Most people know Michael Bucci's list of chivalrous acts which men should indulge in and I'm right behind the idea. Men should observe good manners and so should women.
[Writing of the Titanic] I never had the courage before to openly admire those men or envy the women they saved. At least a decade before the siege of political correctness, I was silenced by the unconscious but relentless intimidation of female friends and colleagues who are educated, self-sufficient, and eager consumers of the latest feminist books.
I am supposed to owe the authors of those books unqualified gratitude for all the hard-won rights the Titanic women never enjoyed.
I would add another [thing here]: that emotional and physical esteem for women is central, not tangential, to manhood. The British statesman Lord Chesterfield, a favorite source of Victorian etiquette writers, believed everyday deference was due to all women because it provided their only shield against men's superior physical strength.
He added, "no provocation whatsoever can justify any man in not being civil to every woman; and the greatest man would justly be reckoned a brute if he were not civil to the meanest woman."
This hits the nail on the head as far as I'm concerned and is central to what chivalry means to me. Though men and women are the same - i.e. we're both human but in different forms - and though there are good and bad on both sides, chivalry recognizes "womanhood" as something to be revered and makes no distinction. You're a bad woman? You'll still be treated courteously by chivalry. It's a safety net, a catch-all and chances are that the person who is chivalrous will be this way with men as well.
Blogger Kelly Mac [and I admit she is vehemently anti-feminist] is reflecting on the early years of feminism:
Namely, where were all the "good" women when feminism started? Why didn't the women who knew they were not being abused do something to stop the misinformation that spread like wildfire? Aren't these women just as deserving of men's contempt as the hardcore feminists who started it all?
Ruth Malhotra gets down to specifics:
The notion of victimhood, that “women are oppressed and exploited,” evokes strong anti-male sentiment.
Many influential feminists demonstrate extreme animosity towards marriage and family life, even likening the institution of marriage to that prostitution.
In Feminism: An Agenda, radical feminist author Andrea Dworkin declared that the home was a dangerous place stating, “Like prostitution, marriage is an institution that is extremely oppressive and dangerous for women.”
The feminist agenda is offensive to women. With Eve Ensler and her contemporary cheerleaders in the feminist movement, initiatives such as the "Vagina Monologues" have become a central part of Women’s Awareness Month programming on campuses around the country.
The "Vagina Monologues," often promoted as a wonderfully inspiring event to empower women, is, in reality, nothing more than an atrociously written anti-male tirade, portraying women as pathetic sexual objects who will forever be victims. Such programs are not only blatantly offensive towards women but are vile and vulgar.
Elizabeth Fox-Genovese sees it this way:
It has not been easy to acknowledge that feminism has promoted the unraveling of the most binding and important social bonds. Not easy, but unavoidable. Like countless other women who cherish improvement in the situation of women in the
and throughout the world, I was initially quick to embrace feminism as the best way to secure our "rights" and our dignity as persons. Like countless others, I was seriously misled. United States
In practice, the sexual liberation of women has realized men's most predatory sexual fantasies. As women shook themselves free from the norms and conventions of sexual conduct, men did the same.
There can be no doubt that women's situation has demanded improvement -- and continues to do so throughout much of the world. But the emphasis upon individual rights at the expense of mutual responsibility and service is not the way to secure it.Worse, it is destroying the fabric of our society as a whole because it is severing the most fundamental social bonds. Binding ties constrain women, but they constrain men as well. A Danielle Crittenden has noted, the family "has never been about the promotion of rights but the surrender of them -- by both the man and the woman".
Kelly Mac agrees:
It's about the fact that dating today has become nothing but a series of pick-ups and one-night-stands (thank you sexual revolution).
It's the new vulgarity in young women, societally enforced, which upsets me. I don't know if they are trying to shock [and girls are emotionally maturing much later these days, babies or no babies]; it's the lack of graciousness in John Edwards two harpies, for example [here's one of their political comments, courtesy of Michelle Malkin]; it's the desire to be some sort of hard nut hoe for the boys - who knows?
Seriously - there's some sort of paranoid mania going down here where any sort of respect between men and women doesn't get a chance to breathe, where bile and spite constitute debate and the desire of the ordinary person for a normal relationship is mocked and derided.
What's wrong with revering a woman to the point you can't live without her and want to marry her, to have children with her, to do what comes naturally vis a vis protective instincts, without dominating one another, without constantly going on about "rights"? What's wrong with working in tandem and actually enjoying one another? Why does it have to be outside marriage?
What's wrong with normality?