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Friday, February 25, 2011

Modern chivalry is dead

And a good riddance to it. Guy Ritchie is an early nominee for Man of the Year.
When a man sees a woman in trouble it is usually polite to help her out but for one English gent his manners seemed to have failed him last night. As Guy Ritchie was leaving Claridges hotel a woman stumbled on a plant pot and tumbled to the ground, but the director did little but smile at her plight. In fact, although the woman fell directly in front of him, he failed to help her out and merely pointed towards her with a grin before walking around her and carrying on his way home.
Chivalry in the modern sense presumes that women are of intrinsically more value to men. This was true when most Western women were serious about fulfilling their primary role as propagators of mankind. But since women have by and large abandoned that role and given priority to their self-esteem, education, and occupation instead, there is no longer any justification for chivalric behavior applied broadly to the female sex in general. Each woman must be judged worthy or unworthy of such treatment on her own merits, and in the absence of any information, the assumption must be that she is unworthy.

My habit is to treat women as they wish to be treated. If a woman insists that she is equal to me, then I will show her no more favor or mercy than I would show a man. Pay for yourself, defend yourself, and get your own damn door. If, on the other hand, a woman indicates that she subscribes to traditional and unequal standards, I am pleased to show her with all the conventional courtesy that was previously provided to all the members of the erstwhile "fair sex". Barring any indications to the contrary, I assume that a woman I don't know is an equalitarian and treat her accordingly.

In the days of yore, the correct response to a woman in minor distress was to go to her assistance. These days, the proper response is to simply proceed with the mission. With a snort of amused contempt, of course, if you feel so moved.

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