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What's the Girl Version of Chivalry?

This topic came up in a recent episode of a show I produce... The topic carried over to off-air, so we're going to revisit the subject again next show. Wanted to get feedback on thoughts from others...

We reported on this article: http://www.glamour.com/sex-love-life/blogs/smitten/2013/01/chivalry-may-be-dead-but-im-st.html

Are Men "weirded out" by the gestures that are normally made by men if a woman did them? Woman giving her boyfriend or husband flowers? Woman asking a Man out on a date... then who pays? Woman to offer to pay for the first date?

  • Mar 14 2013: I see chivalry as the male acceptance that women are the physically weaker sex and an informal code of conduct that precludes exploitation of this advantage. This is done through actions which would prevent a woman from feeling like she would be put in a situation where she felt like she needed to physically compete with a man. and the expectation that in actions that might require strength are to be done by a man if he is present. Similarly, a man is expected to protect a woman from harm should there be a need to do so.

    The girl version of chivalry might be practicing some form of social grace in which brutish, clod-like, or similarly unrefined behavior in men is elegantly smoothed over when possible in a manner that does not insult, demean, or humiliate a man as he tries to engage in good social conduct. When with other men, competition, hunting, fighting, and trying to survive is the expectation, along with the cruelty and meanness associated with these activities. Although times have changed somewhat, attempts to act civilized and refined are not always first nature when the rest of your time is spent engaged in one of the former activities. Historically, the stereotypical female is more apt to see that lessons in socially civil behaviors, at home and in public, are taught to men, young and old.

    As some of the other responders have pointed out, chivalry was born in a different time. By today's standard, my explanation, and chivalry itself, may not be PC. Politeness and manners are genderless and always in style. Today with gender roles apparently merging, family values assaulted by the media, cultures clashing, and social values changing, chivalry can be risky.

    Still, a smile, the honorable intention of a polite action, or some act of common courtesy, whether born of chivalry leaned from prior era or just an act of kindness, usually is appreciated, respected and generates positive energy.

    If not in the recipient, than at least the perpetrator!
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    Mar 13 2013: I would say when a woman does an unsolicited service, like lay his clothes out even when he didn't ask for it.
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    Mar 13 2013: As the definition says...."Over time its meaning has been refined to emphasize more ideals", which seem to be gender neutral...honor, service to others, courtesy, generous, truthful, respectful, etc.

    "Chivalry, or the chivalric code, is the traditional code of conduct associated with the medieval institution of knighthood. Chivalry arose from an idealized German custom.[1] It was originally conceived of as an aristocratic warrior code — the term derives from the French term for horseman — involving honor, gallantry, and individual training and service to others. Over time its meaning has been refined to emphasize more ideals such as knightly virtues, honor, courtly love, courtesy, and less martial aspects of the tradition.

    The Knight's Code of Chivalry was a moral system that stated all knights should protect others who can not protect themselves, such as widows, children, and elders. All knights needed to have the strength and skills to fight wars in the Middle Ages. Knights not only had to be strong but they were also extremely disciplined and were expected to use their power to protect the weak and defenseless. Knights vowed to be loyal, generous, and "of noble bearing". Knights were required to tell the truth at all times and always respect the honour of women. Knights not only vowed to protect the weak but also vowed to guard the honor of all fellow knights. They always had to obey those who were placed in authority and were never allowed to refuse a challenge from an equal. Knights lived by honor and for glory. Knights were to fear God and maintain His Church. Knights always kept their faith and never turned their back on a foe. Knights despised pecuniary reward. They persevered to the end in any enterprise begun."
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    Mar 13 2013: I think of chivalry as being about courage or bravery, putting ones energy forward in service of what is just, which is a gender neutral idea.
  • Mar 17 2013: we do different things because we are not the same male and females are very different on many things and we treat each other differently because thats what the opposite sex wants and that's what our culture tell us to do now if we completely rewrite our culture we COULD have it to were it is completely normal for a girl to give guys flowers
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    Mar 14 2013: There are a couple of ways to look at it.
    1) Females are expected to be "Lady-like", not chivalrous.
    2) Females should adhere to the Male form of chivalry if they wish to occupy formerly Male roles.
    3) The is a third way being developed through youth culture that is still plastic and undefined, different locations have different versions , different rituals and expectations that will one day become global cannon?

    I think all three of these can be observed in different groups of people and at the end of the day, what this all really comes down to is personal relationships and mutual understandings.
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    Mar 13 2013: saying yes when meaning no. washing dishes. wearing low-cut dress.
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    Mar 13 2013: Great question. We believe we are currently defining these new norms in an age of great equality; there are more house moms, women nowadays may earn more than men, women are asking men out on days, etc.
    Will men be "weirded out?" Sure, there are still many traditionalists. It might be observed that that urban men are more comfortable with these ideas
    But if the goal is equality, why not aim for a person giving another person flowers?