Zarehalization and Lolenjoy on Chivalry

Chivalry is about respecting and honoring women. A woman has something a man doesn’t have; she has qualities and abilities a man needs but a man doesn’t possess himself, things the man only has access to through interaction and relationship with woman. In addition children need women, the community overall needs the feminine touch and the contributions women are best at providing as women. It is this fundamental reality that the woman possesses something precious and special as a woman that is why the world needs Chivalry, why the man owes the woman Chivalry as an acknowledgment of this power that women have that must be honored and respected.

Zarehalization has just written an article on this subject, “It is called: Chivalry,” that addresses this issue that I think is quite good. He starts out saying (emphasis in original):

“Chivalry is not dead or alive. Chivalry is chivalry, you either have it or you don’t, and the woman’s eligibility for it is completely irrelevant.

I am so glad Zarehalization added in that bolded part; he is emphasizing that Chivalry comes from the man as an expression of the man. At the end Zarehalization makes the poignant and true observation (emphasis in original):

“But regardless who the girl is . . . men have to always treat a woman like a princess, because the worst type of girl was once a beautiful little innocent angel, she just turned into something that her father or family did not expect, due to many reasons, one of them being the assholes like you that didn’t treat her right starting at the age of 14. A real man got nothing to lose when he treats a girl with outmost respect, after all, would you want anyone to treat your daughter, niece, little sis, cousin, or your mother, the same way that some of these “boys” do?

Didn’t think so.”

I want to emphasize the line “A real man got nothing to lose when he treats a girl with utmost respect.” Chivalry is its own virtue, it is good in its own right, it justifies itself. A “real man” is strong, he is in the authority position, he is not making himself vulnerable and endangering himself by treating a woman with the utmost respect. The real man indeed has “nothing to lose” by treating women right; treating women right is good by itself and justifies itself. Treating women right is what Chivalry is. Treating a woman right is about the man, it is not about the woman. A man treating a woman right is showing himself to be a good man; he is not making a statement one way or the other about the woman, he is making a statement, a positive statement, about himself.

Things get tricky when you start talking about the relationship dynamic between men and women, when you start talking about reciprocity, when you try to put Chivalry in the overall relationship context between men and women. Zarehalization’s article kind of drifts in and out between Chivalry being specifically an attribute of men’s behavior towards women and Chivalry being a more amorphous concept like politeness, courtesy, or respectful manners that both sexes participate in. I like to draw clear boundaries between what is Chivalry and what is simply politeness and respect and courtesy. I also want to stay away from ideas of reciprocity and whether or not the woman is “deserving” of Chivalry. Sometimes Zarehalization’s article is quite clear that Chivalry is how men act towards women; at other points in the article the boundaries are blurred between the man’s role and the woman’s role and one might get the idea that Chivalry is a kind of mutual support arrangement with men and women participating equally.

Chivalry, how I define it, is entirely and only a male behavior. Men are the actors and women are acted upon. Also Chivalry is part of an overall gender hierarchy; men dominant and women subordinate. Chivalry is part of an interaction between the sexes but the female response to Chivalry is not Chivalry itself or part of Chivalry itself; it is instead the reaction to Chivalry. The man’s duty to be Chivalrous is unconditional precisely because Chivalry is specifically male and is therefore not dependent upon the woman in any way. Chivalry sets the stage of what the male / female interaction is about, it creates the moral setting within which the interaction between the man and the woman takes place. Before Chivalry enters the picture the man and woman are equal to each other; after Chivalry is introduced by the man the woman loses her status as an equal and becomes subordinate. Likewise for the man his taking on his Chivalrous responsibility places him in the dominant role in relation to the woman.

So Chivalry serves two purposes that are related to each other; the first is to provide for and protect the woman and the second is to subordinate the woman to the man so that the man can continue to provide for and protect the woman.

When Zarehalization is being clear that Chivalry is a male duty towards women on behalf of women his gender hierarchy assumption is also clear with the man being dominant and the woman subordinate. When however Zarehalization drifts into presenting Chivalry as more a form of mutual benefit and mutual obligation men and women give to each other then his implied gender hierarchy is more equal and more feminist. Patriarchy is about men giving to women; it is very clear and very one-sided. Feminism is about men and women giving to each other in a supposedly equal fashion where the emphasis is on reciprocity and mutual benefit.

I like to keep things clear and one-sided. Chivalry is part of the wider ethic of patriarchy; Chivalry is the male side of patriarchy. Chivalry is male, it is not female. Chivalry is entirely men giving to women. Chivalry is the subordination of men’s interests to women’s interests.

There was an interesting commenter responding to Zarehalization’s article by the name of Lolenjoy. He starts out, rather pompously I think, declaring:

“Chivalrous acts can be broken down into two categories: basic respect/courtesy and benevolent sexism. Holding a door? Courteous, and hopefully you would do it for the guy behind you too. Always insisting you pay for everything? Sexist, especially if she would like to pay (or split the bill) and you won’t let her.

You will note that everyone deserves courtesy and respect, so saying some women don’t ‘deserve’ chivalry is a bit mean-spirited (although obviously no-one deserves the sexist part).”

In terms of how I define things, Chivalry is entirely benevolent sexism. I specifically exclude basic respect / courtesy from what my definition of Chivalry is to not confuse things. Chivalry is specifically about how men should treat women. A man always insisting he pay for everything is definitely Chivalry and it is definitely good. Whether or not the woman approves of the man insisting on paying for everything is irrelevant. Chivalry is not based on the woman’s preferences or the woman’s desire; it is based on the man’s duty towards the woman. If a woman is complaining about the man paying for everything there is definitely something wrong with that woman. Women are definitely entitled to benevolent sexism, they are entitled to Chivalry. Whether or not they “deserve” Chivalry is irrelevant because Chivalry is about the man’s virtue, not the woman’s.

Later on Lolenjoy makes the comment (partly responding to a comment I made earlier in time lower down on the comment thread; when he refers to “men like Jesse” he is referring to me):

“Simply: a lot of men expect something in return. He outright says he expects women to be obedient towards men, an extremely sexist concept that should have died out in the fifties. Even if you personally don’t think your possession of a penis enables you to boss 50% of the world around you have to consider what effect your ‘chivalrous’ behaviour will have on women. A lot of them with experience of men like Jesse will simply feel that you are doing it because you have ridiculous and outdated expectations of the man/woman relationship.”

First off, I expect women to be obedient to men with a demonstrated commitment of Chivalry towards them; though “expect” might not be the right word here. A woman has an obligation to be obedient towards a man with a demonstrated commitment of Chivalry towards them; whether the woman lives up to her obligation and is obedient towards the man in real life is another matter. Also in this context Chivalry goes far beyond merely opening doors for women and other symbolic gestures; Chivalry is the entire men “providing for and protecting” women obligation.

Is this concept “extremely sexist?” Perhaps for the modern era it is. The past however was much better in terms of gender relations than the present. Such “extremely sexist” attitudes should have never died out or weakened in the first place; society works much better with sexist men ready to assert their natural authority in relation to women and women obeying good trustworthy men as they should.

When I as a man give to a woman Chivalry I am not expecting “something in return” as the point of Chivalry is the woman’s benefit, not the man’s benefit. A man might well receive a benefit from being Chivalrous and thereby being a good man but Chivalry is a duty whether it benefits the man or not. Me being Chivalrous imposes an obligation on the woman I am being Chivalrous towards to obey me but the woman obeying me is not “something in return” as the woman is obeying me for her own benefit, not for my benefit.

As far as the effect Chivalry has on women? Chivalry has an unambiguously positive effect on women as the whole point of Chivalry is service to the woman. A woman may not feel positive about Chivalry being directed towards her but the woman’s feeling state in reaction to Chivalry is not the point; the point is to serve the woman based on objective criteria of what is in the woman’s best interests. Chivalry is something men impose upon women in service to women based on male defined objective criteria.Do I have “ridiculous and outdated expectations of the man / woman relationship?” No. Patriarchy is always the way relations between men and women should be; it never goes “out of fashion” or becomes “outdated.” Feminism is what is ridiculous. Gender equality is what is ridiculous. Look at what a mess relations between the sexes have become. This is all because of the false and artificial gender equality paradigm. When men and women are equal men don’t give to women anymore and when men stop giving to women women can no longer give to children and society falls apart. This is not just theory; this is what the history of feminism has clearly demonstrated to us.

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About Jesse Powell TFA

Anti-Feminist, MRA, Pro-Traditional Women's Rights Traditional Family Activist (TFA)
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23 Responses to Zarehalization and Lolenjoy on Chivalry

  1. lolenjoy says:

    Hmm, It’s kind of hard to think of a response that’s going to have much of an impact. You already admit that your views are sexist, you openly state that you think women should be subordinate to men and you don’t actually care how women feel about your ‘chivalrous’ behaviour because apparently you know best.

    I suppose I could ask why you think you know what’s best for women better than women themselves? I could point out that all the chivalrous behaviour in the world isn’t going to make up for not respecting someone as a person, which you clearly don’t if you won’t treat them how they wish to be treated. I could say that your ideas of what is ‘objectively’ better for women is actually hilariously subjective, and so is your opinion that the past had ‘much better’ gender relations that the present. Somehow I doubt most women (and a lot of of men) would agree that we should go back to the bad old days of women having very few rights and living extremely restricted lives. Even your basic premise that women have qualities and abilities that men don’t have is flawed, because unless you are talking about basic biological features like breastfeeding men can display all the same qualities women can. And vice versa. People don’t fit into neat little boxes of rigidly defined gender roles, and more importantly they don’t want to be forced into them.

    However, I doubt much of what I write is going to make any difference. Once you have fallen so far down the rabbit hole that you are *proud* of how you consider women practically subhuman its going to take a lot to reach you. All I can suggest is that you try thinking of them as feeling, thinking human beings and try and put yourself in their shoes. I can’t imagine you would enjoy a life of being subordinate to every person of the opposite sex, so why would they?

  2. I suppose I could ask why you think you know what’s best for women better than women themselves? I could point out that all the chivalrous behaviour in the world isn’t going to make up for not respecting someone as a person, which you clearly don’t if you won’t treat them how they wish to be treated.

    Chivalry is meant to objectively serve the interests of women, not be based on women’s demands. To some extent the basis of me as a man “doing what’s best” for women whether they like it or not is indeed because of men having greater skills as it relates to rule setting and planning and organizing things with the big picture in mind. Authority and decision making are indeed part of the “masculine sphere” where men are better at it than women. The greater issue however is men controlling their own resources, how their resources will be used, to avoid being abused by the woman. Male authority is more about self-defense than it is about “men knowing best” though it is often the case that men know best as well.

    I respect women in the areas of female superiority; I respect myself and assert myself in the areas of masculine superiority. Chivalry is male behavior for male purposes under male control in service to women. To let women “take control” of Chivalry is completely wrong because then Chivalry just becomes a vehicle for women abusing men leading to men abandoning Chivalry and abandoning women. Feminism is men abandoning women; that is the whole point of feminism from the man’s point of view.

    This idea of “respecting someone as a person” is an interesting concept. I suppose you mean to treat someone as an equal, that somehow a man is diminishing a woman’s “personhood” if the man treats her as subordinate rather than as an equal. What you’re missing is that a woman is both superior to a man and inferior to a man at the same time; this being an objective reality that cannot be wished away. Men are in service to women and in control of women; control of women being part of serving women because a man cannot serve a woman self-sacrificially without being in control of her and thereby protecting himself while he serves her.

    and so is your opinion that the past had ‘much better’ gender relations that the present.

    Here you are definitely wrong. There is a ton of statistical evidence that gender relations are much worse today than in the past. In the United States the divorce rate in 1870 was 3% while today it is about 50%. In 1890 2% of white married women worked while today about 60% do. The out-of-wedlock birth ratio in 1917 was 1.3% among whites while today it is almost 30%. These indicators of social disorder and family breakdown have literally increased 20 fold since the start of feminism. Also fertility has gone to below replacement levels.

    I can’t imagine you would enjoy a life of being subordinate to every person of the opposite sex, so why would they?

    A man being subordinate to a woman is totally different from a woman being subordinate to a man. You are presupposing an equality between men and women that doesn’t exist. Men give to women; women do not give to men. Men are the givers, women are the receivers. A healthy functional hierarchy is where the giver is dominant and the receiver is subordinate. An abusive or predatory hierarchy is where the dominant person takes from the subordinate person. Men are servant leaders in relation to women. Men are dominant givers while women are subordinate receivers. In situations where women are dominant over men the woman is then the dominant taker with the man being the subordinate giver; in other words the woman is abusing the man. In male dominance men give to women; in female dominance women take from men. The two dynamics are completely different; male dominance being an act of love and service to women with female dominance being predatory and victimizing against the man.

  3. lolenjoy says:

    You believe a huge disparity exists between men and women despite that merely being your opinion. Women by and large have the same wants and desires as men, and one of those is not to have your free will co-opted by someone else. Even if they claim to have your best interests at heart. Freedom from that kind of oppression is a basic human right. The crazy thing is that you believe women operate totally differently from men, yet you understand them completely, better than they understand themselves. If women are so totally different to us how come you have their thought processes totally figured out? If they are truly meant to be subservient how come the majority of them hate you for suggesting such a thing?

    Also, you are deluding yourself if you think simply because on average men outperform women in certain cognitive tests that gives you the right to boss around half the population. Unless you happen to be a genius there will be plenty of women who could kick your ass at whatever decision-making challenges you like (notwithstanding that intelligence tests like that are completely artificial and have little real-world application). Besides, I believe girls are now doing better than boys in most standardized testing. I guess if we could show that on average women now outperform men in forward thinking tests we should put them in charge?

    Your metrics of how the past was ‘better’ are also totally off-base. The divorce rate being lower is meaningless if those people weren’t in happy marriages. More women in the workplace is a *good* thing. And nobody cares about whether your parents are married or not any more. They are in no way indicators of ‘social disorder’.

  4. Tarnished says:

    The phrase that rings truest in this entire post is this: “Before chivalry enters the picture the man and woman are equal to each other; after chivalry is introduced by the man, the woman loses her status as an equal and becomes subordinate.”

    Why should a simple act such as holding a door open, or helping someone with their groceries be rife with benevolent sexism (which you say women are “entitled to”)? Is it truly impossible in this modern age to be kind, polite, and caring towards one another without placing mental images of subordination/domination on daily interactions?

    I personally find this to be a very odd way of thinking about others. Holding a door for someone does in no way, shape, or form make me “dominant” over the person I’m helping…regardless of their sex. Likewise, I’d never consider the person for whom I’m holding the door to be “subordinate” to me…again, regardless of their physical sex. Now, this doesn’t stop people from THINKING they are subordinate/dominant, but that’s fine. What goes on in one’s own mind is acceptable, so long as it does not portray itself in the physical world. (Aka: a man can hold a door for a woman and THINK himself dominant, which is entirely different than him holding the door while TELLING the woman he is dominant in some way like ordering her to get through the entryway, or calling her a “girl” when she’s clearly a 40 year old.)

    That said, if you live in an area where 99% of the women consciously enjoy, or even expect, chivalry…then by all means, go ahead and give them what they want and what makes both parties feel safe and happy. On the other hand, keep in mind that there is probably still the 1% of women who will decline your chivalry and/or attempt to reciprocate with other acts of kindness and courtesy, like allowing you to pay for the meal but insisting on paying for the movie tickets, or allowing you to hold open a door on the way into a building but holding it for you on the way out.

    Such is the common courtesy that I was raised to believe in, and which I practice on a daily basis. Being kind and caring about someone else’s well being is a beautiful expression of human compassion for others…it would be disheartening to taint it with false notions of dominance over the one being helped. At least, that’s how I see, and will continue to see, it.

    • First off I define Chivalry much more broadly than symbolic gestures like holding the door open for a woman. There is symbolic Chivalry which is what people are talking about when they equate Chivalry to “common courtesy” but there is also practical concrete Chivalry which is the much more important part of Chivalry. The meaning of symbolic Chivalry is derivative of the concrete Chivalry the symbolic Chivalry indicates the man is committed to. For instance the man paying for the date is symbolic of the man as husband financially providing for his wife so that his wife doesn’t have to work. The man paying for the date is not terribly important but the man financially providing for his wife is terribly important. The significance of the man paying for the date is that he is signaling to the woman his intention to support her if at some point he and his date get married. Paying for the date is symbolic Chivalry and the husband financially providing for his wife so his wife doesn’t have to work is concrete Chivalry. The meaning and importance of the man paying for the date is the signal the man is sending, not the cost of the date itself.

      Common courtesy is great and I am totally in favor of everyone being courteous towards each other. Common courtesy however does not indicate hierarchy and it is not sex specific. Chivalry is fundamentally different in that it is a part of gender hierarchy and it is sex specific. Men give Chivalry while women receive Chivalry. When a man is Chivalrous he is saying to the woman “I am in service to you.” This is the man acknowledging his inferior status in relation to the woman, the inferiority of his interests compared to the woman’s interests. The Chivalrous act indicates deference and dominance at the same time; deference regarding interests and dominance regarding authority.

      If you live in a society where 99% of women appreciate and enjoy Chivalry you are living in a healthy society. If you live in a society where a significant minority of women or a majority of women do not like Chivalry you are living in a sick society. The man’s duty to be Chivalrous however remains whether the society he is living in is sick or healthy. The man’s duty is not dependent upon the woman’s preferences, the man’s duty is fixed regardless.

      If a woman tries to “give me Chivalry in return” based on my Chivalrous acts the woman is trying to undermine my status and purpose as a man. If a woman responds in a feminine appreciative deferential way to my Chivalry that is totally good but the woman trying to undo the subordinate / dominate signals I am sending her is not a good thing. It is rebellious behavior which undermines my ability to serve the woman as I should.

      • Tarnished says:

        Hmm, this is an interesting way of looking at the world. As I’ve stated previously, I subscribe to an egalitarian lifestyle rather than one of presupposed dominance/subordinance or inferiority/superiority. Obviously, my views are quite different than your own.

        For example, I understand the difference between the symbolic chivalry of the man paying for the date vs the more concrete chivalry of the man being in a financial position to support the woman should they wed. However, I’d personally find this somewhat problematic.

        For one thing, the fact that chivalry dictates that the man be solely responsible for the payment of the evening’s courtship is unfair to him, especially if the date does not work out. True, some women would be wholly satisfied with a simple dinner at a bistro and a walk through the local park, but by and far it would seem that today’s typical woman is desirous of a fairly fancy/expensive meal and entertainment afterwards. Given this, a first date could run a man upwards of $200. Now, for some this is acceptable but for other potential suitors…well, let’s just say they’d be eating nothing but Ramen noodles for the rest of the week. Hardly a small investment for someone of less than moderate means.

        In today’s Western society, with more and more women succeeding in the workforce, it would seem more appropriate to divide said date in such a way that neither party is too “burned” by the financial loss. In fact, I’d say this goes doubly for situations where the woman makes significantly more than her date. Unless you have a better way to remedy this?

        Also, I’d be interested in knowing more about how you’d react to a theoretical situation where a woman acts in a “rebellious” manner…perhaps by reaching a door first and opening it for you, or by insisting on paying for the date (or maybe just a part of it). Would you truly automatically assume that it was a “rebellious” action towards your manhood, or would you be prepared to smile and act the part of the gracious (aka accepting) gentleman anyway? I ask because there are a few women who are raised to be polite and courteous, and this would almost necessarily include symbolically chivalrous actions, such as we’ve been discussing. It’s entirely possible that the woman in question would not be aware of said “signals” if she wasn’t taught that they exist…or that it would mentally harm certain men with a preference for old-fashioned/traditional gestures. What would you do in these circumstances?

      • As far as the man paying for the date, of course it is unfair, that is the whole point. The point of Chivalry is that the man is “in service to” the woman. In patriarchal gender hierarchy which I advocate men’s interests are subordinate to women’s interests and women are subordinate to men in terms of authority and decision making. For instance the man decides what to do on the date and the man pays for it. The woman “submits” to the man’s decision regarding what the date entails and the man pays for everything. This is the gender hierarchy in a nutshell, the man is in control and in service to the woman.

        If the man can afford a $200 date and wants to show off his gigantic earning power as a status symbol then fine, maybe the woman will be impressed. If the man can’t afford a $200 date then the man chooses what he can afford. If the woman is not impressed then that is the man’s tough luck. If the man chooses to eat Top Ramen all week so he can afford a more expensive date then that is his choice. Maybe he thinks sacrificing his diet for the sake of his love life is a worthwhile trade off, so be it. The man chooses his own dating strategy and controls the expenses by maintaining control of where he’s going and what he’s doing on his date (part of his dominance as a man). The important part is that he play the role of the man; taking the initiative, deciding what to do, and paying for everything. The man knows ahead of time not all dates will end up well, that’s simply part of the process and the man plans accordingly. More and more women succeeding in the workforce is irrelevant to the issue of who should pay for the date because the point is the man’s role the man is obligated to uphold and stick to, not what is “fair.”

        If I am being my good Chivalrous self on a date and the woman holds the door open for me or something the issue is if she is trying to undermine my Chivalry or is she just being polite and courteous. If she is just being polite and courteous that is fine, if she is undermining my efforts at Chivalrous signaling then that is a problem. What I really want to know is if she’s a feminist trying to be my “equal.” If she tries to pay for half the date over my objections that is a strong feminist signal. It could however be that she just doesn’t know any better or that most men think she should pay for half the date and so she wants to pay for half the date because earlier men have told her that is what she should do. The real issue for me is whether I am dealing with a feminist or whether the woman is just trying to conform to gender expectations that are messed up.

        The man is sending a signal by paying for the date and the woman is sending a signal by accepting the man paying for the date with a smile. I want to send the traditional masculine signal of being the “provider and protector” and I want the woman to send the traditional feminine signal of being appreciative and grateful and submissive towards me in return. If I send my masculine signal and get the feminine signal back in return all is well; otherwise there is a problem and the woman loses points in my eyes.

  5. Tarnished says:

    A few more things, now that I’ve read your comments section.

    First, unlike lolenjoy, I’m an egalitarian and a firm believer in individualism. If a man wants to be chivalrous to women, I find that just as worthy as a man who wants to be a househusband. Likewise, if a woman wants to be treated like a housewife from the 1940s that is just as worthy as a woman who works hard to become a CEO or Senator. We are lucky indeed to live in an age where people of both sexes can live as they desire (at least in Western society).

    Second, I’m confused as to what life experiences have given you the belief that when women are in “positions of power”, that they are necessarily dominant takers and any men under their tutelage are necessarily subordinate givers. If this is what you have encountered (and in this generation of me, me, me, I’d hardly be surprised if you did), then you have met dishonest women. A woman businessowner is in a position of dominance, and while her employees DO owe her their skills and productivity, she also owes them in the way of benefits/paychecks/raises/workers comp/etc. Such is the nature of things.

    I’d certainly agree with you that some women abuse their positions. However, men do this too, and possibly on a broader scale since they tend to have more power. In the past 10 years, we’ve seen so many large companies become dominant takers of their employees and investors that I feel it would be a waste of time to give specific examples. Thus, the tyranny of a dominant taker vs a subordinate giver is not a product of male/female relations. Rather, it is a product of a generation that revels in materialism and planned obsolescence, which in turn leads people to believe that they’ll only be happy by “keeping up with the Joneses” and stepping on others to get what they desire.

    Perhaps you would like to read what I have to say about the concept of chivalry vs courtesy, and why I believe that courtesy is superior. Note that I have no intention to try and change your mind, as you seem to be as set in your ways as I am in mine. I simply offer a different perspective, and potential for discussion.

    https://tarnishedsophia.wordpress.com/2013/11/03/chivalry-is-dead-long-live-courtesy/

    • lolenjoy says:

      I’m not sure what gives you the impression that I don’t believe in equality, although I wouldn’t describe myself as an individualist. Your analogy is more complex than it seems though. What we want for ourselves (i.e. becoming a house-husband) should obviously not be subject to restriction or judgement. How we treat others on the other hand (i.e. ‘chivalrously’, whatever your definition may be) *is* subject to judgement, especially by the people directly affected by your behavior. Similarly if a woman enjoys being treated like a 1940’s housewife I don’t have an issue with that. But a man who would treat a woman like that regardless of how she feels about it? Oh boy…

      To clarify, if two people want to have a relationship where one is clearly the dominant party/breadwinner and the other is submissive then that’s fine, provided they are both doing it out of free choice. What I take issue with is the fact that Jesse here explicitly states he *doesn’t care* that most women do NOT want to be treated as subordinate, he is going to do it anyway. That is prejudice, and acting on prejudice is something I don’t regard as acceptable in a modern society.

      You claim we are lucky to live in an age where people of both sexes can live as they desire. Somehow I doubt Jesse would agree.

      • Tarnished says:

        @lolenjoy

        Hello again.

        No, sorry about that, I do believe you are generally for equality. I should have clarified my statement further…in that you identify as more of a feminist, whereas I do not. I apologize for the confusion.

        I’d agree with you that treating people in ways they distinctly disagree with is in poor taste, and certainly NOT what a truely chivalrous or courteous person would do. I also agree that couples, whether married or not, can usually live as they please. If this means they refrain from having children, or they have a traditional household, or even if the wife works full-time and the husband cares for the home and kids…each family decides what is best for their own situation.

        I doubt that Jesse would agree too. However, that’s not very much of an issue, is it? He is completely free to hold his own beliefs and opinions, just as you and I are. I’m confident that any woman who enjoys being treated as he describes will be very happy, and any woman who doesn’t is free to either tell him so and/or walk away from his “offers”. I know that if anyone attempted to push their way of life/opinions on me when I didn’t agree with them, I would definitely remove myself from their company as quickly as possible.

  6. Responding to Tarnished

    If a man wants to be chivalrous to women, I find that just as worthy as a man who wants to be a househusband.

    No. A man being Chivalrous is honorable and good while a man being a househusband is disgraceful and abandoning his duties to his wife and his children. Acting consistent with ones gender role is good while acting against ones gender role is bad.

    Likewise, if a woman wants to be treated like a housewife from the 1940s that is just as worthy as a woman who works hard to become a CEO or Senator.

    Again, same thing here. The woman who wants to be a housewife is superior to the woman who wants to maximize her career success (assuming both women are married; I don’t object to single women pursuing a career if they think that is how they can best contribute to society).

    We are lucky indeed to live in an age where people of both sexes can live as they desire (at least in Western society).

    First off the idea that both sexes can “live as they desire” is a myth in the real world unless by chance they happen to have complementary desires and preferences. More importantly the very idea of “living as one desires” is wrongheaded as it is selfishly oriented rather than oriented towards fulfilling ones duties to others.

    As far as women tending to abuse authority over men and men tending to use authority over women in a positive way; women’s tendency to be the receiver and men’s tendency to be the giver is independent of the authority they may or may not have. This is why women having authority tends to be abusive while men having authority tends to be a good thing. It is good when authority is aligned with service so since men are in service men should also have authority to go along with the fact that they are in service to women. The opposite situation of the woman having authority is bad because then you get a combination of the person in authority also being the person who is served and that is abusive to the person serving not in authority (in this case the man).

    Responding to Lolenjoy

    What we want for ourselves (i.e. becoming a house-husband) should obviously not be subject to restriction or judgement.

    This is completely ridiculous. If someone wants to take on a role to serve themselves that is harmful to others of course such anti-social behavior should be subject to restriction and judgement.

    How we treat others on the other hand (i.e. ‘chivalrously’, whatever your definition may be) *is* subject to judgement, especially by the people directly affected by your behavior.

    What “we want for ourselves” is exactly the same thing as “how we treat others” because what somebody wants for themselves necessary entails certain behaviors towards others consistent with what they want for themselves.

    Similarly if a woman enjoys being treated like a 1940′s housewife I don’t have an issue with that. But a man who would treat a woman like that regardless of how she feels about it? Oh boy…

    A man has every right to impose moral standards on a woman’s behavior and society overall has every right to impose moral standards on a man’s behavior. This whole idea that people have the right to do what they want to do is totally wrong as every person lives in a community with others, not by themselves. People do not have the right to elevate themselves above others; the individual is not superior to the others the individual is in relationship with.

    To clarify, if two people want to have a relationship where one is clearly the dominant party/breadwinner and the other is submissive then that’s fine, provided they are both doing it out of free choice.

    What is right and what is wrong is not dependent upon people’s preferences or choices. The act of choosing an act does not make the act good.

    • lolenjoy says:

      “Acting consistent with ones gender role is good while acting against ones gender role is bad.”

      Why? The role of society is to maximise the happiness of the people within it, and gender roles only serve to make those who don’t wish to conform to them unhappy. In a society free from gender roles you are still free to act how you think a man should act, its just that everyone else is free to act how they want too. Why do you feel the need to curtail people’s personal freedom?

      “People do not have the right to elevate themselves above others”

      “A man has every right to impose moral standards on a woman’s behavior ”

      One of the above is not like the other. You elevate yourself above all women, something you don’t have a right to do. Or rather, you believe accident of birth gave you that right for some reason.

  7. lolenjoy says:

    @Tarnished

    Of course he is free to hold his opinion. Once he decides to share that opinion in public though, particularly if he presents it as fact, I am free to disagree with him and make judgements about him as a person based on that opinion. Freedom to hold whatever views you like is not freedom from criticism of those views.

    Similarly it isn’t freedom to act how you like. You claim that any woman who dislikes the way he treats her is free to tell him off or remove herself from his company. Really? Does that include his subordinates at work? His children (if he had any)? The woman who serves him coffee? None of those people are free to avoid his behaviour, they simply have to put up with it.

    Going back to your own story of the man who insulted you because you held the door for him, is that ‘not very much of an issue’ because he is free to hold his own beliefs? Is it not worth criticising that kind of behaviour because you happened to be in a position where you could walk away? It would certainly bother me, and I assumed it bothered you too. Not everyone’s opinions are equally valid. People are perfectly free to hold whatever sexist, racist or homophobic opinions they like, but once they start talking about them or acting on them that’s when it no longer becomes acceptable in civilized society. That’s why we have laws against many of those things.

    • Tarnished says:

      @lolenjoy

      I said basically the same thing in the third paragraph of my first comment, in that Jesse can hold whatever archaic beliefs he desires…in his own mind. As soon as he starts to force them on others, it is wrong. I believe that in the majority of social situations, the one being acted upon (regardless of sex) is the one whose rights go beyond that of the actor, despite the fact that the actor gets “pleasure” or relief from said behavior.

      Some extreme examples of this logic is a thief stealing from a shopowner, a murder killing their victim, or a molester raping someone. In each of these instances, the actor gets a surge of power/pleasure from their actions…but to the detriment of the one being acted on. Thus, if Jesse is in a situation where his actions bring someone else mental/physical distress, then he is in the wrong as he can remedy the situation by simply NOT doing what he wishes. I realize that he, in turn, may suffer some minor mental anguish from having a woman be courteous to him, but like most people in a public setting, he is free to walk away from her.

      So, if a woman threatens his idea of masculinity by holding a door for him…he’s free to wait, use another door, or walk away. If a woman doesn’t want to feel inferior by him pointedly holding a door for her…she’s free to wait, use another door, or walk away.

      The only female in your example who cannot do anything is the daughter (and even then, she’s free to live her life as she wishes as soon as she moves out). If the waitresses who serve him his meals encounter sexist remarks/actions too many times, Jesse will most likely be banned from that restaurant. If a female coworker is treated in a sexist manner, she should report it to the HR department and get him written up for harassment. If enough of these complaints are leveled against him, a responsible employer would fire him. No business can afford a lawsuit liability, especially now. Perhaps Jesse lives/works in an area (like the deep South of the US) where benevolent sexism is still thought of as “good”. But, like Jesse himself pointed out, a choice is not “good” because it is chosen. It is “good” if it benefits oneself or others…and I’m confident that if his sexist notions are seen as wrong by enough people, Jesse will either be corrected (by individuals or by the law), or he will have to accept a worldview where his beliefs are not the end all, be all.

      As for the guy who insulted me and attempted to make me feel subordinate, I wasn’t really “upset” by this experience. I was frustrated, and thought his actions were both bemusing and pathetic, but it’s hardly worth thinking about. Luckily, I’ve not met any other men whose idea of masculinity was so completely wrapped up in symbolic chivalry that they acted as a buffoon in public.

      I’m equally lucky to have a wonderful lover who doesn’t mind that I pay for all our meals/entertainment since I have more disposable income, who treats me fully as an equal in all things, and who doesn’t care about gender roles at all. And, of course, I’m still thankful to live in a country where I’m free to do as I please (within reason), and don’t have to marry, have children, or give up my financial stability in order to survive.

  8. lolenjoy says:

    @Tarnished

    I’m getting conflicting messages, maybe I’m just misunderstanding. On the one hand you are saying that if Jesse is forcing his beliefs on others (which he is, through his actions) then he is wrong and should stop. But on the other hand you think everyone is free to simply ignore him and its not a big deal. So is it right to berate him for holding such horribly sexist view or should we live and let live?

    Personally I think you underestimate how damaging sexism can be. In very few situations is it as simple as ‘just complain and it will stop’. Mainly because so many men like Jesse exist. I could tell you many stories about how sexual harassment complaints to HR have backfired horribly on the women involved and they have been humiliated, harassed further and made into a social pariah as a result.

    I guess I just sense a lot of apathy from you. You seem confident enough that Jesse’s beliefs are wrong but you don’t see his sexism as ‘much of an issue’. Would you say the same thing about someone with deeply racist or homophobic beliefs? Are those issues worth calling someone out over, or would you tell any ethnic minorities or gay people that they are free to simply avoid people like that so it’s no big deal?

  9. Responding to Lolenjoy at November 19, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    The role of society is to maximise the happiness of the people within it, and gender roles only serve to make those who don’t wish to conform to them unhappy. In a society free from gender roles you are still free to act how you think a man should act, its just that everyone else is free to act how they want too. Why do you feel the need to curtail people’s personal freedom?

    I would actually agree with the idea that the role of society is to maximize the happiness of the people within it; and gender roles were designed explicitly for that purpose in the first place. Fulfilling ones gender role is fulfilling ones duties towards others and a society where everyone honors their duties towards others is the society that maximizes the happiness of the people within it. Gender roles serve a purpose, they are not arbitrary or there for no reason. The male is different from the female genetically in ways that affect both temperament and desires and skills. The male and female gender roles then use the genetic based differences between men and women to the best effect for the benefit of all. The idea that gender roles simply make those who don’t want to conform to gender roles unhappy is completely wrong because gender roles are based on duty to others; in other words the person not conforming to their gender role is harming someone else, is being abusive to others, because they are not fulfilling their duty to other people. The reason why personal freedom must be curtailed is to prevent the abuse against others that is implicit in the idea of “personal freedom” in the context of family relations.

    I said “People do not have the right to elevate themselves above others” and I also said “A man has every right to impose moral standards on a woman’s behavior”. Yes, both statements are true at the same time in terms of the context in which I made those statements. When I am referring to a person not having “the right to elevate themselves above others” I am saying a person doesn’t have the right to claim their needs and desires come before their obligations towards others. A person claiming personal freedom gives them the right to do whatever they want regardless of how it negatively impacts others is “elevating themselves above others,” something they don’t have the right to do. A man seeking to “impose moral standards on a woman’s behavior” is perfectly legitimate because part of the man’s job as a man is to uphold and enforce moral standards; women’s behavior included. In the first case the individual is abusing others thereby elevating themselves above others, in the second case the man is preventing the woman from abusing others; an entirely legitimate purpose of men’s social control.

    Responding to Lolenjoy at November 20, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Not everyone’s opinions are equally valid. People are perfectly free to hold whatever sexist, racist or homophobic opinions they like, but once they start talking about them or acting on them that’s when it no longer becomes acceptable in civilized society. That’s why we have laws against many of those things.

    This is an interesting statement. First off I would totally agree that not all opinions are equally valid, my opinions are definitely more valid than your opinions. That aside you say that people are perfectly free to hold whatever beliefs they want in their heads, which is a very generous concession on your part I must say, but you then say “but once they start talking about them or acting on them that’s when it no longer becomes acceptable in civilized society.” So you’re saying that freedom of speech is not acceptable in a civilized society, that the mark of true civilization is when dissenters are punished for voicing opinions contrary to the norm or contrary to what is “acceptable?” How very interesting. You then add “That’s why we have laws against many of those things.” Laws against people “talking about” their unacceptable opinions? At least where I live in the United States there’s something called the First Amendment that guarantees freedom of speech. Perhaps you live in a more civilized society however where freedom of speech is not allowed unlike the barbarous practice in the United Sates where people can say whatever they like without fear of retribution from the state.

    Responding to Lolenjoy at November 20, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    “Personally I think you underestimate how damaging sexism can be.”

    I think you underestimate how damaging gender equality is. Rampant divorce, rampant children born outside marriage, rampant mothers putting their children in daycare while they go out to work, below replacement fertility, and these things just get worse and worse with each passing generation. This is the harm of gender equality and the harm of gender equality is huge.

    • Crystal says:

      No one’s talking about your freedom of speech rights. You are perfectly free to believe what you like. It’s acting on racism, sexism, and homophobia that will incite a backlash. You can say what you believe, but people are free to criticise what you believe as well (as I’ve learned the hard way, so many times).

  10. lolenjoy50 says:

    I’ll try and tackle a few of your points.

    First off, I don’t feel women (or men) have any sort of duty to stick to pre-defined gender roles. So someone not doing that certainly doesn’t make me unhappy. It may make you unhappy, but I would argue you are in the minority there. Secondly, exactly what harm is done to you by people not conforming to your pre-conceptions? I agree that personal freedom ends when you begin to harm others, but you really can’t claim to be harmed simply because you don’t want people to behave a certain way. I could argue people are harming me by not buying me a new car, but that doesn’t make it so.

    Regarding freedom of speech, you are free to say whatever you like without fear of arrest or punishment by the state (at least in your country). That doesn’t mean other people have to consider what you say acceptable, or that you are free from the criticism that results. When I say we have laws against such things I mainly mean against racial or sexual discrimination, although in my country (the UK) we certainly have laws against hate speech that do prevent people from openly trying to spread racist/homophobic views.

    Finally you have yet to demonstrate that an increased divorce rate or children born outside marriage are bad things, let alone that they are connected to people acting outside their gender roles. I’m not sure what below replacement fertility means either, since the birth rate in the US (and globally) is higher than the death rate so the population is growing.

  11. Anna Colbert says:

    As a woman I love Chilvary. And would not be married to a man that was not chilvaris. In fact I would not go on a second date with a man that would suggest that I pay for my half of the date. He would not be marriage material. Why would a woman bother with a man like that? He wants the woman to take care of him instead of him taking care of the woman. Why be with a ‘roommate’ when you can have a real manly man around that causes you to feel safe and cherished? That you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he would lay down his life for you. That he would travel to the moon and back just to see you smile. Show me a woman with a ‘house husband’ and I’ll show you a woman that secretly or maybe not so secretly disrespects her man, she has become the man in the relationship. It is good for a man to be chilvaris and it feels good as a woman to be on the receiving end. My husband treats me like gold and I in turn give him high honor and respect. He always opens doors for me and carries the heavy bags!! And if I should shed a tear of distress he holds me close against his broad chest and reminds me that he is my safe harbor. Chilvary is wonderful. Every man should learn it and practice it all the days of his life; there are still plenty of ladies around that appreciate it.

    • Tarnished says:

      @Anna

      First, let me say I’m happy that you and your husband both enjoy chivalry and traditional gender roles. You sound like you have a good marriage, and this is something to rejoice in. So, congratulations on finding someone who thinks the same as you and likes what you like.

      Secondly, I’ll say that I’m not the marrying kind, but I’ve been in a spectacular monogamous relationship with my lover for about 8 years now. We don’t live together and are about 1 hr apart, but still see each other a few times a week. As I have more disposable income, I pay for the majority of our entertainment or meals out, whereas he usually pays for the tip or something else small. He is a good man who has gotten hit hard by the economy and massive student loans…this doesn’t reflect on him as a friend or bedmate though, as he is excellent in those departments.

      Thirdly, not everyone who happens to have been born with a vagina wants chivalry. I understand that some do…that’s fine, we are all individuals with different preferences. But I do not need or desire chivalry, and while I will be polite and accept it from a well-intentioned stranger, my lover knows I’d be terribly offended by being put on a pedestal. I do not want a “roommate”, in that you are correct. I do, however, want an equal partnership with someone I love.

      We give small, inexpensive gifts to each other. We treat each other with respect and are always honest about our thoughts and needs. We have awesome, creative sex that either of us can easily initiate and leaves both of us highly satisfied.
      I have wiped away his tears and comforted him during times of pain and loss, just as he has done for me.
      We provide a shelter for each other against a world that can be uncaring and cold.
      In doing so, I prefer to be a fully equal partner and lover, not a helpmate (I haven’t been Christian for 17 years anyway). I am not “the man” of the relationship…I’m simply one half of it.

      And despite what anyone may claim “should” be done, I am eternally grateful that I have a partner who is egalitarian like myself, and that I live in a society that gives women the option to accept or decline chivalrous actions.

      Once again, I’m happy for you and yours Anna…but I’d never be in a relationship like yours where I was treated differently than my lover. To each their own, hmm? 😉

      • Anna Colbert says:

        You’re not happy for me. In fact you hate my position and others that have the same position. If we were in the same room together you would want to smash my face in with the biggest mallet possible. I understand that you believe that woman and men are the same and you are living out your reality. And of course you are sooooooo happy with this reality of yours that you are here bashing chilvary too, what, evangelize to others? So others will join you in your paradise? Yes, I’m harsh, I know. You don’t know the half of it. I had a rough start in life. Hey, next time a man shows you favor because he sees you as a lady why don’t you make the ugliest face you can and growl real good and tell him that you are no lady and you don’t want him tipping his hat to you with a smile, or helping you lift that heavy bag into your car, or letting you go ahead of him in line. Oh, and the next time a man tells you that you look lovely make sure your prove him wrong by doing the ugly face and growl. This will go along way on your campaign to make men treat you with indifference.

        Of course you will say, ‘oh that would be impolite’. What do you care? You have your campaign to consider. You want to rid the world of it’s social norms and create a brave new world. First step don’t acknowledge the difference between men and women. Second step demand for there not to be a difference in how the two genders are treated. Third step men and women must dress the same. Forth step no men or women at all just human drones (Human 54789 come to the counter, please). Oh, and by the way, no giving birth anymore let the kids be born in a test tube. We don’t want women to start acting feminine again and having nurturing feelings. And we don’t want men to start wanting to provide and protect the women and baby. What would that lead to?! A man acting with chilvary toward women?! Grasp! Shock! Horrors! This cannot happen!!

        Tarnished, on a serious note, I know you think the world would be a better place if everyone was treated exactly the same, but there have been people promoting this agenda through western culture for sometime now and the populas have been buying it loc, stock and barrel. Is the world a better place? I look at the headlines each day and I say no. Chilvary in men and femininity in women is a very nice thing no matter how you slice it. It makes life pleasant. It’s just plain nice. But, there is a war against niceness.

        Ok, I’m all poop out from writing this loooooooong response. I know you will want to continue the ‘debate’ but I think the author of the blog did an excellent job stating the case for chilvary. There is nothing that I can add other than I agree with him.

        It’s been fun responsing to you. Now, go live your egalitarian life and be happy and avoid situations where a man might act with chilvary towards you. If you’re beautiful then that might be a little hard coz’ men naturally fall all over themselves for a beautiful women. That’s just the way it is. All the social engineering in the world will not change that. Perhaps you should avoid these type of blogs that don’t agree with your world view since it seems to upset you so. Maybe you and your lover should live closer together? Just a thought.

        Tarnished, I know you will be writing me a long response, you won’t be able to resist, but I won’t reply back. I rarely write comments and I have used up alot of value time writing this one. You, Tarnished, are valuable so I took the time, even though I was abrasive with you. That’s an interesting name Tarnished, it is very telling. You’re a sharp cookie, maybe one day you will sit down and consider where your ideas came from and why you believe what you believe. What forces prompted you to believe what you believe and if that believe system has brought you the fulfillment that you hoped for.
        You say you’re happy but the evidence in your writings says no. Life is not so much about ‘happy’ as much as it is about JOY and they are very different.

        Since your lover doesn’t live all that close to you it means you have plenty of ‘me time’, use some of that time to read the Bible, God wants to talk to you.

        I’m not your normal christian so don’t blame God for my sharpness I have no problem goin’ to the mat. I am not intimidate by anyone. He got me out of the gutter and has been working on getting the gutter out of the girl. Whatever problems you have had in the past with christianity was because of people’s poor behavior more then likely. Don’t follow people they will always fail and disappoint you, follow Christ he will never fail you, ever, never ever.

        The author of this blog is far, far, far more polite then I am and is an eloquent writer I wrote my original comment in support of him and his article on chilvary. Writing is a valuable skill and he does a good job. I rarely come to his site but I was drawn to it the other day, perhaps providence?

        May the wind always be at your back. Tarnished, what we think and do in this life has eternal consequences.
        Anna

      • Tarnished says:

        Sorry, Anna, but you got a lot about me wrong.

        I would never want to harm you, either physically or verbally. I am happy for you, regardless of what you think, as I’m not part of any “campaign”. If someone likes chivalry fine…it’s just not for everyone. Admitting this is not any form of “bashing” I’ve encountered. Courtesy for all is what I live for.

        Men and women aren’t exactly the same, but should be treated the same in matters of respect and opportunities. They should also be treated politely and kindly, because people matter and this world could use a lot more love.

        Why would I avoid blogs that have a different opinion? Variety is the spice of life! To live in an echo chamber is to allow one’s mind to stagnate.

        A sharp cookie? Never heard that one before, lol. Guess it’s because cookies get stale after 30 years, huh? Don’t worry though, my own blog is about gender, sex, rights, and religion…I consider my opinions and belief systems everyday. Thus, I know exactly where my ideas have come from.

        Tarnished is from my blog’s name, Tarnished Sophia (or tarnished wisdom, if you prefer). I’m glad you find it interesting, that’s what I was going for. 🙂

        Oh, I’m quite joyful/happy/fulfilled. Wouldn’t have so many customers compliment my smile if it wasn’t real, eh?

        Oh, I already have a bible and even went to private school when I was a girl. The Gods do talk to me, everyday that I’m alive to enjoy this beautiful world. I work 50 hours a week, and volunteer for 15 hours each week at the animal shelter though…and play games with my friends/visit my mother too. I’ve actually not as much “me time” as I’d like sometimes, lol.

        I agree that our actions have eternal consequences. Every person we interact with is a ripple…it’s up to us to make sure those ripples are clear, bright, and create love in the communities we share.

        Blessed Be to you, Anna.
        Even if I never hear from you again, I really *do* hope life treats you well. Take care, dearheart.

        My lover and I are happy where we are currently living and working, but thank you for your thoughts.

  12. lauren says:

    let me see the man who tries imposing on me his ideals of behaviour.why is my virtue my honour not just sexually but moreover lie in the hands of men? my father when I hit 16 as with my siblings allowed us to discuss opinions,that differed from his,at 16 my father was alone in a foreign country & trusted that his raising of us would hold us good,but he allowed the same experiences for his daughters as his sons,dating,travelling,employment & never once was there imposed by him or his sons on his daughters,their sisters a behavioural code unconditional pure fatherly & sibling love at it’s best…

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