Essay Example on Over the past several decades chivalry has transformed into Something









Over the past several decades chivalry has transformed into something completely different than what it was considered in historical society Chivalry flourished in western Europe between the mid 12th and the 16th centuries and its rules applied primarily to the aristocratic fighting men who were called knights The ideals promoted by the heroic code bravery loyalty and service to one s lord were later softened by contact with the Christian church as its influence spread westward During the Middle Ages knighthood emerged as a feature of feudalism the political economic and social system in medieval Europe in which kings and other overlords granted land to certain of their followers in exchange for military and other services Rossignol Among other things chivalry placed women on pedestals where they were to be worshipped and protected Meanwhile chivalry today is often used a term for gentlemanly behavior manifested through courtesy toward the fair sex honor courage loyalty etc Abels 

However today chivalrous behavior is benevolent because it flatters women and leads to their preferential treatment But it is sexist because it relies on the gendered premise that women are weak and in need of protection while men are strong Smith Due to the lack of understanding modern chivalry is inaccessible to the ideal historical chivalry The concept of hegemonic masculinity a concept concerned with the structure of gender relations has been a useful analytical tool for the study of masculinity because it has brought into focus the structural relationship between men s power over women Today a gesture as simple as holding the door open for someone is considered a chivalrous act But politeness and chivalrous etiquette are not synonymous A key difference is that whereas nineteenth century etiquette concentrated mainly on precise rules of interpersonal behavior politeness though concerned with social performance was also an attribute of identity and a social virtue Politeness began to be questioned due to its incompatibility with a masculine national character The tensions from the attitude shift contributed to the end of politeness as an ideal for the fashioning of gentlemanliness At the same time politeness soon became recognized as feminized and domesticated and soon enough the idea of considering others more than yourself had become naturalized as characteristics of femininity Cohen 

The modern idea of chivalry is embedded in our brains that some things are just natural behavior When a man and a woman are in an elevator the woman will automatically walk out first without the man saying after you or something similar Because of this chivalry blankets itself as courtesy while concealing a dramatic assertion of inequality between the sexes Women may be having their meals paid for or chairs pulled out but this is viewed as an implicit way that patriarchy is asserting its power Women may be placed on a pedestal but it s the male privilege that has put them there Chivalry was a code where a knight promised to defend and protect the weak helpless and the vulnerable However many believe that these should be traits that all honorable should strive for not just men Too many women push back at the idea that chivalry should die Some women enjoy the idea of men doing chivalrous acts such as holding the door letting them leave an elevator first etc the thought of being treated like a princess or someone higher up because they got used to it and like that kind of special attention

They appreciate that complete strangers will give up their seats wherever doors will magically open because society has taught us that women are ladies and shouldn t have to do those types of things or manual labor Nowadays there are a lot of times when women need this kind of special consideration Women are targeted for rape and sexual assault and other gender based violence So during times like that then women are special and should be treated like it but that doesn t mean that every single woman needs the same kind of special attention for no particular reason The code of chivalry placed women on pedestals where they were to be worshipped and protected Knights were expected to serve ladies as well as their lords performing deeds in their honor and often suffering hardships such as women refusing their chivalrous acts Knights would fight and or hunt in tournaments as a way to show their chivalry towards the lord Some scholars believe that chivalry may have played a crucial part in the slow but sure civilization of a military society that sprang from rude and violent roots of tribal warfare which constituted the heritage of European society at the beginning of the medieval period Rossignol In the end the main idea is that chivalry is all about respect Not to hurt or offend someone but to show genuine respect for another human being in this cruel society we all live in Though it may come off sexist those who perform chivalrous acts are who we need more of in this world to demonstrate that there is still good in people

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