18 August 2010

WHAT HAPPENED TO CHIVALRY?

BRUCE L JONES


I find it odd that anyone would even consider chivalry at all now days. I sure don't see any remnants of it in general society. The biggest part of it was frightened out of men in the late 60's and early 70's by vitriolic feminists attacking any man who dared to exhibit any signs of such conduct towards a woman.

Something much worse, something left unspoken, happened to society in the wake of this upheaval in society. The Feminine Mystique morphed into The Feminine Mistake. The extent and the cause of the problem occurred to me in a startling realization when my youngest daughter was in college.

When it hit me, it was a true epiphany. I felt like weeping for all the loss suffered by so many people; especially the women it was supposed to help to begin with.

I had been sitting there, quietly listening to my daughter talk to one of her girlfriends. They were commiserating about the sad state of their romantic lives and the lack of commitment by the young men they associated with or dated. The men they knew didn't even seem to know what the word meant. I knew both their stories well. It wasn't the first time I thought to myself, "What's wrong with young men today?"

My daughter, for her part, had been described as drop dead gorgeous since elementary school. She could literally stop traffic. On top of that she was an accomplished musician, on the Dean's List in college and had a great sense of humor. She was the kind of young woman of whom someone later described as, "All the men want and all the women want to be like."

Yet, she had been saying to her girlfriend something like, "I should be some guy's ideal girlfriend! I can drive a stick shift; I like to drink beer and eat hot dogs; I like football and I like guns." Yet she was bemoaning the fact she had been dating for more than a decade and, yet, was nowhere close to being engaged, let alone married. Luckily, unlike most of the young women we saw, she at least didn't have a child to care for by herself.

The friend she was speaking to was equally pretty and equally accomplished. She did have a child she was trying to care for alone. She did get some help from her parents but it wasn't the same as having a permanent live-in partner and helpmate; a real, old-fashioned husband. She seemed to be in a constant battle with the child's father over care issues. I thought to myself, "Yeah, she'll be having that fight for the next 18 years." It was all to common of a scenario to hear.

Her story was so common I knew it fit many young women we encountered. She had been telling my daughter how hard it was to find a guy when she had some other guy's kid in tow. Only too true.

The epiphany I had then was the sudden and clear realization that women today are the unfortunate victims of the thing called "Women's Liberation."

Now, before anyone jumps to erroneous conclusions and calls for my summary execution, let me first state that until the very moment of that revelation, I had been a long and ardent supporter of the "Women's Movement" since it's very beginning in the 1960's.

I will admit that when I first heard of the concept of "Women's Liberation" in the infamous 60's I was baffled at first.

After all, I had been "brainwashed" while being raised into thinking that women were special and that it was man's responsibility, duty and privilege to respect, protect and care for women everywhere. In short, honest, old-fashioned CHIVALRY. In those days I  wondered, "How could anyone wish to escape from such special privilege?"

Well, as men everywhere soon learned from a seemingly endless stream of "feminist" authors and speakers, women had actually been living in a grinding subjugation from which they needed to be freed in order to pursue their own lives and dreams; to become "fulfilled". It was now then man's responsibility to take on extra responsibilities in order to allow women freedom to do so. And that very item, seemingly so small, is where society disintegrated.

Like most Americans I accepted the feminist rhetoric hook, line and sinker. After I was married I even tried to lead my somewhat reluctant wife on a path to her own liberation. Later, being blessed with the birth of two daughters, I raised them with the free thinking concepts of the desirability of their own freedom. As they grew I counseled them to get the best education they could and to pursue their own careers. I told them, more truthfully than I realized at the time, that no woman could depend on some man marrying her and caring for her as previous generations had done. No, I told them, they would have to learn to look after themselves because men could no longer be trusted to.

As time went on the next social shift I noticed was in the early 1970's when economically distressed young mother's could not get help from state welfare departments unless their "man" was absent. Soon many were asking their boyfriends and husbands to become scarce so they could get welfare for the kids. A lot of those guys got used to that new-found "freedom" with the fringe benefits that came with clandestine visits. To say the least, word got around.

In those days of new experiments in freedom another trend that was becoming increasingly fashionable was for couples to live together for a short time before marriage. Many of those young women became pregnant as a result. That happened to even the affluent working young professionals. Their station and influence gradually caused the societal prohibition against cohabitation to evaporate and that opened the flood gates. The gates being the bar to men from sleeping with "decent" young women and leaving a trail of them, pregnant, behind them.

Now, back in that time, all the social discourse caused me to wonder - even then - about why men didn't want to care for their kids. I came to understand from my own observations and experience that men are not biologically wired to have a paternal instinct in the way that women have a maternal instinct. This likely came about in ancient times due to men's complete inability to determine if any woman's child is actually his. He must take her word for it and history has not been kind to women's track records for telling the truth in such matters. This is one of the primary reasons society developed the - then existing - laws and customs concerning traditional marriage, fidelity and pre-marital abstinence. It eventually became known as “The Social Contract” and it was that contract - meant to protect women and children - that was so casually tossed aside by the feminists.

But, in this new social order, with men either absent from the normal daily scene or with the couples split up entirely why do the men so readily stop caring for their kids? What I noticed was that men have no trouble caring for the kids of women they regularly have sex with.

So, here I sat on that day, listening to my daughter when it hit me. What had happened is that when the women demanded “freedom” and demanded that men take on more of what had been the women’s responsibilities, the men began to realize just how selfish and unfair their demands were. After all, what the feminists had completely failed to recognize was that men, under the existing social contract, didn’t like and felt equally trapped by their roles as well. They were expected to do a great many things that young men never had a natural inclination toward; specifically, to marry a woman and take on the complete financial responsibility of taking care of her and her children.

What young men did have an inclination toward was the same things young men have had a natural inclination towards since time immemorial; specifically, playing sports, drinking and sleeping with as many different women as they could manage. If you doubt that for a moment, just observe the behavior of those young men who have the ability to do anything they want to; rock stars, actors and the very high paid professional athletes. Satyrs every one.

The feminist leaning women wanted to expand, control and dictate what they call their “relationship”. They didn’t understand that the word “relationship” is outside the realm of male understanding. To young men now days, a relationship means having a girl they can sleep with regularly who doesn’t bother them too much about the “M” word and who they can spend as little time as possible with. In other words, while the feminist women wanted more help from men around the house when they got married, what young men wanted the most was to manage acquiring an active sex life without having to get married at all.

This is the society that the women have now created and it is they who are constantly bemoaning the fact that men don’t behave as they think men should. Chivalry is more than a thing of the past, marriage and family and the societal stability that meant went out with it.


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