Chivalry is Dead?

Reassessing the demise of the knight in shining armor

chivalryisdeadWhenever I give a talk on the subject of chivalry, I can rest assured that, no matter what else the members of the audience may know about the topic, there are three words at the forefront of everyone’s mind: Chivalry is dead.

Somewhere along the line, we got it pounded into our heads that chivalry and equality could not co-exist. But I think the analysts and social commentators who told us that, didn’t have a thorough understanding of what chivalry really was. They saw an act of courtesy or deference and interpreted it as the result of a condescending attitude. What they missed was the respect and mutual admiration which such an act of chivalry conveys — if they had looked at chivalry from that angle, I suspect there never would have been any talk about its “death.”

Chivalry was created during the Middle Ages to combat the attitudes of brutality, ignorance and prejudice which were all-too-common in that era of darkness and cruelty. Far from being dead, chivalry today is embodied by people whose actions are always trustworthy and admirable; who understand that strength and gentleness are not opposites; and who know the importance of standing by one’s principles, no matter how tempting the compromise.

In fact, chivalry seems to be more alive today than ever. People everywhere are reevaluating the things that are important in their lives, and they’re rediscovering the virtues that the code of chivalry stands for — hope, kindness, respect, integrity and courage. They are discovering that they can still be inspired by a hero, and, best of all, they’re realizing that when chivalry and equality stand side-by-side, anybody can be a knight in shining armor.

8 thoughts on “Chivalry is Dead?

  1. it may not be dead, but it is definitely on life support! (Liberated)
    women dont appreciate it so men stop. Its not politically correct either.

  2. I agree completely with Rufus. I honestly think it is dead and gone since women can’t accept the fact that chivalry is done to show respecty and loyalty, not to demean the role of a woman!

  3. I will not pay for affection and companionship. Dinner dates will always be Dutch with me. I refuse to be a John.

  4. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Have you ever dated a girl that made you sit thru a romantic movie? Who gets the girl, the chivarlous man or the douchebag? The chivarlous man. Why do you think that is a reoccuring role in women’s books and movies? Its because that’s what women crave. Regardless of what you might hear, our mother’s still teach us to expect these things. If the man treats you with the respect and dignity you deserve, then submit to him, because he’s only acting in your best interest. That’s what we are taught. Yes, we can do everything they can do, but they are still the protectors. That’s how it is. If a woman screams at you for opening a door for her, simply respond, “My mother taught me to treat all women with respect.” and leave it at that. If she has a legit problem with it, then she probably isn’t worth your time anyway.

  5. I am pleased at how these articles help to filter out the exaggerated portions on benevolent sexism from the ideals of chivalry. THAT type of chivalry’s state of being may come into question at times. But, regardless as to whether or not they know it, chivalry is being kept alive and well by many people. For those taking the time to read this comment please remember that perfect chivalry is very difficult to maintain, and we humans are so very far from perfect.

  6. I hate to say thus, but I think you’re all missing the point. Although in the middle-ages chivalry was expected to be shown by men toward women, it has evolved over time as we have done. Who would say for one moment that only a man could embody ideals such as truth, honour, courage, courtesy, loyalty and selflessness? About a year and a half ago, I realised through a revelation that, despite being a woman, I wanted to practice chivalry throughout my life. It makes me sad to see anyone who would deny me my greatest dream. Just a thought there.

  7. I have to argue with you there rufus. I am in fact a “liberated” woman and quite enjoy being treated with courtesy, kindness, and a caring attitude. If you really look at the origins of chivalry, how it really came about and what it was for, you would see that only one of its values were focused on women. The rest focused on keeping the dignity and honor to those who may not have the strength or ability to do it themselves. The majority of people today are ignorant to the real meaning and definition of chivalry, like you are. Do not blame yourself for your lack of knowledge on the subject, society misleads us in our thinking. In conclusion don’t assume that “liberated” women want a certain thing if you have no idea what you’re even talking about.

  8. Like many you confuse common courtesy with chivalry. Common courtesy should always have it’s place in society but chivalry belongs to the ages.

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