An issue ... for civilized discussion
2004-07-01 05:09:45 ET

I came across this (I condensed it a bit for space) while flipping through an old magazine...I think she may have a an entirely valid point. What do you think?

"When a man if in the presence of a tender, gentle, trustful, dependent woman, he immediately feels a sublime expansion of his power to protect and shelter this frail and delicate creature...One of the most pleasant sensations a man can experience is the consciousness of his ability to give manly protection. A man delights in protecting and sheltering a feminine, dependent woman...when a man tenderly and devotedly cares for a woman, it increases his love for her. A woman serves (a man) in a similar way. She prepares him nourishing meals, washes his clothes and watches over him to see that he doesn't neglect his health. She gives him comfort, understanding and sympathy. And she protects him in her own way by trying to prevent others from taking unfair advantage of his generous nature, by trying to keep his foolhardy courage from endangering his safety, and by making certain his manly indifference to detail doesn't lead him into trouble. As she devotes herself to his care and protection, she loves him more." ~ Helen Andelin

This prompted me to do a bit more digging and I found this article online, which I also edited a bit for length.

Chivalry and Today's Woman
By Jennifer L. Williams
Published: Friday, September 27, 2002
Part 1: Females

"I kiss my own hand when I meet men, because chivalry is dead and I'm trying to revive it."
Dana E. Crawford

Here you are yet again, rushing to your next class. As you approach the front doors of Douglass Hall, the guy in front of you doesn't even bother to hold the door for you, and you quickly grab the door for yourself. "Is chivalry dead?" you ask yourself. Hell, emphatically, yes!

In this day and age, it isn't difficult to see chivalry isn't quite what it used to be. Doors aren't opened with swiftness, chairs aren't pulled out and seats aren't given up to accommodate women. The list could go on and on.

However, what many females don't factor into the equation is the evolution of the independent woman, and how she impacts chivalry (or the supposed lack thereof).

In the era of "I can do everything for myself," and cries of "All my women, independent? Throw your hands up, feel me." have we as women possibly pushed the whole independent thing a bit too far? And can men be completely faulted for letting chivalry fall by the wayside?

"Chivalry is definitely dead in terms of what our parents defined it as, and it has been redefined because of the independent woman," said Dana E. Crawford, a graduate psychology major. "Some women like men to open doors, but now, society makes it seem wrong to want those kinds of things."

The rise of female empowerment could very well cause many women to believe that liberated, strong-willed women intimidate men. For the most part, this belief isn't too far off the mark.

How has this intimidation morphed chivalry from a female perspective? Could it be that men are genuinely afraid to open a door for a woman, for fear that their action could be met with an attitude instead of with a smile?

"I personally don't want any male to do for me what I can do for myself," said Jessica Powell, a junior business major. "I don't want to feel like I owe him something."

With this example in mind, has the phenomenon of the independent woman caused males to slack off on their jobs, so to speak? As chivalry is synonymous with respect, have men begun to respect us less? Could it be that females are becoming so emasculated by society that a "why bother?" attitude is being adopted by men as a response? Furthermore, how has pop culture and the media affected chivalry and our perceptions of it?

"In some respect, the demise of chivalry is both the fault of men and women," said Kamari Simpson, a sophomore marketing major. "If we were to watch any music video, they usually don't include any actions that can be deemed chivalrous."

The supposed death of chivalry may be just the foundation needed for the birth of true reciprocity between the sexes in terms of respect. Ladies should never take disrespect from any male, but should also be sure to thank the brother who gives up his seat for them.

They should also be aware that showing appreciation isn't a sign of weakness."

My position: It seems to me that there are a lot of people out there who are ranting and raving about equality of the sexes. I suppose that my own opinion on this matter will offend some if not many people reading this. I had to pass through a lot of angry rants and diatribed articles until I finally found some with solid sense. I've read other people's opinions. I've done the research and this, is my official two cents into the debate.
You can't have it both ways. Men and women were put on this earth to fulfill certain roles. A place for everything and everything in its place, as it were. If women want to enter into the business world and think they have the manly temperament for it, then more power to them. But don't complain that a man doesn't give up his seat or hold the door for you when you have effectively made yourself his equal. A man wouldn't do that for another man. You have made yourself untouchable by stripping yourself of your feminine role. If you want to run with the men, they're going to see you that way. They may respect you, but not in the way you want them too. They are going to see you as just want you wanted an equal. Another man would not need protection, why should you? On the other hand, men are not entirely blameless. When a truly feminine woman is your presence you have forgotten, or never been taught, how to act. Truly feminine (not feminist) women desire and even need your protection. We see you as our leaders, our protectors and being submissive doesn't mean being a "yes Dear" dummy. It means recognizing that men are oftentimes better equipped in temperament to make big decisions and lead families. Not that they should dominate. Discussion is vital. But, hasn't it been that way for thousands of years? Someone's got to lead, right? And I'm not saying that women can't be effective leaders, but sometimes you just can't have it both ways.
Which, brings me back to my wanting it both ways "gripe". Women want to work. They want to run with the big dogs. Yet, they want to marry and have a family and many still want the man to be the provider. I quote from an unprinted part of the first article. " has been recognized as the provider, not only by custom but by law, for in the event of divorce the man is required to pay child support and alimony. This indicates that even today, when women are working, we still recognize the man as the provider. (Andelin)"
My, my how it seems that some of us want our cake and to eat it too!

The article goes on to say “According to divine plan, when a man marries he should assume economic responsibility for his wife and children. His wife may work and others may assist him but it is not their direct worry. He alone is responsible. To prepare for his bread-winning role he may spend years in preparation by attending college, hours of study, sacrifice and hard work. When he finally completes his preparation, if he is to succeed he must give himself to his work. Even then, the keen competition of the business world stands as a continual threat to his financial security. To help him in the heavy load that waits him, the man was blessed with the capacity to do his job and do it reasonably well. He has within his nature the ability, temperament, and stamina to face this man-sized job. This is part of his make-up. He also has a keen sense of duty to provide the living…When the wife fully comprehends her husband’s heavy responsibility to provide the living, she may be tempted to join the work force with him.. There may be emergencies when this is necessary but usually there are better ways. She can be of more help by cutting expenses, strengthen his confidence in himself and being feminine. When she does, she helps him feel more needed and adequate as a provider. This generation of woman has failed to give men the feeling they are needed as provider. We live in a world of working women. Women take on any kinds of work men do, and seem, to do it as well or better. In some instances they make more money. When a woman become the capable, independent woman of the working force, once who can adequately take care of herself, it’s impossible for a man to feel needed as her provider. (Andelin)”

So men, (and girls) I ask your opinion. Do men really feel this way? Or, has today's society raped you of any desire to function in this capacity? Girls, Do you agree with any of this? Do you disagree entirely or in part? What is that you think? I imagine, you all have an opinion. I encourage lively debate. Please feel free to respond, but kindly keep it clean.

"Sorry, but I'm an old-fashioned gal. I was raised to believe that men dig up the corpses and the women have the babies." ~ Buffy

2004-07-01 05:43:33 ET

yeash... its a good thing i wasn't born back then...

2004-07-01 05:57:00 ET


2004-07-01 06:02:01 ET

that stuff depresses me when I realize that it wasn't long ago and how far we haven't come.....

2004-07-01 06:03:31 ET

Mind if I ask what you mean by "how far we haven't come"?

2004-07-01 06:26:24 ET

Socially especially, there's so much disrespect between the sexes (at least in central-yeeehaw-florida) I am constantly hearing from friends that are harrassed on the street - just for being female etc. That plus all the conservativism that seems to be on the rise - then I remember it was ONLY 1920 when us chicks were even ALLOWED to vote...

A few years ago, my Mother gave me all these horrible contemporary books on "how to get a ring from a man!" and they echoed almost exactly that whole "frail and delicate creature" bs. Frail? I bench as much as my bf (of course he IS a stickman... )

All of this being said, I don't mind if someone holds the door for me, but they shouldn't be surprised when I hold the door for them - know what I mean? That and if they buy, I buy the next time... I tend to only date broke guys, so they don't mind going dutch - that way no one owes anyone anything...

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