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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

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    In response to “Chivalry degrades women, promotes sexism in society” (by David W. Mariotte, Oct. 30):

    I am sorry, but I must disagree with this article. Chivalry is not sexist, nor does it, at its core, promote sexism. The base of chivalry is sacrificing of yourself for the benefit of another. When I hold open a door from somebody, I am sacrificing time to aid another person. When I give my coat to a cold friend, I am sacrificing my comfort for theirs. When I buy my friend lunch because she is hungry and broke, it does not mean that I am demeaning her or exerting power over her. It means I am showing compassion to somebody whom I care about. I do this to my male friends and to my female friends equally. Why? Because chivalry is helping, or offering to help, a person in need. It is about showing compassion and empathy to your fellow human beings.

    Chivalry is also about being honorable. A chivalrous man is an honorable man. He speaks true and does not lie, con, or mislead others. He follows through with his promises, and should situations force him to fail in this, he seeks forgiveness and repentance from the offended party for his failing. He does not cheat, or steal, or abuse any authority or position he holds.

    Historically, yes, chivalry was a notion that did promote sexism and a separation of the classes, but the history of it does not mean it should be cast away. Like many things in our society, chivalry adapts to the modern view and age. I was raised to be a chivalrous gentlemen. Does this mean I was taught that women are weak and require my protection? No. It means I was taught to respect women, not to demean, hurt, or abuse them. A chivalrous gentlemen treats all he meets with respect and courtesy regardless of gender or status. The very word “gentlemen” implies a man who is not harsh, not cruel, not callous with his actions. It is a man who is kind, giving, honorable, and compassionate. And chivalry is not just for men, as women too can be chivalrous. I speak from the male point of view since that is my gender, but in my life I have known many a chivalrous woman.

    In fact, I have known more chivalrous women than I have men!

    Saying we need to “kill” chivalry because it can be sexist is like saying we should not drive our car because we might get into an accident. There are wonderful lessons that can be taken away from chivalry, lessons about treating each other with respect and honor. And after all, if we desire to see an end to sexism, racism, and other forms of discrimination, wouldn’t teaching our children chivalry be a great way to start? So to dismiss the concept of chivalry because it was historically sexist, or because some people view it as sexist, is foolish and only encourages the poor behavior that we, men especially, show toward each other. I would rather live in a world where we all acted chivalrous toward each other, than in a world where we all did not.

    Chivalry is not dead, and as long as there are people like me who embrace and display the positives of the concept, it never will die.

    — Ryan S.

    In response to “Basic morals of chivalry still relevant today” (by Shelby Thomas, Oct. 30):

    The key problem here is that you didn’t know each other well enough to want to pay for each other. Should have gone to coffee first when the stakes aren’t as high. If you want someone to spend their “resources” on you, you have to be of value in the first place. First dates shouldn’t be dinner. Too awkward. Go do something fun and low risk as far as spending money is concerned.

    Also, sometimes, as a woman, you have to give before you receive. For example, I went on a second date (first date was coffee) and my date forgot his wallet. I paid for our lunch (again low risk) and gave him the benefit of the doubt when he said he forgot his wallet (always be able to have your own money). Well that guy is now my boyfriend and takes me out to dinner at least 3 nights a week and has paid for two vacations. Sometimes you have to give some to get it returned. Kindness is a gift you always want to give because it will get returned — even if you as a woman have to be the first to give.

    P.S. Chivalry starts with you. A man doesn’t treat you like a doormat unless you act like one. Demand respect and you shall get it.

    — Be Smarter

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