I saw a comment on Facebook “Is chivalry dead?”. It was in reference to who should pay for a date – the man or the woman.

Not taking it out of context – but applying the history of the word and its definition to the situation – then yes, hallelujah, chivalry is dead.

Chivalry is a code of conduct developed in medieval Europe most associated with Knights. The word itself come from the Latin caballerius meaning horseman. It was the qualities expected of a Knight. Mostly when one thinks of chivalry it’s a mix of mores and ideals of a good knight, mixed with the idealization of courtly love.

These days we think of it simply as a man paying for a woman on a date, holding open the door for her, we think of it as respect and courtesy.

This ideal – along with many of those that are a part of chivalry – this needing to “take care” of a women is outdated and yes I believe dead. There is no long this need for a man to take care of women – certainly not now when she can own property, take a job outside of the home, vote and otherwise be a full, contributing member of society – without the need for permission or overseeing by a male.

There are many aspects to chivalry that of course I think are something to keep going in this day and age. The idea of being respectful, generous and a champion of truth and justice. Never lying, defender of the weaker (the poor, the outcasts) and being courageous. I don’t believe that any of these ideas should be attributed to only one sex – I think this form of chivalry can be enacted by any and all citizens of the world.

Yes, chivalry is dead and rightly so. But some of its ideals have remained constant and seem in my opinion to be the basic tenets of how one should treat others.

poster

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