Did feminism destroy Chivalry??
Possibly a controversial topic but one worth pondering…
Please don’t get me wrong, I am fully supportive of feminism, and the importance of equal rights in the home and the workplace. What I do worry about though is the uncertainty some aspects of feminism has created in relation to how a Gentleman should treat a Lady.
I have heard several stories of Gentlemen either opening a door or offering a seat only to be rebuffed or criticised by the woman involved. They obviously mistook courtesy as some form of condescension or judgement about their ability to open a door themselves or stand on their own two feet. When did courtesy become insulting? Possibly when women had to fight, and fight hard, to be treated as equals.
The flow-on effect of this is that many men now take the easy route – they don’t even notice women around them (elderly, pregnant or otherwise). Now I am making no excuses for these men, but in many ways it must seem safer to them – surely they won’t be set upon if they simply do nothing and ignore those around them….
A true Gentleman doesn’t use excuses, it is not something he switches on or off, it is just him.
A true Gentleman must be brave (like the image I have included here from French Connection). A Gentleman is not in the business of judging the ability of others, merely showing them respect, consideration and courtesy.
A sure way to have a society of less and less common decency and manners is to give up – or even more effective, criticise well-intentioned individuals.
I believe that individuals must be true to themselves and be the person they know they should be. I think, on the whole, we all know what is right and shouldn’t let what has become accepted practice sway us.