8/8/13

modesty & humility: could women be one of the reasons chivalry is dead?



Chivalry is dead.

We have all heard some woman say this. Perhaps we have said this. As doors go unopened and men make crude jokes in front of us we wonder where the time went where men stood as a woman entered the room and a woman's heart was more carefully supervised.

But maybe, just maybe, our own cry for equality and sameness with men has made the possibility of chivalry vanish. If men and women are not only equal but the same then why should women get perks or special attention?

Unfortunately, this is not how I believe we were intended to live. Men and women are different. There is no denying it. There are some qualities that are innately masculine possessed by men and some that are innately feminine possessed by women.

The feminine heart is sensitive and gentle. Strong? Yes. But tender. And the conventions of the past protected this beautiful quality. But as the idea of gender sameness rose the acts of chivalry fell.

In How to Marry a Millionaire, Miss Paige is with her male realtor looking at an apartment. He closes the door as the two enter the suite alone. She turns around and asks if he would leave the door open. He shakes his head in embarrassment realizing his mistake and replies "Of course!" as he goes to open it. Nowadays, a woman asking a man to leave the door open as to not arise suspensions from a passerby would be called a prude.

What's more, further on in the film Betty Grable's character tags along with a man to his lodge believing it to be some sort of country club where the two could party alongside many others. He, though, meant his personal lodge and his intentions were an affair. When he realizes she misunderstood and does not want to be involved in such a liaison he immediately attempts to arrange travel home and does not force or manipulate her into going through with the affair.

There was respect and care for women that these men held (okay, besides the fact that the one was longing to cheat on his own wife). Men are physically stronger than women and because of this modesty helps women gain safety and security.

But as modesty in action turns into being a prude or claiming that women are in fact different we turn our heads to modesty and end up seeing increase in rape, sexual harassment and un-chivalrous actions.

Maybe a return to modesty is what we need. A recognition that there are gender differences. An owning and celebrating of the differences in the feminine and masculine heart.

Do you think chivalry is dead? If so, do you think the urge that genders are the same could be a reason for the death of chivalry? How can we return to modesty?

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