So a few months ago, I talked about the problems with the most well-known minority groups in feminism in a journal mentioning equality. I also briefly commented on the practice of chivalry, and why I personally believe it ought to be abolished as a common practice because it is inherently sexist. In this journal, I shall endeavour to go into further detail on chivalry and my views on it.
Living by the code of chivalry, as it were, is a flawed way of life, in my own opinion. Nothing more, nothing less than my own opinion. Now, the reason for this is because we no longer live in a society where a man needs to defend a woman from physical danger, nor should they need to defend a woman from blows of a psychological nature. If both genders are supposed to be reaching equality, then surely abolishing the practice of a man doing something for a woman, because for some reason the woman cannot defend themselves, should be thrown out the window, right? Right?
And yet, from a number of highly-strung feminists who I would describe as feminazis, men ought to be chivalrous towards women. Which... sort of defeats the point of being all about women's rights. Sounds like these people only care about themselves, and nothing else.
Being a gentleman isn't a bad thing, mind you. I can hold open doors for people, compliment them and help them during their day, but that's not being chivalrous. That's being a gentleman, and the misconception that one inherently equals the other makes things worse when, as a worldly community, we really ought to be pulling away from the antiquated ideals of chivalry. Simply put, I go to work, and I work as a retail assistant cum cashier in a retail chain. Or in other words, I stack shelves and work the till at a shop. While I'm at work, I help out all the customers that desire or require it - male, female, young, old, whatever ethnicity they may be. It doesn't matter to me, because I wish to be as good a person as I can be, and my job somewhat requires me to think that way. This is being a gentleman, not subscribing to a code of chivalry.
In a relationship, if the relationship were to subscribe to chivalry, then the man does all the work. That's his job in the relationship by chivalrous terms: to be the doer. The man makes all the gestures, does all the necessary work, makes the living and supports both himself and his companion. The woman's job is to take it all in - they simply absorb it and accept it and do very little in the relationship. IF we subscribe by chivalry. That's incredibly sexist. Against the woman, no less, not the man.
Women can contribute to relationships more than just being all, "Wow, John/ Dick/ Tom/ Harry/ etc., thanks for all the gifts and stuff that you're giving me! I'll stay with you 'cause I love you!" Imagine that however you like - I personally hear that in a vapid, out-of-breath manner in a *ahem* bimbo tone of voice. Admittedly, yes - that's a stereotype, but then again, the idea of chivalry subscribes to said stereotype.
Don't patronise me, or other people, by the way, if you are thinking about replying with something along the lines of "Oh, but modern chivalry doesn't mean that. It means that a man should endeavour to treat his partner with respect." That's not chivalry, that's just common decency... and common sense for that matter. It also, most importantly, GOES BOTH WAYS. Women don't have the inherent right to brow-beat or hit their partners just because they feel like it.
Funnily enough, slapping a man because you are offended by them is potentially an act of assault. And yet, if a man does it to a woman, it wouldn't often matter how justified the man was, it would almost certainly be considered assault. Why? The crime is the same, but because it's done to someone who is supposedly "more delicate" it's somehow a worse offence. Which is stupid and ridiculous, and yet says a lot that such a patriarchal ideal is something which the more high-strung feminists do not wish to abolish. As it is, we are veering back into the territory of gender equality in law, as opposed to chivalry and its obsolescence.
Chivalry evolved from the idea that women were vapid wastrels waiting for some brave knight to ride in on their noble steed, sweep them off their feet and allow them to go from a life of luxury on their father's coin to a life of luxury on their husband's coin. It also subscribed to the philosophy of objectifying women - making them an object to be fought over and won, as opposed to a person who can think, act and speak for themselves.
Women can still act that way, and some still do - I know of at least three people who I went to secondary school with whose major goal in life was to marry someone who could support them and a moderately rich lifestyle. These women had nothing going for them except for their looks and the fact that they were willing to "put out", as it were. They certainly were not particularly intellectually-minded, and their personalities were rather vapid as well. Whether it has worked out for them, or even if they've grown out of this foolish notion, I have no idea, because I overheard it while I was in earshot that, because I was smart I would automatically be successful, which in turn made me desirable to them. And no, I wasn't meant to overhear it either, because the only reason I overheard was because I chose against turning a corner to line up behind them while they were discussing it.
Incidentally, having known a number of my friends to have girlfriends or boyfriends with nothing going on upstairs whatsoever - i.e. they were there because they made for a cute-looking prop and nothing more, it's not like I'm merely guessing that this sort of thing occurs. As it is, it was more likely for a girlfriend to be a ditsy prop than it was for the boyfriend to be, but I think that's because most of my female friends dated older men who had already finished college (were over the age of 18/19) so I didn't meet them very often as opposed to it being more of a "females are more likely to be dumb" thing.
But for the most part, I would posit that 90+% of women wish to live what they consider to be a fulfilling life in which they provide at least some of the effort necessary to live it. Such as working your own job so that you can buy dresses for yourself as opposed to having to discuss it with your partner and whether you can afford it, for example. Admittedly, that's a rather shallow and materialistic example, but you get my point - I wouldn't have thought that many people wish to live a life where everything, from their purchases to their potential hobbies or how often they can see their friends, is dictated by their partner. Surely most people would prefer some, if not most, of the control over that.
And that's the problem. Chivalry is very much a men do, women react philosophy. One which is mired in misogyny, so much so that its rather ridiculous that being a chivalrous male is still considered to be a compliment from even the most die-hard feminazis. Chivalry, unfortunately, isn't dead - but it ought to be, because a man should be a gentleman to all, and a woman should be a gentlewoman to all. Life shouldn't have men being gentleman to ladies and then acting poorly towards another male.
Once again, this is all just my opinion, nothing more. I am, at best, an armchair philosopher, but then again, I don't need a fancy degree for my words to make more sense than someone with the title of Doctor who subscribes to the idea of Anti-Semitism, for example, being the way to take humanity forward, now do I?
Listening to: Louis Armstrong
Reading: Comments about how feminism is unfairly judged
Watching: Red Dwarf/ Blackadder
Playing: Shovel Knight/ Papers Please/ Civ 5
Eating: Hot Dogs
Drinking: Diet Pepsi