Tag Archives: chivalry

A Good Man

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“My name is Barry Allen and I’m the fastest man alive. A friend recently gave me the idea for a new name and something tells me it’s gonna catch on…”

Barring a handful of shows I’ve followed with more or less regularity over the years (The Walking Dead, Parks & Recreation, Fringe), I don’t watch much TV, and I don’t pay close attention when networks air their latest and greatest. But there’s one new show I’m honestly happy about. That show is CW’s The Flash.

It’s DC territory from now on, so if watching a man get struck by lightning and turn into a speedster isn’t your thing, it isn’t your thing. For the rest of us, The Flash has all the ingredients of sly, good-hearted comic book fun.

It’s brand-spanking-new, of course, so I might eat those words in a few months’ time, but I’m choosing to be optimistic. Here’s why: Barry Allen is a good man.

He’s good in much the same way that Steve Rogers is good, because with or without his powers, he’s ready to be a hero – one with a moral compass that points very stubbornly north. If chivalry is dead, Barry didn’t get the memo. He seems determined to make us believe in knights again.

A good man is hard to find. But when you do, it’s nothing short of inspiring. He even inspired me to take a swipe at the old keyboard again, and given how busy this season of life is, that’s saying a lot.

Chivalry By Another Name

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This article gave me a good laugh yesterday:

Chicks Dig Sexist Guys, Research Finds –

Researchers from the University of Auckland, New Zealand report that “the endorsement of sexist ideology is linked to higher subjective wellbeing for both men and women.”

According to this study, “a man’s score on a test of ‘benevolent sexism’ – a view of women as ‘deserving of men’s adoration and protection’ – was directly correlated with his overall life satisfaction. Their results also indicated that women are happier in relationships with sexist men.”

Let us take a moment to appreciate the beauty of this phrase, benevolent sexism. Allow it to sink in. For if modern man has mastered (nay, perfected) anything, it is the Art of the Euphemism. We love bushes, especially the kind you can beat around.

To those who may be wondering, benevolent sexism is really just a mealy-mouthed tip of the tongue to the concept of chivalry. The former, however, is easier on our Enlightened Ears. Chivalry is a noble word, filled with the echo of That Which Is to Be Striven After. Benevolent sexism, on the other hand, sounds like a psychological disorder. Those who suffer from it deserve our pity – and our therapists.

A Breath of Fresh Air

The Matt Walsh Blog is one of the best discoveries I’ve made all year, and this piece (Men and Women Are Not Equal) is a shining example why. Amid the sewage of postmodernist “thinking”, voices like his are nothing less than a breath of fresh, clean, life-giving air.

Men and women are not equal. They are not they same. There’s really no avoiding this fact, so Modern Liberators have instead set out to convince everyone that the inherent differences between men and women are meaningless and entirely superficial. Interesting thing, that feminism — it elevates women by telling them that every unique female trait is expendable and pointless. “There’s nothing special or different about you. Now you’re free! Congratulations!” Weak, gutless men absolutely love this idea. You should see all the emails I received from guys of that type. Here’s one example: “Matt, you’re such an idiot. “Chivalry” is bull sh*t. Why should I treat women any different from men?”

Uh, maybe because they ARE different, professor. But, sure, go ahead and treat your wife like a dude and see how long your marriage lasts. A guy who beats his wife is no worse than a guy who gets into a shoving match with his buddy, right? Again, good luck in your relationships, my friend. I’m just hoping for the day that our culture catches a glimpse of its reflection in the puddle of sewage on the sidewalk. Marriages are falling apart at a record pace, people are deathly afraid of commitment, and we’re raising a generation of kids who are terrified of getting married because they’ve never seen a healthy example of how it’s supposed to work. Think about that: there are millions of people in this country who have NEVER come in contact with a successful romantic relationship. That is absolutely chilling.

Eden Redux

“Chivalry isn’t dead. It just followed wherever ‘being lady-like’ went.”

Once upon a time, I thought this expression was the coolest thing since trench coats and sunglasses. Now I’m not so sure. Now part of me laughs and nods in agreement; another part has flashbacks to the Garden of Eden.

What was it our great grandaddy Adam said as he and his wife cowered in the bushes, naked and afraid? Book one, chapter three, verse twelve: “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” 

In a way, I like to think of this as Chivalry Fail Numero Uno.

This is no owning up, no acceptance of responsibility, no repentance. This is a blame game. Translation: “It’s the lady’s fault. And Yours, too, since You made her to begin with. Stop looking at me. She’s the one You want.”

Quizzed on his disobedience, Adam jumps the ship of responsibility with self-righteous aplomb. He blames his failure on his bride – bone of his bone, flesh of his flesh. Maybe you see where I’m going with this.

When someone explains the positive dearth of chivalric manners among men by pointing to the fact that many women “just aren’t lady-like” anymore, have they really explained it? Or have they merely offered an excuse in the tradition of their ancestor? Is not their assertion predicated on the Adamish lie that my obedience is dependent upon someone else’s?

Last time I checked, that’s not how things worked.

Forget this childish stuff. Such faintness (to borrow a Caponian phrase) “is unworthy of true men.” Hold the door, give up your seat, tip your hat, surrender your coat, act like a gentleman. Be counter-cultural. You may get a million odd stares and even glares and maybe even outright rebuffs from women who “just can’t stand sexism.”

Smile. You’re doing it right.

Manners and the Chivalric Code

chivalryIn one of the Gileskirk lectures I recently listened to, Dr. George Grant addressed “the chivalric code” and its impact on the soul of Christian civilization – particularly in our understanding of manners and the conduct of war. And speaking of the former…

When somebody talks about manners, what usually pops into your head? Speaking for myself: remember to say please and thank you, open doors for the ladies, give a firm handshake, don’t belch at the table, etc. The basics, you might say.

But manners are so much more than that. Manners are a way of life. Manners, as Dr. Grant so beautifully defines them, “are those visible cues we give to others that they have worth.”

In today’s world, we have this twisted idea that manners are designed to make us look good. “Behave properly or you’ll embarrass yourself and Miss Matty Jenkyns won’t invite you over for tea anymore.” But manners rooted in the chivalric code – and by extension, in Scripture – serve a different purpose altogether. They are fundamentally others-oriented, a working out of the Second Great Commandment: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matt. 22:39) This is virtue in action.

The Christian man is not courteous towards a woman because he is concerned about his public image. He is courteous to her because he recognizes and affirms her value, her worth; the fact that she is made in God’s image; the fact that she is to be respected and honored; the fact that she carries gifts from the hand of God, and that these should be cherished and treasured.

It doesn’t get much more counter-cultural than that.

“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Cor. 13:4-7)