Chivalry is good, to me that is justification enough, but many people have been bringing up the question of whether Chivalry is fair. So, is Chivalry fair?
Chivalry is romantic and idealistic. When I think about Chivalry as a man I swoon, I feel heroic, I feel proud of myself, I feel myself to be part of the greater whole, I feel that I am being faithful to my mission in life, that I am holding the world up, that the whole world is depending on me and that I am not letting those who depend on me down; that I am doing my bit to make sure life continues to function well and that the world is a better place because I was in it. That I am pleasing and serving God and acting out His plan and His mission for my life.
These are my motivations for Chivalry, for fulfilling my Chivalrous obligation as a man. None of these incentives have to do with fairness. Also I will point out none of these incentives are based on pleasing women or gaining the approval of women. Even though Chivalry is directed towards the benefit of women at the level of my most basic motivations for Chivalry rewards from women don’t come into play. Most fundamentally the rewards of Chivalry for the man are spiritual; the real joy is pleasing God and fulfilling His mission. Yes more practical rewards based on pleasing women and becoming more desirable to women are a part of the Chivalrous motivation for men and the benefit to women is definitely part of the spiritual foundation of Chivalry, part of what makes Chivalry morally good. However most fundamentally Chivalry is about God, not about women, and the most fundamental reward for the man is based on pleasing God, not on pleasing the woman.
I did make an interesting choice of words for how Chivalry makes me feel; that Chivalry makes me “swoon” just like I “swoon” over a beautiful woman. I also said Chivalry is “romantic.” So this says that emotionally love for women and love for Chivalry are linked in my mind; that the emotions associated with Chivalry are derived from the emotions men feel towards women. Still when describing what it is I like about Chivalry the focus is on spiritual rewards; not on romantic or sexual rewards. In Chivalry a man serves the woman as a means of serving God; the duty is to God and the beneficiary is the woman. Duty to God is linked to duty to woman. In this way it makes sense that love of God and love of woman are also linked together.
Still none of this has to do with fairness. None of these rewards for the man regarding Chivalry have to do with whether or not Chivalry is fair. So is Chivalry fair? Withholding Chivalry from women is abusive because it is denying to the woman something she is entitled to in a way that is harmful to the woman and those depending on the woman but is beneficial to the man. Still this doesn’t address whether Chivalry is fair, all it says is that denial of Chivalry is selfish and harmful and deserving of condemnation and possibly punishment.
There are two basic aspects of Chivalry that lead people to attack Chivalry as being unfair. The first aspect is not liked by the feminists; that Chivalry is male defined and male controlled and is not dependent upon women’s approval, that even Chivalry against the woman’s expressed wishes is legitimate. The second aspect is not liked by Men’s Rights Activists; that Chivalry means men giving special consideration to women just because they are women regardless of whether the woman has earned special consideration or deserves special consideration or not. The first aspect involves men asserting control over women which the feminists don’t like while the second aspect involves men sacrificially serving women which the MRAs don’t like. These two aspects however are linked; men assert control over women precisely so that they can be enabled to serve women in a way that is not abusive to them as men.
So Chivalry is claimed to be unfair because it is male controlled and is not dependent upon female approval. In other words the woman is treated as if she is incompetent, that she doesn’t know what’s good for her. That men are entitled to take charge of a situation simply because they are men. That the man may claim to act on the woman’s behalf to sound good but he is really just serving himself. That men deciding what Chivalry is must mean that Chivalry is meant to benefit the man, not the woman. That a woman living under a “Chivalry regime” has lost her freedom and autonomy and her right to choose her own path in life and her right to assert herself against a man’s potentially abusive actions and that she is not being respected or treated as an equal human being, as equal to a man.
Chivalry is also claimed to be unfair because it imposes a large variety of duties upon men to serve women. This implies that women are superior to men, that women are intrinsically more deserving than men. That men were put on this earth to serve women and for no other reason. That only women’s concerns and women’s interests are important; men should just suffer in silence and do as they’re told to serve women. That the life of a man is less valuable and less important than the life of a woman. That men should give up their seats on the lifeboat so that women may live. That only men should do the dangerous jobs where they might get killed or seriously injured. That only men should face death in wars so that the women back home will be safe and shielded from the front lines. That men must always be the ones dealing with the danger and uncertainty of life so that women can lead a shielded and pampered existence because women after all are special and deserving of the very best at men’s expense.
So given these realities of Chivalry; both sides having many legitimate points; how can Chivalry be claimed to be fair?
Chivalry is fair to men because what the Chivalrous duty entails is simply using the power advantages that men are given by God, due to men’s inherited characteristics, in the service of women. In other words men have a surplus of power and ability in aspects related to control over the environment and control over social affairs; this power advantage in relation to women being due to men’s inherited characteristics, not due to anything the man did or any effort the man exerted. It seems only fair that men should use the inherited power advantage they have over women for the woman’s benefit; a man should certainly not use the inherited power advantage he has over women to benefit himself at the expense of the woman.
Chivalry is fair to women because it provides to women a benefit but does not allow the woman to exploit the man by demanding privileges and benefits from the man simply because the woman said so or the woman demands it. It would be highly unfair for a woman to think she can demand special treatment from men according to her own wishes and according to her own preferences because that would mean that she was making demands to benefit herself and that imposed no cost upon her. In other words all the costs would be imposed upon the man while all the benefits were being enjoyed by the woman and if Chivalry was simply whatever the woman said it was she could impose costs upon the man to serve herself without limit. It is fair that a woman receive a benefit from men to compensate for the woman’s inherited relative weaknesses compared to men but it would be highly unfair to the man to expect him to serve the woman according to the woman’s demand where she would gain all the benefit and he would bear all the cost.
There is a third party that should be considered in all of this; the party that is the basis of Chivalry in the first place. I am talking about children. Chivalry is fair to children while the absence of Chivalry is very unfair to children. Chivalry means that a child’s mother will be taken care of by the child’s father so that the mother can focus her attention on the child rather than the mother having to fend for herself. This is what is fair to children, this is what children deserve. Children deserve a sheltered and protected and stable environment so providing to the woman a sheltered protected stable environment so that the woman can in turn provide to the child a sheltered protected stable environment is again what the child deserves. The absence of Chivalry means the absence of providing for the needs of the child so Chivalry on behalf of women is what children deserve; this makes Chivalry what is fair to the child, the most important party to consider of all.
So the justification for Chivalry is that it is good, not that it is fair. My motivation for practicing Chivalry as a man is to serve God, not to be fair to women. That being said Chivalry is what is fair to men, to women, and especially to children.
For another explanation as to why Chivalry is not only right but fair as well I recommend an earlier article I wrote on the subject of Chivalry: