2. Thou shalt defend the Church.
3. Thou shalt respect all weaknesses, and shalt constitute thyself the defender of them.
4. Thou shalt love the country in which thou wast born.
5. Thou shalt not recoil before thine enemy.
6. Thou shalt make war against the infidel without cessation and without mercy.
7. Thou shalt perform scrupulously thy feudal duties, if they be not contrary to the laws of God.
8. Thou shalt never lie, and shalt remain faithful to thy pledged word.
9. Thou shalt be generous, and give largesse to everyone.
10. Thou shalt be everywhere and always the champion of the Right and the Good against Injustice and Evil.
The contention that some people have with the idea of chivalry, is that it has been mistakenly replaced with a general sense of good manners and respect. First off, the knights code wasn't gender specific; you were supposed to look out for everybody's interests. As for modern day reasoning, the following is not an example of chivalry. As I am walking through a door, I see someone coming up, right behind me. I hold the door open for them to walk through or hold the door ajar, for them to grab the handle and enter in their own time. This quick and painless motion is an act of politeness and I would do it for anyone without much thought. The last time I was sitting on the London tube, I gave up my space for an elderly man who walked with a cane. I consider this compassionate, not chivalrous law number 3. In simply seeing someone in need, I did what I could to help. Anyone else seeing the same thing and not caring enough to act, well yes, it is annoying, but compassion is not a virtue given out at birth.
Respect, politeness, manners and even that code of chivalry are all elements of behaviour that are taught, they are not wholly natural responses. Some people really don't recognise the need others have, hence the priority notices having to be put up on buses and the Underground. Our natural instincts are to find safety, comfort and pleasure for ourselves. However, once we are made aware of our social responsibilities, then some of us start to act accordingly. Admittedly, I do practice some of the acts that fall under the banner of traditional chivalry and yes I realise it is because I am dealing with a woman. But I do have my limits. Being a woman is not enough for me to offer you my seat. You can stand in front of me, huffing and puffing, rolling your eyes at me until they fall out their sockets, but can you, yourself, quantify why being a woman automatically entitles you to my seat? Give me a single, valid reason and it's yours...but be careful, as surely this is dangerous ground!
Revolutions often lead to a lengthy, played out evolution. And in this current slow period where we are re-working the finer points in sexual politics, I see women's desires becoming more and more individualised. I mean, worldwide, we can all stand as a group and say we oppose sexism, but when we are dealing with personal desires and also factoring in our cultural norms too, what is chivalrous to you, certainly isn't to another. If I asked you to classify what you see as chivalrous behaviour, amongst a group of 200 random women, I imagine that some women would fully agree with your personal beliefs, some only in part and the rest would be like hell no to it all! So, how can men and women have equal positions in life as an ethos, but then think we have to treat each other unequally in other aspects, without any real reason.
The following minefield comes courtesy of the askmen website, it is from an article written by Tom Fordy. All I did was take the subheading from each contributor, after the question of Who Pays For The Date was posed. The reason that I put this up, is that it shows you, that we all have different expectations of how we want to be treated or what we think is expected of us. So rather than demanding that chivalry should be some blanket expression, how about finding a man who was brought up in a manner, where his sense of decency and energy match yours.
The Dating Coach: "Modern men should do things old school."
The Journalist: "You ask ‘em out, you pay out."
The Sex Blogger: "Go 50/50 every time."
The Stand-Up Comic: "Don’t forget who earns 19.7% more."
The Glamour Girl: "A man’s gotta spend to impress a girl."
The Academic: "Don’t try to buy a woman."
The Athlete: "It’s up to the guy to make a gesture."
The Showbiz Reporter: "Pay for the right reasons."
The Feminist Pundit: "It shouldn’t matter."
The Porn Star: "Insist on going all the way, fellas."
If you disagree with everything I have said, take this example and see if we can meet each other half way. A man and a woman have worked an equal amount of hours, for an equal amount of pay. They are both tired as they make their way home. On the way, the man boards a tube 4 stops before the woman. By the time the woman gets on the tube, all seats are taken. The woman is not ill, disabled, pregnant or in anyway mentally or physically impaired and stands in front of the said man. Why is her tiredness more valid than his? Now reverse the situation and also have the man more visibly tired than the woman. Should she give up the seat for him?
Then let us be truthful. What we have to nervously admit, is that we are all clinging to notions of what a man is and what a woman is and how each gender is suppose to act. That is the crux of the problem and there isn't a solution to it because we are individuals, with varying shades of perspective and desire. In the end, we are not talking about chivalry or even equality, we are talking about your personal idea of a relationship and that is something you are going to have to scout out on your own. No man, that is a stranger to a woman, is going to know all of her expectations. Either he has been brought up in a way that agrees with you or you have to tell him how to be...and that kinda kills the knight in shining armour scenario, because part of the allure of the knight fantasy, is that he knows everything you like, without having to be told - another ridiculous expectation. No one goes into a restaurant and expects the waiter to know what they want to eat without being told, but in a relationship, you have to know every single thing about a person in advance?!
PS. It's my mum and dad's 45th wedding anniversary today, I'm wondering if they have contributed to my view?