchal order, and it’s clear that chivalry wasn’t in the past (and isn’t now) a gender-neutral term. Specifically, knighthood was nearly exclusively bestowed upon men and was handed down to sons. If a female benefited from a knight’s chivalry, her benefactor would have almost certainly been male. No knightly benefactor (one sworn to uphold chivalry) would have been female. Therefore, it simply doesn’t make sense today to dilute the word “chivalry” into a gender-neutral term, into an action either gender can take, and merely synonymous with “politeness.”

    Note: There were indeed a few knighthood-like orders in the middle ages that allowed women. Specifically, the Order of the Hatchet. But these were short-lived and pretty rare. A woman could also inherit some knightly honors from her husband–but, again, that only reifies the knighthood’s (and chivalry’s) patriarchal origins.

  50. Hestia says:

    @MNL-But the word “chivalrous” likely wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) be ascribed to you in such a context like it would to your husband (unless we torture the meaning of the word).
    I never said it should.😉 The point I was attempting to convey was that the proper usage of chivalry was never meant to refer to all men either (as is being argued in this thread) but a subset of men (knights, warriors, and their equivalent), and that this idea is indeed live and well today. Most men today do not live by a creed such as the Special Forces creed I shared above, one that demands loyalty to the cause of war and brotherhood with your fellow troops. They are not “chivalrous” in the historical sense of the word. Getting through bullets to rescue a combat injured buddy is not the same as changing the tire of a stranger on the side of the road. To conflate the two almost seems its own unique form of stolen valor.

    If the idea of chivalry is kept in its proper usage–the honor code of a society’s meanest toughest warriors– the female entitlement that has been bred with the perversion of the word is all the more perplexing. It also blows out of the water the harmful and demeaning idea that all men must sacrifice themselves to the degree that a warrior did/does (to death if need be) in order to be Real Men. There has always been just a small percentage of men who felt “called” to this lifestyle; those who aren’t are not bad men or masculinity rejects. Society needs the poet, the engineer, and the brainy scientist just as much as it needs its warriors. How did we get from a code of ethics designed for a warrior class to male subservience to women and a limiting myopic view of how this ideal fits into “real” masculinity as we have today? It’s mighty odd….

  51. MNL says:

    I agree completely. Well described.

  52. Dalrock says:

    Hestia I think you make an excellent point, but the meaning of chivalry was broadened long ago. I’m guessing the appeal was that men like your husband are admired by all men. I don’t think it is stolen valor to say that the men who gave their lives on the Titanic were acting chivalrously. And that example proves very strongly (to me at least) how widely that ethos was adopted by men of the west.

    Either way, the reality is we have different expectations from men and women. It would be helpful if we were allowed to use a word for it.

    BTW, thanks for posting the Special Forces creed. That is really powerful. I grew up on stories about the Green Berets my father ferried around SE Asia in 1960-1961.

  53. Hestia says:

    @Dalrock-I don’t think it is stolen valor to say that the men who gave their lives on the Titanic were acting chivalrously.
    I don’t either. The comparison I made in my comment could better be phrased to reflect the broader picture as the risk/reality of death doesn’t compare to a minor inconvenience. Conflating the two even when it comes to men is just as distasteful, unfair, and dishonest as using chivalry to describe female civility.

    And that example proves very strongly (to me at least) how widely that ethos was adopted by men of the west.
    Well the “treat women kindly” part anyway…if amplified quite a bit. Sadly the brotherhood and Esprit de corps aspect was pretty much thrown out the window. Funny how that worked, isn’t it?😉

    Either way, the reality is we have different expectations from men and women. It would be helpful if we were allowed to use a word for it.
    I’d agree although I think chivalry is a poor choice for that word from an MRA slant for a variety of reasons.

    If those of us who are concerned about men’s issues adopt the traditional usage of chivalry it’s very easy to argue against female entitlement. When the death of chivalry is bemoaned we can aptly point out the fact that historically most men were not knights who had placed themselves under warrior ethos/honor creed just as happens today in the US with 1% of the population serving under their respective branch’s creed. Not all women were “ladies” either; this was about social class not just propriety and civility as the term describes today. In short form: chivalry is the same as it always has been. Nothing has changed and it’s certainly not dead.

    In pointing this out those who espouse and expect and demand male disposability and deference to all women the reality of this perversion and the sickness of what they preach to men is out in the light of day. They are demanding something entirely different than what chivalry was instituted to be and this raises many perplexing questions, ones that don’t even require the feminist/equality angle. How do they justify their position? What makes women so special and more worthy of protection than their brother human beings? And if feeling especially brazen it could be asked what happened to the above mentioned brotherhood aspect. If we need to “bring back chivalry” surely you guys deserve “wings and beer night with the boys” or quarterly hunting trips or something.😉

    Perhaps our opponents will not be so rational as to understand where their entitlement mindset falls apart but any rational individual who is listening/reading might be led to ask questions about this important topic. And even if they don’t looking at chivalry in it’s proper context may provide men with the reality that they do not need to fulfill the obligations demanded of them to be Real Men. They may better appreciate that they can be successful men and fully masculine without the need to demean themselves or put themselves in positions they do no wish to be in. They might be able to not just ask why society has different expectations for men than women but put into practice what they, individually, believe they should do.

    The connotations, misunderstanding, and baggage that come with the word are immense and it fails to drive home the most important point of the good deeds men graciously and freely give to women and others they help. It also keeps alive the perverted expectations that have been placed on the shoulders of men and may even keep men chained to said expectations. Chivalry today implies that men “owe” this service to women whereas a term like “selfless service” describes precisely what is being offered: men giving a gift of themselves that wasn’t “owed” but given by their own choice. To not highlight this reality and the beauty in the act does an immense disservice to men IMHO. Separating help that is given by choice versus that given by societal expectation would go a long way in highlighting just which sex gives more benevolently and freely to strangers than the other. “What a selfless giving man! He helped me fix my lawn mower when he didn’t have to!” should be how we think of what men give, not “grrrr why didn’t he carry my bags! Loser!”

  54. Eric says:

    Badger Nation:

    Thanks—it took me a long time to realize that point myself. It really used to depress me seeing the way Anglo women went for the losers, but today I understand why. Our feminized culture teaches women that they are superior to men; and of course everything they do is self-serving. American women either compulsively have to destroy decent men to prove he’s inferior or lord herself over some lowlife male to prove she’s superior. One is active misandry, the other passive.

    Understood this way, the whole so-called ‘Bad Boy Syndrome’ is explained. They aren’t being ‘giving’ or ‘loving too much’. It’s just another manifestion of the typical self-serving, self-entitled, self-righteous, and self-centered American female in action. If, by some miracle, some scumbag like they typically date became a civilized human being, she’d respond by dumping him immediately in favor of another dirtbag.

    Also, I suspect a fair number of these women who date losers really get off on hearing everyone tell them how they’re ‘too good for him’ and how sacrificing and giving she is, &c., &c. Probably a lot of them also enjoy the satisfaction of flaunting these dysfunctional men in the faces of really decent guys to make them feel lower than the thug she’s with.

    The more I think about it, the happier I am that I’ve renounced American women altogether!

  55. zed says:

    In pointing this out those who espouse and expect and demand male disposability and deference to all women the reality of this perversion and the sickness of what they preach to men is out in the light of day. They are demanding something entirely different than what chivalry was instituted to be and this raises many perplexing questions, ones that don’t even require the feminist/equality angle. How do they justify their position? What makes women so special and more worthy of protection than their brother human beings?

    Wow, I love you, Hestia.

    So much of this argument feels like chasing fog with a staple gun trying to tack it down. There are about 10 vague issues all swirling around being talked about with only one word to describe them all.

    To me, the first and biggest is that women do not see men as “brother human beings”, they see themselves as woman beings and men as non-human manbots. It’s the same mentality that people who owned slaves and said things like “let them eat cake” had. It is a universal and difficult aspect of the human condition.

    Second, there is the reality that civilized behavior is dying, and that women have led the way calling it “empowerment” and bashing men broadside if they either spoke up against the excesses of women or refused to continue on in their “traditional” roles which are not in any way traditional but have been redefined to subservience and supplication.

    Third, there is the self-delusion (if being generous) or major-league hypocrisy (if not) of women who want to have it both ways – like Liz Jones. Notice that her screed was not “gender neutered” as some of the women here have advocated, but aimed specifically at men. She didn’t decry the general loss of courtesy, as some here have been trying to say is the same as chivalry, but let loose a broadside at all men under 40 for not supplicating to her. I could link to dozens of similar tirades by women like Karen DeCoster, Devvy Kidd, Kay Heimowitz, and a host of others that were the same tired old rant against men rehashed.

    In a previous thread someone made the comment that happily married men had an influence in their lives which counterbalanced the venom being sprayed by feminists like Jones. The flip side of this is that men who are unmarried, including ones who have been blindsided by a frivolous divorce (feel free to insert link here, Dalrock) don’t have this influence. Their impressions of women are formed by the women they observe – wimmin like Liz Jones and the wimmin they work with.

    There is some significant friction now in the mansphere between the traditionalist – “happily married” – men and the unmarried ones. I’ve commented before that these “men in the middle” are kind of like a big rope being used in a massive tug-of-war between the feminine-ists and the SoCons. Both sides are beating on us for not going along with their program, and we keep getting dragged in as proxies in the battle over whose program is going to win in the sexual marketplace.

    We tend to hold a special contempt for women like Liz Jones and BLW who want to have it both ways – to “pick and choose” those “chivalrous” behaviors that they want the SoCons and white knights to keep enforcing on the MITM (men in the middle), like paying for dates and dropping everything they are doing (and being paid by someone else to do) to run over and supplicate to a woman despite the fact that they really have no power to affect her situation – while they, themselves, are totally exempt from any sort of social expectations.

    And, that contempt is also felt toward the SoCons and white knights who only want social restrictions enforced on the manbots, and never on the woman beings.

    To paraphrase the old Virginia Slims commercial trying to hoodwink women into equal opportunity to get lung cancer and emphysema – “You can’t have it both ways, bayyyybeeeeeee!

  56. Hestia says:

    Wow, I love you, Hestia.
    LOL, you know the feeling is mutual seeing as I’m a zed groupie and all.😛

    To me, the first and biggest is that women do not see men as “brother human beings”, they see themselves as woman beings and men as non-human manbots. It’s the same mentality that people who owned slaves and said things like “let them eat cake” had. It is a universal and difficult aspect of the human condition.
    This is something that really needs to change but I’m afraid it won’t. Looking at ourselves as humans first is important as is taking a more yin & yang/balance philosophy or viva la difference approach to sex differences. Men and women are different, yes, but that doesn’t mean different species or that men are without feelings, fears, vulnerabilities, and needs that go far beyond food and sex. This was among many things that is wanting when it comes to SoCon and Christian perspectives on marriage, gender relations, and even childrearing.

    Third, there is the self-delusion (if being generous) or major-league hypocrisy (if not) of women who want to have it both ways – like Liz Jones. Notice that her screed was not “gender neutered” as some of the women here have advocated, but aimed specifically at men. She didn’t decry the general loss of courtesy, as some here have been trying to say is the same as chivalry, but let loose a broadside at all men under 40 for not supplicating to her.
    I did notice that and was troubled by the double standard. I also noticed how wildly different her expectations of men were than mine or many of the women I know, all of us who are quite a bit younger than Liz Jones is. The thought of having a man pump gas for me because it’s cold would never enter my mind and my good friend J was laughing about that same idea too.

    I could link to dozens of similar tirades by women like Karen DeCoster, Devvy Kidd, Kay Heimowitz, and a host of others that were the same tired old rant against men rehashed.
    Deevy and Kay are two women I have written to with my objections of their screeds. No response came of course. They not only have a tired rant but they neglect an important reality of traditional chivalry, namely that being involved with a chivalric man means that you come second and the team comes first. He belongs to his team/country/cause first not to his family and with that comes immense responsibility on the part of the wife. You will lift your own bags, change your own flat tires, raise children on your own, and deal with the bumps in the night on your own. You will tend to his affairs in his absence and do so with integrity. You will learn to be your own hero as he can’t be yours; he’s too busy being a hero for everybody else. Something tells me the sort of women that demand dates be paid for and doors opened would not be able to handle this reality. Point this out and their real desires–control and supplication–will be out in the open.

    I’ve commented before that these “men in the middle” are kind of like a big rope being used in a massive tug-of-war between the feminine-ists and the SoCons
    They are the pawns in front of the Queen of Female Privilege and the King of the Upper Tier that wants to keep the common man down and under his thumb. Everybody else on the chessboard represents the other isms that seek tyrannical power over the common man. Or so I often think when I’m at the chessboard!

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  58. Hestia says:

    On the subject of chivalry, has anybody read any articles or seen news programs bemoaning the fact that no man took control in yesterday’s assassination attempt/shooting in Tuscon? Considering the suspects were able to shoot, empty their weapons, and run away & have victims that include women and children it’s only a matter of time before lamentations about chivalry’s death surface.

    I’ve heard several guys we know express how miffed they are that nobody attempted to get the firearm pointed upward or to restrain the shooter (or shooters?) in some way. Not perplexed at all as to why nobody would jump in (danger, chaos, they may have been trying to protect themselves, possibly trying to get out of the situation, other children may have been there other than the little girl who was killed, maybe nobody was carrying concealed, etc), I pointed out that they are in SF and are trained, experienced, and prepared for such action* while civilian men most certainly are not. They cannot fairly be expected to jump into a chaotic situation they know little about taking control of. SF soldiers are not called “masters of chaos” for nothing. They all agreed that I do have a point and my husband mentioned that the military/civilian divide runs very deep when it comes to this chivalry issue.

    (*It should be noted that each of these men, including my husband, have taken control and/or assisted in some high stress situations they didn’t have to while venturing out in the civilian world so they’re not operation from a false bravado sort of position when it comes to what they have would have done.)

    And interestingly it was initially reported that the young shooter suspect was an Afghanistan vet. Anybody with access to Army Knowledge Online (AKO) would have known this wasn’t likely right away as his name is not listed in the database but it seems certain parts of the civilian public were ready to eat it up just as they always are. The alleged shooter’s connection to the military ended at the recruiter’s station.

    The aftermath of this assassination attempt on Rep. Giffords will be very interesting to see considering the state that society finds itself in right now.

  59. Malcolm Tucker says:

    A young woman of my acquaintance was recently punched in the face when she intervened while 5 white guys were beating her black male friend unconscious.

    What does race have to do with anything? And the plural of “anecdote” is “bullshit” and examples such as this add nothing to an intelligent conversation.

    Regarding the use of the word “chivalry” and the inherently-associated cultural notion of “honor” in the context of the United States, I suggest reading books and scholarly journals by historians and cultural anthropologists beginning with people like Bertram Wyatt-Brown and, for a broader view, scholars such as Julian Pitt-Rivers. There are a legion of other topical academics, but these are two good places to start.

    That assumes of course that one’s interest lies in the truth and not in empty rhetoric.

    Defining terms is the first step towards discussing anything intelligently, and the way people around these parts of the blogosphere throw around these two words ahistorically, or maybe with ideas of history gained from wikipedia or the so-called “History Channel,” and without any kind of culturally-specific context clouds the issues.

    I suspect this is precisely the point with many of these types of posts and posters; it is much easier to watch some thirty minute television show or read a short article composed and edited, although one hates to use the words given the outputs’ quality, by essentially unaccountable amateurs than to systematically study and analyze any subject. Especially when the results of that study might question the foundation of a preexisting opinion.

    In the United States, honor codes existed for a reason and they contained an internal logic that are both simply inapplicable today. A man who called himself a “gentleman” and was socially-recognized as such (which if you read the research is the key to notions of honor in what Pitt-Rivers and others often termed “honor cultures” versus “shame cultures” versus “guilt cultures”) in ye olde American South, for instance, did not go around treating every single woman like some kind of gold-shitting goddess. Only certain socially-acceptable women from the same class and race whose status and actions placed them in the role of a “lady” were accorded that treatment. And the same goes for the way a traditional Southern gentleman treated other men and explicitly or implicitly violently enforced those definitions for that matter.

    Virtually everyone else could and often was treated like non-human shit with social and legal impunity. Try to enforce traditional codes of honor and chivalry today using the historically-correct methods and see how long until you end up in the local jail awaiting trial for mayham, battery, assault, manslaughter or murder depending on your local jurisdictional definitions. It would not take very much time.

    The modern American prevision of the word and the concept of a “gentleman” into a man who gives a general unsigned pussy pass to any human with a vagina is disgusting and perverse, and only uneducated or unthinking men fall for the ruse.

    But it always helps to remember that sheep get sheared. In fact that is their raison d’être so far as I am concerned. So do as you will. I love a nice wool sweater.

  60. zed says:

    Hestia, we simply must stop meeting like this, people are going to start to talk! 😉

    Considering the suspects were able to shoot, empty their weapons, and run away & have victims that include women and children it’s only a matter of time before lamentations about chivalry’s death surface.

    Isn’t it interesting how having victims that “include women and children” changes everything? If the victims had been only manbots, I strongly suspect that the average person would view this incident somewhat differently. I’m sensitized to the issue, of course, but all these news reports in the form –
    “And, 100 people were killed, INCLUDING A WOMAN!!!!”
    seem to indicate to me how little most people value men’s lives.

    I know where you stand on the issues, Hestia, so none of what I say is directed at you. But, I want to point out some other issues I see in this whole incident which are indicative of a whole body of strange social attitudes – of which feminism is an integral part, but only a part.

    First, in our gender-neutered utopia, maybe the victims didn’t actually include any women – maybe they were all wimmin. How many officer Kim Munleys were present who did nothing more than the unarmed untrained civilian males present?

    What is it about the term “chivalry” which makes any and all men responsible and accountable for any and all roles that any and all men have fulfilled throughout history. There’s an old joke about a pipe under a kitchen sink breaking and the wife turning to the husband saying “fix it” and him pointing to his crotch and saying “this does not make me a plumber.”

    If anyone has seen the film “Gallipoli”, or knows the story, young men were simply fed to the machine guns of the Turks because those in command didn’t know what else to do. Does simply being born with one of “these” somehow obligate me to rush into the line of fire and throw my own life away – a life that a wife and children might be depending on – just in order to be a good manbot and make homeshool-boy happy?

    I also see a much larger and stranger contradiction and paradox.

    maybe nobody was carrying concealed

    Even though this was Arizona, the location of the shooting might have been in one of those silly “gun free zones” – perhaps within 1,000 yards of a school across the street or some similarly pointless definition. It is entirely possible that if one of the men in the crowd had been armed and taken out the shooter, that he would be facing as much or more prison time than the shooter himself.

    As our esteemed host, himself, pointed out in this post https://dalrock.wordpress.com/2010/08/15/on-gun-control-and-wimpy-betas/

    Men who live in areas [with gun control] are repeatedly told that if someone breaks into their house and threatens their family, they should cower in fear and call another man to solve the problem. This is not how a healthy well adjusted man thinks.

    How strange that a culture which tells men that they shouldn’t protect themselves and their own families in their own homes, and does everything possible to take away from men the means to do so, at the same time will castigate them for not throwing their lives away in a complete Beau Geste protecting relatively or complete strangers in a public place, simply to live up to an ideal that the very people they would be trying to protect have been so zealous in telling them is outdated.

    In my state, classes for Concealed Carry permits hammer again and again on the point – a CCP does NOT make you a law enforcement officer. An average civilian who had intervened in the shooting would almost certainly have faced criminal charges and civil lawsuits if they had harmed the shooter in any way.

    So, to me, any discussion of the “death of chivalry” sparked by this incident comes across like “Wow, our society is screwed up. Let’s find a way to blame men!

  61. zed says:

    crap, missed a closing tag again. Please close the bold tag after
    INCLUDING A WOMAN!!!!”

    When are you going to get at least a preview function here, Dalrock?

  62. zed says:

    And/or after “must” in

    must stop meeting like this

  63. Malcolm Tucker says:

    I hear you brother.

  64. Dalrock says:

    I’ll look into how to enable comment preview Zed.

    On the topic of why no one intervened with the AZ shooting, I’ve seen the basic question discussed on gun forums. Most of the guys on the forums are of the opinion that it is a bad idea to get involved unless you or your family are directly in danger. Otherwise you risk being branded a zealous gun nut by a prosecutor. Also, figuring out who is a good guy and who is a bad guy can be really difficult in the confusion of the moment. You don’t want 3 CCW holders to pop up and shoot each other in the confusion. So keeping your head down at least initially seems to be the consensus view.

  65. Badger Nation says:

    “And the same goes for the way a traditional Southern gentleman treated other men and explicitly or implicitly violently enforced those definitions for that matter. Virtually everyone else could and often was treated like non-human shit with social and legal impunity.”

    Interesting Malcolm brings this up. I had forgotten to look at it from the perspective of “southern gentlemen had a code of chivalry, but they also owned slaves as property who they regarded as non-human.” I doubt they were coming to the aid of random strangers on the road.

  66. zed says:

    Allow me to take what Malcolm said a step further, BN. Here is the key part –

    In the United States, honor codes existed for a reason and they contained an internal logic that are both simply inapplicable today. A man who called himself a “gentleman” and was socially-recognized as such (which if you read the research is the key to notions of honor in what Pitt-Rivers and others often termed “honor cultures” versus “shame cultures” versus “guilt cultures”) in ye olde American South, for instance, did not go around treating every single woman like some kind of gold-shitting goddess. Only certain socially-acceptable women from the same class and race whose status and actions placed them in the role of a “lady” were accorded that treatment.

    This is a point I have tried to make over and over – the women who got treated like “ladies” earned the right to that treatment by acting like “ladies”, they were not simply considered entitled to it for no other reason than being born with a vagina instead of a penis.

    There is an idea I have been putting forth for some time that I call “Social Capital.” It means the same thing as “reputation” or “honor.” It takes a while to accumulate, and can be spent. People who act in accordance with the values of a culture accumulate it by acting in accordance with the values of that culture. Those who do not, are not “paid” in the script of social capital – being known to come from a “good family”, being able to be trusted, worth taking a risk on because throwing away the social capital of reputation will have lasting effects on the entire family which will be much more than any short term benefit gained by cheating and burning someone.

    To me, there is no better example of the destruction of the entire idea of social capital than the Duke Lacrosse Rape Hoax. On the one hand, we have a woman who was a stripper – sold her female sexuality for money. We all know the common name for such women. Her race at this point has nothing to do with it other than fitting into the narrative of victimhood which is what has replaced social capital as an operating philosophy of the culture.

    On the other hand, you have 3 boys who came from what would have generally been considered “good families” in the old south. Maybe a little rambunctious and rowdy, as young boys tend to be, but from families which played by all the rules.

    The inversion of social custom which encouraged taking the word over a woman who everyone would have considered a complete lowlife with zero credibility only 50 years ago, over that of 3 boys from good families, was only made possible by the white knighting zeal of that idiot Mike Nifong (aided and abetted by an entire army of people who suppressed or falsified evidence) on his way to professional suicide.

    The explanation for this lynch-mob mentality and white knighting self-destructive zeal? She had a vagina, the boys didn’t. They were manbots, she was a woman being.

    Now, the obligatory “all this hurts women, too.” Isn’t your wife a little hacked off, Dalrock, about the fact that her being a completely decent human being, and an authentically good wife and good mother, buys her absolutely not one tiny shred more social capital credibility than is simply handed to a lying whore simply because they both have vaginas?

  67. zed says:

    “taking the word over a woman” should read
    “taking the word OF a woman”

  68. Kathy says:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/alleged-gunman-jared-lee-loughner-charged-over-arizona-shootings/story-e6frg6so-1225984786773

    “THE man accused of a shooting 19 people, including a US congresswoman, in Arizona is facing five charges, including murder and attempted murder.
    College dropout Jared Lee Loughner, 22, is “suspected of shooting US Representative Gabrielle Giffords, Chief Judge John Roll, Giffords’ staff member Gabriel Zimmerman and approximately 16 others Saturday in Tucson,” Arizona’s district attorney Dennis K. Burke said.”

    “A nine-year-old girl and a federal judge were among six people killed and at least 14 others were wounded before bystanders at the event in Tucson on Saturday grappled a gunman armed with a 9mm Glock pistol to the ground.”

    No prizes for guessing the sex of the heroic bystanders who prevented further carnage.

    Such an awful thing to happen… My heart goes out to the families of those poor souls..

    That this troubled young man had easy access to such a high powered weapon should be of grave and primary concern to all.

    The gun laws in Australia were rerformed in 1996 and as a result there have been no mass shootings since.. Firearm related suicides in men also dropped..

  69. Kathy says:

    This further clarifies what happened..

    “Dr. Steven Rayle, who was at Saturday’s event, told ABC Giffords was behind a table speaking with people when the gunman emerged and fired at her, then began spraying gunfire everywhere. He said the carnage unfolded in twelve to fifteen seconds and that at least half those in the crowd of 20 to 25 were shot.

    Rayle said he believed one of Giffords staff members was the person who tackled the shooter and he then assisted the staffer in holding him down.”

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/world/gunman-kills-politician-6-others/story-e6frf7lx-1225984409391

  70. Kathy says:

    Latest news from “The Arizona Republic” says four people were in fact responsible for bringing the gunman down..

    “Three men and a woman were instrumental in disarming and tackling the man suspected of killing six and injuring 14 in Tucson during a political event for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, according to Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik.

    Dupnik identified the heroes as Patricia Maisch, Roger Salzgeber, Bill Badger and Joseph Zamudio.

    According to Dupnik, Maisch was in the rear of a line of people waiting to take a photograph with Giffords, when the suspect began firing his semiautomatic weapon.

    When the shooter tried load a fresh magazine into his Glock 9 mm gun, Maisch grabbed the bottom of it, preventing the magazine from being inserted, Dupnik said.

    This pause in shooting allowed Salzgeber and Badger to tackle the suspect to the ground and hold him until deputies arrived, Dupnik said.

    A fourth participant, Zamudio, restrained the suspect’s legs, Dupnik said.”

    Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2011/01/09/20110109gabrielle-giffords-arizona-shooting-citizen-heroes.html#ixzz1AazpJKBN

  71. Hestia says:

    Zed, I think you bring up a mighty interesting point with the paradox between anti-self defense attitudes all while men are expected to step up and do something. Had the people we had over yesterday when the confusing and contradictory news broke of this shooting I likely wouldn’t have even brought up the “maybe nobody was carrying” angle. Everybody involved in the convo, including myself and the other woman present, has a CCW and the possibility of firearms even being available was being taken for granted as a result, right alongside the implications of taking a shot.

    The Hasan shooting is another interesting example of this paradox seeing as the shooting occurred on a military post where almost everybody would haven been trained on a weapon and many many likely carry on their off time. As concealed firearms (and several bases do not allow personal firearms in base housing either; they must be kept in the armory or stored off-post) are not allowed on post everybody is always a sitting duck just waiting for somebody to take advantage of this well-known fact.

    I’ll be pondering on your great paradox point while snowed in tomorrow!

  72. Hestia says:

    *correction: “Had the people we had over yesterday been different

  73. Anonymous Reader says:

    I really, really, really, really, really do not think that starting an argument over “gun control” in this forum is a good idea.

    Dalrock, strongly urge you to not let this topic, or your site, get hijacked in this way.

  74. zed says:

    As usual, after the spin starts to die down, the truth starts to come out.

    Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said the actions of a few quick-to-act individuals contained the violence and may have prevented more from being killed.

    According to the sheriff’s department, Patricia Maisch, who was in the back of the line waiting to get her photograph taken with Giffords on Saturday, rushed to grab the gunman’s magazine after he started shooting.

    That pause gave time for two others, Roger Salzgeber and Bill Badger, to tackle him to the ground. Then another bystander, Joseph Zamudio, who was leaving the local Walgreens at the time, jumped in to restrain the gunman’s legs.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/01/09/unsuspecting-heroes-help-contain-violence-arizona-shooting-spree/

    Three men, one woman – did what they could and kept the situation from ending up worse than it did. I don’t see much in the way of a gender issue here at all.

  75. Kathy says:

    “Maisch struck a modest tone in describing her actions, crediting the men who tackled the shooter with saving the day. “We’re pretty common, everyday folk,” she said. “People in Arizona are pretty assertive and helpful, so I think we all pulled together.” ”

    It always amazes me how people who perform such heroic deeds are also the most modest..

    Sheriff Dupnik said

    “This is one of the most heroic acts I’ve ever seen,” he told Fox News. “This lady was standing in line to have her picture taken with Gabrielle when all hell broke loose. And for whatever reason, she decided something had to be done. … She might have saved many, many lives.”

    They certainly pulled together alright.. Without the sheer brute strength of the guys who subdued the gunmen the outcome would surely have been different.

    The 61 year old woman had guts but she couldn’t have done it without those brave men either..🙂

    It’s heartening to know that there are still many selfless people out there who care about the welfare of their fellow human beings enough to intervene in such dangerous circumstances.

  76. Twenty says:

    According to this AP article (as of 9 January 10:53PM EST — I’ve noticed the articles at these URLs tend to change over time), Maisch grabbed the magazine after the shooter was tackled.

    Two men tackled the suspect — they were identified as Roger Sulzgeber, who was also in line, and Joseph Zimudie, who was at a nearby Walgreens and heard the shooting. The shooter reached for a magazine as he struggled with the men, Maisch said.

    “Somebody said ‘Get the magazine!’ so I got the magazine, and I was able to secure that,” Maisch said. “That’s what needed to be done.”

    One way or another, good for her and all, but I find it a little revolting that the 61 yo granny’s contribution is being highlighted above that of the men who actually got the guy. (And it sounds like the Pima County Sheriff, who shows every sign of being a doctrinaire lefty, is the one doing the highlighting.) OTOH, at least one of the men involved apparently didn’t want his name released to the media, so there’s that.

    And @Kathy: I think your views on gun control are foolish and wrong-headed. For one thing, mass shootings are so incredibly rare that it’s silly to make policy around them. In a totally unrelated story, I see that 15 decapitated corpses showed up in Acapulco the other day. But since Mexico has really strict gun laws, I guess it’s all good, right?

    Sorry if this is a little disjointed. I just hate to see how the media leap on a story like this, and use it to peddle their preferred story lines: Conservatives are evil, we need to restrict speech we (the MSM) don’t like, we need more gun control, sex roles are just social constructs, blah blah blah. Sometimes I get tired of being lied to.

  77. Hestia says:

    It’s heartening to know that there are still many selfless people out there who care about the welfare of their fellow human beings enough to intervene in such dangerous circumstances.
    Indeed it is and it’s also very heartening the real story finally came out in a story that was reported with all sorts of wildly different details and had such potential to be explosive and divisive as crimes with potential political motivation tend to do. The Tea Party being blamed should the shooter had claimed their political ideology was another concern that immediately popped into mind back when the news first broke, back when Giffords was reported dead with two gunmen on the loose. (Chaos sure does make for good myths!) Now hopefully this won’t turn into another “men = bad” myths or something along those lines but will be seen as it is: a crime committed by a mentally unstable young man without any political motivation in the true sense of the word.

  78. Kathy says:

    .”…but will be seen as it is: a crime committed by a mentally unstable young man without any political motivation in the true sense of the word.”

    I totally agree Hestia.

  79. Dalrock says:

    It is always amazing to see how the media’s story changes over time. Some of it has to be confusion of the moment, but there is clearly a bias towards finding a woman who saved the day. The thing is, women can save the day; if Hestia were there the police would probably have been admiring her perfect grouping on the shooter’s chest and asking her for tips on grip, trigger control, etc. But when it really happens will we be able to trust the media with its long history of crying wolf?

    I do agree with Anon Reader on not turning the discussion on this post into a gun control debate. I’m not against discussing the topic, but this isn’t the right thread to do it in.

  80. zed says:

    Some of it has to be confusion of the moment, but there is clearly a bias towards finding a woman who saved the day.

    I’m cautious about spinning the spin. Every one of those people who acted was a member of the very same crowd that was being shot into. Theoretically, they had just as much chance of getting shot as anyone else, and were saving themselves no less than anyone else by acting. Rational self defense is not necessarily heroic simply because other people were saved, too. Nor is it anything to be sneered at.

    The whole thing probably went down in a matter of seconds – no more time than an average football play. Even with a handful of officials on the field and 80,000 eye witnesses, sometimes it takes reviewing the instant replay a dozen times to figure out which exact action preceded or followed any other action by 0.1-0.2 seconds. I wonder if anyone in the crowd was named Zapruder and is about to get famous and rich. 😉

    People were threatened – they acted and reacted, just like they have been doing since the beginning of time. I just don’t see any gender issue here at all.

  81. Hestia says:

    if Hestia were there the police would probably have been admiring her perfect grouping on the shooter’s chest and asking her for tips on grip, trigger control, etc.
    *amused* In my sharp shooting dreams maybe.😉

    People were threatened – they acted and reacted, just like they have been doing since the beginning of time
    Just as biological imperative demands you could say when it comes to one’s self or one’s children. When I had my Christmas Eve house fire it didn’t take any thought at all to make it the priority to get my daughter out of the burning apartment even before myself. There is nothing too remarkable about that: she’s my daughter, my genetic legacy, and I’m biologically programmed to protect her. I’d die for her and kill for her if it meant she could live. You don’t think about these things, you just do them.

  82. MNL says:

    Zed, regarding your concept of “social capital”… it’s a well-used term–which you’re probably already aware. You might find Pierre Bourdieu’s definition helpful and most similar to your own: “the aggregate of the actual or potential resources which are linked to possession of a durable network of more or less institutionalized relationships of mutual acquaintance and recognition”. This means it involves something more than reputation or honor. It refers to the options and power available through social networks–which, in your example of the Duke rape case, got trumped all at once by an assumed (and untrue) “damsel in distress.”

  83. zed says:

    This means it involves something more than reputation or honor. It refers to the options and power available through social networks

    Yes, just as money in the bank remains nothing more than money in the bank until it is used to buy, acquire, or fund something. That’s the whole idea behind calling it social capital – because having it creates opportunities and advantages that not having it did not used to have. Also, it used to take time to acquire – people were suspicious of strangers until someone they knew spent some of their social capital vouching for them.

    The inversion is dangerous because people who play by the rules and adhere to the values of the culture are being punished while those who do neither are being rewarded. If you had a business and instead of paying the people who showed up every day you slapped them in the face, but if someone you had never seen before showed up at your door with a vagina and you gave her $1,000, how long do you think your employees would keep working to keep your enterprise viable?

  84. zed says:

    This means it involves something more than reputation or honor. It refers to the options and power available through social networks

    due to having that reputation or honor.

    That’s the key issue, those options were historically not available to those without reputation or honor. Now they are, and only to the people who have no reputation or honor – if they have vaginas, that is.

  85. Joseph says:

    I am late to this conversation, but wished to include a definition of Chivalry that to me makes sense.

    To get to the definition, you first have to understand the basic premise that women are hypergamous by nature. They are attracted to men who have higher social standing than themselves. This can take many forms (ex: money, other women vying for his attention, lots of friends and well connected), but the underlying tenet is always the same.

    With that in mind, Chivalry came in a time where women had very little social standing on their own. It was given to them via proxy from the male members of their family. They could receive it from their fathers or their husbands. Whatever class of people the men fell into, the women were instantly part of that group.

    With that in mind, women thrive in the presence of men who have a higher social standing than they do. Chivalry is an attempt on the part of men to bridge the gap that naturally existed between the sexes at that time. If a man is courting a young beautiful woman of a lower station, he would show chivalrous acts to make her feel more at ease with the arrangement. In essence he would lower his status so the gap between them was not so large. He still has higher value, but the gap between them is not as large. She still finds it attractive because it is being done by a man with higher social value, and he gets to be courteous in spite of this.

    My definition would thus be: Chivalry – any act made on behalf of a man of higher social value to a woman of lower social value for the purpose of courting or showing affection.

    Anything else is merely being courteous, not chivalrous.

    Fast forward to today, and you see that women have been elevated to the point where they equal men in society, and (temporarily in some cases) have higher standing than men based purely on political correctness (enforced by court order in many cases). Women bemoan that chivalry is dead. What they actually are bemoaning is that there are not enough men of higher social value to be chivalrous to them all. They wanted equality and unfortunately for them they got it, and everything that goes with it.

    Hope that made sense.

  86. Peter-Andrew:Nolan(c) says:

    Big Little Wolf can kiss my non-chivalrous to western women arse. 😉

    “Chivary is dead. Women killed it.” Chris Rock.

    @Susan Walsh,
    “It seems to me that in a post-feminism world, chivalry is an element of character that should apply equally to both sexes.”

    One of the things that struck me when I went over my life was how FEW times a woman ever actually showed any kindness to me. A friend of mine pointed it out to me to take a look at. He just said “go over all the events of your life, excluding your mum and grand mothers, and just note to yourself how often you have helped a woman or been kind to a woman and then compare that with how often women have been kind to you or helped you.”

    When I went over that? I found that women NEVER helped me and were RARELY kind to me. When I went over this? I was really stunned. I had never noticed it before. This was one reason why I was so ‘overwhelmed’ when women WERE kind to me. Because it was such a rare occurrence in my life.

    Susan. Western women are just crap now. There is no hope for men in dealing with these women. They need to die off (supported in their old age exclusively by taxes on young women as a lesson in life) and we need to raise the little girls to be decent women like my grandmothers.

    And yes. I used to be a chivalrous man. I still am to eastern european women.

    I will help a women when a small boys welfare is at risk. Example? Recently I saw a woman who was so stupid she was trying to carry a stroller and her small boy down a flight of stairs when she was clearly struggling to do so. Because the boy was in a clear and present danger I rushed over and took the stroller off the woman to carry it down the stairs. She mistook this for ‘chivalry’ and thanked me when I had nothing but contempt for her and her stupidity. Some time later I saw a woman trying to do the same only the child was dressed in pink and appeared to be a girl. I ignored her and the very real danger of injury to the female child. THAT is where spewing hatred has gotten you women Susan. Us chivalrous men are indifferent to you.

  87. unlikely says:

    Men will be accused of, ahem, cowardice if they dont step behind the line of a sinking ship or don’t defend females? If an insult is as bad as it gets, then we have indeed come a long way, baby. Sure l’ll go along with the drill and humour everyone in sight, whilst taking particular note of how the females with which l may be acquainted are responding. After l’ve made a mental note of where the life boat is and practice getting there, fast and first. But when that ship actually goes down, no silly line or insult is going to make a spot of difference. Every man for himself in this world of male disposability. As long as they don’t execute me for jumping that line or arrest and jail me for not being a good chivalrous samaritan, its all good.

    There is far too much emphasis put on the psycho-social dynamics b/w the sexes, with the attendant analysis, that is little more than an intelligent pass-time, of little, if any functional utility. In practical terms, so much has shifted and there are virtually no constraints whatsoever on sidestepping the anti-male bias that many men yield to, willingly, of their own volition, with nary a murmur.

    Chivalry really is dead, for all practical purposes. There’s still a fair bit of show and pretense that many males go through. But it really is just show. The attempts by females to re-engineer its definition into the non-gendered is a bit of po-mo language policing. The purpose of which is a failing attempt to maintain the priveledges of benevolent sexism. They will trade going first on the life boat for holding a door open for a guy. Or will save a seat for one of their own. Its a dying gasp on their part. Many, possibly most, men, at least under 40 can see through all of that double-dealing double-talk, are awake and aren’t falling for it.

    l used to be quite chivalrous, but not any more. l go so far as to change my path or direction and time my arrival at a public door so as to avoid the whole business. Playing dumb and generally being oblivious to anyone outside of my immediate space works wonders as well (its just an act and I’m very selective about where my courtesy to the commons goes). l’m starting to rather enjoy the amusement of watching social dynamics like its a movie or a show. Most particularly, the looks on the faces of females when l simply do not adhere to the conventions they pine for and are still quite entitled about. It shows that they really haven’t come that far at all. That side of things will never change, yet it is of such insignificance it has no real effect on life.

  88. Eric M says:

    Very interesting discussion here. Too bad I missed it. Many valid points made.

    However, I think that the issue is a relatively simple one. It’s only the feminists who campaign(ed) for equality, and I think they should have it. So simply treat a feminist like a men, with true equality. No different or preferential treatment for feminists ever, including chivalry. That would be equality.

    However, since most women consider feminists extremists and refuse to identify as such, they should still be treated like ladies, with chivalry, if they so desire.

  89. Pingback: Feminist nostalgia for traditional gender roles. | Dalrock

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  91. 30-Something Woman says:

    I’m appalled at the commenter (Peter-Andrew) who stated that he helped a woman struggling to carry a stroller and her son down the stairs, but did not do the same for the woman carrying her daughter and stroller, simply because of the little girl’s gender. That’s entirely irrational, as the child clearly had nothing to do with feminism. For a man to hate every person of the female gender (as it certainly sounded like he does) because of injustices perpretrated by feminism isn’t any different than a feminist who hates every man because some men are rapists or abusers.

    Also, it isn’t necessarily stupidity that would cause a woman to carry a stroller and a child on stairs. I recently had to take both my children to a medical office. I placed my very active son in his stroller to make it easier to manage my daughter, who is autistic. We took the elevator to the correct floor. So far, so good. But by the time we left, the only elevator in the building had been closed for maintenance. I had no idea how I was going to get both children and the stroller up the stairs to the ground floor. Fortunately, a very nice older gentleman helped me. I am thankful he was the one to come along at that time, rather than Peter-Andrew.

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