Do people get badly confused between "chivalry" and "courtesy"?
"Chivalry" itself is a dead duck. Has been since mediaeval times. It went out with the ark. It was a form of exaggerated courtesy given by the knights of yore to men and women of 'nobility' i.e. titled men and women. It was never accorded to the likes of us on the GWS forum. (And if you thought it was just a "woman thing" then you've been watching too many Hollywood movies!)
Now if you're talking about courtesy and respect that's something quite different. It's something we need more of but some don't seem to realize that it's a two-way street.
- LighthouseLv 51 decade agoFavorite Answer
I've always held the idea that chivalry is man merely showing he can be the saviour of women, whether it be slaying a dragon, or slaying a cockroach. And I agree it is a dead duck.
Courtesy however, is general respect we should all show as human beings. Saying thank you, standing up for the elderly, opening the door for someone who would have difficulty doing so - these are general cultural things that anyone can do for anyone else, regardless of gender, age or race.
Anyone who gets these mixed up needs a lesson in modern society.
@celtish - this is a very interesting question and one worthy of further discussion. Do you mind if I link my blog to this question?
- JunieLv 61 decade ago
Hmm, fair enough. However, I will still insist on calling it "chivalry" when my husband goes out in a blizzard for ice cream and pickles when I'm pregnant. He's my knight, what can I say.
I'm into courtesy, but what about courtesies that are extended because of gender? When a man deals with a mouse or a bug that's gotten into the room, and the woman stands around screaming, is he just being courteous?
Why would the reproductive-evolution-based desire for a man to show that he will protect his woman be "dead"? Are women going to stop wearing lipstick, too?
- 1 decade ago
I think it's all about the difference between courtesy and condescension. It's courtesy to hold the door open for someone coming into a building behind you, rather than let it slam in their faces, regardless of gender. It's condescension for a man to walk around the car and open the door for a woman who is more than capable of doing it herself.
With that said, I don't think most men who do that mean it as condescension. It's simply a custom from another time that made sense in the days when women were assumed to need excessive protecting. At some point it lost it's meaning and became like the words "bless you" that still get repeated when someone sneezes, many years after people stopped thinking the devil was getting sucked into you when you sneeze.
- Philosopher JohnLv 41 decade ago
Germane Greer Killed Chivalry and respect went the same way as due to confusion.
The school where I went was big on etiquette and chivalrous behaviour. Whether it is giving your seats or Doors too tipping your hat or helping carry that package, this was done to anybody whose status in society we perceived higher than ourselves. Eg. Police, Bank Manager, Doctor and being female was not a prerequisite
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- not yetLv 71 decade ago
And I agree that we all ought to extend more courtesy toward others.
I'll compare my running up & down stairs to fetch tools, beverages or anything else my husband needs while his knee is swollen, or after his vasectomy, if you want a gendered condition for comparison... to the husband going out for ice cream and pickles to appease his pregnant wife. It's still courtesy.
Chivalry was more classist than sexist.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
I think chivalry has changed, not died. For example, a man will not kid with a woman friend the same as with a guy friend, out of both kindness and self-preservation. Also, you can bet that guys all over have stories about doing the hardest and the dirtiest chores around the house, such as most repairs and dead rat removal. (OK! Everyone has some dumb story about "I threw out a dead rat once!" Can we establish the concept of generalities right now?) Sadly, guys are taken for granted every bit as much as women, but they voice their complaints less.
One question: Think about the last time you got in a fight with your honey. Who apologized first, the man or the woman?
- Rio MadeiraLv 71 decade ago
When I told my dad how much I disdained chivalry, he asked if that meant that no one should ever open a door for anyone else for any reason. Obviously HE gets badly confused about it. . . .
- JayLv 41 decade ago
men only get courtesy. hypocrites say chivalry is common courtesy for women only.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Definitions of words change over time. That may have been the definition of chivalry centuries ago, but I think the more modern definition applies to women being treated in a special way, simply because they are women. I think it describes having a respect for all women. Not just one in particular.
- Deirdre OLv 71 decade ago
I see that many do confuse the two. For some reason people have forgotten that respect and manners are tantamount.