Chivalry, the Lady, and the Old Order

Some chick at the Atlantic is asking for chivalry to come back. As is standard is many modern pro-chivalry arguments, she is talking only of men treating women as special, not about women’s corresponding duties under chivalry.

At one point in the article she asks:

Feminists want men to treat women as equals; traditionalists want men to treat women like ladies. Are the two mutually exclusive?

She then goes on about some stupidity about respect and civility.

The simple answer though is yes.

Chivalry and equality are not and can not exist simultaneously.

Chivalry is based in a hierarchical world-view and can not be separated from that worldview.

Chivalry is far more than simple respect and civility. Chivalry is a code whereby the stronger and superior man (the knight) extends his strength and protection to his inferiors who were too weak to protect themselves (women and children).*

In the chivalric hierarchy knights were strong protectors, women were weak and in need of protection. Inherent inequality is built into chivalry.

In exchange for this protection, women submitted to men and acted like ladies. They complemented the men’s strength.

Chivalry rested on this traditional order of society, where inequality and feminine submission is an accepted fact of life. Without this old order, chivalry is impossible.

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Besides inherent inequality, chivalry also requires on other thing: that women act like ladies.

If either of those two conditions is broken then chivalry can not exist. Any acts you do to be “chivalrous” are nothing more than chumphood and supplication.

A lady was originally a noblewomen. Over time, in romantic chivalry it came to refer to a virtuous women. Nowadays, its usually used as somewhat more polite/formal term for women. Only ladies deserve gentlemen, a term with similar origins and complementary meanings as that of lady.

Fundamental to the conception of both the lady and the gentleman is the concept of honour. A man’s honour in the romantic realm was found in his protection of and graciousness towards women. A women’s honour was found in her chastity and her graciousness towards men.

We already know how a gentleman acts; we call it chivalry. So, I will not go further into his duties. But how does a lady act?

A lady is chaste; she does not slut it up, she does not dress like a cheap hooker, she does not tease, and her flirting is light, discrete, and indirect. A lady does not compete with men. A lady acts with propriety and decorum; she is gentle, polite, well-mannered. A lady is feminine, she knows her nature and acts according to it. A lady is beautiful; she knows that her natural god-given beauty is a delight for the rest of the world, so she seeks to maintain it rather than destroy it. A woman who acts this way is deserving of chivalry.

Chivalry is for ladies. It is not for modern, independent women.

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Women, you have a choice.

You can like ladies and accept either inequality or submission or you can cast these off.

If you decide to act like ladies, men can act like gentleman and be chivalrous in return.

If you decide to act like modern, independent women, then you have made the choice to reject chivalry. If you ask for men to be chivalrous, all you are asking for is unearned privilege. You sound like a spoiled brat.

If you do not hold up your end of the chivalric bargain, why the hell should men be expected to hold up their end?

Do not ask for or expect chivalry; in fact, you should be repulsed by chivalry.

Enjoy your hook-ups.

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At this point some may be wondering if I am anti-chivalry. The answer to that is no, I am very pro-chivalry.

But chivalry exists as a part of the old order. Apart from that old order it is meaningless.

I am pro-chivalry, because I believe in resurrecting that old order. Within that old order, chivalry is a wonderful thing for both men and women. Outside that order, it is nothing.

As long as the old order remains buried, no male has a general duty of duty towards women.

In fact, every male should refuse to extend chivalry to a modern, equal, independent woman.

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If you are thinking of being chivalrous ask yourself three questions:

1) Does the woman I am about to be chivalrous think she is my equal?
2) Does the woman I am about to be chivalrous to think a women’s place is to submit to a man?**
3) Does this women I am about to be chivalrous comport herself as a lady?

If the answer to the first is yes and the second is no, treat her as the equal she believes herself to be. (If you do not know the answer, use social cues to determine the likely answer).

Do not give her chivalry. Do not hold the door open for her. Do not pay for her. Do not fight for her. Do not die for her.

As well, I would suggest not marrying her, but that’s an argument distinct from chivalry.

To give chivalry to any women who believes she is equal to you is to insult her. Chivalry implies and necessitates inferiority; by giving it to her you are telling her she is either inferior to or in submission to you. Given her stance on equality this should be repugnant to her.

Any women who believes they are equal yet demands chivalry is either insulting herself, selfish, or just plain stupid. Refuse to play into her stupidity.

Respect a women who thinks she’s your equal by treating her like an equal.

If the answer to the third question is no, then she is not a lady and not worthy of knightly protection. Do not waste yourself on her.

If a women acts like a lady, and believes in either male superiority or complementarianism, then be chivalrous. She is submitting to you, your protection, and your providence and is deserving of having it provided to her. Do not fail her.

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* The worldview of the chivalric code was also based on militarism, fuedalism, and Christianity. From these flowed other parts to the code such as knightly honour, duties to countrymen/Christians, and duties to God, which are also intrinsic to the code, but these aspects are not what most discuss when talking of chivalry nowadays. For this particular post, chivalry will refer only to knightly duties to women as distinct from the other parts of the code, unless otherwise stated. I’m not sure if it is possible for the part of the code dealing with knightly duties to women can be separated from the rest of the code and remain logically coherent, but in practice it has been, so I will assume for this post that it can be.

** This second question allows for complementarians/first mates who may hold to metaphysical equality, but not practical equality. I would argue that practical inequality is all that is fully necessary for chivalry to be extended, so complementarians and first mates should be provided with the protection of chivalry. But I could see where it could be debatable to hold metaphysical inequality as being necessary for chivalry; in which case you would withhold chivalry from most complementarians/first mates.

18 comments

  1. good cover of actual chivalry vs what women mean by it (= more femsupremacy)

    i also prefer chivalry, never fully abandon it, it is the order of God and his nature, and is biblically recommended

    under conditions of disobedience such as western matriarchies, regs are suspended until the rebellion is terminated and natural order restored

  2. as was once said: chivalry id dead. and women killed it.

    down here in the south the women tend to be more feminine and prefer masculine men. i know when i’m dealing with a worthy woman and when i’m deal with an “independent giiiiiiiiirl”.

  3. What these modern gals are really asking for is to be treated like the Medieval lady while acting like the Medieval peasant girl, bar wench, or brothel hooker. The knights of the Middle Ages had an entirely different way of treating women like are modern gals (as did non-noble men) and if they had any understanding of this they would quickly drop this line of conversation!

  4. It’s kind of weird to see someone who refer to women as “bitches” and says his life is about to things, getting laid and making money, espouse chivalry.

    Then again, the old order that you say you want to bring back was a time of war, pillage, murder and rape, and the chivalrous men of that time had much less compunctions about beating and raping women than todays modern and equal men. So I guess pretending to treat women well while doing the exact opposite is exactly what you and every other super-conservative are all about.

    I do agree however that chivalry isn’t compatible with equality, and that women who expect equality and chivalry at the same time are either intellectually dishonest or just plain stupid.

  5. It reminds me of the chicken and the egg question: should men protect first or should women submit first. Why should women let men lead if they are going to let us get hurt? Why should we put our LIVES in men’s hands? Why should men protect when women will just spit on their efforts? Why should men be nice when women disrespect their attempts?

    The best answer I have, is that it doesn’t matter what the opposite sex does. We have to live to please God, He is our master. He is our only hope and if He gives us an example to live by, regardless of what happens in our lives as a result, He is the only one we need approval from. When this is your perspective, what women think shouldn’t matter and the courage to be chivalrous regardless of earthly results, will be easier and you won’t be a chump for doing it because you weren’t doing it for women’s approval in the first place. Once men AND women stop making decisions based on fear of what the opposite sex will do, then solutions will be easier.

  6. If you are thinking of being chivalrous ask yourself three questions:

    1) Does the woman I am about to be chivalrous think she is my equal?
    2) Does the woman I am about to be chivalrous to think a women’s place is to submit to a man?**
    3) Does this women I am about to be chivalrous comport herself as a lady?

    ^^^^^^ Good Advice!

  7. Nailed it.

    A deviation from hierarchy – equality, et cetera – is at its heart rebellion. Rebellion of woman against man, of child against parent, of man against nature – and yet we find that we can’t exist without submitting to the laws of nature (good luck breathing without a world to breathe in).

    So the rebellious equalist finds themselves choking – and thus must steal the strength of their rightful lord to continue breathing. Feminism makes women “equal” by stealing the strength of men through perverse legislation.

  8. Chivalry is something I firmly believe in. I think my being raised in the South has something to do with it. I’m also a big fan of medieval and victorian culture. In the last few days I’ve had my girlfriend watch Pride & Prejudice, Emma and Gone With The Wind with me. Here is another thing to remember from the days of Chivalry.

    There was never any doubt, back then, of an umarried Lady’s virginity. She was always under the watchful eye of a male family member or a Matron. If a woman was ever alone with a man for any period of time, her reputation was ruined. She was unworthy of Chivalry and impossible to marry off. So there was no question of whether a woman deserved your Chivalry or not.

    In Gone With The Wind, Rhett Butler was the embodiment of the dark triad. When he was introduced, a story was told of how he took a lady out in the late afternoon unchaperoned, then refused to marry her. Her reputation was ruined. Rhett had game before anyone ever heard of game. It’s a great book and film.

    Chivalry can only truly exist in a Patriarchy. Only when men control the women’s base urges through supervision and harsh consequences will most woman act like ladies.

  9. Fredrik: Where have I referred to women in general as bitches? Where did I say my life was about “to things [sic], getting laid and making money|?

    The rest of your nonsensical blathering is based upon false premises and is therefore incorrect.

    Sis: Chivalry is not biblical; it is extra-biblical. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with it, but it is not a requirement from faith. Even though I discourage it here, I still do it occasionally just because I want to, but I used to feel an obligation to do so. I am arguing against men feeling as though they have an obligation.

  10. If all women were to submit to men tomorrow, I would think it was a ploy to manipulate men into wage slavery, again. This is a compounded problem, there is no simple solution. The profound sin that has been waged against men and God through women will not clean up easily. Even if there was a way to return to the past, the deep wounds of their rebellion have scarred men beyond faith in the restoration of love.

  11. Wow, a regular can of worms. Opened it with Frederic it seems; but it is only a regular can. Essentially that means it takes very little intellectual thought to put down. Of course if Fredric’s welfare card doesn’t work, then he will be mad and starving; hence a gun is a good answer when you positively know that reason won’t do.

    For now though Free; I think you hit this out of the park with bases loaded. Pretty much covered every detail, and that is why the feminists have their bloomers in a knot.

  12. The profound sin that has been waged against men and God through women will not clean up easily. Even if there was a way to return to the past, the deep wounds of their rebellion have scarred men beyond faith in the restoration of love.

    the basis of chivalry is biblical — females are commanded to obey males, and males commanded to love females

    but chivalry was never equivalent to catharism, troubadourism, or romanticism — the worship of women, usually practiced indirectly, as in our modern matriarchies

    the tremendous betrayal of masculinity over the past century, and esp the past 40 years, will drive many men away from spiritual, psychological, and physical dependance upon the female, and back to dependance on God

    we have seen exactly what reliance and dependance upon females has produced, and it is a (w)horror, a soft form of slavery for males, getting less soft with every new law

    there are no political or ideological solutions to the Fempire, and only Christ’s enthronement will finally put the rebellion down, and restore us the fatherhood and masculinity destroyed by our modern regimes

    the work of those who love Christ is to prepare the world — to the limited extent possible — for his arrrival, and for the severe transformations (esp psychological) attendant to his coming kingdom

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