Chivalry is dead; long live chivalry!

February 20, 2013 § 336 Comments

And unto whomsoever much is given, of him much shall be required: and to whom they have committed much, of him they will demand the more. – Luke 12:48

In my previous post on chivalry we learned that there are two quite distinct traditional concepts of chivalry[1].   The Catholic Encyclopedia takes a dim view of female-focused “court” chivalry: I’ve attempted to put this dim view in contemporary terms by expressing it more or less as “don’t be a beta orbiter, not even just for a day”.

However, chivalry as a warrior code of honor still echoes down the centuries, and what it represents is a basic moral relationship between the powerful and the powerless: between strong men and the weak and vulnerable.  Powerful men have a moral obligation to use their strength to defend the weak and vulnerable.  Powerful men who use their strength purely for selfish advantage, neglecting the vulnerable, condemn themselves:

There was a certain rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen; and feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And there was a certain beggar, named Lazarus, who lay at his gate, full of sores, 21 Desiring to be filled with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table, and no one did give him; moreover the dogs came, and licked his sores. 22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom. And the rich man also died: and he was buried in hell. 23 And lifting up his eyes when he was in torments, he saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom: 24 And he cried, and said: Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, to cool my tongue: for I am tormented in this flame. 25 And Abraham said to him: Son, remember that thou didst receive good things in thy lifetime, and likewise Lazareth evil things, but now he is comforted; and thou art tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you, there is fixed a great chaos: so that they who would pass from hence to you, cannot, nor from thence come hither. 27 And he said: Then, father, I beseech thee, that thou wouldst send him to my father’s house, for I have five brethren, 28 That he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torments. 29 And Abraham said to him: They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30 But he said: No, father Abraham: but if one went to them from the dead, they will do penance.31 And he said to him: If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe, if one rise again from the dead. — Luke 16:19-31

Our world is filled with weak men, men without chests; and “empowered” women, harlots of Babylon.  The problem with chivalry, real chivalry, is not that it is dead.  The problem is that it brings into sharp relief how many modern men and women are in rebellion against what they are supposed to be.

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[1] Actually more than two; but two which are of interest in the current post.

§ 336 Responses to Chivalry is dead; long live chivalry!

  • Cane Caldo says:

    You would pick the times when I am busiest to post this. Real quick:

    “Our world is filled with weak men, men without chests; and “empowered” women, harlots of Babylon. The problem with chivalry, real chivalry, is not that it is dead. The problem is that it brings into sharp relief how many modern men and women are in rebellion against what they are supposed to be.”

    Yes, exactly. I didn’t comment on Dalrock’s post because…pearls, swine, etc. Not Dalrock himself, mind you.

    For a dose of what this looks like, we can look at the comments to various posts on chivalry. Who is commenting, and which are they asking for?

    The men refuse the right answer. Women get the right answer, but their demand of chivalry/hospitality/grace causes it to be stillborn. Lazarus would have been a jerk (and sinful) to demand the rich man give him alms.

  • Vanessa says:

    So you are saying that women should just learn to lie back and enjoy it, rather than being so impertinent as to ask for protection?

  • Zippy says:

    Vanessa:
    Who is “you”?

  • Vanessa says:

    CC. His comment was directed at me.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    I am you.

    Parse that.

    So you are saying that women should just learn to lie back and enjoy it, rather than being so impertinent as to ask for protection?

    Interesting choice of phrase.

    No, I am saying ask for mercy, and until then endure it, because you have no choice. You literally cannot demand grace. You can utter the words, but a capitulation to a demand is not grace.

    But women hate to ask for mercy form those they (rightly) judge to be imperfect as they are imperfect…like you’re doing right now, even though you have to know I’m right. You’re too smart not to.

    There does arise a situation, such as among parents and children, where a child (due to youth and ignorance) demands grace–not knowing what that grace would truly entail–and the parents gives it because it is the only thing to do. Later, when the child is older, he will realize that he knew not what he was asking, and is humbled to have received it anyways. These days many women are in that same predicament; having been raised to be feral. That is: having not been raised at all.

    So are men. I see this at work all the time, but I’m not interested in saving companies.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Vanessa

    CC. His comment was directed at me.

    No, it was not; unless by “directed at you” you mean my cannonade at roughly 100 commenters means you; about 90 of which are men. I don’t apologize for catching you, though. I have been calling for an unromantic chivalry since at least last year.

    The chivalry that you ask for will necessarily look like me (I’m happy to tell you) because no one else is going to do it…present bloghost excepted.

  • ybm says:

    Haven’t checked in for quite some time. Zippy and Cane Caldo together?

    Wonder Twin power, activate!

  • Morticia says:

    @Vanessa

    I realized a few years ago that women have to ask other women for help. Dalrock admits here that he has not helped a woman in 15 years.
    http://dalrock.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/what-we-need-is-more-chivalry/#comment-73273
    Feral women have ruined it for all of us..so now we have to depend on our own sex almost exclusively.

  • Elspeth says:

    My husband tends to help women in distress (for example roadside flat tires, etc.). but he will only do it if I am with him because you never know who the heck you’re dealing with and how she’ll react to an offer of assistance.

    If we know a female family member who is sleeping with or living with some guy in sin and she calls for help with something, he asks, “Where is Bob? Can’t he do it?” The implications are obvious.

    Women who live as though they are independent free agents, he mostly treats like independent free agents.

  • Zippy says:

    I am happy to help when I can, when there are no obvious physical threats and my spidey sense is not tingling. Sometimes even when there are. I don’t much care how a woman reacts (if it is a woman): if poorly, I laugh and move on. Usually that isn’t the case though. Not too long ago a young woman clearly wanted me to hang around while the fellow who was already helping her finished up (car battery problem). She was clearly a bit creeped out by the idea of being left alone with him, and she may have had reason to be, so I stayed until she was on her way. Women feel safe around me as they should.

    But my situation is unique. I retired (more or less) at age 35 and am completely untouchable personally by the PC regime which dominates the workplace. I am sigma not alpha, so I have no particular need to go build ever larger empires. I have to be careful about it, because others around me do not share my various immunities.

    Upon reflection, it is sympathy for the weak – chivalry – rather than any personal matters which led me to take the manosphere seriously in the first place.

  • Morticia says:

    Mr Zippy- You are a terrible sociopath.

    Zippy’s comment reminds me that it is generally safer to ask women for help if you have the option. Sometimes the men who help expect favors in return. Ask me how I know.

  • Zippy says:

    Morticia:
    You are a terrible sociopath.

    No, no. I am an exceptional sociopath, I assure you. This is me:

    Sigma: The outsider who doesn’t play the social game and manage to win at it anyhow. The sigma is hated by alphas because sigmas are the only men who don’t accept or at least acknowledge, however grudgingly, their social dominance. (NB: Alphas absolutely hate to be laughed at and a sigma can often enrage an alpha by doing nothing more than smiling at him.) Everyone else is vaguely confused by them.

    I’ve hired plenty of alphas. They make great salesmen.

  • Elspeth says:

    My husband uses caution for reasons that go beyond gender issues. That’s an issue for another day.

    He believes that a man who is enjoying favors from a woman should be caring for the needs of said woman unless there is a clear reason why he can’t. There are young women in our family making foolish mating choices and sometimes the best way to assist is not to assist.

    He doesn’t hesitate to offer help to women we know well enough who are in legitimate need of assistance. For example, if he’s working late at an office, he won’t let a woman walk to her car alone in the dark. Things like that.

    The idea of being chivalrous to women as a class doesn’t register. So many professional women are abrasive and unfeminine in his opinion that very few even trigger an instinct to assist them unless they are older.

  • Zippy says:

    Elspeth:
    Your husband’s approach sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Always use caution, etc — it costs nothing and can mean everything. Don’t enable bad – or even just foolish – behavior.

    But the guy who will help a stranger – while exercising good judgment – is the kind of guy I choose to be. Sounds like that is true of him as well.

  • Vanessa says:

    Interesting choice of phrase.

    I always try to appeal to my audience.

  • Vanessa says:

    Dalrock admits here that he has not helped a woman in 15 years.

    Well, he’s a Protestant. Some of the more creative ones have decided that the Golden Rule is too Catholic and have jettisoned it altogether, along with communion and Christmas. It’s just so hard to keep up.

    Luckily, as Catholics, we have canon law to guide us. That’s why I always take a 10-point checklist along, so that I’m ready to analyze those in need of their worthiness before aiding them. Worthiness and Truthiness before all things, as they say.

  • Elspeth says:

    Well, he’s a Protestant. Some of the more creative ones have decided that the Golden Rule is too Catholic and have jettisoned it altogether, along with communion and Christmas. It’s just so hard to keep up.

    Hey! Not all Protestants are created equal, V. A goodly number of American Catholics are just as bad. The demarcation is more helpfully divided along lines of orthodoxy/orthopraxy.

  • Morticia says:

    He does lament that he misses chivalry..so I don’t get the impression he abstains for purely selfish reasons but for partly ideological reasons.

  • Vanessa says:

    But women hate to ask for mercy form those they (rightly) judge to be imperfect as they are imperfect…like you’re doing right now, even though you have to know I’m right.

    I have no problem asking or even begging for mercy. I have a lot of practice with it, unfortunately, and never seem to run out of need of it.

    I assumed you were referring to me as you referenced the previous chivalry thread, and I was one of the few women commenting there. I was surprised that you were directing the comment at me, as I wasn’t aware of our having any substantive disagreement on the topic. I am nothing, if not unromantic.

    I don’t demand chivalry from anyone, although I’m always grateful for it, but I do think that a societal system should take the inherent weakness of women, children, the infirm, and the other vulnerable members into account. I’m also not afraid to say so, even though it enrages the Sexbot and Surrogate Brigade. If the Church’s relationship with Christ is mirrored in marriage, then the marital relationship is mirrored in the wider society. It seems to be the natural order, which means that it was bestowed upon us by our Creator.

  • Vanessa says:

    Not all Protestants are created equal, V.

    LOL That didn’t take long. I know, I know. I just haven’t gotten you to cross the Tiber yet, and the suspense is killing to me.

    My main point is that we aren’t allowed to abandon Christian charity for purely ideological reasons. We don’t have to be foolhardy, but we also shouldn’t be overly selective or prejudiced in rendering aid.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Elspeth
    My husband tends to help women in distress (for example roadside flat tires, etc.). but he will only do it if I am with him because you never know who the heck you’re dealing with and how she’ll react to an offer of assistance.

    My father used to only stop to help women if another member of the family was with him, and usually this was me. Even if I was along he avoided getting involved if the woman was immodestly dressed because of the perceptions this would create. I generally don’t stop to help if my wife is with me because of the risk this would place her in. The exception has been shopping center parking lots and I’ve sent her in without me in those cases.

    @Zippy
    I am happy to help when I can, when there are no obvious physical threats and my spidey sense is not tingling. Sometimes even when there are. I don’t much care how a woman reacts (if it is a woman): if poorly, I laugh and move on.

    I’m generally of the same view. I truly enjoy helping people out, and in theory would love to help women out. The problem with how women react is it makes it very difficult to help them. They want your help, in fact they generally feel outright entitled to it, but they will very often passive aggressively rebel at the idea of being helped by a man. I don’t think I’ve ever helped “bump start” a woman’s car who wasn’t a good friend or family member who didn’t insist on playing the game of first keeping the break on and then refusing to pop the clutch when the men pushing called out for her to do so. After a while that game gets old, and I have better things to do with my time and effort. Likewise I don’t think I’ve ever jump started a woman who didn’t ignore my direction to let my truck charge her car’s battery for a minute before trying the starter.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Vanessa
    My main point is that we aren’t allowed to abandon Christian charity for purely ideological reasons. We don’t have to be foolhardy, but we also shouldn’t be overly selective or prejudiced in rendering aid.

    In the event that this was referring to me, I don’t refuse to help unknown women on ideological grounds. As I mentioned in the comment Morticia linked to this is the result of a case by case stop and offer help vs drive on analysis. I’ve done a fair amount of stopping and helping, and my current decisions are based on past experience. The costs are greater for helping women and part of the equation is overcoming the attitude. More alpha men like Cane Caldo probably don’t get as much attitude, but there are other risks which come with that. I might write up a post on the issue to explain it further.

  • Zippy says:

    Dalrock:
    I don’t think I’ve ever helped “bump start” a woman’s car who wasn’t a good friend or family member who didn’t insist on playing the game of first keeping the break on and then refusing to pop the clutch when the men pushing called out for her to do so. After a while that game gets old, and I have better things to do with my time and effort. Likewise I don’t think I’ve ever jump started a woman who didn’t ignore my direction to let my truck charge her car’s battery for a minute before trying the starter.

    Huh. It isn’t like impromptu roadside assistance is a frequent occurrence (at most a couple times a year), but I’ve found that women pretty much always do just what I tell them to do if they accept help at all (about half the time — often they have triple-A or someone else on the way).

  • Vanessa says:

    I might write up a post on the issue to explain it further.

    Please do. I fail to see any justification for refusing aid to half of the population on the basis of their sex alone. It’s wise to be wary, but that seems to be painting with a rather broad brush.

  • Dalrock says:

    While I don’t doubt that our experiences are different Zippy, I’m surprised that you’ve never run into the kind of defiance I’m describing. It is part of the air we breathe. You must have the luck of helping someone like Morticia on a day like today. I seem to catch them when they are in the mood she was in a few months back:

    Fatherly love is nice but not an absolute necessity. Protection? Unnecessary. I’ll take my own bullets. Death is not the worst of all fates but having someone die because of me is a terrible burden. Provision? I’ll make my own money or get married and make sure that I earn my keep one way or another.

    The manosphere makes me think I must have some form of gender identity disorder. While I don’t want to be a man, I have zero desire to be their definition of a good woman. I can’t respect myself and be like that. I need to prove myself to myself..I need to prove that I am smart, confident, capable, and courageous. Living under a mans authority as a young woman did not allow me to prove myself. How could I ever know what I really am, what I am really capable of, how I can manage life’s challenges if I am never fully independent?

    Thats a lot of baggage to try to unpack on the side of the road, and since the rebellion is passive the unexpected results can be dangerous.

  • Morticia says:

    It wasn’t a mood. It was an ideological hiccup.

  • Dalrock says:

    Vanessa you and Morticia are the perfect modern woman one-two punch. You demand chivalry, and Morticia resents it (when she isn’t asking for it). This about sums it all up.

  • Elspeth says:

    Whew. I’m staying out of this one lest I inspire someone to start railing about the “women of TC”.

    I don’t even remember what I was going to say now. Shucks.

  • Zippy says:

    Dalrock:
    Thats a lot of baggage to try to unpack on the side of the road, and since the rebellion is passive the unexpected results can be dangerous.

    I’m trying to figure out how this would even come up during a tire change or a jump start. Somebody screwing around with the car up on a jack can be damn dangerous to be sure, and I wouldn’t tolerate it for a second. But I just haven’t encountered that sort of thing ever, and one of my vehicles is a big 4×4 with chains too.

    I had one incident where I witnessed a little old lady run a red light and almost get into a crash. The other car drove off, and the little old lady was livid because she was sure the other car had run the light. I told her that no, she had run the light; and I proceeded to change her tire and send her on her way home, passive as a dove. But her initial rage is the closest I’ve seen to out-of-control female behavior in that kind of scenario, and I’ve just literally never had anyone give me attitude or try to mess with me. If that did happen I’d just leave, probably without saying a word, or maybe just “have a nice day, good luck!”

    Half the time they do just decline help. A recent example I was on my bicycle of all things, and the woman was very courteous but said she had triple-A on the way so not to worry.

  • Vanessa says:

    LOL Touche. I don’t think we’re very representative of western womanhood, though. We’re just odd.

    A system that doesn’t include some sort of preference for the weak doesn’t make sense to me. I like for things to be well-ordered.

  • Morticia says:

    I don’t resent chivalry!
    At one point I rejected the ideology behind sheltering young women and keeping them home.

    Different things. I don’t think I have ever been rude to someone trying to help me in a time of need.

  • Zippy says:

    Dalrock:
    Vanessa you and Morticia are the perfect modern woman one-two punch. You demand chivalry, and Morticia resents it (when she isn’t asking for it).

    I’m willing to bet that in person, if they’d accepted my offer of help, they’d STFU and do what I tell them.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Morticia
    It wasn’t a mood. It was an ideological hiccup.

    I’ll remember to bring a paper bag and pop it loudly first when helping women on the side of the road then. But your stance on chivalry has been anything but consistent. In my post Chivalry and Protecting the Weak you wrote:

    I have no use for chivalry. Men should protect their children and perhaps their wives if that is the kind of dynamic that they agreed upon but protecting any woman on the street is a bad bad idea.

    My husband, however, is a bit old-fashioned in this regard and I just pray he doesn’t get his ass sent to jail because one day he decided to play the hero. We don’t live in a world that tolerates heroes so all the men who get their ego-boost from playing that role ought to hang up their capes for their own damn good.

    Then a bit further down:

    When women got the vote and broke the glass ceiling and shrugged off all the societal norms meant to protect them they gave up all the benefits of being a protected class. You don’t get to have your cake and eat it too. It is one or the other…if you want to be a protected class (which I don’t actually have a problem with) then allow men to have the bulk of opportunities and privileges in society. If you want equality then accept true equality.

    When I pointed out your lack of sympathy for men trying to help women (accusing them of wanting an ego boost), you replied:

    There is a huge difference between putting your life at risk because it is your job and putting your life at risk to help strangers when there are far less protections. I fear he will leave his children fatherless because he defended some girl who was being brutally beaten by her boyfriend.

    My husbands antiquated ideas about masculinity is precisely part of the problem the manosphere complains about. I’d think Dalrock would be even less sympathetic than I am. I actually have great respect for his courage but I am not blind to the fact that it leads to very high-risk behavior that puts our whole family at risk.

    In the follow on post you commented:

    These antiquated ideas about manliness are what put men in the grave younger than women. The high-stress and high risk of being a “protector and provider” is unnecessary and harmful.

    Maybe back in the cave days this was necessary because a woman can only be so effective with a club…

    My grandmother raised me to be extremely independent. She was not married and she never depended on a man for anything. She was one tough cookie (with the biceps to prove it). I don’t believe women are entitled to *anything* in this modern culture other than basic dignity and respect by virtue of their humanity. Women really can manage their own lives. It may mean they use a modicum of self-control and lift-weights so they aren’t frail little flowers but so what? This isn’t the 1800′s. If we are going to have all the rights and privileges equal to a man lets act like we actually deserve it.

    The problem as a man making a snap decision on whether to help an unknown woman is I have no idea who I’m running into. Will I run into Paige, Gabriella, or Morticia? Or perhaps I’ll run into Vanessa who grudgingly lets me help her, but sees it as something I owe to her.

  • Vanessa says:

    I’m not a bitch. I only pretend to be one on the internet.

  • Vanessa says:

    I do think it’s owed. I think all of society could use a little bit less volunteerism and a little bit more sense of duty. This is a general problem, I think.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Zippy
    I’m willing to bet that in person, if they’d accepted my offer of help, they’d STFU and do what I tell them.

    I have no doubt that you are, because this is in fact the bet that you make when you stop to help. If I was as confident as you I’d make the same bet.

  • Zippy says:

    Vanessa:
    I do think it’s owed. I think all of society could use a little bit less volunteerism and a little bit more sense of duty. This is a general problem, I think.

    People often volunteer for things out of a sense of duty though. And I think part of what Cane may have been getting at above – he can certainly clarify himself if he has the time – is that you only get to chew out a volunteer once.

  • Elspeth says:

    For the Christian, there is a duty to help the weak, distressed and less fortunate. I agree. When my husband stops to help a woman (or a man for that matter), it’s out of his sense of obligation to his faith and his belief in our duty to help other people.

    I feel the same way. When you question whether or not a potential benefactor has a sense of entitlement (and how could any of us possibly know that?), you’re beginning from the wrong starting point.

  • Zippy says:

    Dalrock:
    If I was as confident as you I’d make the same bet.

    The moment I get the sense that I am losing that bet though I’m just going to leave. I do things on my terms, and if folks don’t like my terms they are welcome to ask someone else for help.

    That’s never happened in a roadside incident yet, but it certainly could.

  • Morticia says:

    Will you always use my past arguments to refute my current ones?

    If your aim is to change peoples minds, it kind of seems like you punish people when you successfully change their mind..by accusing them of flip-flopping. I’m not running for office. I’m just a person trying to figure things out…and that often involves an evolution of beliefs.

    When a man asks to help me and I don’t want it I politely said “Thank you for your offer but I have it taken care of.”

    I actually did that recently when I was being attacked by a dog. I didn’t want the guy offering to help to get bit so I politely declined his offer.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Elspeth
    When you question whether or not a potential benefactor has a sense of entitlement (and how could any of us possibly know that?)

    Ask your husband if this isn’t true: When he stops to help a man, the man says “Wow, thanks for stopping!” When he stops to help a woman, she says “You wouldn’t believe how many other men drove right on by before you stopped!” or “That last man stopped but couldn’t even fix the problem!” The funny thing is the woman saying this thinks she is being thankful and paying him a compliment, and doesn’t understand how profoundly entitled she is showing herself to be.

    But if this were the only issue, I’d stop and help women much more often. If I had a reasonable sense that I’d only encounter an ungrateful Vanessa and not a defiant Morticia I would indeed be much more likely to stop.

  • Morticia says:

    My evolution of beliefs has been going from egalitarian feminist, to egalitarian MRA…to traditionalist-leaning egalitarian, to anti-egalitarian traditionalist.

    This evolution is not based on mood, but by having my arguments successfully refuted.

  • Morticia says:

    What exactly is it that you think I do when offered help I don’t want? Bite their head off? Is being told “No thank you” rude?

    If a person helps me I actually feel quite grateful and usually offer to pay them.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Zippy
    I’m trying to figure out how this would even come up during a tire change or a jump start. Somebody screwing around with the car up on a jack can be damn dangerous to be sure, and I wouldn’t tolerate it for a second. But I just haven’t encountered that sort of thing ever, and one of my vehicles is a big 4×4 with chains too.

    The thing is in my experience the risk can come out of nowhere, especially if you can’t predict what the person will do. When I was 16 I helped a man jumpstart his car with my truck on a dark/rainy night. He put the positive clamp on my battery and then dropped the negative clamp. I will never forget the sound my truck’s fan blade made as it gently ticked against the other clamp while the man reached his hand in after it. He didn’t lose a hand, but he quite easily could have.

    When I was in my late 20s I pulled a woman out of the mud with my truck. I told her to turn on the ignition and straighten out the wheels, take the break off and be ready to steer as needed, but not to hit the gas. I started to gently pull her out in 4wd low, and as soon as her front tires were out of the mud her car swung over a culvert. She had the wheels turned all the way to the left and floored it. This left her right front tire entirely off the road, and her left rear tire off the ground as her car teetered on the brink over rushing water. Luckily I was able to reposition and pull her car back off the edge, but it could have gone much differently. She could have also run over one of the other people who stopped to help (my buddy and another man who was there first but didn’t have a chain or a four wheel drive).

  • Vanessa says:

    I don’t understand why you claim that I’d be ungrateful. You’re lobbing a charge at me that is ungrounded.

    you only get to chew out a volunteer once

    Yes, that’s why I said that it mirrors marriage. You’re obligated to love your wife, but if she makes it hard for you, you might fail her. That doesn’t alleviate you of the obligation, but it is uncharitable on her part to cause you to stumble.

    Where I balk is at the idea that our obligations to other people disappear just because the other person is disagreeable. If you can just toss them aside as you like, then they aren’t actually obligations, are they? This is a mentality endemic to our society, akin to the “But Vanessa, pregnancy/submission/homemaking/fidelity/etc. is so hard,” that I constantly hear from women.

    Yes, it’s hard. Life is hard. Look to the crucifix and ponder what is hard.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Dalrock
    More alpha men like Cane Caldo probably don’t get as much attitude, but there are other risks which come with that.

    What risks?

    Vanessa said:I always try to appeal to my audience.

    Oh… Those risks.

    @ZC
    I am sigma not alpha, so I have no particular need to go build ever larger empires.

    This is why I don’t care for Vox’s distinctions. Almost all of those we would call Alpha would demure, “No, no: I’m a sigma…”which is just the smart Alpha thing to claim because you’re staking out your place, but leaving yourself lots of room to maneuver if it ever appears you’re going to get out-flanked; like a funny yet punchy name…

    @Morticia

    It wasn’t a mood. It was an ideological hiccup.

    Which, coincidentally, ended within Internet-style moments of a blog-o-logical slap.

    If you can fix a woman’s problem by telling her to sit-down and shut-up: It’s a mood. Women don’t have ideological problems. They have leadership problems.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Cane Caldo
    What risks?

    Being alone with a woman who responds to your alphaness, perhaps after experience a mood changing sit-down-and-shut-up metaphorical slap.

  • Zippy says:

    Dalrock:

    It sounds like you and I approach these things differently just from a management perspective. The two incidents you recount aren’t a matter of the other person being defiant: they are a matter of the other person acting like an idiot. Heaven knows what I would have done at 20, but I know that today I take precautions against the stupid factor, and if I’m not running the show I’m not in the show.

    IOW, it is hard to see how the scenarios would be different if they had occurred pre-feminism.

  • Morticia says:

    I generally help women but it often requires that the situation be non-threatening. Jumping a battery? Sure. I frequently volunteer to lift heavy items for pregnant or frail women (and sometimes a very disabled/elderly man.)

    Sheltering her from her crazy abusive boyfriend who is threatening to burn the house down? Never again.

  • Zippy says:

    Dalrock:
    Being alone with a woman who responds to your alphaness,…

    There is no risk in that, because nothing happens that I don’t choose to happen.

  • Zippy says:

    Cane:
    Almost all of those we would call Alpha would demure, “No, no: I’m a sigma…”which is just the smart Alpha thing to claim because you’re staking out your place, but leaving yourself lots of room to maneuver if it ever appears you’re going to get out-flanked; like a funny yet punchy name…

    Yes, but I’m really, actually not alpha.

  • Morticia says:

    Perhaps my responses were impassioned because of my MOOD, but my actual beliefs were genuine. Not just me trying to be contrarian.

    I went through a phase where I tried to balance egalitarianism with traditional marriage roles. It didn’t work..so I gave it up.

    Like I said..I was an egalitarian. I only changed my mind about 2 months ago..though the seeds started before that.

  • Morticia says:

    If you can fix a woman’s problem by telling her to sit-down and shut-up: It’s a mood. Women don’t have ideological problems. They have leadership problems.

    Thats not true. A woman’s ideology impacts whether her submission to leadership will be forced or natural. If I have ideological agreements with those above me then submission is natural and easy. If we have ideological disagreements then submission is difficult.

    It isn’t like being a woman means caring nothing for objective truth. You can be submissive to someone you disagree with..you just won’t be very happy about it.

    And “sitting down and shutting up” doesn’t mean the argument is won, it means the argument has proven worthless so it is time to quit it.

  • Elspeth says:

    It isn’t like being a woman means caring nothing for objective truth.

    Agreed.

  • Vanessa says:

    Zippy’s not an alpha. He only pretends to be one on the internet.

    I totally understand.

  • Vanessa says:

    It isn’t like being a woman means caring nothing for objective truth.

    Seconded.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @ZC

    People often volunteer for things out of a sense of duty though. And I think part of what Cane may have been getting at above – he can certainly clarify himself if he has the time – is that you only get to chew out a volunteer once.

    That’s part of it…perhaps the sigma part. Me? Sometimes I decide you need my help whether you want it or not. This is more often true when it’s been asked, and then rebuffed. You’ve got it under control? Awesome–I’m still gonna stick around.

    That actually happens more with weak men than women. Women tend to switch gears from needing help to attempting to show competence; they’ve “got with the program”; often with the initial intention of showing that help is not needed. What ends up happening though, is a game of agree and amplify that ends up where no one originally intended. This could go several ways, and a couple of them are bad.

    @Dalrock

    Being alone with a woman who responds to your alphaness, perhaps after experience a mood changing sit-down-and-shut-up metaphorical slap.

    Yes. That’s why quoted Vanessa’s comment as an interjection. Not that she was being serious, but it’s very like that. If a woman can’t win the fight, she will begin to please her audience.

    @ZC

    Dalrock:
    Being alone with a woman who responds to your alphaness,…

    There is no risk in that, because nothing happens that I don’t choose to happen.

    Yeah, that’s the problem, isn’t it?

    Besides, there are other dangers to even that, especially once an error is made. Hard-heartedness is difficult to correct.

    @Morticia and all the seconds, thirds, and four-hundred fifty-sevenths

    A woman’s ideology impacts whether her submission to leadership will be forced or natural. If I have ideological agreements with those above me then submission is natural and easy. If we have ideological disagreements then submission is difficult.

    It isn’t like being a woman means caring nothing for objective truth.

    So what? The fact is that women go with the herd, unless one affixes herself to a leader of her own. If a woman wishes to stick to a good and proper ideology, her best chance to do so (by far) is to stick to an authority who takes that stance. She fundamentally has leadership problems, not ideological problems. It takes men to introduce ideological problems.

    One of these days, everyone is going to agree with me that feminism is a fundamental and profound fraud, and an oligarchy of quite devilish patriarchs have been running this mess.

  • Zippy says:

    Cane:
    Sometimes I decide you need my help whether you want it or not.

    For people under my authority, sure. Very rarely would I force my help on unwilling strangers.

  • Morticia says:

    Mr CC
    I am not sure what your argument has to do with my assertion that my prior arguments were not merely moodiness, but genuine disagreement based on differing ideologies.

    Everyone else:
    And I am still not sure why Dalrock assumes my prior ideology is evidence that I would be rude towards someone offering me help.

    I usually (politely) reject help if I can get along without it, but there are times when I needed someone’s help so that my children wouldn’t suffer and in those moments I was intensely grateful for that help. Like having my car break down in the snow and having my children in the car and no cell service. The gentleman who helped in that situation may have saved our lives.

  • Vanessa says:

    I’m always fascinated when people bring up comments from months ago. I can hardly remember what I said yesterday, much less what other people said in September. It makes me feel like my life is in a perpetual rerun, arguing the same points over and over into infinity.

    Like being married to a nag who won’t let you live down the time you forgot to take the garbage out, years after it occurred.

  • Vanessa says:

    I’ve had men force their help on me before. It’s incredibly dominating, but unsettling. Isn’t that taking license?

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @ZC

    “For people under my authority, sure. Very rarely would I force my help on unwilling strangers.”

    That’s smart, but you retired at 35. I am often under the authority of others, and they assume my authority over others whether I like it or not.

    I would suggest that you expand your base of analogies.

    The broke-down car is nice, but fairly useless because it’s pretty rare, the need for help is clear, and the consequences for rejecting help are obvious. As a butler in showbiz, I actually encounter these conundrums on a more than daily basis. You’d be fired in a week, if you took that attitude at my job. I’m not boasting: I’ll trade you tomorrow, if you like. My qualifications are just up to snuff.

  • Vanessa says:

    All right, offer a better analogy then. I’m finding it hard to picture when being forced to accept aid is to my benefit, other than if I were acting irrationally.

    For instance, I was shopping for booze and bought so much that it filled up a small cardboard box (cause I’m classy like that). One of the store clerks followed me to the door and insisted on taking the box. He made me uncomfortable, so I refused. He just grabbed the box and walked through the door, to my astonishment. I was stuck following him out and pointing to my car, which was parked quite a ways away, and then he tried to chat me up while I was fumbling with the keys and trying to pop the trunk. I could barely get rid of him.

    Or they do the thing where you ask them where something is, and then they insist on guiding you there personally, and use the opportunity to try to get your number. That sort of thing. You know, because they’re so concerned that you might get lost looking for aisle five.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Zippy
    The two incidents you recount aren’t a matter of the other person being defiant: they are a matter of the other person acting like an idiot.

    In the first case certainly, in the second case I remain convinced that it was defiance. That you claim you’ve never come across a woman with this sort of attitude in our feminist age makes me strongly suspect you simply can’t see it when it is there. Either way, both were examples of the risk of not being able to anticipate what the person you are helping will do, as you seem to recognize here:

    Heaven knows what I would have done at 20, but I know that today I take precautions against the stupid factor, and if I’m not running the show I’m not in the show.

    This is what I’ve been saying. I’m older and wiser now, and situations where I would have stopped in the past (or stuck around to help) I tend to drive away from now. The difference is for men it is generally upfront when they aren’t interested in following my lead. Women tend to say they’ll do what you tell them and then change the plan after the fact. Have you honestly, never come across this?

    IOW, it is hard to see how the scenarios would be different if they had occurred pre-feminism.

    Seriously? You don’t think feminism has changed the interaction between a woman on the side of the road and a man who offers help? Nonsense.

  • Zippy says:

    Cane:
    You’d be fired in a week, if you took that attitude at my job.

    Oh, I don’t doubt it for a moment. An early investor/mentor in a company I started told me in effect, “You have been completely ruined for ever working for someone else in an ordinary job ever again.”

    I always have to be careful in extrapolating from personal experience.

  • Svar says:

    “Vanessa you and Morticia are the perfect modern woman one-two punch. You demand chivalry, and Morticia resents it (when she isn’t asking for it). This about sums it all up.”

    You’re right, Dalrock. As you can see with those two, women go feral easily when their husbands aren’t around or more likely incapable of getting them to behave like decent women.

    Modern women in trad women’s clothing.

  • Zippy says:

    Dalrock:
    It isn’t clear at all to me that a flaky woman behind the wheel hitting the gas at the wrong time can be blamed on feminism. But if you are convinced that defiance is involved you are probably right: you were there and I wasn’t.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Morticia
    And I am still not sure why Dalrock assumes my prior ideology is evidence that I would be rude towards someone offering me help.

    I brought it up as an example of the very attitude everyone here is claiming women don’t have. As I’ve established, (in general) the best I expect when I pull over to help a woman I don’t know is Vanessa’s sense of entitlement, perhaps with a dash of Morticia’s suspicion that I have a secret hero complex. Much more common (and troubling) is the above mixed with resentment that by helping I’m somehow the cause of her falling into the damsel in distress trope, leading her to disregard my instructions at the time of her choosing. This last one is dangerous, and while Zippy agrees that the danger is there, he denies that modern women are, well, modern women. All of this is in addition to the risks I take of being accused of having done something inappropriate with her.

    All of this impacts my decisions on the margins, and in the last 15 years aside from helping one woman out at a boat ramp (she needed something cut and I had some pliers) I haven’t run into a situation where the decision worked out in favor of stopping and helping. I’m not ideologically against helping women, and as I’ve said generally enjoy helping. But a whole crowd of people claiming feminism didn’t really happen isn’t convincing me to rethink my position.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Zippy
    Dalrock:
    It isn’t clear at all to me that a flaky woman behind the wheel hitting the gas at the wrong time can be blamed on feminism. But if you are convinced that defiance is involved you are probably right: you were there and I wasn’t.

    Thanks. My buddy had the same impression and he was the one outside the truck watching when it all happened. She ran off the road so fast I didn’t even see it happen until the car was already teetering.

  • Zippy says:

    Dalrock:
    he denies that modern women are, well, modern women.

    I missed the part where I said that.

    All of this is in addition to the risks I take of being accused of having done something inappropriate with her.

    For me that part is mostly a source of possible amusement. If I knew that would happen I’d be tempted to stop and help just for the entertainment value. But I’ve acknowledged my personal disanalogy to the average guy – along any number of dimensions – on that front.

  • Morticia says:

    I’m not claiming feminism didn’t happen. I have admitted to having been a feminist at one point, and having been an anti-chivalrly MRA strident egalitarian (at the time that I made those comments that men should not help women), and now I am anti-egalitarianism…as in my beliefs are no longer in anyway modern. Some of my habits may still be..but my philosophy is not.

    And at no point have I ever been rude attitude to someone helping me. If I had ever been in a situation where someone made a genuine sacrifice to help me I would (and probably still would) have a boatload of survivals guilt..but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t hold the person who did it in high esteem.

    Hero complexes are noble and a sign of virtue, even if (at the time) I would rather not be the beneficiary of it.

    I haven’t a clue as to why several here seem to insist that a woman only changes loyalties, she never genuinely changes her mind about something. That is bullshit, and I think if anyone bothers to read my blog they would see that I have given these issues some deep thought and commitment.

    And, for what it is worth, I am not shaming you for not helping women. I am simply using your refusal to do so (in most cases) as an example as to why women need to make a greater effort to help other women. Precisely because it is safer for a woman to help a woman than a man to do it.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Morticia

    I am not sure what your argument has to do with my assertion that my prior arguments were not merely moodiness, but genuine disagreement based on differing ideologies.

    Because, as you have stated numerous times: You chose the behavior you had because of the way you were raised, what you were taught, the people around you, etc.

    Now, you’ve “found religion”, and you want to take the credit yourself for seeking out a good ideology. No. You found a different leadership. Six years from now, if you fall into a sect of feminist Catholics (there are many) you’ll claim to have discovered the right way again.

    This recognition of authority isn’t just for women. Nearly everywhere I go in the blogosphere that might have heard of Dalrock or Zippy (or I think should have) I praise them–and I’m glad to do so. It’s a feather in my cap to have understudied (understood) from those greater than me.* My blog is full of praise for those who I believe are wrong, yet I know are my betters. (These can be concurrent.) When I was being mocked by everyone from Society of Phineas to Mentu–I linked to them, and thanked them for their criticism. There are still those on Dalrock’s who despise what I say, and I still engage them whether they like it or not; whether they respond or not. By my impudence I will get that bread, but I should not say that it is my doing.

    You, on the other hand, praise yourself for coming to the right conclusions. You did this in September, and you do it now. It’s pathetic.

    @Vanessa

    I’m always fascinated (lie) when people bring up comments from months ago. I can hardly remember what I said yesterday,(lie) much less what other people said in September.(lie) It makes me feel like my life is in a perpetual rerun,(lie) arguing the same points over and over into infinity(lie).

    The comments on that post from my blog, Vanessa, are as recent as yesterday. The past is not done with you, because you are not done with the past. You have not changed.

    Also: you don’t argue in good faith, so no one would know if you’ve changed or not. You’re eternally sarcastic, assume that you are the center of attention, and you have yet to display even a modicum of naturally occurring modesty…which brings us back to why you always think others (or at least me) are talking about you. If I talk about feral women and pathetic men, and you think I’m talking about you: That’s your problem.

    *Men’s problem is that they are ready to give responsibility to nearly anyone but themselves.

  • Zippy says:

    I would appreciate it of we could return focus to the subject matter and away from the participants. Thanks in advance.

    I personally have no problem with someone retracting an earlier position. That’s the cue to move the discussion forward rather than backward.

  • Morticia says:

    Mr CC
    I don’t think that is a fair analysis..I generally give people all kinds of credit for the inspiration behind my thoughts. I’ve even linked you specifically numerous times to give credit where it is due. How could you possibly accuse me of taking credit for the changes to my ideology? What I am saying is that when I change my mind due to someones influence it is because their arguments are good, not because I joined their personality cult.

    Your argument seems to be that when I change my mind it is because I have been enamored by someone’s alphaness rather than convicted by their logic.

  • Morticia says:

    Sorry Zippy, we cross-posted.

  • Vanessa says:

    Okay, no point continuing this conversation.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Vanessa

    All right, offer a better analogy then. I’m finding it hard to picture when being forced to accept aid is to my benefit, other than if I were acting irrationally.

    As a mother and a teacher, you ought to be the last person here to ask for this.

    This is why it’s so important for mothers to actually raise their children. One day, maybe after menopause, she’ll look at them in baffled rage, and then the clouds will break, and she’ll go, “Oh, Hell…I get it.”

    @ZC

    ““You have been completely ruined for ever working for someone else in an ordinary job ever again.”

    Well, the offer still stands. Of course the wealth will have to go with the appropriate stations: retired and rich, working stiff and stiffed (No debt though!). It’s not an ordinary job, anyway, and I do get to choose for whom I work…but I have to work.

    That’s what we’re talking about: the work, not ZC&D’s Roadside Assistance Program.

  • Mike T says:

    @Zippy,

    This is oddly topical. I’m not sure how one can deal constitutionally with this. In an ideal world, police who train with these “antithesis of chivalry” targets would be barred from even working as a security guard and the manufacturer charged with multiple felonies ranging from obscenity charges to corrupting public morals.

  • Vanessa says:

    I thought “corrupting public morals” was the overriding goal of government.

  • Zippy says:

    From Mike’s link:
    The goal of NMH is to break that stereotype on the range, regardless of how slim the chances are of encountering a real life scenario that involves a child, pregnant woman, etc. If that initial hesitation time can be cut down due to range experience, the officer and community are better served.”

    There are those stereotypes again. Gotta make sure we wipe them out of existence.

  • Vanessa says:

    As a mother and a teacher, you ought to be the last person here to ask for this.

    As a mother and a teacher, I’m well aware of the danger of teaching vulnerable people that any man who claims to be a nice guy who’s “just trying to help” should be unquestionably obeyed. It is right to be skeptical in such a situation, as the opportunity for abuse is high. If help is offered too eagerly, and against the expressed wishes of the person it is being offered to, then it is smart to be suspicious.

    He’s not trying to force her into a car, he’s just offering her a safe ride home. He’s not trying to pin her down, she was acting hysterical and he was trying to hold her down so that she doesn’t hurt herself. He’s not trying to cop a feel, he’s trying to help her up and she’s being paranoid. He just gives, gives, gives till it hurts. He’s a giver.

    Sometimes, “I don’t know why she’s upset. She’s lying! I was trying to help her,” is just a little something we call “plausible deniability”. Sometimes men give off creepy vibes because they’re actually creeps, and women and children are wise to be on guard against that, and not allow men to guilt them into a dangerous situation.

  • Vanessa says:

    For all of the talk of “bitch shields” and obstinate women, a lot of us actually find it very hard to refuse help because we worry about seeming ungrateful or unkind. There are men who are falsely accused of taking advantage of the situation, but there are also women who are accused of lying who didn’t lie, or who are accused of paranoia who were responding rationally, or who are accused of ingratitude when they were rightly wary.

    This damages a woman’s reputation and makes other men wary of interacting or even helping her, so women are rightly afraid of these accusations. This is calumny. If she refuses his “aid”, and word gets around (and, with such men, word always gets around, as they’re prone to gossiping), then she might need help and other men will say, “I’m not helping her. I remember what so-and-so said about how she reacted when he tried to help her. I have to be careful around her. She’s a lying slut.” Or an ungrateful bitch. Or a hysterical idiot. Or whatever the claim is. Such claims fly fast and furious.

  • Vanessa says:

    That’s why I think it might be to everyone’s advantage if chivalry, like other forms of charity, were the default. Something to be denied in select cases, but not something only selectively given.

    If you are generally chivalrous, then people will be less likely to second-guess your intentions in helping out in a particular case. Just as opening a soup kitchen to all comers allows you to emphasize the fact that the charity given is not meant as a form of manipulation, but is merely an act of kindness.

    Obviously, feminism has disrupted the whole system and nothing makes sense anymore, but for a possible reactionary future (since we’re dreaming) it does fit in well with the overall structure of society.

  • Vanessa says:

    And now I’m done. Thanks for listening. Or not. Whichever.

  • deti says:

    Zippy: “IOW, it is hard to see how the scenarios would be different if they had occurred pre-feminism.”

    Dalrock: “Seriously? You don’t think feminism has changed the interaction between a woman on the side of the road and a man who offers help? Nonsense.”

    Of course feminism has changed interactions between a woman with a disabled car and a man who stops to offer help. Feminism has changed EVERYTHING about the way men and women interact with each other on a daily basis, everywhere, in everything to common courtesies to education to the workplace to dating to sex to marriage.

    We have second grade boys put in detention and in-school suspension, accused of “sexual harassment” and forced through “sensitivity training” because they pinched a little girl’s behind once. These are SEVEN-YEAR-OLD BOYS who don’t even know yet what sex is.

    We have boys who can’t play cowboys and Indians at school because someone will get “offended”.

    We have boys getting kicked in the shins for holding doors for women.

    We have college men getting accused of sexual harassment because they awkwardly asked some girl on a date.

    We have paranoid, cowardly, and litigation-avoidant HR directors defining “sexual harassment” in practice as any sexual conduct by unattractive men, and anything at work that any one woman doesn’t like.

    People are actually proposing statutes defining “public harassment”, in which it will become illegal to look at a woman for too long. IOW, anything any man does in public that a woman doesn’t like or makes her feel uncomfortable is “public harassment”.

  • Mike T says:

    Vanessa,

    I think there is merit to what you advocate, provided it is introduced slowly as (hopefully) women’s behavior changes. White knighting for strange women is both dangerous and stupid today. It’s always been dangerous, but not nearly as stupid as it is today. You don’t know why that man is verbally tearing his girlfriend/fiance/wife’s head off or smacking her around. Suppose you light into him, only to find out that he just got cuckolded? Suppose he’s a normal schlub and she’s going to frivorce him and ruin him and openly mocked him about it? A lot of things women do today with full societal support are things which used to be under or close to the common law standard of “provocation.”

    This dilemma is similar to the one that exists with rape in a society that legalizes fornication in that society enables the bad behavior which makes immediately weeding out the truly criminal conduct hard. At a glance, the white knight can no more ascertain the difference between the man who is lashing out in deserved anger from the garden variety abuser anymore than a prosecutor can prove beyond a reasonable doubt most cases of rape lacking witnesses or clear signs of coercion when the parties are known to each and had a chance to fornicate.

  • deti says:

    The problem is what seems to be female expectations of help from men simply because the man happens to be there or passing by, and is a man.

    The problem is what seems to be female entitlement to help from a man; after hearing society and even the Church tell us women are equal in every way to men.

  • deti says:

    We also have women drunkenly instigating fights in public, then hiding behind their boyfriends or other men, playing the game of “Let’s you and him fight”. No thanks.

  • Zippy says:

    deti:
    My statement – “IOW, it is hard to see how the scenarios would be different if they had occurred pre-feminism” – was about the specific two anecdotes Dalrock described. It wasn’t about everything everywhere.

    It could be that it is Something About Me [tm]; but women who are total strangers have never once given me any feminist crap when I’ve offered to help them with something. Never.

    The closest I ever got to a femruption was when an objectively gorgeous blonde employee tried to tell me who she was and was not willing to work for. She seemed a bit dazed and confused by the fact that I didn’t treat her as if she were surrounded by a reality distortion field. She told me she would quit her job if I made her report to (lets call him) Bob. In my reorganization I made her report to Bob. She quit, and raged impotently at her friends for a bit about how she was going to sue me. I laughed about it. She missed out on making seven figures from her stock options. The (different) pretty blonde who I laid off after the reorg was fully vested in her options and got a nice house down payment out of the deal. I don’t know where either of them are or what they are doing now.

    Again, I realize that my position and experience is far from average. But IRL I’m a very nice guy, until it is time to not be nice. People don’t f*** with me, because I don’t put up with people f***ing with me.

  • Vanessa says:

    I agree with your whole comment, Mike.

  • Vanessa says:

    It’s all such a mess now.

  • deti says:

    I have been in public, out and about, minding my own business, and have actually had women I don’t know and have never seen before DEMAND that I help them:

    1. Lift heavy boxes/items for them and carry them to checkout
    2. reach higher up items for them
    3. repair their cars
    4. change their windshield wiper blades
    5. adjust the driver’s seats in their cars
    6. change flat tires

    In every case, it wasn’t a polite request. It was a DEMAND. The clear attitude was that because I was there, and because I was a man, I was REQUIRED to help them.

  • Zippy says:

    deti:
    If someone did that to me, I would just say “if you had a better attitude I might be inclined to help you.”

  • Vanessa says:

    Some women are also just rude and unabashedly ask favors of other people without any hint of gratitude or uncertainty. I deal with that sometimes, too.

    I recently had a woman just dump her kids on me at the indoor playground and wander off to call her boyfriend. At first, I didn’t really mind, as I was sitting there anyway, but then I wanted to leave and she was nowhere to be found and I couldn’t leave her children alone in good conscience. She came strolling back half an hour later without so much as a “thanks”. I think she went shopping. Unbelievable.

  • deti says:

    “But IRL I’m a very nice guy, until it is time to not be nice. People don’t f*** with me, because I don’t put up with people f***ing with me.”

    And that’s the attitude most men aren’t given or taught to adopt. Most men are told “you help the woman because that’s what you’re there for. You help the woman because you HAVE to.”

    Most men have put up with this because if they resist it, they are told they are bad men who are bullying and brutalizing women.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Vanessa
    That’s why I think it might be to everyone’s advantage if chivalry, like other forms of charity, were the default. Something to be denied in select cases, but not something only selectively given.

    You start by presuming that feminism doesn’t exist. As I’ve been saying from the beginning, this simply isn’t the case. Why we are still discussing that is beyond me. Yes, it would be better if we didn’t live in a feminist culture. But I can’t change that, especially when deciding how/if to interact with a random stranger.

    If you are generally chivalrous, then people will be less likely to second-guess your intentions in helping out in a particular case. Just as opening a soup kitchen to all comers allows you to emphasize the fact that the charity given is not meant as a form of manipulation, but is merely an act of kindness.

    First, I don’t live in a small town, and I made it clear in the comment which made you so upset that I wasn’t talking about people I know. And your comment above about how men gossip was icing on the cake. Second, you are laying claims on me as a man which I reject. I don’t owe it to you to facilitate your ability as a strong independent woman to travel alone using technology you don’t understand. I’m not your husband. I’m also not Dalrock’s fleet service. I like to help people out when I can and when it is prudent. But your very attitude makes it impossible for me to be gracious to women like you. It is the equivalent of someone showing up at your front door and demanding hospitality.

    Obviously, feminism has disrupted the whole system and nothing makes sense anymore, but for a possible reactionary future (since we’re dreaming) it does fit in well with the overall structure of society.

    Yet you’ve been accusing me of being unreasonable for making choices based in the here and now, all ironically as an accusation that I’m uncharitable.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Zippy
    If someone did that to me, I would just say “if you had a better attitude I might be inclined to help you.”

    But this is Vanessa’s whole attitude. She says above that this is “owed”, and should be about a sense of duty, not something you are free to volunteer (or not). Men everywhere owe it to her to solve her transportation problems.

    While Elspeth says in one comment that her husband doesn’t feel that men as a class owe women as a class, she also challenges your rightness in making this assessment:

    When you question whether or not a potential benefactor has a sense of entitlement (and how could any of us possibly know that?), you’re beginning from the wrong starting point.

  • Morticia says:

    Vanessa..I think “selectively offered” would be a better phrase than “selectively given”. Because as you said, a no thanks means no thanks.

    I don’t mean to nitpick there I just didn’t want you to seem like you were contradicting yourself.

    I hope that everyone here would help someone if they saw them in real genuine danger. Not “fight with my boyfriend” danger…but say their car toppled over on the side of the highway and they are stuck inside..I hope everyone would at least call the police.

    I’m okay with men not helping me, but I hope if they see me in real trouble and nobody else helps me they at least call the police on my behalf. That is a relatively safe way to help someone.

    I thought that the comment “technology you don’t know how to operate” was particularly sneaky. It seems to imply that only full-fledged mechanics have any business in cars. I think it is a good idea that everyone who can’t fix their own car have AAA but sometimes you don’t have cell service. And has anyone ever tried to change a tire 9 months pregnant with a baby in the backseat screaming? *raises hand*

  • Morticia says:

    There are different debates going on here

    -chivalry in Perfect World
    -chivalry in Real World
    -what we do in particular incidences

    This..I think..is causing confusion. Elspeth was speaking about Christian Charity being non-selective…as an abstract concept. Not in an attempt to shame Dalrock into jump-starting the cars of feral women.

  • Morticia says:

    100!

  • deti says:

    “If you are generally chivalrous, then people will be less likely to second-guess your intentions in helping out in a particular case. Just as opening a soup kitchen to all comers allows you to emphasize the fact that the charity given is not meant as a form of manipulation, but is merely an act of kindness.”

    This means that men should be chivalrous by default because if they are shown to act in good faith FIRST, then women won’t be so put off.

    In the current environment, why does a man have to prove his good faith before anything else in the exchange takes place?

    The very indication of “charity given is not meant as a form of manipulation” indicates men are suspect from the outset. This proves the point that feminism has infected the entire process. But Vanessa, YOUR proposed fix is that men counteract feminism by continuing to prove their bona fides even in the midst of everyone presuming the worst about them. It’s not going to work.

  • Zippy says:

    Dalrock:
    But this is Vanessa’s whole attitude.

    I can’t tell what her in person attitude is until she actually needs my help in person. Lots of people who talk a good game of entitlement are remarkably docile and solicitous when they really need something from me and see that I won’t take any crap.

    There is also a danger in conflating an abstract blog discussion of what obligations a Christian has in charity with the dynamics of a real face to face encounter. It seems perfectly consistent to me to suggest that a man has an obligation in Christian charity to help a woman in distress (as always, with positive obligations, within prudential limits), and to further suggest that his obligation ends the second she gives him even the slightest hint of ingratitude.

  • Zippy says:

    deti:
    And that’s the attitude most men aren’t given or taught to adopt. Most men are told “you help the woman because that’s what you’re there for. You help the woman because you HAVE to.”

    Most men have put up with this because if they resist it, they are told they are bad men who are bullying and brutalizing women.

    OK. But my response to all that is “fine — but now that you know, grow a pair.”

  • Vanessa says:

    I used to work for an automotive engineering firm, after all, and I seriously resent the assumption that I am technologically inept. Nothing I have ever said or done should have lead to this assertion.

    I’ve jump-started cars. It’s not actually that complicated and I have jumper cables now. I didn’t before and I got stranded once without them (although, thankfully, my neighbor helped us out), so I went out and bought some of my own.

    But most women haven’t done these things and most men have more knowledge of cars than most women, which is probably why that example keeps coming up. Sometimes, as Morticia pointed out, we women are more in need of help because we’re caring for children or the elderly/infirm. Men usually aren’t the ones pushing strollers and wheelchairs around, although that’s changing.

    I’m generally a very helpful person, even though it sometimes results in my generosity being taken advantage of. I don’t really see why that’s a male-specific problem. I think I just have a countenance which says “kick me” and there’s not much that I can do about that, other than try to offer help while retaining my backbone.

  • Vanessa says:

    It seems perfectly consistent to me to suggest that a man has an obligation in Christian charity to help a woman in distress (as always, with positive obligations, within prudential limits), and to further suggest that his obligation ends the second she gives him even the slightest hint of ingratitude.

    Yes, this is how I feel.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Morticia
    I hope that everyone here would help someone if they saw them in real genuine danger. Not “fight with my boyfriend” danger…but say their car toppled over on the side of the highway and they are stuck inside..I hope everyone would at least call the police.

    Of course. I’ll clarify a bit further even. Very seldom have I been directly flagged down by someone. I haven’t driven past women who were waving their arms running after my truck. The difference is in whether I walk over (in a parking lot) or pull over (road) to ask if I can help.

    I thought that the comment “technology you don’t know how to operate” was particularly sneaky. It seems to imply that only full-fledged mechanics have any business in cars.

    That really was sneaky. It was so sneaky, whoever wrote it managed to make it disappear. Maybe Zippy can tell us who this was. If we figure it out, I’m going to tell them straight out that what they should have said is “technology you don’t understand”. For their benefit, I’ll repeat what I wrote above:

    I don’t owe it to you to facilitate your ability as a strong independent woman to travel alone using technology you don’t understand. I’m not your husband. I’m also not Dalrock’s fleet service. I like to help people out when I can and when it is prudent.

  • Vanessa says:

    But Vanessa, YOUR proposed fix is that men counteract feminism by continuing to prove their bona fides even in the midst of everyone presuming the worst about them. It’s not going to work.

    No, I’m not making a utilitarian proposition. A lot of the things I believe and advocate don’t lead to some sort of strategic advantage, whether on the personal or political level.

    I think men should help women (and hopefully not just women, and hopefully women are helpful to) because it’s the right thing to do. Doing the right thing often ends up unpleasantly for the doer. But we know that we are going to be persecuted in His name. That’s part of the deal we enter into when we’re baptized into the Church.

  • Vanessa says:

    I don’t owe it to you to facilitate your ability as a strong independent woman to travel alone using technology you don’t understand.

    That was the exact quote. You assumed that I don’t understand the technology.

  • Vanessa says:

    Vanessa..I think “selectively offered” would be a better phrase than “selectively given”. Because as you said, a no thanks means no thanks.

    Yes, that’s more accurate. Thank you for the correction.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Zippy
    I can’t tell what her in person attitude is until she actually needs my help in person. Lots of people who talk a good game of entitlement are remarkably docile and solicitous when they really need something from me and see that I won’t take any crap.

    Sure women act entitled, but they are really just putting up a front.

    More seriously, I don’t doubt your ability to command random strangers. This isn’t what I at least have been getting at. The question is, whom do I approach to offer help to or not? If I understand your position you tend to approach everyone you feel safe in approaching, and then withdraw your assistance if you don’t like their attitude. I’m fine with that, but extrapolating this to the “right way” all men should act isn’t reasonable. I find this approach works well when interacting with men, because they generally don’t expect me to solve their problem, and either way if they aren’t willing to agree to my terms they will tell me upfront or at least suggest an alternative. When I approach women, they tend to have the same attitude Vanessa has; I owe it to them to solve their problem, so long as they want me to solve their problem. They also have a strong tendency to say they agree to my instructions and then just wait until the part they disagree with and do it their way. This is flat out dangerous, and I think anyone who has done this sort of thing understands that the most simple and innocent situations can rapidly get out of hand. I’ve never come across a woman changing her own tire, let alone changing a tire 9 months pregnant. But if I saw Morticia changing that tire I’d almost certainly stop and ask if I could do it for her. I’d even put up with her conflicting girlpower pride and sense of my owing this to her mixed with suspicions that I have a hero complex, so long as I could convince her to keep herself and the kids safely out of harms way and out of my way.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Vanessa
    That was the exact quote. You assumed that I don’t understand the technology.

    Then why again do I as a man owe this kind of assistance to you as a woman? You’ve got it all covered. By all means, carry on.

  • Morticia says:

    How many times do I have to say it- Hero Complex is not an insult. My husband has one and while it annoys the crap out of me sometimes I also find it admirable and not just a little bit attractive.

    I would just be seriously irritated if he jumped in front of a bullet for some tramp…because I am possessive that way.

  • Morticia says:

    Dalrock- same reason you stop to help a man..because sometimes you need two minds, or 4 hands, or a big-ass truck.

  • Zippy says:

    Dalrock:
    so long as I could convince her to keep herself and the kids safely out of harms way and out of my way.

    That is definitely part of my non-negotiable rules of engagement. And it better not take “convincing”.

  • Morticia says:

    Another instance of chivarly in my real life that………

    A dog tore up my cat and left its bits all over my yard. I..having liked that cat…found it difficult to pick up its bits. Hubby was traveling.

    I ..despite my girl power pride..knew my sensitivity had me beat and went to my neighbor and asked if he would be so kind as to help me pick up my dead cat and dispose of her. He was very kind to help. Afterwards I was so grateful I made him baked goods.

    So…to add to this discussion and get us out of the Road Side Assistance Rut…how would you men have handled the above situation?

  • deti says:

    “so long as I could convince her to keep herself and the kids safely out of harms way and out of my way.”

    I made this argument at Sheila Gregoire’s site a long time ago when Costa Concordia was being discussed. The women at gregoire’s site expected men to help them, go first, take on the danger, and step into harm’s way for them. I responded that, well, if I am going to be expected to throw my body out there for a woman, then I’ll expect the woman to follow my instructions to the letter and do what I tell her to do, when I tell her to do it, how I tell her to do it.

  • deti says:

    Mort:

    “how would you men have handled the above situation (involving the dead cat)?”

    Depends. If you’re my neighbor, you live close to me and are probably part of our community in the truest sense of the word. I know you, or at least know of you. I know you’re not a threat and not likely to pose a threat. I know you’re not likely to make unfounded accusations. I’m probably likely to help you by picking up the parts so you can bury/burn them.

  • Chris says:

    Long discussion of this will not occur here. You all know that V used to work for one of those German firms who can make high performance cars run for a gazillion miles with minimal maintenance?

    The commment about being kicked when you do good is apropos. The scripltural answer is keep on doing this — weak or strong. For the glory of God.

    This however, has morphed into our society into white knighthood, which is something else. It looks like this:

  • sunshinemary says:

    Darn, I wish I hadn’t had stomach flu when you posted this yesterday so I could have participated in this conversation.

    I’ve only read half the comments so far, so I don’t know if this has been mentioned yet, but:

    I don’t really need chivalry from random men. I have my own man; why do I need someone else’s man to rescue me? If I’m in a bind that I can’t get myself out of, I call my husband or my father.

    Why can’t other women do this? If they have no man they can call, we really must wonder why.

  • Morticia says:

    Sunshine Mary- My husband travels and I don’t live near family and sometimes you need immediate help so even if your husband isn’t around he can’t get there in time.

  • Elspeth says:

    Yes Dalrock, I said that my husband does not believe that men, as a class, owe women as a class, special treatment. He does however, believe that Christian human beings, as a debt to their Creator, owe assistance to other human beings in need.

    Just as Christ didn’t stop to consider if we deserved resuce, we are not permitted to consider if they deserve it. Issues of safety and other concerns are legitimate to consider, but not the merit of the person being helped.

    Like Zippy, he would have absolutely no qualms about addressing the attitude of a woman who demanded his assistance; right before he denies her his assistance.

    I appreciated Sunshine Mary’s comment (though many women have husbands who travel extensively and are unable to come to their immediate rescue).

    If I get a flat on the road, I know how to change it. My husband has made sure that I have the ability to do that, jump the car, and change the oil.

    Still, he would prefer that I call him and sit there and wait the half hour or so it would take for him to get to me instead of getting out of the car to put the spare on myself. And he certainly doesn’t want me taking help from random men.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Morticia
    Dalrock- same reason you stop to help a man..because sometimes you need two minds, or 4 hands, or a big-ass truck.

    The question was why I as a man owe this to her as a woman. You reframed this to why I elect to stop and help a man. I don’t owe it to him to ensure that he never has to call a tow truck. There is huge difference between stepping over a beaten man on the road (good Samaritan parable) or the parable in the OP, and taking on the responsibilities of random strangers. If I’m traveling, I’m responsible for making it work. This responsibility means if I break down or get stuck I either fix it or pay someone else to solve it. Someone stopping to ask if they can be of assistance doesn’t change this, nor should it. This is why men don’t greet gracious offers of assistance with: “You wouldn’t believe how many other men drove right on by before you stopped! Didn’t they see on my face that I’m upset!” Perish the though that strong independent women would become upset. This isn’t about simple ungratefulness. This is about a wholly unfounded set of expectations nearly all modern women have. Don’t tell them not to drive alone, or even suggest they not go out at night without a clear plan on how to handle the situation. That is patriarchal oppression you Taliban SOB! They are adults, just like the men they share the road with.

    Until something goes wrong.

    Then suddenly they are helpless little women and I’m shirking my patriarchal responsibility.

    @SSM
    I don’t really need chivalry from random men. I have my own man; why do I need someone else’s man to rescue me? If I’m in a bind that I can’t get myself out of, I call my husband or my father.

    Why can’t other women do this? If they have no man they can call, we really must wonder why.

    This is it. I’m not on loan to all the women of the world from my wife.

  • Elspeth says:

    Like Zippy, he would have absolutely no qualms about addressing the attitude of a woman who demanded his assistance; right before he denies her his assistance.

    I should elaborate on this thought. My husband (and I agree) sincerely believes that sometimes you help people more by not helping them.

    Therefore his denial of assistance to the hypothetical woman (or man) who demands his attention and time is not based on his belief that they don’t deserve it. Rather, it is that they will be helped more in the long run (possibly even eternally) by learning to be gracious and grateful when assistance is given.

  • Morticia says:

    My use for chivalry is only that it helps re-enforce gender roles..which in RT Utopia are pretty obvious. Women wouldn’t change tires because its unlady-like.

    in Real World I change my own tires, ask a woman for help if I must ask for help..and if I really need a mans help ask with utmost deference and bake them cookies after. Because in the Real World, gender is only distinct to the degree that women can use men or make them feel like crap for not being sufficiently useful, attractive, or some combination of the two.

    I get it..feral women ruined everything. I also get that I have been “part of the problem” before. It doesn’t keep me from fantasizing about Utopia or appreciating chivalry when it is offered.

  • sunshinemary says:

    Morticia wrote:

    My husband travels and I don’t live near family and sometimes you need immediate help so even if your husband isn’t around he can’t get there in time.

    Sure, my father lives two hours away and my husband has to travel for his job once in a while, too. When he does, he calls his parents and one of his brothers who lives close to us to tell them he’ll be gone. That way I have someone else I can call, though I almost never need to.

    If we had no family, he would probably have some kind of reciprocal deal with someone from church. He makes sure I’m covered. That’s his job as my husband, just as it’s my job as his wife to follow his leadership.

    So my question still stands. Do these women who demand the obligation of chivalry have no men in their lives who are responsible for them? That would be the place to start – women feeling the need to stay under their fathers’ or husbands’ covering and then obeying them and following their leadership. That needs to come first, before any talk of obligated chivalry happens. Otherwise, women just become obnoxious because they can play strong independent girl while it’s fun and thus shirk their own part of the social contract, but the minute it’s not fun anymore, they can look about them and demand men fulfill their part of the social contract.

    Women wanted to be out from under men’s authority. Now they are out from under their protection, too. Tough luck.

  • Elspeth says:

    My husband has me fairly well covered too. If he can’t get to me, there are men in his family and friends circle who are willing to aid him by aiding me because they respect him.

    Still, the reality is that despite this conversation and the rhetoric of the manosphere, a significant percentage of men try to help women in need when they cross paths with them.

    I have been offered assistance without asking for it and if it wasn’t needed, I am always grateful enough for the attitude of charity to decline with grace.

  • Zippy says:

    Dalrock:
    This is about a wholly unfounded set of expectations nearly all modern women have. Don’t tell them not to drive alone, or even suggest they not go out at night without a clear plan on how to handle the situation. That is patriarchal oppression you Taliban SOB! They are adults, just like the men they share the road with.

    This is a big problem, and one frequently referenced by Lawrence Auster on his blog. Lara Logan and Jessica Lynch are two of the more visible examples; but this notion modern women have that GirlPower means they can go wherever they want whenever they want with impunity is pervasive and deadly; and it does indeed put men’s lives at risk completely unnecessarily.

  • sunshinemary says:

    Still, the reality is that despite this conversation and the rhetoric of the manosphere, a significant percentage of men try to help women in need when they cross paths with them.

    True. I rarely need help, but I will say that men open doors for me all the time. It’s not unusual at all. I always be sure to thank them politely, though, and am teaching my daughters to do the same. If women would adopt an attitude of not expecting it and being polite and grateful when it happened, I think many men would be quite pleased to keep opening doors just as a social nicety. On the whole, I think most men enjoy traditional gender roles that way; it’s really women who’ve made it difficult for them, so if we want that to come back, the change has to start with us and not with them.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Dalrock

    This is about a wholly unfounded set of expectations nearly all modern women have. Don’t tell them not to drive alone, or even suggest they not go out at night without a clear plan on how to handle the situation. That is patriarchal oppression you Taliban SOB! They are adults, just like the men they share the road with.

    As I said: a mother or a teacher should know about these things–not from trying to protect children from us baddie men, but from trying to get the little monsters to follow.

    Against their protests I have walked female coworkers to their cars and hotels, in strange towns, after dark. (I travel for work, and so do they.) Now, they aren’t vociferous protests, but a sort of a continued hum of un-necessity throughout the walk. All I can do is chuckle, and say, “Yes, I know: You’re very tough. Let’s go.” That usually elicits a spunky, “I know, right? I am tough!” and then they drop it.

    Which reveals the game: They pretend to believe that I believe them–while knowing I do not–so that the appearance is one of me as a fool AND YET toeing the line. That’s the game that makes smooths the ruffles of their cognitive dissonance that they ain’t up to my snuff.

    I’m aware. I do it anyway because I’d rather be angry at them for 10 minutes, than at me for whoknowshowlong.

    Children are short-sighted fools.

  • Vanessa says:

    Do these women who demand the obligation of chivalry have no men in their lives who are responsible for them?

    Gosh, ever heard of an emergency? Ever heard of not being able to get a cell-phone signal? Ever hear about a child being injured and the mother going into a panic? Ever heard of someone collapsing in a public place, without their husband-keeper around? What about widows?

    Also, one of the benefits of chivalry is that women can actually leave the house during daylight hours without an entourage. It’s hard on all men if women are locked into their homes 24/7, as it means men have to hire someone to drive her around, like in Saudia Arabia.

    As for what chivalry is for, I guess that’s a question of what it actually is and why it’s considered valuable. At first glance, it’s just general helpfulness, with men being in a position to help more often (or in a different manner) than women. But it’s also about keeping the interaction between the sexes from drying up or freezing over, and keeping the streets safe enough that husbands can send their wives and older daughters to the grocery store without having to fear for her life.

  • Zippy says:

    Vanessa:
    Gosh, ever heard of an emergency?

    Part of the divide in this discussion is that feminism has muddied even the concept of an emergency. When Lara Logan put herself in harm’s way by flaunting her exposed Western femskin in a raging crowd of stone age Moslems as an expression of GirlPower, that wasn’t really the same kind of thing as an innocent housewife getting a flat tire in a spot with no cell service.

    Both are emergencies in a sense, yes. But they aren’t the same kind of emergencies.

    As for what chivalry is for, …

    What it is for – to the extent that it actually is traditional chivalry – is the sanctification of the powerful. Otherwise power is just pure selfish brutality. That’s why traditional chivalry has the powerful as its ontic subject and the powerless as its ontic object.

  • Elspeth says:

    Gosh, ever heard of an emergency? Ever heard of not being able to get a cell-phone signal? Ever hear about a child being injured and the mother going into a panic? Ever heard of someone collapsing in a public place, without their husband-keeper around? What about widows?

    I think the assumption here V (at least my assumption) is that in the case of a dire emergency where bodily injury, life and death situations or sick children are involved, people will mostly instinctively act to help. If that is not a given, then we are truly in a bigger mess than I realized.

    Throughout this conversation, I have been thinking in terms or minor car breakdowns, lifting heavy objects, or escorting a female colleague to her car at night (something my husband routinely does as I said before).

    Your concern for widows is duly noted. For reasons I have yet to fathom, neither of my parents have a cell phone. Actually I do know why, but that’s a subject for another day. My stepmother would need a kind stranger to assist her if she were in trouble, if only to let her borrow their cell phone.

    We often fail to think outside the box on these issues. I agree with you that charity should be the default position.

  • Vanessa says:

    Well, we all think the same thing about Lara Logan’s foolishness. I think a Christian housewife who’s fallen on the ice, or a young novice who needs help carrying a heavy load into the chapel, isn’t really the same thing as a woman who goes romping through enemy territory in see-through shirts.

    What it is for – to the extent that it actually is traditional chivalry – is the sanctification of the powerful. Otherwise power is just pure selfish brutality.

    That’s a beautiful definition. I’ve read that it eventually lead to the development of the Just War Doctrine, which seems to be a furtherance of the idea that might doesn’t necessarily make right. I think what we’re mostly talking about here is something that sort of trickled down to the general populace, to reflect the virtue expected of the men and women at the top. From noblemen to gentlemen, as it were.

    At any rate, if (to take the classic example) a man holds the door open for me, I don’t feel entitled, but honored. It feels a bit like someone is taking a step down from a higher position to acknowledge my existence. Even though he hasn’t done anything truly heroic, it does make me feel safer to know that the men around me know that I am there and care about my welfare, even if it’s just a superficial display like that. It’s so easy to feel invisible and irrelevant, and therefore highly vulnerable, although that might just be my own timidity.

    When women do the same thing, I’m grateful and it is very nice of them, but it doesn’t offer the same secure glow. I also sometimes help men, when I can, but I doubt that they feel safer for it. Women’s help isn’t as valuable because it’s more limited and women are my peers. Help doesn’t have the same worth even if it’s the same help; status matters. Somehow. Hard to quantify.

    I don’t think I’m explaining this very well.

  • Vanessa says:

    I wish it were a given, Elspeth, but I think we need to be explicit nowadays.

  • sunshinemary says:

    Gosh, ever heard of an emergency? Ever heard of not being able to get a cell-phone signal? Ever hear about a child being injured and the mother going into a panic? Ever heard of someone collapsing in a public place, without their husband-keeper around? What about widows?

    In the case of a medical emergency, we are not talking about chivalry usually. In that case, almost everyone around will attempt to give aid and call 911.

    On the no phone signal point, I will agree with what both Zippy and Dalrock have mentioned. Why would a woman be traveling alone through an isolated area with no plan on what she should do in case of emergency? Is that really sensible? We live in a senseless world where women will do dangerous, foolish, outlandish things and then screech for help when they get into trouble. Why should her welfare be a random man’s duty when she put herself in a foolish position to begin with?

    Furthermore, if I were alone on an isolated road, I’m not sure I would want a stranger to stop; I don’t know who’s going to get out of that car – it might be Dalrock but then again it might be someone with ill-intent. I’d rather they kept driving to a place where they could get a signal and then called the police. In general, calling the police is the best thing to do; you’ve helped the person without endangering yourself.

    Also, one of the benefits of chivalry is that women can actually leave the house during daylight hours without an entourage. It’s hard on all men if women are locked into their homes 24/7, as it means men have to hire someone to drive her around, like in Saudia Arabia.

    I think that it’s a big leap to say that if women in our country started to value having a man looking out for them by voluntarily placing herself under his authority that we then will end up like Saudi Arabia.

  • Zippy says:

    sunshinemary:
    We live in a senseless world where women will do dangerous, foolish, outlandish things and then screech for help when they get into trouble. Why should her welfare be a random man’s duty when she put herself in a foolish position to begin with?

    To be fair, this is hardly a female-only problem.

  • Vanessa says:

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but pretty much everywhere around here is an isolated area with bad cell reception. I live right in the middle of town, but I know women who have to drive an hour in just to get to co-op, and their driveways are a mile long because they live on a horse ranch or something. It’s not a dangerous area at all, but mundane accidents can be scary because of the relative isolation.

    Whether you’d want a stranger to stop might be impacted by how badly you are hurt, or bad your distress is. When seconds count, the police are just minutes away. Especially if you’re 20 miles from the nearest police station. Maybe that’s why the people around here are very neighborly and polite; this is still country, even though we’re not far from Baltimore and DC.

    In that case, almost everyone around will attempt to give aid and call 911.

    Yes, that’s true. Maybe it’s because I live in a rather sex-segregated society, but it’s less that men are always doing something extraordinary, than that when men do it, it seems more extraordinary. Women helping women, women helping children, women helping the sick…. this is all mundane, everyday stuff that doesn’t really get a special name or particular notice. Women hold doors open for each other and carry things for each other all the time.

    Men mostly operate in a separate sphere here, so when the spheres cross it’s notable.

    It’s sort of the way, when I read books to my children, they get the book read to them. They enjoy it and appreciate it. When my husband reads the book to them, it’s a minor occasion. Why the difference? It’s the same book. Why is it special when Daddy does it? Because Daddy is special, and that Daddy taking time out from his Busy Daddy Day to deign to read a book to little kids — even his own little kids — is special. And he does it every day, and it never stops being special.

  • Vanessa says:

    I just thought of something unusual that men do for women they don’t know, that I’d consider chivalry above the usual symbolic stuff like holding doors.

    Whenever we have a big snow storm and the city is overwhelmed with clearing the roads, the local guys mount snowplows on the fronts of their trucks and go house-to-house digging people out and checking on everyone to make sure they’re okay. The city doesn’t organize this, and there are no women involved. The men just call each other up, climb into their trucks, and get going.

    They came by one time, while I was feeling desperate. I had a bad cold and a bad back, and I was shoveling our driveway for the second time, as my husband was trapped at a foreign airport in the blizzard and it was the Snowmaggedon year. I was so grateful when they drove up to my house that I burst into tears.

    We have a lot of military wives, disabled vets, elderly widows, and etc. around here, so they probably get a lot of tearful thanks. They rescued one elderly man from his house near here.

  • Ton says:

    So I am weak because I do not engage in chivalrous actions toward women? I’m ranked in the top 100 power lifters in my weight class at the national level, I have a professional fight record, retired after 24 years as a grunt, with some of that in a Ranger bat, just about 8 years of combat time, with 6 tours during the “global war on terror” etc etc.

    It has shit to do with strength and everything to do with no return on my investment in time and effort

  • Zippy says:

    Ton:
    If the question is true as modified:

    So I am [spiritually] weak because I do not engage in chivalrous actions toward [the weak and vulnerable]?

    … then the answer would be “yes”. The stronger you are materially, the more true it becomes.

  • Chris says:

    Are you not all conflating charity (doing good and seeking the best for all), which is a clear Christian duty: (if you disagree Zippy can find the relevant parts of the Catechism of Trent and/or I will search the Westminster Confession), while chivalry was a means that the church used to tame a bunch of Vikings who had been baptized and were now called Normans?

    If someone is in the country and in trouble, you help. If someone repeatedly abuses this, then helping may not be enough.

    Chivalry — well defined by Vanessa –requiares that you are in a position of strength and power. Charity does not. Which is a reason that the former is fairly restricted now (most of us have limited power) and the second is universal.

  • Vanessa says:

    Yeah, at the present time chivalry is largely symbolic, outside of major accidents or natural disasters or similar. But I think this is slowly turning around because of the economic decline. Charity is gaining in importance and I think chivalry will eventually, too, as society becomes more unequal again.

  • Vanessa says:

    The more you have of something, the more you have to give away.

    The strong are called to protect the weak. The wealthy are called to provide for the poor. The educated are called to teach the ignorant. The beautiful are called to be pleasant. The gentle are called to care for those in pain. The right-thinking are called to judge. The fit are called to be productive. The powerful are called to lead. And so on.

    It’s the law of the jungle turned on its head. Every blessing you’ve received belongs to you, but it was given to you for a reason: so that you can use it in the service of others.

  • sunshinemary says:

    @ Vanessa
    I like your example of the men with their snowplows. There is a man who lives two houses down from us who always brings out his snowblower and does everyone’s sidewalks. For the homes with elderly people in them, and several with divorced mothers, he does their front walk and driveway, too. But he does it because he’s kind and he likes to. I don’t think of this as his obligation.

    Sometimes my husband will shovel and salt one of the neighbor’s stairs and porch; she’s a divorced mom and very lazy, too. But he does it from kindness, not a sense of obligation that he owes this lazy women anything.

  • Zippy says:

    sunshinemary:

    I think that as modern people we tend to have an egalitarian rather than complementary view of the relationship between charity, obligation, and gratitude. Specifically, if something is an obligation to one party that means (in this view) that it must be something justly deserved by the other party: obligation and justice are perfectly reciprocal, in an egalitarian exchange.

    But that isn’t the only possible way to think about it. I’ll propose one alternative. Doubtless there are others, and I don’t claim that I have it right: just that there are other ways of thinking about it.

    One may be obligated under Christian charity to help a person in need. But because this obligation falls under charity not justice, a true debt of gratitude is incurred by the person helped. It really and truly is an obligation of the strong one to help the weak one; and at the same time, the weak one really and truly does owe a debt of gratitude to the strong one who helps.

    This is a complementary relation, like the relation of love and obedience between husbands and wives found in St. Paul. A husband truly does owe his wife love; a wife truly does owe her husband obedience. Even when one is in rebellion that doesn’t excuse the other from obligation; it just makes carrying out that obligation very difficult, frustrating, etc. A wife who is not loved by her husband is not excused from obedience to him; a husband whose wife does not obey is not excused from loving her.

    The weak owe the strong a debt of gratitude for all that the strong provide; yea even when the strong are selfish and stingy with their bounty. And the strong owe the weak help and succor, even when the weak are selfish and stingy with their gratitude.

    But as in all complementary relations things work far better for everyone, everyone is far more happy, when each embraces his obligations.

  • Zippy says:

    In other words, strong men are cutting off ties with the vulnerable because the vulnerable aren’t showing sufficient love; and this makes the strong men unhaaaaapy.

  • Elspeth says:

    In other words, strong men are cutting off ties with the vulnerable because the vulnerable aren’t showing sufficient love; and this makes the strong men unhaaaaapy.

    I like that.

    I was thinking about this some more and I am still rather shocked that Vanessa’s arguments are being so ill-received by Christians. As I said up the thread, I made a lot of assumptions (big mistake) about the instinctive nature of people to assist others in certain situations.

    As for Ton, my only question is : Are you professing to be a Christian? If not, your comment makes perfect sense. I only hope you never find your very strong body injured or incapacitated and surrounded only by people with like attitude.

  • Vanessa says:

    LOL Yeah, that’s about how it comes across, Zippy.

    Elspeth, if there’s one thing I’ve come to accept, it’s that theology-based arguments are only persuasive to the minority of people who care about God. You have to have a view of the infinite for many Christian teachings to make any sense, as pain is so immediate.

    I don’t think of this as his obligation.

    Well, it’s not his civil obligation. It’s also not an absolute obligation — if he forgets once or his back gives out and he can’t do it, then it’s not going to weigh on his conscience. But it is a sort of social obligation.

    Women have similar obligations, after all. If our church is having a fundraiser, and they need someone to help work at it, or bring cakes for a bakesale, or help in the nursery, or whatnot, then they’ll email all of us ladies and expect to get responses back offering to help. If we have other commitments or we’re ill, etc. then we’re not expected — we’re not obligated — to help, but if we’re just wasting time instead, then we should feel a twinge of guilt for ducking responsibility. And if we duck that responsibility too often, then they will eventually drop us from the list because they assume that we’ve abandoned our social obligations because we’ve abandoned our community.

    Now, that probably isn’t the best example, but it does show how social obligations are real obligations. We’re not slaves to society, and we have other commitments at home or work, but we’re also not supposed to shirk our duties out of spite or sheer laziness.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Zippy
    In other words, strong men are cutting off ties with the vulnerable because the vulnerable aren’t showing sufficient love; and this makes the strong men unhaaaaapy.

    Perhaps I’m misunderstanding who this is aimed at, but this strikes me as a very cheap shot. This is a complex issue and there is significant risk involved. The culture has changed profoundly, and when interacting with strangers the culture is extremely important. What I see quite often is a throwing up of hands regarding addressing the culture (nope, RCC and Prot churches can’t get involved with that! Not my yob man!, and nope, don’t vote to try to change it at the secular level!), paired with an expectation that individuals single handedly overcome the broken culture. But there is only so much an individual can do when working against the culture, and it is very easy for internet armchair quarterbacks to suggest that another man risk his ability to provide for his family because he owes it to others.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Elspeth
    I was thinking about this some more and I am still rather shocked that Vanessa’s arguments are being so ill-received by Christians. As I said up the thread, I made a lot of assumptions (big mistake) about the instinctive nature of people to assist others in certain situations.

    It absolutely floors me how crass women can be when discussing how much people like me owe people like them, and then start lecturing me on grace and manners. The absurdity meter goes off the charts. Over on Sheila’s blog she and the women reading casually discussed the kinds of situations they believe men they don’t know have an obligation to give their lives for them. One of the women explained that men have this obligation because our lives are worth less than theirs, but she did stoop to offering to allow men to survive if he was a father and the mother wasn’t available to care for a child. After casually discussing how men owe it to women to offer their lives for women, they went on to bitch about the same kinds of things the ladies from Traditional Christianity are carping about here. Why don’t men know they have a duty to prevent me from being inconvenienced? How terribly unchristian of these men. Why do these men keep thinking of themselves when they should be thinking of me instead; how selfish of men!

  • Zippy says:

    Dalrock:
    but this strikes me as a very cheap shot.

    Perhaps it is; though I don’t intend it to be. It was an honest visceral response to Ton’s drive-by flexing in the mirror with the big “I don’t owe nobody nuthin” tattoo. He is big and strong, but the weaklings around him don’t give him a return on investment: they don’t make him haaaaaaapy. Therefore moral obligations toward the vulnerable, he has none.

    That might be an unfair characterization, and I gave him the option to clarify; but so far crickets are a-chirping and I’m left with the impression I am left with. And the attitude in his comment is hardly anomalous.

    … it is very easy for internet armchair quarterbacks to suggest that another man risk his ability to provide for his family because he owes it to others.

    This is – in the most charitable interpretation – overly dramatic. I’ve been very clear that the obligations of the strong to help the vulnerable fall under the domain of prudence — as do all positive obligations. If “risk his …” is a genuine concern in a particular situation, with a straight face literally before God Almighty (the just Judge who will ultimately pass Judgement on that particular moment), and not the slightest hint of ideology or irony, that vitiates against the obligation in a particular situation.

    It does not, however, invalidate in general obligations in charity that the strong have toward the vulnerable, which was traditionally labeled “chivalry” — historically, as Chris suggests, as a means of appealing to the honor of warrior barbarians to help them embrace their obligations as Christians.

  • Morticia says:

    Dalrock is assuming that the TC ladies are asking something of men and not wiling to give anything in return. This is not true. The TC ladies are aware that the social order they advocate requires quite a bit of sacrifice for women as well as men. They advocate it because it is good and well-ordered…not because of entitlement.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Zippy
    It was an honest visceral response to Ton…

    I did in fact misunderstand whom it was referring to then.

  • Morticia says:

    Ironically, Ton is behaving more chivalrous than his attitude betrays. He is in the military after all…there are plenty of careers he can be a Strong Man in that wouldn’t be nearly as dangerous.

    A lot of men say they are not chivalrous because they don’t like the image it conjures..but I bet dollars to donuts that if Ton saw a baby trapped under a car he would try to lift the car because he knows he is one of the few men who could.

    In a lot of cases a guys bark is worse than his bite.

  • Zippy says:

    Morticia:
    In a lot of cases a guys bark is worse than his bite.

    The same is true of the Strong Independent Woman. As I said to Dalrock before, I personally have yet to encounter one who was anything other than docile when genuinely in need.

    This phenomenon of more agreement in person than we play on the Internet would doubtless play out in cases like the entitlement princesses in Dalrock’s latest post. I’m sigma, so sometimes I say and do things in public (and in business) that shock people, as completely unexpected. Of all the commenters in both threads I may be most likely to give the “ladies” a verbal dressing down that they simultaneously don’t understand and know to be not particularly flattering.

  • Morticia says:

    Exactly. Men don’t much like the image of the knight in shining armor, and women don’t much like the image of the damsel in distress. It is all very cliche and not flattering to modern sensibilities.

    It reminds me of the movie “Return of Superman” where the character Lois writes a scathing article “The world doesn’t need Superman” . Superman has to deal with what every man has to deal with in modern life…the fact that they are needed by people who hate to need him.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    Dalrock is assuming that the TC ladies are asking something of men and not wiling to give anything in return. This is not true. The TC ladies are aware that the social order they advocate requires quite a bit of sacrifice for women as well as men. They advocate it because it is good and well-ordered…not because of entitlement.

    The answer, then, is to not give a damn what women say. The bad ones are bad, and the good ones (wherever they are) become indistinguishable from the bad when they voice the same things; even if from a very different perspective.

    This, by the way, is why I don’t endorse Game as a term for Christian men. Game is a competing philosophy with Christianity/chivalry. It places each individual man at the top of his own pyramid:

    Notice that the Christian man must take up the shield of faith himself–not irrational confidence–to extinguish the enemy’s favored weapon of flaming darts (arrows, and javelins). He must pick up the sword of the Spirit–which is not Game–but the Word of God, to combat evil. For every suggestion the Player asserts, there is a superior choice in scripture.

    I can hear you already (as I have foolishly said myself, to my shame): “Chivalry is failed!” To abscond with a Chesterton quote:

    Chivalry has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.

    It’s not that chivalry was not manly enough; but that the weight of its manliness was greater than men are inclined to wield. Indeed, chivalry’s weight is godliness.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    The takeaway from the comments (not the post) is that Zippy said in the OP:

    Our world is filled with weak men, men without chests;

    and towards the top I commented

    Sometimes I decide you need my help whether you want it or not. This is more often true when it’s been asked, and then rebuffed. You’ve got it under control? Awesome–I’m still gonna stick around.

    That actually happens more with weak men than women.

    Yet the women keep dragging the conversation back to how women and children are hardest hit.

    Make of that what you will, but I make of it:

    1) The sort of men who lead men know that their efforts need to be concentrated on men.

    2) That women don’t know when to shut their mouths because they can’t stand to think that they might be ignored.

    3) The effect of point 2 short-circuits the efforts of point 1, and then guys like Ton get griped out. Many men are flat-out on the spiritual floor, whether they know or accept it, or not). It’s a lot easier to get up when someone is not kicking you in the sack. Those of us who have made it up, are going to be testy in our chivalry.

  • Morticia says:

    Regarding 2.

    Personally, I do know that I have no ability to shame men into being chivalrous…just like you can’t shame them into being patriarchs.

    http://likeinbooks.wordpress.com/2013/02/10/you-cant-shame-men-into-being-patriarchs/

    But women participate in these discussions (where invited) because we are trying to figure these things out and the discussion format is the one of the most effective tools for that.

    You seem to be saying “women just shouldn’t talk about chivalry…and other things”..

    Asking women not to chat is a bit like asking cads not to sleep with loose women. Thats not going to happen, but what you can do is create boundaries in society so that womens chattiness doesn’t dilute the effect of good preaching. Like..ahem..Church (h/t to St Paul).

  • Cane Caldo says:

    “Asking women not to chat is a bit like asking cads not to sleep with loose women.”

    You’re talking to the wrong man. You agree with Dalrock, with whom I disagree on this. My blog is one big call for men to not be cads, and if they are: Stop.

  • Morticia says:

    You might need St Jude’s help with that one.
    http://www.luckymojo.com/saintjude.html

  • Zippy says:

    Morticia:
    Prescinding from Cane’s substantive proposal about the regulation of speech, and addressing only a specific pedantic point: it is important not to conflate statistical reality with personal reality. It is true that nobody is going to stop all playas from playin or yakkers from yakkin.

    But that isn’t generally the point of personal action anyhow. The point of personal action is the person in front of you right here and now, not statistical significance in a population.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    Spare me the link. St. Jude’s visage dangles from my rear view mirror. He sways back and forth like an extra pair; that I not forget mine.

  • Morticia says:

    LOL…You are as bad at being protestant as Zippy is at being a sociopath.

  • GKChesterton says:

    I’m coming to this very late via Dalrock.

    @Zippy,
    The same is true of the Strong Independent Woman. As I said to Dalrock before, I personally have yet to encounter one who was anything other than docile when genuinely in need.

    I largely agree with you Zippy on the good of retaining chivalry but you will have to do better than this. There are no atheists in foxholes and there are no feminists with a broken tire. Folks in Dalrock’s camp are going to rightly point out that when a woman in need _of course_ she acts docile. That is not the moment of test, it is an hour later when the man is reading a newspaper and she demands attention. Or when she, as sis illustrated on Darlock’s site, bakes him cookies in thanks (that is takes a specifically good feminine action in response).

    I’d posit that her docility is sort of besides the point, as you effectively do elsewhere in this thread. There should be some native Christian and chivalrous compulsion to help as there is some native feminine “ladylike” compulsion to respond gratefully. Compelling the destruction of one will only necessitate the destruction of the other. I happen to derive great pleasure from ladies, I’d prefer that they stick around.

    @Morticia,
    Men don’t much like the image of the knight in shining armor, and women don’t much like the image of the damsel in distress. It is all very cliche and not flattering to modern sensibilities.

    I don’t think so. I think most of us went through a knight stage like we went through an astronaut stage. In fact I’d say most of the hatred of knights can be found here in the ‘sphere because of the association with that most stupid of terms “White Knighting”. I’d rather see the phrase good and dead and replaced with something else. I’m just short on suggestions of something that carries the proper message as well.

    @Cane,

    You’ve got it under control? Awesome–I’m still gonna stick around.

    Very well expressed. In fact something that I failed at (with a man no less!) last night when he obviously needed a bit more than to be driven to his car. Next time I’ll just refuse the stupidity. Iron sharpening iron and all of that.

    @Morticia,

    Asking women not to chat is a bit like asking cads not to sleep with loose women

    I’d like to say Cane beat me to the punch but he was more perceptive. It might be better to say that women chat because it is their God given nature which might be corrupted to ends like gossip or harping. I agree that if you chat about good things then you are safe. There is a bit of an over reaction to women here because of the problems in our world (Cane’s short circuit comment). I’ll even go so far as to say some of us enjoy women chatting even when we are quiet. In fact I prefer not having to keep a conversation going and like naturally bubbly women (which God bless her my wife isn’t though she does try).

    Feel free to chat up the good things but be aware that some men may (1) ignore you out of spite (2) ignore you because they fell into the trap of listening to women too much in the past.

    And Cane will react poorly to comments like the St Jude one. He’ll read that, rightly, as trying to spiritually instruct a man. That just won’t ever create anything other than the Lavender Mafia types.

  • Elspeth says:

    Mr. Caldo, you are in rare form today.

    That is both an insult and a compliment, for the record. I don’t do passive aggressive.

    My comments are based on the Christian ideal that human beings help other human beings when they can and it is prudent to do so, and sometimes when prudence is to be disregarded.

    I am bowing out now because I am 1) unconcerned with chivalry (classical or the bastardized version being referenced here) and more concerned with Christian charity and 2) far less concerned about the gender angle here than most of the other commenters.

  • Zippy says:

    Elspeth:
    Mr. Caldo, you are in rare form today.

    Indeed he is, though I wonder what St. Jude makes of his analogy.

    …and more concerned with Christian charity and 2) far less concerned about the gender angle here than most of the other commenters.

    Is it ironic that as the author of the OP I share those dispositions, precisely?

    I think chivalry just is Christian charity, of the specific sort which sanctifies strong men through solicitude toward the weak and vulnerable. This takes us back to the Catholic Encyclopedia’s disparagement of “Lady-focused” chivalry, as something wasteful and even sordid which attempts to disconnect chivalry from religion.

  • Morticia says:

    @GK Chesterton
    I wasn’t trying to instruct him, I was trying to point him in the direction of an ally in his cause, falsely assuming that as a prot he wouldn’t have known of him.

    But your points are taken. Delicacy in communicating is not one of my strong points (but I am working on it).

  • Elspeth says:

    I think chivalry just is Christian charity, of the specific sort which sanctifies strong men through solicitude toward the weak and vulnerable.

    Well I was bowing out. 🙂 I’ve changed my mind, as we women are known to do.

    I agree with this insomuch as the strong caring for the weak and vulnerable.

  • Dalrock says:

    Good conversation here, and as is fairly common Cane and GKC have given me some things to consider further.

    @GKC
    I largely agree with you Zippy on the good of retaining chivalry but you will have to do better than this. There are no atheists in foxholes and there are no feminists with a broken tire. Folks in Dalrock’s camp are going to rightly point out that when a woman in need _of course_ she acts docile. That is not the moment of test, it is an hour later when the man is reading a newspaper and she demands attention.

    There is a more immediate problem in my personal experience. The problem isn’t that the woman becomes docile until it is all over and then later rediscovers her sense of girlpower. That is a mere annoyance. The much more serious problem is when she claims she will follow the instructions and then reserves the right to suddenly stop following the agreed plan the moment it no longer suits her. In most cases this is just profoundly disrespectful, but as I’ve found in other cases it can create a very dangerous and very sudden problem. It is hard enough with unknown men to anticipate their unexpected reactions as the events unfold*. But with women there is this very serious additional layer of willful, deceitful rebellion born out of feminist resentment. If you’ve been involved with helping enough people in these kinds of situations you no doubt have seen how quickly things can go terribly wrong. So far I’ve never witnessed any cases of serious injury or property damage. But if you are seeing near misses, this is an indication that the real deal is just around the corner.

    *One more example came to mind today. A few years back I stopped and lent a chain to a level headed college age young man whose buddy had run off the road (front of the truck was in a shallow but fairly steep ditch). The level headed young man started to hook the chain to the towed vehicle’s bumper, but he was methodical enough and willing to listen that I was able to point out the problem and help him find a way to loop it around the frame (and point the clevis hook in the right direction for maximum strength). I followed my father’s advice from many years ago to have them be the ones who hooked up the chain (my father believes this might reduce legal liability, as it shows they were in control). What I didn’t foresee was when the level headed young man started to pull his buddy out of the ditch, the buddy called down to two or three other friends who were previously safely out of the way (at my insistence) and had them jump into the void left by the front of the truck and “help” push the front of the truck up the ditch. In the blink of an eye they created an extremely dangerous situation where if the chain broke, came loose, even if the tow vehicle had a malfunction, several young men would have been crushed. I very much don’t want to be a party to something like that, even if someone else is clearly at fault. Sometimes there is good reason to drive on by and let them call a tow truck, as much as I truly want to lend a hand.

  • GKChesterton says:

    So now I’m going back and reading all the comments…

    @Zippy,
    There is no risk in that, because nothing happens that I don’t choose to happen.

    This is a bone headed example to set. You are, last I checked, human. “Near occasion of sin” is something to often forgotten.

    @Dalrock,

    Thanks for the note on Morticia. I wasn’t aware that she was Gabriella. On the plus side her posts are _much_ better now.

    @Elsbeth,

    If men as a class are stronger, as Christianity proposes, then Christianity also proposes that men as a class have a duty to provide for women at some level. The trick is to not be lemmings about it and not provide because it is “demanded”. In fact to avoid situations where it _is_ demanded. There is something to be said of Jesus response to the various Samaritan women. Most especially in the case of “even dogs eat from the scraps of their masters.”

    Jesus provides because he can and that is what Charity is. However, there is never any confusion that he could chose _not_ to. That this is true charity. There is a frame there that I think is useful for the discussion. He even goes so far as, which should cause gasps of horror to more than a few modern women, to make it crystal clear she doesn’t deserve the action. Us non-divine types have to be a wee bit careful from being over the top imperious asses but I think there is something there we can learn from (cf. Matt 15:27).

  • GKChesterton says:

    I read you Dalrock, and have come to read Zippy and Cane through you, because I learn from you. So I appreciate the kind comment.

  • Zippy says:

    GKC:
    This is a bone headed example to set. You are, last I checked, human. “Near occasion of sin” is something to often forgotten.

    If a man is so lacking in self control that some woman (a total stranger) going all doe-eyed on him while he changes a tire is a near occasion of sin, he’s got bigger problems than figuring out when he should and shouldn’t be lending a hand.

    Dalrock:
    Your latest anecdote is another great cautionary tale for guarding against stupid. But I’m tempted to coin an adage, “never blame on [feminism/onanism/whatever-ism-is-under-criticism] what can be explained by plain old ordinary – and sometimes willful – stupidity”.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Zippy
    Your latest anecdote is another great cautionary tale for guarding against stupid. But I’m tempted to coin an adage, “never blame on [feminism/onanism/whatever-ism-is-under-criticism] what can be explained by plain old ordinary – and sometimes willful – stupidity”.

    That isn’t what I’m doing. I’m pointing out that there is danger in the unforeseen and miscommunication when dealing with men. This same danger exists with women, but you have to add to that what I’ve experienced fairly commonly, the pretense of agreeing to follow the plan while deceitfully preparing to disregard the parts they deem unneeded. The other problem is more carefully explaining tends to bring out more of the feminist rebellion. They often take a seriousness which comes from experience they don’t have as condescension to them as a woman.

  • Zippy says:

    Dalrock:
    This same danger exists with women, but you have to add to that what I’ve experienced fairly commonly, the pretense of agreeing to follow the plan while deceitfully preparing to disregard the parts they deem unneeded.

    I’d suggest that on average a woman is more likely to do something stupid than a man in one of these scenarios period, willfulness aside. But that is just part of the prudential assessment of whether to help and in what manner to help in a specific situation.

    What it doesn’t do is cast doubt on the fact that in general, the powerful have a special obligation – and I do mean obligation, though it falls under Christian charity not reciprocal justice – to help the weak and vulnerable.

  • Elspeth says:

    the pretense of agreeing to follow the plan while deceitfully preparing to disregard the parts they deem unneeded.

    My husband experiences this with men in his line of work all the time.

  • Zippy says:

    Elspeth:
    I agree with this insomuch as the strong caring for the weak and vulnerable.

    Great citation. Traditional chivalry[*] is every bit as Biblical as traditional marriage.

    [*] It may just be that the term “chivalry” has been poisoned, and people simply can’t escape from its “courts and ladies” connotations. Rather like the word “gay”.

  • Vanessa says:

    I think chivalry just is Christian charity, of the specific sort which sanctifies strong men through solicitude toward the weak and vulnerable.

    This. It’s actually really hard to separate the two, as we’ve discovered with our examples. If a man jumps your car, it’s chivalry. If a woman jumps your car, it’s charity. But in either case, all that happened is that somebody jumped your car.

    It’s mostly that men, on average, are stronger and simply better at such things, so they’re more likely to be the person helping out. Calling it “chivalry” is to recognize the imbalance in the sexes, to honor men for their greater investment. Also, it does recall the knight/damsel dichotomy, which emphasizes complementarianism and makes all of our inner girls soon.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @ZC

    “If a man is so lacking in self control that some woman (a total stranger) going all doe-eyed on him while he changes a tire is a near occasion of sin, he’s got bigger problems than figuring out when he should and shouldn’t be lending a hand.”

    This is the too narrow approach I’m talking about by discussing chivalry in terms of roadside assistance and shoveling snow. Men do these things often–as has been born out here.

    1) Men have bigger problems. So what? The primary work of charity is done on the worker, just as the work of Game is. The rich man is in Hell not for the poor man’s continued poverty, but because of the rich man’s miser-y

    2) More importantly: matters of chivalry/charity are most common–and most egregiously transgressed (by both parties and in a myriad of ways)–among those in closest and commonest proximity. This is life, not letters to Playboy. The concern isn’t sexing up the mistress of a flat tire, but keeping upright with the administrative assistant, or your “beta” friend’s wife.

    @Elspeth and ZC

    Thanks.

    I think St. Jude likes my comment just fine. More later, on that topic.

  • Zippy says:

    Cane:
    The concern isn’t sexing up the mistress of a flat tire, but keeping upright with the administrative assistant, or your “beta” friend’s wife.

    By all means good judgement should be exercised.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Zippy
    [*] It may just be that the term “chivalry” has been poisoned, and people simply can’t escape from its “courts and ladies” connotations. Rather like the word “gay”.

    I think this is it, and I think a very large part of this is due to the unfathomable crassness we now see on the topic from nearly all women. It is so common that women who do this can’t understand why what they are saying is so crass, even when it is directly pointed out to them. When GKC describes chivalry it is something noble. When Vanessa, Sheila Gregoire, etc describe chivalry it is something contemptible. There is no room for graciousness with women who demand chivalry, who deem to tell men it is an obligation without the presence of mind to understand how profoundly uncouth their uttering those words is. It is no less crass for a feminist and entitled woman to scold men about their obligation to provide women chivalry than a homeless layabout lecturing the charitable on their obligation to provide him charity. And the very fact that they don’t know/understand why they should remain silent is proof of how far off from understanding the issue they truly are.

  • Morticia says:

    Dalrock-
    I think that Vanessa and I both realize that when dealing with actual real people in real life situations acting expectant is in very poor form, but we all expect that on the internet where we debate ideas that we should be able to do so objectively. Ladies discussing this should be viewed from a depersonalized perspective, just like you discussing submission shouldn’t be read as “Dalrock must think it is ok for my husband to beat me senseless.”

  • Vanessa says:

    We’re having a theological discussion on a blog. This isn’t the Mass. We’re not going to start issuing encyclicals based upon this conversation.

    I’d be very concerned if you ever didn’t think something I wrote was contemptible. I would wonder, “What is wrong with Dalrock? He just doesn’t seem to be himself today.”

  • Zippy says:

    People bring the baggage of prior discussions along with them, and when I don’t know the history I can’t make a judgement. (I’m usually not much interested in making that judgement in any case). I haven’t read the Sheila Gregoire stuff on this in particular, but I am aware of, um, inconsistent tendencies in her writing.

    But substantively, in this discussion, setting aside our various pavlovian reactions to the word “chivalry”, I am not seeing a massive difference between Vanessa’s position and my own. If someone does see a difference, by all means clue me.

  • Vanessa says:

    My last comment was mean-spirited, and I apologize. It’s just that Dalrock has such a low opinion of me that it actually makes it hard for me to care about improving it.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    Ladies discussing this should be viewed from a depersonalized perspective

    Whoops! You seem to be lost: This is “Chivalry is Dead; Long Live Chivalry!” “Feminism is Dead; Long Live Feminism!” is down the hall. Go on in: they’re waiting for you.

    A word of caution: Don’t be alarmed at the giant sucking sound you here coming from within. it’s just air escaping through the hole your comment just blowed clean through Vanessa’s argument.

    “We’re having a theological discussion on a blog. This isn’t the Mass. We’re not going to start issuing encyclicals based upon this conversation.”

    BOOM!

    WHOOOOOOSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

    Oops. There goes catholic (stet) thinking.

  • Svar says:

    “OK. But my response to all that is “fine — but now that you know, grow a pair.””

    Ahahaha! I think you’re asking for way too much, Zippy.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    Ah, some cussing in that video. Feel free to delete, with my apologies.

  • Vanessa says:

    I retract my apology. I didn’t realize mean-spiritedness was the lingua franca around here.

  • Zippy says:

    Cane:
    Interesting.

    So let me consider this additional argument of Vanessa’s under a charitable interpretation.

    Christian women are often the target of ad hominem. (Stipulated)

    Marriage to Christian women is caught in the ‘halo effect’ of that ad hominem.

    Proposition: Some ad hominem arguments can be refuted by photography.

    I’d say that’s probably true to the extent that Internet photography confers objective information. I’d give the argument two or three points higher on the same scale as other anecdotal claims, e.g. “I’m in the top 100 bodybuilders” or “I retired at 35”.

    Though in fairness to myself, my own point is forthrightness about how poorly equipped I am to connect with the experience of everyman.

    Photography is some verification, but in the end it probably isn’t as objective as people think it is. (My brother photographs crime scenes. The hoops that must be jumped through to make sure that photographic evidence is objective are something to behold).

    (That argument clinic skit is a classic).

  • Zippy says:

    Vanessa:
    I didn’t realize mean-spiritedness was the lingua franca around here.

    It isn’t. I try to extract the substance from whatever a person happens to say though. So far I haven’t really gotten an answer as to how your and my substantive positions on the subject matter of the OP fundamentally differ.

  • Vanessa says:

    The speaker differs.

  • Vanessa says:

    Cane’s comment didn’t make good sense, as I never said that my sex or my appearance doesn’t matter to my argument. Obviously, it matters, as this isn’t Anonymous and our personas lend weight to or detract from our argument. In a thread about chivalry, any woman taking part will have to deal with men throwing mud at her and telling her to shut up, especially if she is promoting chivalry. It’s the same for any man taking part in a discussion about abortion or wifely submission, where he is promoting them, where most of the participants are female. Or, for that matter, a black person commenting at a blog full of white nationalists.

    This is actually a mixed-sex debate, and not necessarily a Manospherian blog, so it’s a bit odd that the men are getting all riled up about the estrogen in the room.

    I am simply saying that my sex alone shouldn’t exclude me from taking part in the discussion because I am not stepping over the bounds the RCC has drawn for women’s political involvement. Commenting on blogs is not part of the Magisterium.

  • Vanessa says:

    It’s the same for any man taking part in a discussion about abortion or wifely submission, where he is promoting them, where most of the participants are female.

    Well, unless the female participants are orthodox Christians, as then there will be little disagreement. There doesn’t seem to be the same opportunity here for women, as there is for men. I’ll leave the reason for this open, although it is obvious.

  • Vanessa says:

    In a thread about chivalry, any woman taking part will have to deal with men throwing mud at her and telling her to shut up

    Oh, the irony. LOL

  • Vanessa says:

    Photography is some verification, but in the end it probably isn’t as objective as people think it is.

    It’s not a logical argument, but an emotional one. Most people think in anecdotes that prove a pattern. So, if you can manage to gather a few anecdotes, you can refute an entire pattern.

  • GKChesteron says:

    @Zippy,

    I used to be the pastor equivalent in the faith I grew up in. There are a great many ordinarily morally valiant people, men and women, who fail utterly in ordinary situations. I think this is one of the reasons we are reminded time and time of the Israelites failing in much more extraordinary circumstances. When I was young I said, “those dumb selfish dolts.” Now that I’m older I tend to say, “there but for the grace of God go I.” So I’m not keen with your response as I think, of all things, it lacks both prudence (stay out of trouble!) and charity (it can’t happen to me!). I think in large part we are in agreement, but I can’t agree to not being careful of doe eyes. Doe eyes have magic powers, as Aslan would say, Old Magic. The trick is making sure the Old Magic is used correctly. And this is said as one who has only ever had one woman, my wife. If Moses could screw up getting water from a rock I feel absolutely confident that every man here could screw up changing a tire; in truly epic ways.

    @Cane,

    I don’t have the history with Vannessa et al to comment. I do know I’ve liked some of Morticia/Gabby’s more recent posts as much as I’ve disliked some of her older ones and that I generally like Elsbeth’s commenting (and as I understand it they are all friends of one sort or another). I think the post linked is kind of…poorly structured. Though I do think there is something to be said for the fact that good women don’t have to look hideous. I also have differed with you slightly in the past in that I think that it is a natural Good for wives to look good and that this can be indicative of character as much as looking feminine is conformance to an archetype. I think it is natural and good to want to look good and be respected for it in women in much the same way it is natural and good to want to be and be strong in men. Both can turn to vanity, which is why Vanessa would have been wiser to post _other_ people’s pictures

    @Zippy,

    BTW, forgive me for using “bone headed” that was too strong when I’m a guest. It is how I talk, and when I do I can laugh and smile more than when I write.

    I don’t follow with Vanessa because she appears to be equating Chivalry with Charity. Charity informs Chivalry because it is a cardinal virtue. However, as much as I love Chivalry it isn’t Charity because if it was it would be required by all Christians. It isn’t. It is Western mode of conduct for men that has done great things for us. I think someone on Darlock’s site quoted from the Song of Roland and this in combination with your quotes from the Catholic Encyclopedia I think illustrate that while it can’t expand beyond Charity (God is Charity) it is not the same as Charity and includes other behaviors.

    It teaches me for example filial obedience, often forgotten in our world and more important than most of what we have discussed here. It teaches that my actions in war and civil life matter to God and that no matter how bad the situation is I’m expected to conform to certain norms. It teaches about _how_ strength should be used. It helps me to understand that violence can be a just end if properly applied. It is to Charity then what any other spiritual discipline is but uniquely attuned to Western culture and to men.

    Which all is part of the frustration that some in Darlock’s camp feel I think. If these other, and arguably more important things, took precedence to door opening and tire changing, as truly important as these things really are, then it would be more palatable. There is also something to be said for remembering what “ladylike” is. This is the nearest thing we have to Chivalry for Women and is currently culturally degraded. I do believe that Vanessa et al are fairly good examples of our current crop of “good women” however Gabby/Morticia has had a rather recent (and hopefully permanent) turn of thought that just begins to hint at ladylike. I praise the move, but if this is the best we have to offer right now we are in serious straights.

    Hearing Sis talk about baking cookies for her gentlemanly neighbor truly warms my heart. I love men acting like true men and women acting like true women. They are so much happier that way, and more importantly they make God much happier when they do. So I continue to stand in support of Chivalry and hope that it does well. And as Cane has rightly pointed out: women generally don’t have ideologies they have leadership problems, so I’m keen on making sure my little part of civilization is well trained. Though from reading him I’m a total softy in comparison.

  • GKChesteron says:

    @Vanessa,

    There doesn’t seem to be the same opportunity here for women, as there is for men. I’ll leave the reason for this open, although it is obvious.

    “Let a woman learn in silence and submission”

    So we are at an odd point. I believe that Chivalry teaches this because it is an extension of Christian Classical thought. When men go to war or enter into Civic Office they treat women with deference because they are given the right to rule and mistreating those given into their care is immoral. This puts women commenting on chivalry into an odd position. It isn’t formally disallowed, after all Deborah rebuked Barak, but in commenting on a leaders role you are putting yourself in a very awkward place. I for one would want to be _very_ sure that I was lilly white lest I end up like a certain Amalekite after killing Saul.

    What is distasteful in your call to chivalry is it isn’t so much a call to chivalry as a call to treat women better. You aren’t calling men to take up arms and lead and saying, “I’ll gladly follow as a Lady.” This could be read, and for the record I don’t think you do it with malice, as leading men to an incorrect conclusion in their Chivalrous leadership. When you misdirect the true goals of a leader this is usurpation and should be treated with at least grave suspicion if not outright hostility.

    If we are to take chivalry seriously we have to take its corollaries seriously. One of those corollaries is that your place as a Lady is better served by bringing other potential Ladies into Ladylike behavior. Whereas a Chivalrous man is in charge of correcting and leading both as his dear Lady wouldn’t think of doing anything else but heading her _Lord_.

    In fact that word, Lord, is something that is nearly completely forgotten in this discussion with women. Chivalry also treats that as the norm, as does the Bible. Even amongst the best women, and I count my wife as among them, using that _feels_ like a betrayal to the current zeitgeist and makes many feel uncomfortable. If women have such a hard time with one word, imagine how many men struggle with the real dangers of following the code and why your comments might be viewed with extreme suspicion.

  • GKChesteron says:

    Meant to add quotes on “killing”….

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @ZC

    This are the key paragraphs in that TC post:

    “As much as we’d like to think that doesn’t matter, the fact is that it does matter. It matters a lot. It matters because it is so much more powerful for an attractive woman to council young women to chastity, than for an unattractive woman to do so. Her virtue has a higher worth — it is more heroic — because she has more opportunity to sin. (At least, that’s the rationale behind it.)”

    If you’re pretty enough to get away with acting like a tart, but don’t, doesn’t that support your argument that your chosen “lifestyle” brings some benefit that being a tart doesn’t bring? Enough of a benefit that you forgo decades of fun to settle down and make babies and cook dinner for one-and-only-one man? Enough of a benefit that you thank God every night that you made the choices you have made?

    We’ll put aside the slap in the face to women who are unattractive to the general masses (remember: the general masses are to whom the revelation of physical beauty is supposed to attract, and therefore fruitfully appeal).

    And we’ll put aside the numerous scriptural and traditional admonitions strongly against the importance of external appearance.

    We’ll further forget how the Lord not only chooses, but delights to use the weak to shame the strong.

    We’ll ignore that it is the poor man in heaven, and the rich man in Hell.

    Let’s also forget that…

    You know, it would really be faster if I said we threw out the Bible entirely, and we just relied on man’s understanding.

    Having done that: We still are left with that fact that it is easier to act from a position of abundance than of scarcity. It is easier for a physically pretty woman to forgo all manner of trials. Don’t believe me: check the Twitter feeds of all the women around the Manosphere: they’re all linking to this, or blogs that talk about it:

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19485565.2011.615172

    Pretty woman: become successful Christians! Ugly women can cook our potlucks and post up in the daycare…where no one can see them.

    @Vanessa

    Cane’s comment didn’t make good sense, as I never said that my sex or my appearance doesn’t matter to my argument.

    My comment not only made sense, but was awesome. Because it wasn’t about what you said here, but about what Morticia said here about what you said there.

    My comment to you was that you sometimes think the Church is truly universal, and sometimes it only exists on Sundays in that big old building. Not “little c” -atholic enough.

    Do you ever wonder how it is that you arrive at the conclusion that every negative comment I make is about you? It’s happened here at Zippy’s at least four times that you’ve confirmed.

  • GKChesteron says:

    And “heed”…its Friday…I need to do something else obviously…

  • GKChesteron says:

    @Cane,

    We cross posted a bit…

    God does indeed delight in attacking hubris but he doesn’t, I think, delight in weakness qua weakness. So it _is_ good for the beautiful to do good things and perhaps even “gooder”.

    Of course I also think almost all women are beautiful absent really atrocious genetics or personal vice. I think this is actually the normative human assumption too. So when we think “woman” we also think “beauty”. When women who are otherwise faithful are attacked for being ugly then they are effectively being told they are manifestly unnatural. By extension then their behavior is unnatural. I think there is a _seed_ of something good there just buried under feminine social concerns and a plea for reassurance.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @ZC

    Left out one bit:

    I can’t recall the particular heresy, but Catholics don’t do disembodied minds. We aren’t brains in a fleshy robot. We are are souls.

  • Morticia says:

    Some people treat their blog space like a school..where participation is encouraged. Some people treat their blog space like a church, where you sit and listen rather than ask a bunch of questions.

    I can’t speak for Zippy, but lets say he is the teacher type and not the preacher type. He can’t guide the student to right thinking if he has no idea what the student is thinking.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @GKC

    1 Corinthians

    26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

    Don’t blame me. I just work here.

    There is something to be said for physical and external beauty; for dressing appropriately; etc.–for women and for men, and for churches.

    And God is Lord of good and evil, and He can use a person’s sin of man’s understanding to bring them about to the truth of salvation, but that appeal to purposefully use good looks to lure people to Christianity is wrong. It just is.

  • Vanessa says:

    Morticia, don’t bother.

    They don’t want us around and they’re just going to dig up every stupid thing we’ve ever said and throw it at us and misrepresent every argument we make because they know for a fact that we’re not going to do the same to them. It’s no longer a topical debate, but a fight, and I’d rather not.

  • Morticia says:

    @Vanessa
    You know I have battered blogger syndrome. If I flounce it would just be another lie on my permanent record, as I seem to always come back for more.

    They only hit me because they care. I’m sure of it.

    Snark aside…
    I really would like an answer to my conundrum. How do women know when we are invited to speak our mind in all its brutal honesty?

    And if the answer is “When the men are not around”…isn’t that essentially saying that women shouldn’t have male teachers, because those teachers might have to be confronted with less pleasant realities of female thought?

    GKCHESTERTON- I appreciate the compliment…it might help to know I don’t consider myself a standard of lady-likeness. I’m like the novice beta who just swallowed the red pill and is dizzy from the disillusionment. Hopefully I will grow up into a lady one day.

  • Zippy says:

    Making the discussion yet again all about the participants and their personal histories and grievances is my favorite.

    Not.

    This is just a casual conversation in mixed company on a blog, and anyone who has something substantive to say, hopefully about the subject matter, is welcome to say it. Shaming and stating “shut up” in elaborate ways isn’t the way I operate. If I would prefer that someone shut up, I’ll simply use the words “shut up”. That’s how I roll.

    I still don’t see the substantive difference between Vanessa’s expressed view on the actual subject at hand and my expressed view on the actual subject at hand.

    GKC:
    Thanks for the more detailed elaboration. I think chivalry is Christian charity – a cardinal virtue, as you observed – applied specifically to relations between the strong and the weak, as this relation has evolved in Western Christendom. Thus it doesn’t collapse into identity with Christian charity: it is the working out of Christian charity in a certain category of human relations within a certain historical context. We should expect all sorts of concrete things – including honor codes, specific actions honorable men will never do, etc – to proceed from it.

    But at bottom it is rooted in the kind of non-reciprocal non-egalitarian relation I expressed in this comment. Even if one decides that Western Christendom is deader than a doornail and that the historical context is out the window, this non-reciprocal non-egalitarian understanding of Christian charity, as it relates specifically to the strong and the vulnerable, would remain.

  • Zippy says:

    Morticia:
    How do women know when we are invited to speak our mind in all its brutal honesty?

    When I invite you to. Consider yourself invited.

  • Morticia says:

    Thank you for your invitation, my Lord. I cordially accept.

  • Paul H. says:

    Zippy, thanks for hosting this discussion here. I’ve been lurking at Game blogs for a while, and I’m glad there’s a fellow Catholic out there who’s taking these Game discussions seriously.

    Dalrock, I’ve read a lot of what you’ve written on your blog, and I appreciate the work you’ve done to bring Christianity into the discussion of Game. As I read through these comments, I kept asking myself why neither side is finding the other side’s argument convincing. It’s kind of like when I watched a Christopher Hitchens debate, and I was trying to understand why he kept asking, “Why are you Christians so intent on groveling?” The statement is rhetorically powerful, but the attitude is entirely foreign to me, and the premises of the argument are unstated.

    I think your argument has a certain rhetorical force, but I’m still having trouble piecing your argument together. Zippy’s argument makes perfect sense to me: the fact that some stupid people exist (either because they are stupid feminists or stupid simpliciter) does not change our general obligation to help the weak, even if we are not obligated to help every weak person.

    I’m not exactly sure how to restate your position. Are any of the following accurate?:

    1. In an ideal world, the strong should help the weak in principle, but feminism has changed the moral landscape such that they now demand what should be gratuitous.

    2. Continuing to be chivalrous in a feminist environment is perpetuating bad behavior by implicitly condoning it.

    3. Part of the solution to the feminist problem is to help feminists see the consequences of their social project.

    4. Zippy’s position is unconvincing because: a) it offers no real solution to the problem; b) perpetuates the problem; c) doesn’t acknowledge the real problem; d) ______________.

    Is there anything you would add?

  • Elspeth says:

    Mr. Caldo:

    I’m not interested in arguing against Scripture. You’re right about what it says. I know full well that “charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

    I also know that “the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

    That said, how would you have received Vanessa’s argument if she had framed it thus:

    “As much as we’d like to think that doesn’t matter, the fact is that it does matter. It matters a lot. It matters because it is so much more powerful for an rich man to council poor men to charity, than for a poor man to do so. His generosity has more worth — it is more heroic — because he has more opportunity to indulge himself. (At least, that’s the rationale behind it.)”

    Recently at a local pet store we (and our 5 kids) encountered a woman in the parking lot who got out of a car with the bumper sticker “cats not brats”. She had a sour look on her face. T-shirt with a picture of cats on it, ripped jeans, greasy pony tail, the whole nine. And my husband said just that, “It’s a good thing she doesn’t want kids cause I don’t any man who’d want to…”

    I laughed at my husband’s comment. Who knows? Maybe the woman would’ve looked better with some fixing up and a smile. And maybe my husband was terribly un-Christian and uncharitable for looking at this woman’s outward appearance and not her heart.

    When I read Vanessa’s post, I was fully aware of the Christian ideal and the potential conflict with what she had to say. But I assumed that she was equally cognizant of it.

    Rather than assuming she was saying, “Cute girls rule, ugly girls drool”, I thought she was saying “to whom much is given, much is required.”That in this culture, beauty is currency, and it matters how you use it. Same as with money and power.

    As one who doesn’t consider herself particularly beautiful, and perhaps only marginally pretty, I didn’t find her post as offensive as some.

    Forgive me Zippy, if this comes across as a continuation of that which you discourage. I actually think this is loosely related to the topic at hand.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Elspeth

    That said, how would you have received Vanessa’s argument if she had framed it thus:

    “As much as we’d like to think that doesn’t matter, the fact is that it does matter. It matters a lot.

    This is the world’s view. It is worldliness itself. Are people worldly? Yes.

    It matters because it is so much more powerful for an rich man to council poor men to charity, than for a poor man to do so.

    This statement makes foolishness of Christ’s comments about the supremacy of the widow’s two mites.

    21 Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, 2 and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. 3 And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. 4 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

    While the world may be more moved by the contributions of the Gates Foundation, Christ is more moved by the elderly woman who sends her Social Security check to the 700 Club. Even if the 700 Club are thoroughly wicked moneychangers, her sacrifice transforms the mere money into charity itself. (Transubstantiation, anyone?) Gates can only offer money.

    His generosity has more worth — it is more heroic — because he has more opportunity to indulge himself. (At least, that’s the rationale behind it.)”

    Again, this is the world’s view, but it is foolish on its face. What is it to a multi-millionaire if he drops a $100 bill on the street? I would be sick over it.

    Luke 15

    8 “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? 9 And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ 10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

    The rich man wins and loses tens-of-thousands on the stock market. He does not celebrate. He does not rejoice. It is mere duty for the rich man to give, and for that he gets to give more.

    Luke 17

    7 “Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep [or tithing] say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’? 8 Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’? [Give more now]9 Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? 10 So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’”

    Vanessa’s argument turns this on its head. It says, “Look at us, we are worthy servants.” She makes the same fundamental error Ton does, above.

    Rather than assuming she was saying, “Cute girls rule, ugly girls drool”, I thought she was saying “to whom much is given, much is required.”That in this culture, beauty is currency, and it matters how you use it. Same as with money and power.

    That is because you are blinded by your love for Vanessa; for good and bad. You have a permanent assumption that she means well in all things. Perhaps you are often right. Regardless, what you have assumed here is not what she actually said, but what you want her to have said. It is often good to assume the best in others, but it can lead to a serious errors in others. Worse than that, and more important to me: She has spoken directly against the Gospel message itself. If I care about her at all (and I do, whether she likes it or not) and if I care about others then I cannot let that stand. Sin spreads like mold.

    @ZC

    Don’t muzzle the ox…

    A couple years ago I made Vanessa mad at TC, and along these same topics. I apologized for my rudeness, and left for good. A few months later, that which I had spoken against came to full blossom, and they had to make the blog private, and then some time later it came back with no comments allowed.

    I’m not against women speaking, and I have almost nothing but praise for Elspeth, Hearthie, Saint Velvet, and SongTwoEleven. Morticia’s post are remarkably better than her comments. Remarkably. I take some credit for that. I take credit for Morticia’s “my lord”, and Vanessa’s *curtsies*. They didn’t happen before, and they didn’t happen in a vacuum.

    …as it is treading out the grain.

    Look, I’m not trying to derail your blog. Say the word, and I will not tread here again. The fact remains that I am providing seed that you and other men will reap, and I’m happy to do so.

    This what chivalry looks like.

  • Elspeth says:

    While the world may be more moved by the contributions of the Gates Foundation, Christ is more moved by the elderly woman who sends her Social Security check to the 700 Club. Even if the 700 Club are thoroughly wicked moneychangers, her sacrifice transforms the mere money into charity itself. (Transubstantiation, anyone?) Gates can only offer money.

    I stand corrected. Sir. I offer no defense because you are right. Mine was a worldly perspective.

    Again, this is the world’s view, but it is foolish on its face. What is it to a multi-millionaire if he drops a $100 bill on the street? I would be sick over it.

    Would you? I assumed you were independently wealthy. Ha.

    That is because you are blinded by your love for Vanessa; for good and bad. You have a permanent assumption that she means well in all things.

    Yes. It’s called friendship. It also helps that we all converse much more deeply on these subjects away from the blogsphere. I have a more thorough understanding of what she means than the blog reader.

    Thanks for indulging us Zippy as we meander away from the original topic with all of our personal baggage.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @ZC

    I still don’t see the substantive difference between Vanessa’s expressed view on the actual subject at hand and my expressed view on the actual subject at hand.

    Because ideas aren’t disembodied. They don’t exist alone. It matters who says them. It matters who hears them. It matters what the context is. Satan accurately quotes scripture to Christ, but the context is so wrong that if Jesus had agreed with Satan*, Jesus would have died and stayed dead, the Holy Spirit would never have come, and we’d all be in Hell for eternity. The Word Become Flesh would have been undone by the Word. Law (more words) is meant to destroy the flesh By Adam’s sin death came into the world, and that death was justice, and justice is the Law.

    It is no more proper for a woman to lay claim to another’s chivalry than it is for me to lay claim to your treasure (though I’m sure I’d enjoy it very much). It would be ridiculously arrogant and just plain STUPID for me to say that you are obliged to give to such as me. Upon this assumption of arrogance and stupidity I can make jokes about trading our financial situations; by playing the fool for laughs.

    Finally: Is it the case that we can talk about Christ and the Gospel without being earnest? Because that’s what charity and chivalry are: the message and behavior-as-picture of the Gospel. We can be humorous, and angry, and even dumb, but if we are not earnest is it not vanity? Is this, or is this not, the crowd that believes in a natural and right hierarchy, and that with hierarchy comes order, obligations and discipline? Among such people, should the poor (in wealth, beauty, strength, whatever) say “They owe us”, or should they say, “I appreciate this.”? How should the fact that so many Christian men are spiritually flattened affect the nature and tenor of the conversation.

    If adherence to modesty in speech can’t get a woman there: Is there no call for Christian women to be charitable to such men in how they state the nature of obligations and duty? Can they not practice a chivalry of the heart and speech? “…that he may be won without a word…” Talk about power!

    *I shouldn’t have to say this, but I will take Vanessa’s weakness into consideration: I”m not implying you are Satan, Vanessa. This is an argument taken to logical extremes. That being said: You should be careful, for all our sakes.

  • Morticia says:

    Sir Cane,
    Me stepping out of my place helped inspire your thoughts on what exactly is a woman’s place. You are welcome.

    Regarding modesty in speech, it would help to have some instruction as to what exactly that looks like. I certainly try to be modest in my speech, as I say only a very small fraction of the things I think to say, yet I seem to come up short despite a sincere effort.

    I’m a rule follower..write a rule and I usually follow it. But things I am expected to know instinctively I will fall short..as my training did not equip me with such instincts.

    -The Lady Morticia

  • Dalrock says:

    @Zippy
    I still don’t see the substantive difference between Vanessa’s expressed view on the actual subject at hand and my expressed view on the actual subject at hand.

    Cane already did a good job with this one, but since I believe the question was intended for me I’ll add a bit. Vanessa’s “argument” started off with a personal attack on me as a Protestant while mis-characterizing something I wrote. If you made this case, I missed it.

    Moreover, I don’t believe your position is that people like me owe chivalry to people like you. When Cane pointed out the problem (in general) with women demanding chivalry (“their demand of chivalry/hospitality/grace causes it to be stillborn”), she challenged this with:

    So you are saying that women should just learn to lie back and enjoy it, rather than being so impertinent as to ask for protection?

    Vanessa hasn’t just been making the case that men owe women (like her) chivalry, she has been making the case that it is appropriate for women like her to tell men what kind of chivalry men owe them. And yes, she makes it clear that she means owed:

    I do think it’s owed.

    She has also continued to mis-characterize my statements, even as I have calmly explained them. This ironically she does while accusing me of being uncharitable.

    I fail to see any justification for refusing aid to half of the population on the basis of their sex alone. It’s wise to be wary, but that seems to be painting with a rather broad brush.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Vanessa
    They don’t want us around and they’re just going to dig up every stupid thing we’ve ever said and throw it at us and misrepresent every argument we make because they know for a fact that we’re not going to do the same to them. It’s no longer a topical debate, but a fight, and I’d rather not.

    The projection here is impressive. Before she was against it, she was for it. My exchange with Vanessa started with her writing this about me, misrepresenting an comment I made elsewhere:

    “Dalrock admits here that he has not helped a woman in 15 years.”

    Well, he’s a Protestant. Some of the more creative ones have decided that the Golden Rule is too Catholic and have jettisoned it altogether, along with communion and Christmas. It’s just so hard to keep up.

    Luckily, as Catholics, we have canon law to guide us. That’s why I always take a 10-point checklist along, so that I’m ready to analyze those in need of their worthiness before aiding them. Worthiness and Truthiness before all things, as they say.

  • Zippy says:

    All:

    I’m a bit fuzzy right now because I went to the ER with a kidney stone last evening, and I’m a bit impaired by the meds. But I’ll give it a go here anyway.

    Cane:
    I take credit for Morticia’s “my lord”, and Vanessa’s *curtsies*. They didn’t happen before, and they didn’t happen in a vacuum.

    You are assuming, rather impertinently, I wouldn’t have elicited them on my own, hah!

    More seriously, I think you have reframed Vanessa’s (other) argument (that is, her beauty argument). She makes the point that the specific contention “all Christian girls are ugly” can be refuted by photographs of pretty Christian girls. Yes, it is a (mostly) worldly point, but so what? If she had actually said that God values the beauty equivalent of the Widow’s Mite less than the beauty equivalent of the rich man’s tithe she would have been wrong. But I didn’t see – when I skimmed the post at any rate – where she made that argument.

    And in any case it is still a red herring. It remains the case that nobody has shown how Vanessa’s position on the subject of the OP — as opposed to on a post she wrote somewhere else some other time on a different subject — differs from mine.

    Say the word, and I will not tread here again.

    I would if that were my judgment, but I have not. I value your contributions and learn from them in general. But I don’t agree that we can’t evaluate arguments on their own merits, independent of where they come from.

    It is no more proper for a woman to lay claim to another’s chivalry than it is for me to lay claim to your treasure …

    That’s true. But the idea seems to be that it is offensive for people who have less than I do materially to discuss – in my presence – charity and how it plays out among the rich and the poor.

    I think that is frankly ludicrous.

  • Zippy says:

    Dalrock:
    Moreover, I don’t believe your position is that people like me owe chivalry to people like you.

    Correct, that isn’t my position. My position is that the strong owe chivalry to the weak.

  • GKChesteron says:

    I think Cane just made an argument for Tradition…

    @ZC,

    In many ways I think we agree but I don’t think you agree with Vanessa for the reasons outlined. Vanessa is still comfortable with Chivalry as something that can be seized, which is why I read her curtsey comment as accompanied by an eye roll.

    I’m very hopeful that such things will change. Just yesterday, as I was typing out my comments, my daughter had one of her young friends over. The girl is a total tom-boy in every good and honest sense. And as she flew up the stairs to play with my daughter she stopped to bow with a flourish and say “Hi Mr [x]!!!!!” (all exclamation marks included) then stopped at the top after she had passed me, said, “oops,” and curtsied with a marvelous smile. None of that is my doing, it is all her dads. Tom boy or not, she is a lady in training and it thrills me.

    @Morticia,

    When can you talk? I’m not of the same opinion as Cane here. One of my favorite commentators is Sister Angelica and I’m sure Cane sees her as trespassing a bit, though he probably grants her more than a little status due to both her role and age if he listens to her at all (interestingly I can’t stand watching her…not sure what that means).

    So I’d say the following guidelines to ladylike conversation hold when addressing men:
    1.) The older you are the more wisdom you can impart and the more likely a man will listen to you willingly. In my own life I notice that the real physical barrier to me is menopause, if you have passed it I’m more likely to think of you as “more male-like”. In general I think most men are more inclined to listen to women that are at least twenty years their senior, that is, the women who could conceivably be their mothers. You see a bit of this in say Downton Abbey where we all allow the Countess Dowager way more lee way than we feel comfortable with any of the other women having(1).

    2.) Suggest. Frequently. If you look at the old etiquette manuals the driving behavior in most of the rules is that a woman is often taught to be suggestive and not assertive. This behavior is required when going on walks, getting married, and in everyday conversation. In fact the preparation for marriage I think is an example of good ladylike behavior that has largely survived. Dalrock has even commented on it (less flatteringly than I think it deserves). Women telegraph willingness to marry far before they are proposed to. For good examples of that in writing take a look at many of Elsbeth’s comments. She’s actually very good at it.

    3.) Be aware that there are topics that will cause additional flare ups. Ladies weren’t traditionally supposed to involve themselves with some traditionally male topics _as a general rule_ because they could cause hostile reactions amongst men. Women tend not to know where the line is on aggression and say things that would get them knocked out as a man. They also can appear demanding even if that is not the intent, as has been shown here. This rule has oddly morphed in modern conversation to _all_ topics being avoided that were traditionally male. This is natural as our speech, as Vox notes in one of his articles, has drifted into a more feminine cant.

    4.) Expect pushback and disarm with kindness. Chivalrous men are trained not to strike the weak and the polite. If you engage in the rhetorical equivalent of a smile and a _real_ curtsey you will stop most knights in their tracks. You have after all now combined being a woman with being a _polite_ woman. This renders any attack brutish.

    None of the above are hard and fast rules. Being a lady is after all an art. Like all arts it requires practice.

    Also be aware that men don’t like commenting on this. It is after all the primary role of the “older women”. Me saying something at all makes me feel like the normative chain of command has broken somewhere.

    (1) Before the howling mass comes after me for letting my metrosexual skirt show, I’d like people to consider that this is probably the kindest portrayal of not only a patriarch but an _aristocratic_ patriarch who _isn’t_ a natural alpha in near on forty years. I haven’t seen season three and I admit the writing is uneven, but the show gives off this glimmer of hope that the Old Guard in me cherishes. In fact I find it howlingly funny that the most “alpha” character is the homosexual who plays poor honest but young Daisy like a fiddle.

  • Zippy says:

    Paul H: Welcome to the blog.

  • Zippy says:

    GKC:
    Vanessa is still comfortable with Chivalry as something that can be seized, which is why I read her curtsey comment as accompanied by an eye roll.

    Well, I think it is the intrinsic nature of chivalry that it cannot be seized. The weak are in no position to seize from the powerful; and fomenting revolution to get themselves into that position would have to fall under a just war analysis.

    So if she thinks that then that could be a substantive point of disagreement. But it isn’t obvious to me that she thinks that, absent further clarification from her.

  • GKChesteron says:

    I would if that were my judgment, but I have not. I value your contributions and learn from them in general. But I don’t agree that we can’t evaluate arguments on their own merits, independent of where they come from.

    The medium can provide content. I know what you are saying here but especially in a discussion of chivalry where at least some of the commentators claim to be supporting the idea, shouldn’t we expect the supporters to be following the system that they support? If so Vanessa’s posts bother here and previously don’t appear to be demure and ladly-like. That is they _seem_ to undermine the system she claims to be supporting. Again, I don’t see malice in this, I just see someone who is unclear about how far her own ideas reach. She is seizing something that is likely to burn her hand.

    That’s true. But the idea seems to be that it is offensive for people who have less than I do materially to discuss – in my presence – charity and how it plays out among the rich and the poor.

    Again, I don’t see it that way. I see it as a discussion of people in your presence discussing how _you_ should be charitable in great detail. Why didn’t you contribute in excess of 10k to smile train last year?

    Correct, that isn’t my position. My position is that the strong owe chivalry to the weak.

    Tacky…but likely the pain medication talking. Which I can understand I was hit by both a surgery and a broken toe caused by a rather large falling rock this last month in two unrelated incidents.

  • Morticia says:

    Mr Zippy
    Sorry to hear of your kidney stones. Those are terrible.

    I wouldn’t worry about your coherency. I find I do some of my best writing on percocet, though it does not help me avoid typos.

  • Morticia says:

    Regarding Vanessa,
    She is pretty enough that she doesn’t really have to depend on a mans sense of duty to get help. Often they help her to impress her.

    I think she is fighting this topic so passionately on behalf of those who are ugly or old and less likely to get help by virtue of their attractiveness.

    She isn’t telling you that you owe HER chivalry, she is upset that you might deny it to some other person who needs it.

    I can relate, as I have a grandmother who lives alone with no family and I often worry about her.

  • Zippy says:

    GKC:
    Again, I don’t see it that way. I see it as a discussion of people in your presence discussing how _you_ should be charitable in great detail. Why didn’t you contribute in excess of 10k to smile train last year?

    To the extent that one or more of the women berated one or more of the men for failing in specific acts of chivalry – and to the extent that one or more of the men berate specific women for acting unladylike – that is, to the extent anyone is making personal accusations – it is correct that I am not on board with those contentions.

    But I haven’t asked people to suggest how my assessment of Dalrock differs from Vanessa’s (or vice versa). I’ve asked people to show where my substantive position on chivalry differs from Vanessa’s substantive position on chivalry.

    Tacky…but likely the pain medication talking.

    You’ve probably misinterpreted the comment, since it wasn’t intended as snark at all; though it is also possible that I’m even more impaired in projecting how people will take my words personally (contrary to my intention) than usual.

    I don’t find it even slightly offensive for a mixed group of rich and poor people together to discuss the dynamics of charity. I also don’t find it even slightly offensive for a mixed group of strong and weak to discuss the dynamics of chivalry.

    I do find it unproductive when people start to personalize it, with accusation and counter-accusation among commenters about how unladylike Vanessa is or how unchivalrous Dalrock is creating noise and acrimony in an otherwise productive discussion. Yes, that kind of thing can and often does derail what could otherwise be a perfectly productive discussion.

  • Morticia says:

    Mr Chesterton
    Thank you for your insight. It is much appreciated.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Paul H.
    I’m not exactly sure how to restate your position. Are any of the following accurate?:

    Bullet point 1 is pretty close to my argument here. Bullets 2 & 3 I generally agree with but these aren’t points I have been making here. I’m not sure what to make of bullet 4. Zippy has made a case that the strong have obligations to help the weak. In general I don’t disagree with that. My objections have primarily been to women deeming to tell men the chivalry men owe to them. It is for lack of a better word, vulgar, and as Cane said at the top of the thread removes the possibility for graciousness by men. I linked to and quoted from comments on this syndicated column by Sheila on my recent blog post, and the column itself and the comments by other women are astounding. The casual way they discuss when and how men they don’t know should be obligated to die for them is incredible. Likewise is their casual discussion of why we owe this to them. One explains that we owe it to them because our lives are worth less than theirs. Another is careful to point out that the men who refrained from entering the lifeboats on Titanic so that women (and a smaller percentage of the children) could survive weren’t really that noble after all. Sheila’s argument incredibly is that men who aren’t thinking about women like her are being selfish. All of this about a shipwreck where despite a colossal failure of leadership over 99% of the souls survived. This simply couldn’t have happened if ordinary men hadn’t stepped up. Of those who perished, at least two were men who perished because they put the lives of women and children first. There is this ghoulish sense that women have been cheated of the Full Titanic Experience.

    Just to punctuate how comfortable the women are in demanding men die on their behalf, they then break into a griping session about times men witnessed them merely being upset and didn’t swoop into action. This is absolutely stomach turning.

    All of this is worse because these ostensibly traditional Christian ladies have a very strong feminist bent. One of the women wasn’t sure why men owed her so much, because as she quickly points out she is their equal. Sheila herself considers her work a “ministry”, and repeatedly explains that the biblical instruction to wives to submit offends her (so long Tit 2!). In one of her books, she actually explains that Ephesians 5:23 means that Christian wives should give their husbands lists of chores:

    Make honest requests of him that allow him to help support you and feel involved in building your home.

    My husband is motivated by lists. If I just tell him I would like him to help clean up after dinner, he doesn’t know what to do. But if there is a list of daily and weekly chores on the fridge, and he can see what is left to be done, he’s like a Tasmanian devil whirling around the house, cleaning.

    Elsewhere Sheila objects to what she considers a “paternalistic” attitude by men who would have instructed Laura Logan not to seek out dangerous situations:

    But it was still her decision, and to say that she can’t go because she’s a woman seems paternalistic. It’s like saying that a woman can’t decide to be a missionary in a dangerous land, even if she feels called to do so, because it may be dangerous. We applaud women who risk their lives for the sake of the gospel; obviously no gospel is involved in what Ms. Logan was doing, but I don’t think we can say one is wrong and the other right. In both cases, women are taking the responsibility for themselves on themselves.

  • Zippy says:

    Just to clear here:

    I can’t be assumed to agree with what various people are saying about each other specifically. I keep my own counsel on what I think of various people, and I almost always keep it to myself.

    So to the extent that Vanessa attacked Dalrock personally or Cane attacked Vanessa personally or whatever, always make the baseline assumption that I am not on board with that and almost certainly have a view different from the expressed view. Furthermore, I am very unlikely to actually express a personal view of individual commenters or what have you. I’ve been known to do it, but it is rare and I am always working to make it rarer.

    So when I say “I agree with X’s argument”, what I mean is that I agree with X’s argument to the extent of its substantive content on the subject matter, independent of all of the discussion-destroying personal stuff.

  • Zippy says:

    Dalrock:

    Just to be clear here too — I am completely on board with your substantive criticism of the “have your chivalry and eat it too” posturing by feminists who refuse to embrace the full implications of their own ideological commitments.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @ZC

    Kidney stones, like other fine mineral deposits, are a wealth better passed on, than received. My sympathies.

    And no doubt you would have elicited such pleasantries.

    I’ll take the gossip and charges of calumny (for the crime of interpreting plain words plainly), but I object to the way that Vanessa’s mis-characterization of me as a woman-hater, or woman-silencer, or hater of beauty seems to have taken hold in several of the other commenters’ words–even GKC seems to think I’m sort of against it. Flabbergasting.

    What I have said: Bullshit is bullshit, and silence is better than bullshit. Women are more prone to bullshit because of their natures (that’s scripture and tradition talking, not CC) and I’m not going to apologize for recognizing that fact when it manifests in others speech. Insomuch as ANY Christian man or woman is spreading bullshit, I’m inclined to say, “You should change what you’re saying, or shut up”. When they are not, I don’t.

    The flip-side to charity/chivalry is modesty/discipline. We cannot separate the two, and anyone who desires one will obtain the other–how is up to us.

    @Morticia

    Me stepping out of my place helped inspire your thoughts on what exactly is a woman’s place. You are welcome.

    Ha. It inspired me to tell you my thoughts, yes. So, you can claim credit for that, if you’d like–not many who’d want that responsibility.

    -Meanwhile, back in TV Land–

    “Orthodoxy or Orthopraxy for $1000, Alex”

    “I’m a rule follower..write a rule and I usually follow it. But things I am expected to know instinctively I will fall short..as my training did not equip me with such instincts.”

    Beep! Beep! Beep!

    “Ah, ‘Why I bother with you and Vanessa in the first place?’ ”

    “Correct!”

  • Zippy says:

    Cane:
    I’ll take the gossip and charges of calumny (for the crime of interpreting plain words plainly) …

    Well, now you are putting words into my mouth. The fact that I prescind from the personal stuff implies that I prescind from the personal stuff. I don’t care if the proposition that X comes from Harry the Hermit Crab: what I am going to hear is the proposition that X, filtered of social posturing, which I will evaluate on its own terms. That’s how my antisocial mind works. I can dance the Greek Letter Dance when I have to, but it takes conscious effort.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @ZC

    Well, now you are putting words into my mouth.

    I was talking to you, not about you.

  • Zippy says:

    Cane:

    Ah, OK. Well you may have to speak more plainly to reach my addled brain today. I’ll probably laugh at the joke next Tuesday.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    And I was talking to you, but not just to you.

    Now, I will take a bit of my own advice, and make with the veil. I have said more than need to have been said.

  • GKChesteron says:

    @CC,

    Actually my quibble with you on beauty is not with Vanessa per se but with what could be salvaged out of her post. I really do maintain that there is something there, I just think she largely destroyed it the minute she posted _her_ picture (even an ironically unflattering one given the angle and lighting). Even Zippy’s comments seem to do that. His proposition above strips away enormous amounts of her post.

    @Zippy,

    In as much as Chivalry is a _male_ discipline how can one comment on what men should be doing in it in the abstract as a woman without possibly trespassing into seizing? I’d say it is near impossible. The closest they can come I think is saying, “this is a societal good, and here is why, I leave it up to you to follow your own system or not.” And again since chivalry proposes an asymmetrical system I _can_ comment on ladylike behavior because chivalry says I can in most general cases. It is, however, for the reasons I outlined above distasteful.

    I mean let’s take a look at her argument since you insist on that. Her opening comment on the thread is, “So you are saying that women should just learn to lie back and enjoy it, rather than being so impertinent as to ask for protection?”

    Well yeah. They should receive charity happily. Why not? Why be impertinent?

    In the fourth(?) attempt at argument she states, “Well, he’s a Protestant. Some of the more creative ones have decided that the Golden Rule is too Catholic and have jettisoned it altogether, along with communion and Christmas. It’s just so hard to keep up.” This is ad hominem of a pretty cheap kind and I’m not Protestant.

    This follows with a good posting here: “I don’t demand chivalry from anyone, although I’m always grateful for it, but I do think that a societal system should take the inherent weakness of women, children, the infirm, and the other vulnerable members into account. I’m also not afraid to say so, even though it enrages the Sexbot and Surrogate Brigade. If the Church’s relationship with Christ is mirrored in marriage, then the marital relationship is mirrored in the wider society. It seems to be the natural order, which means that it was bestowed upon us by our Creator.”

    I’ll quibble about natural order in so much as I think we have to deal with a, “red of tooth and claw,” world. In fact she trips again on this a bit later, “We don’t have to be foolhardy, but we also shouldn’t be overly selective or prejudiced in rendering aid.” I’d argue that this opposes Jesus’ command to be “crafty as serpents.” It also allows for people like Anonymous in Darlock’s thread on this topic to cherry pick inane examples of “chivalry gone bad”.

    It also, given her God given position, starts to sound demanding. She does this again when she says a bit later, “I do think it’s owed. I think all of society could use a little bit less volunteerism and a little bit more sense of duty. This is a general problem, I think.” This is something that I can say freely because I’m in effect _placing myself_ in debt. It doesn’t work when she says it because there is no risk in saying it. If you are aware of Scrum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Chicken_and_the_Pig) it is a bit like a chicken lecturing a pig on breakfast.

    In fact if she had kept to this here, “If you can just toss them aside as you like, then they aren’t actually obligations, are they? This is a mentality endemic to our society, akin to the “But Vanessa, pregnancy/submission/homemaking/fidelity/etc. is so hard,” that I constantly hear from women. Yes, it’s hard. Life is hard. Look to the crucifix and ponder what is hard” she would be on safer ground. This is, “I have debt too!”

    Later she rejects a chivalrous advance, “For instance, I was shopping for booze and bought so much that it filled up a small cardboard box (cause I’m classy like that). One of the store clerks followed me to the door and insisted on taking the box. He made me uncomfortable, so I refused. He just grabbed the box and walked through the door, to my astonishment. I was stuck following him out and pointing to my car, which was parked quite a ways away, and then he tried to chat me up while I was fumbling with the keys and trying to pop the trunk. I could barely get rid of him.” Yes she has a responsibility to be careful. But the man evidently didn’t do anything but talk to her and do what a knight is supposed to do, care for the needs of the weak (and a standard box of booze with a specific gravity slightly lower than water is not light).

    She also misconstrues chivalry in a normative feminine way. She makes it lady-like, “At first glance, it’s just general helpfulness , with men being in a position to help more often (or in a different manner) than women.” I’d argue that she is describing a slightly but parallel system that doesn’t involve men. “General helpfulness” sounds an aweful lot like “help-meet”.

    Again later on she strikes gold, “At any rate, if (to take the classic example) a man holds the door open for me, I don’t feel entitled, but honored. It feels a bit like someone is taking a step down from a higher position to acknowledge my existence. Even though he hasn’t done anything truly heroic, it does make me feel safer to know that the men around me know that I am there and care about my welfare, even if it’s just a superficial display like that. It’s so easy to feel invisible and irrelevant, and therefore highly vulnerable, although that might just be my own timidity.” This is actually good. It is a response to an asymmetrical system and really should be applauded.

    This marks a peak in the thread. She wanders back and forth a bit from here on in. So here’s the problem, she is in many ways right. But it is an argument she can’t express anymore than I can say “God is obligated to die on the cross.” That sort of thing makes me amazingly creepy-uncomfortable just putting in scare quotes. There is some sort of obligation there but it is so far beyond me (and interestingly it isn’t _to_ me as it deals with a relationship I’m not part of) that I’d rather stay the hell out of it, in this case literally.

    And that’s why her argument comes off stilted and allows her to be set up as a target. When she says “obligation” she is right. But to whom and why? It isn’t an obligation to women. It is an obligation to men and most importantly to God. You are obliged sideways and up and not down. That sounds horrid to modern ears but chivalry doesn’t allow for equality. If you believe in it then it proposes all sorts of unsavory things. I have to potentially die if I believe in chivalry. Believing that women should be ultra careful in discussing it seems like a minor problem in comparison.

    There are Lords and Ladies in chivalry. A few of us hated tradcons have kept up are end of the deal in making sure we treat one side as Ladies. We don’t expect, as chivalrous sorts do, that the other side treat us as Lords. But if they believe in chivalry, then they are obligated to have real Lords. Having real Lords is dangerous as there are times when you keep your mouth well and permanently shut in their presence. One of those times is when the Lords are discussing their Lordly obligations.

  • GKChesteron says:

    @ZC,

    I don’t care if the proposition that X comes from Harry the Hermit Crab

    You should because God seems to. This is a formal argumentative position and in most cases it works because it is a bunch of Harry’s discussing important Crab topics. However, every once in a while you can say true things and still punch above your weight class. Job gets in trouble for this. I’d get in trouble for it if I did it with a king that I owed fealty to. Otherwise true or not.

  • Dalrock says:

    @GKC
    In fact the preparation for marriage I think is an example of good ladylike behavior that has largely survived. Dalrock has even commented on it (less flatteringly than I think it deserves).

    I don’t want to take us too far off topic, but if you wouldn’t mind I would be interested in what writing you are referring to. No need to make your case (unless you wish to), I would simply like to have the opportunity to consider if I am in fact doing this and I’m not clear on why I might have given this impression.

    Closer to the topic at hand:

    Also be aware that men don’t like commenting on this. It is after all the primary role of the “older women”. Me saying something at all makes me feel like the normative chain of command has broken somewhere.

    Men have failed to stand up to feminism for a number of reasons which aren’t noble, but I see this as one area where our better natures have really been used against us. One area I see this specifically is the “why won’t you let one of the girls do X male role if she is really good enough?” question. Women en masse have demanded that men not have a special station in society, and calling this out feels inappropriate for men. As I mentioned in my recent post on women in combat, the whole point for feminists of putting women in combat is to make sure we can never again say: “Thanks to the men who sacrificed so much for us” without feminists chiming in “and women too!”

    Past generations of women would have understood how vulgar this is. More recent generations of women have looked at the question with some combination of “But what if I want to be like one of the men?” and “But what if I’m forced to fight and die?” What has been missing entirely (at least that I’ve seen, and with some exception by women commenting on my blog) is the understanding that this sustained assault on the idea of manly pride by women is so incredibly uncouth. Women in past generations got this, and they guarded the idea of male pride where men feel uncomfortable defending for precisely the reason you describe. But somewhere along the lines older women stopped instructing younger women on topics like this.

  • GKChesteron says:

    @Dalrock,

    I want to say you had two articles on it in…spring of last year? I remember reading them while eating a hot dog but I can’t remember very clearly much else. I remember they included a story about what I believe was a college roommate who was an alpha and “signaled” into marriage. I used “less flateringly” intentionally as the thrust of your article was elsewhere. You weren’t downright hostile or anything but I do think the tone missed that this _is_ prototypical “good” ladylike behavior. I didn’t comment on it because it seemed tangential to your point.

  • Zippy says:

    GKC:
    What you are calling “the high point of the thread” I think of as “understanding Vanessa’s substantive position”. And her point that sometimes it is dangerous to accept help from a strange man, and that a woman must exercise discernment in that respect (e.g. the liquor store clerk in her case and the woman who was more comfortable when I was there as opposed to leaving her alone with the guy who was helping her) is perfectly valid. It is a dangerous world, and sometimes accepting help from the wrong person can be as dangerous as putting a flaky woman behind the wheel of a car you are pulling out of the ditch.

    But it is an argument she can’t express anymore than I can say “God is obligated to die on the cross.”

    In the first place, God isn’t/wasn’t obligated to die on the cross. At all. Strong (human beings) are obligated to help the weak and vulnerable, and will face judgement when they fail to do so: see the OP. (Caveats associated with all positive obligations apply).

    In the second place, this is so wildly over the top that frankly you lose me. No, fellow men, you are not God such that you get to dictate the terms of your obligations and nobody but you can even discuss them in the abstract. Good grief.

    Sorry, but “how dare women, as frequent recipients of its beneficence, discuss chivalry at all, even when a man invites them too” isn’t an argument. It looks like dudgeon masquerading as an argument.

    The net of it seems to be that you fellas are downright offended that women might discuss chivalry at all, in casual mixed-company conversation, even when a man invites them to. Is that really the position?

    If it is, then your beef is with me, not them.

  • GKChesteron says:

    I’m not saying I can dictate terms to God. In fact I’m saying exactly that I can’t. I can’t dictate up. Its impossible. God owes me no obligation. He can only take forms of obligation to himself (his equal http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condign_merit also cf. Heb 6:13). I also don’t mean it to sound like dungeon. It really isn’t.

    Nor am I saying women _can’t_ comment on chivalry. There are ways you _do_ talk about your Lord and ways you don’t. Or are you suggesting that public discussion of a king, this sounds old fashioned because we are discussing old fashioned things, would be acceptable in his full court? To discuss his failings in those obligations in a public forum? To demand that he oblige himself more frequently? Would it be treated well? Should we _expect_ it to be treated well?

    If you think it would go over well I’d suggest you aren’t supporting chivalry but some feel good approximation of the same. If you do support chivalry then you accept the filial obligations it brings. You don’t disrespect those up the chain by brandishing their faults in a public forum. You may chastise your subjects or those lower in the chain or even call your equals to task (which is risky). Obligations are sideways or up, not down.

    Did you read the article on Chickens and Pigs? In a chicken/pig management situation the chickens can listen but they can’t talk. They may address a situation in private but not in public. I find it odd that a management style like this is celebrated, but the obvious historical norm as applied here to chivalry is shunned when it is essentially the same thing.

    And for the record I’m not offended that the women are commenting here. Please don’t paint me with a broad brush. I’ve praised Morticia and Elsbeth. Both have commented here. I’ve noted that Vanessa’s words, if not the delivery and the usurpation of place have merit. I’ve labeled myself in Darlock’s thread as a happy White Knight. I believe in chivalry and fight for it. But we are all only allowed to speak in our place at the allotted times. Vanessa keeps wandering over that line in that she is making obligations of her Lords as no Lady would.

    Nor am I upset with her. Chivalry has fallen so out of favor that I think its necessary implications are often lost on its own supporters. Vanessa is supporting a good thing but I think she’s woefully lost on what that good thing _means_. By not understanding it she can lose the merits that it affords her. I’d rather that not happen because I happen to love women. But being utterly silent on such a matter is only nice and not loving.

  • Morticia says:

    So the question is – does preserving the Social Hierarchy take precedence over the stated preferences of the host?

    That seems like a totally different debate, perhaps deserving its own post.

  • Vanessa says:

    I’m sorry for turning your thread into a war zone, Zippy. It wasn’t my intention and I was genuinely interested in discussing the original topic. I’ve learned a lot from you already and will continue to avidly read what you write.

    Thank you for allowing me to take part and I apologize if people found my presence upsetting.

  • Zippy says:

    GKC:
    Or are you suggesting that public discussion of a king, this sounds old fashioned because we are discussing old fashioned things, would be acceptable in his full court? To discuss his failings in those obligations in a public forum? To demand that he oblige himself more frequently? Would it be treated well? Should we _expect_ it to be treated well?

    There are two things wrong with this analogy. The first is the personalization of abstract discussion that folks just can’t seem to let go. The second is the fact that I posted this and invited comment — so again, if folks don’t like the fact that women feel free to speak at my table (indeed I insist upon it), their beef when the women do speak freely is with me, not the women.

    A better analogy would be a discussion in the manor of a duke about the mutual responsibilities of commoners and aristocracy, with some of both present, where the duke invites and indeed insists upon open discussion.

    So I’m not buying the “shut up, he explained” posture w.r.t Vanessa. At all. All that is, is a cover for “damn I hate those mixed company parties at Duke Zippy’s”.

    (I haven’t read the management style article. I’ll check it out at some point, but I have my own ideas about and experience with management, and in my home and in the companies I’ve run we do things my way.)

  • Morticia says:

    This discussion hints at a problem us ladies have discussed many times when figuring out the “charitable” way to treat the opposite sex. Different men seem to have different temptations or expectations and so what will insight one to anger or despair won’t another. Or, as is often the case in the modesty debates one man will find knees sexy and another guy will have no problem with knees but will be tempted to lust at the sight of clavicles.

    This chivalry debate is just one manifestation of the general issue.

    In this specific case Zippy gets to make the rules in his own house. Open and shut case, but the question still lingers in my mind as to what I should take away from this conversation. How do I conduct myself at my own blog so that I can express my thoughts without transgressing against charity?

  • A Lady says:

    The blog world can’t manifest hierarchy effectively, so you should listen to your own husband and whatever the Magisterium declines on blogging (since you are Catholic). Since we haven’t got a functioning offline Christian patriarchy, where one could just seamlessly transmute the rules over, we’re stuck with individual rules and the remains of what patriarchal constructs there are as a guide.

  • Chris says:

    Zipster, if you and I both agree on something, either hell has frozen over or it is the truth. V. tries to discuss issues, and, (Americans may find this hard to believe) but she is polite. Just truthful.

    On the substantive point, she is completely correct. You cannot trust anybody. There are evil people in every strata of society.

    @A Lady: your point is correct and obvious: I will not speak for the RCC but on the Protestant side of the Tiber there is a dearth of such teaching. I do note that one of the women who was married to a theology student mentored a bunch of teenagers and younger women during her husbands PhD and at least three of her pregnancies in my local Kirk and her ministry was noted and acknowledged when he was called to his first parish. But that is very rare. (It should not be).

  • Chris says:

    This is taken from Vox Day, as his politically correct take on chivalry.

    The Code of Modern Chivalry

    I neither recognize nor serve the female imperative.
    I will rigorously respect all female claims to equality and refrain from treating them any differently from a man in any way, shape, or form.
    In the event I encounter a strong and independent woman crying in public, I will not conceal my amusement.

    Horrid.

    But that is what we are facing.

    (Cross commenting at Mort’s place)

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @ZC

    So I’m not buying the “shut up, he explained” posture w.r.t Vanessa. At all. All that is, is a cover for “damn I hate those mixed company parties at Duke Zippy’s”.

    Your enforcement of your own rules is either haphazard, or it is based on favoritism. Enforcement is the wrong word, but I’m talking about when you decide to reiterate your rule on excluding the personal from the political.

    A re-reading of the first 20 comments or so is in order.

    ZC: “I’m throwing a chivalry party.”

    CC: “Great party, Zippy. People need to hear this, especially men.”

    Vanessa: “Why are you trying to screw me?”

    CC: “I wasn’t talking to you, or about you.”

    Vanessa: “Oh, I see. Now I’m not people, huh?”

    And it goes on from there, until…

    Vanessa: “What’s wrong with those men?” *sniff* ZC, you can see how unfair they are. They just don’t like me. *sniff* I’m sorry they ruined your party.”

    To Hell, with that.

    You waited until she had turned the party into a food fight before you say, “Everybody needs to just calm down.” Perhaps this is some management/Game/posturing strategy that works for you, but I think it was badly done.

    To get back to the OP:

    Which one of Vanessa’s substantive points are you are in substantive agreement with?

    (1) “My position is that the strong owe chivalry to the weak.” ~ZC

    Or the substance implied by this statement of Vanessa’s:

    (2) “If the Church’s relationship with Christ is mirrored in marriage, then the marital relationship is mirrored in the wider society. [CC: Not so wide as to include blogs?] It seems to be the natural order*, which means that it was bestowed upon us by our Creator.

    On this GKC and Vanessa (when it suits her) seem to agree, but you do not. Else, it’s a pathetic natural order, to be frustrated at the boundaries of wordpress.com.

    Point (1) is wrong, and fundamentally uncatholic. The strong do not owe the weak anything. They owe God everything. To phrase our obligation to God (that we mirror His benevolence to the undeserving) as an obligation to serve all others weaker than us destroys grace. It also strikes destroys the meaning of both strength and ownership. It perverts natural order, instead of fulfilling it.

    To misunderstand this is to impede chivalry, which is charity, which is love. Love only comes from God, as God is love. When it seems to be that love is expressed from one person to another it is always more true to say that it is expressed through one person to another. To change the obligation from facing back to God to facing other people is to cut off love. We are prisms more than mirrors.

    If you don’t believe, or you want to equivocate along the lines “Well, this is really the same thing” then you’re not understanding the multiple parables about servants, the nature of law and grace, or the justness of Hell for even those who do right, yet do not obey God.

    What the strong give to the weak is not obligation, but a gift; it is undeserved. It has to be because all love is undeserved. It is inherently unfair.

    Point (2) is either salient (meaning Vanessa needs to change the tenor of her speech, and you need to change how you manage parties), or off-topic, because those most in need of chivalry at the moment are other, weaker, men. To make it about women in a world already grossly favoring women (to everyone’s detriment) is to leave them merciless, and make them merciless.

    @Chris

    “On the substantive point, she is completely correct. You cannot trust anybody.”

    That’s a substantive point, perhaps, but it is certainly not the substantive point. Furthermore: I trust people all the time. So do you. Your support for your equal has lead your thoughts astray.

  • Zippy says:

    Cane:

    Thanks for the feedback. I’m going to continue to prescind from taking sides in a multiblog multiyear interpersonal conflict which precedes my knowing any of you by years. I can’t keep folks from doing it without just shutting down the comboxes; but that doesn’t mean I can be goaded into playing myself.

    Point (1) is wrong, and fundamentally uncatholic. The strong do not owe the weak anything. They owe God everything.

    That we owe God everything in general is the reason why, in the particular, the strong owe succor to the weak.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @ZC

    That we owe God everything in general is the reason why, in the particular, the strong owe succor to the weak.

    This makes no sense when we contemplate that the weak should be cast out, e.g., the servant with one talent; the lazy servants; the rich man and Lazarus. Lazarus does not send himself to Heaven, and the rich man to Hell.

    The whole chapter of Matthew 7 is convoluted by this logic. Read Isaiah 1: charity is the sacrifice to God for Himself.

    The job of the Christian is that of an emissary. We are to be God to others as strangers in a strange land. We serve others generally and specifically only because it is God’s pleasure; a pleasure He revokes from many who are weaker than the strong. Else Hell is unjust, as all are weaker than God. Nor should there be temporary refusal of communion, or excommunication.

    Have you–who was perhaps the only one to accept the idea that the Red pill is the fruit of Tree of Knowledge–lost this perspective? The Law says we are obliged, but the grace of Christ (fruit of the Tree of Life) is meant to restore us to the Edenic principle of obedience to God, rather than obedience to knowledge.

    It’s like the Roman Catholic version of Game. No, this way lies pride.

  • GKChesteron says:

    @Zippy,

    I’m going to add some note markers here so that this makes more sense:
    There are two things wrong with this analogy. The first is the personalization of abstract discussion that folks just can’t seem to let go[1]. The second is the fact that I posted this and invited comment — so again, if folks don’t like the fact that women feel free to speak at my table (indeed I insist upon it), their beef when the women do speak freely is with me, not the women[2].

    A better analogy would be a discussion in the manor of a duke about the mutual responsibilities of commoners and aristocracy, with some of both present, where the duke invites and indeed insists upon open discussion.

    An abstract discussion requires concrete examples every now and then. I’ve discussed “Lords and Ladies” which are the abstract and I’ve approached Vanessa’s argument as you requested. I want to work a second stress in there, you requested that I address it. So I am dealing with [1] as requested by my host. I have addressed that I don’t feel offended by [2] explicitly. In fact I’ve gone to some great lengths to show where I might agree. I’m getting frustrated that you are reading it that way when I think I’ve been very clear.

    Look Chivalry, that system we are discussing here has rules. Some of them deal with personal responsibility. So let’s take your example:
    Duke Zippy asks for comment amongst his assembled guests about the state of the realms aristocracy. Duke Starkiller is a guest at said party. Let’s get some assumptions out of the way, if Dukes Starkiller and Zippy are _NOT_ sovereign Duke Starkiller should steer the conversation to something like the weather. Anything less could drift quickly drift into things like treason. They after all have a king and discussing failures of the aristocracy could look poorly on His Majesty. Duke Zippy probably doesn’t intend that, we must after all assume the best, but one must be careful because I, even in my conversation have a duty to the king.

    Now it could be that Starkiller and Zippy are sovereign, like they are in the good ol’ US of A (oh those murky republics and democracies). In this case Their Graces Starkiller and Zippy are on firmer ground and can continue their conversation. Now Duke Zippy has explicitly invited the ladies to comment. Ladies commenting will not offend His Grace. All well and good. Any lady commenting in no way oversteps His Grace’s hospitality. However, they do potentially overstep their _station_. They are, as Lady Morticia notes, in a bit of conundrum. They’ve been asked to comment but can’t do so fully as it might violate their filial obligation to their Lords. They could do what Duke Starkiller would have to have done above, mention the weather, they could be silent, as I’m sure some have done, or they could make suggestions and highlight their own role in service, like Lady Elsbeth. Duke Zippy, grand supporter of chivalry that he is and normally a very intelligent fellow, has unfortunately put them in a bit of a bind. Which wasn’t very nice of him but he didn’t mean ill by it so we can continue the discussion; and if he doesn’t force us into a corner we don’t have to mention this bit.

    I’ll also note that this is to my knowledge my first interaction with Vanessa (under a different name perhaps? Don’t know). I can only address what I’ve seen here. You also in your comments to me skip over what I’ve repeatedly said about how obligations work…until Cane repeats it.

    So, no, I strongly disagree that we “owe the weak”. We love (an entirely different thing) the weak because anything less is disobedience to our Lord and King and our debt is to Him. Obedience is an obligation and obligations run to the greater not to the lesser. In fact “caritas/agape”, that thing we are commanded to have, implies a lack of obligation. Charity is Charity because the object has no ability to compel the subject. An unseating of this results in some sort of Marxist bloodletting as the subject morphs into the object as they can then compel the object to morph into the subject as both steal from each other ad infinitum. You as a Catholic I think are unintentionally arguing against a recent encyclical.

    @Morticia,

    I hope I’ve continued to expand on that question.

    @Vanessa

    war zone

    This is the first time I’ve been offended. If this over the top addiction to etiquette is a war zone I fear if bullets are ever introduced. That was the height of tacky Lady Vanessa and doesn’t befit your station.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @ZC

    One more thing, and then I’ll wait for you to respond.

    Mark 10

    17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

    Generally, chivalry makes the practitioner stronger; it’s spiritual exercise, and that is good. As you say above, giving is for the giver more than the receiver. (The poor will always be with us) Jesus not only requires a sacrificial giving of strength unto effort, but often a full divestment of that strength itself. No one operating under his own power does this unless he believes he owes it to something above and beyond himself. Never for those beneath. “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”

    It’s not the will of the weak, to which we appeal, or answer.

  • Morticia says:

    @ ALL

    I have not noticed where anyone has acknowledged my question that a blog can be like a school, and as such the rules of social hierarchy may be suspended to facilitate learning.

    If Zippy were a professor rather than a blogger, he might ask his students to discuss abstract concepts without regard to their stations. He would do this for the edification of the listeners as well as the speaker. He would want people to speak plainly and avoid personalizations so the concepts can stand on their own.

    Is there ever a context where the social order can be suspended, such as at a school?

    If so, then couldn’t that context be extended to personal blogs..which in some ways act as a school house depending on the intention of the blogger?

    These are two different questions.

    Even a private in the military can request permission to speak plainly, and the commander can grant that request and choose to suspend the social order for that moment.

    Also, I am reminded of the scripture where Jesus heals a man on the Sabbath and then says, The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

    If Jesus suspended the enforcement of the law to heal, doesn’t that imply that there are at times a greater good to the law? And isn’t learning a form of healing?

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Morticia

    Is there ever a context where the social order can be suspended, such as at a school?

    Only if you want it to look like public school…the officer corps of which is now almost totally comprised of women; though at the very top there is usually a man or two backing their reign.

    Also, I am reminded of the scripture where Jesus heals a man on the Sabbath and then says, The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

    If Jesus suspended the enforcement of the law to heal, doesn’t that imply that there are at times a greater good to the law? And isn’t learning a form of healing?

    That’s true, but suppose while Jesus had been healing the man, a woman had broke between them, screaming, “Healing is for women! Healing is for me!”

    Jesus couldn’t very well have gotten around to saying things about the sabbath, under such conditions.

    I do think women can discuss these things, even in mixed company, and I think they can speak frankly about them. If they can be frank without being insensible, then we will all be edified.*

    Not only can they talk about them: THEY HAVE THEIR OWN OPPORTUNITY TO BE CHIVALROUS, AND FROM WHICH WE (even me) CAN AND DO LEARN.

    What one can’t do is uncharitably pick fights with me she should not have, restructure love into an obligation, and have me take that person as a serious fellow student; co-ed, or otherwise.

    *That goes for many men, too, but it is the sin nature of most men to demure when they should not–so there is less opportunity to address it.

  • Zippy says:

    GKC:

    First of all, I do ask a little indulgence. I’m not really at the top of my game right now, because of the aforementioned medical issue. So I think in part we just aren’t really communicating, and that is probably all me.

    An abstract discussion requires concrete examples every now and then.

    Sure, but they can be fictional, historical, or what have you and still serve the purpose. They don’t have to take the form “because Dalrock said this” or “because Vanessa said that” or “because Cane has had all these past interactions with these people that I know nothing about and have expressed a desire to continue to know nothing about”. Turning it into a mudslinging festival between the people actually present is entirely unnecessary and counterproductive. As I said, I can’t stop people from bringing their interpersonal baggage into the discussion; but I don’t have to and will not be party to it.

    So I am dealing with [1] as requested by my host.

    I didn’t make myself clear. In your analogy, you said this:

    Or are you suggesting that public discussion of a king, this sounds old fashioned because we are discussing old fashioned things, would be acceptable in his full court? To discuss his failings in those obligations in a public forum? To demand that he oblige himself more frequently? Would it be treated well? Should we _expect_ it to be treated well?

    This is not what I am suggesting at all, precisely because it involves personal criticism of his specific actions or lack thereof.

    What I am suggesting is that it is not even slightly intrinsically offensive to discuss the role of kings in general in the presence of specific kings. No more than it is intrinsically offensive for husbands and wives to discuss the roles of husbands and wives in mixed company.

    (Even further, a strong king might even welcome direct criticism of his own actions from underlings. I certainly did that as CEO).

    Getting back to the actual subject:

    Charity is Charity because the object has no ability to compel the subject. An unseating of this results in some sort of Marxist bloodletting as the subject morphs into the object as they can then compel the object to morph into the subject as both steal from each other ad infinitum. You as a Catholic I think are unintentionally arguing against a recent encyclical.

    I note that Cane said something similar:

    It’s not the will of the weak, to which we appeal, or answer.

    I agree. The strong are not under the authority of the weak. However, the strong have an obligation to help the weak. Having an obligation to X is not the same as being under the authority of X. A husband has obligations to his wife and children; but he is not under their authority.

  • Zippy says:

    Cane:
    What one can’t do is uncharitably pick fights with me she should not have, …

    A reminder that I am not party to the personal stuff. I still believe my substantive position to be the same as Vanessa’s substantive position.

    It appears that you and GKC agree (that my and Vanessa’s substantive positions are the same), since we’ve now gotten what appears to be a source of either confusion or disagreement: having obligations toward someone is not the same as being under that person’s authority.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Zippy (Just re-read your about. No “C”.)

    What I am suggesting is that it is not even slightly intrinsically offensive to discuss the role of kings in general in the presence of specific kings. No more than it is intrinsically offensive for husbands and wives to discuss the roles of husbands and wives in mixed company.

    I agree with the orthodoxy. Where I think we will continue to disagree is the practice. You seem to think it is somehow possible to create a bubble across which current standards and norms of society cannot transgress. If that were true, the Church wouldn’t be in the position it is today. The social climate must inform the practice of things. This shouldn’t be taken as far as modernists et al would like, but prudence demands it.

    Everybody wants to go to school, these days, and

    (Even further, a strong king might even welcome direct criticism of his own actions from underlings. I certainly did that as CEO).

    As I imagine we all do in our respective spheres.

    It appears that you and GKC agree (that my and Vanessa’s substantive positions are the same), since we’ve now gotten what appears to be a source of either confusion or disagreement: having obligations toward someone is not the same as being under that person’s authority.

    If my master gives me a bag pf coins to hand out to those poorer than me, my obligation (my responsibility) is to my master. If I hoard them, I am not stealing from the recipient, but the master. He gave them to me to hand out. The poverty itself does not create the demand/obligation.

  • Zippy says:

    Cane:
    (Just re-read your about. No “C”.)

    No idea what that means.

    If I hoard them, I am not stealing from the recipient, but the master. He gave them to me to hand out. The poverty itself does not create the demand/obligation.

    In general, there are all different sorts of obligations. If we’ve agreed that there is an obligation, a real obligation, then the discussion is moving forward. Way up in the thread I suggested that this is not the same kind of obligation as incurred in egalitarian martketplace exchange, where (say) Bob owes me the 10 shekels for the wheat he bought. But it is an obligation nonetheless.

  • GKChesteron says:

    @ZC,

    What I am suggesting is that it is not even slightly intrinsically offensive to discuss the role of kings in general in the presence of specific kings. No more than it is intrinsically offensive for husbands and wives to discuss the roles of husbands and wives in mixed company.

    (Even further, a strong king might even welcome direct criticism of his own actions from underlings. I certainly did that as CEO).

    To get to this you and Morticia both jump some social steps. That’s why I made you and I non-sovereign dukes in my counter example. The ladies here have lords, they owe them filial duty and they don’t owe you or I any (directly at least…I’m not a fan of Dr. Moore’s construction of filial loyalty for example). They can be released only by them to speak on such things and they could never demand care. So there are things they can say and ways they can say it that a specific person here failed to do with as best I can tell no malice or aforethought.

    That’s why:
    a strong king might even welcome direct criticism of his own actions from underlings

    doesn’t work. You aren’t “their” knight. I can ask my wife this question about me. I might even ask her in private to give me guidance about you. I’d sooner shoot myself than let that happen in a public audience and I think her feelings would be about the same. We after all can’t limit chivalry to opening doors, it is a very wide system.

    However, the strong have an obligation to help the weak. Having an obligation to X is not the same as being under the authority of X. A husband has obligations to his wife and children; but he is not under their authority.

    And I disagree with this. I do have an obligation but that obligation is one I have to God (via St. Paul) that commend me to instruct and care for my wife. I have no obligation to her per se. We can speak of it that way in short hand as long as we understand the underlying truth, but I don’t think we agree yet on that truth.

    In this I think Cane, especially as he has continued to restate it, agrees with me. I’m pretty sure Vanessa doesn’t at all and given that you seem to in the thread wander across both positions I’m not really sure where you stand or (if under the effects of medication) you have a sure position.

    @Morticia,

    On school. That can’t happen here because chivalry demands absent information to change things that Zippy, Cane, and myself deal with each other as equals. It may be that one or the other is my social superior, but we don’t know that and absent knowledge we are equals. This is the same “presumption of place” that requires me to open a door. I _presume_ a certain social status when I do that: you are a “gentle lady” (a thing some of the anti-chivalry crowd miss…I have no obligations to those who aren’t) and that I’m not trespassing on the duties of some gentleman in the vicinity.

    However _you personally_ can take that “frame”, and it is a very safe one to play. As Cane notes and as I noted above there is nothing wrong with you pointing out errors politely. Be careful in not structuring it as a demand for charity though (the messenger matters). Also be aware that you are sticking your neck out. Men are reminded that those who teach get double honor, but we run the real risk of bringing down double the curse. We accept that intrinsically and women tend to expect the protection to continue when they stick their neck out into a teaching situation. Sorry, no dice. Also more opportunities will _naturally_ present themselves for your comment as you get older.

  • Zippy says:

    GKC:
    If in your view a husband has no obligations to his wife, then we do fundamentally disagree.

  • joycalyn says:

    GKC and CC: Can you tell me if I’m understanding your position with regard to ladies in a chivalric system? Is it that it’s uncharitable for a gentle lady to point out failings in the knights from whom she expects protection?

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Zippy

    No idea what that means.

    I’ve been referring to you as “ZC”

    From your “About”: “Zippy” is me. ”Zippy Catholic” is the blog.

  • Chris says:

    @All.
    If the issue here is one of chilvalry, we have two problems.

    1. The definition of what is chivalrous is challenged for men in two ways. Some women expect that if they are in trouble a man will rescue them — entiltlement as a right, if you will. Other women are offended by the ideas of common courtesy and reject this — leading many men to completely ignore what used to be the polite standard of behaviour, which leaves us with an in the world but not of it problem — which standard do we stick with.

    2. The second problem occurs if you are in need. It is who to trust. Some commentators have said that this should be done iwithin the clan or church — a bunch of prescreened people, if you will. This is the normal state in low trust socieites — you use your cousins or uncles or aunts. Not a stranger. Others say no, all should be trustworthy… but the problem is that not all ARE trustworthy. The old signals of this don’t always work.

    As an example, consider Bernie Madoff. Belonged to your synagogue. Loved by everyone. A good mate. And the runner of a ponzi scheme that pauperized his community.

    Or Harold Shipman, who had multiple peers review his practice and give him excellent points for the documentation of his care for elderly patients, who all told the visitors he was lovely, until he killed them. Harold Shipman would never have been picked up by any review process. He loved reviews, because he believed he could “beat” the reviewers.

    They may look good, but they are not good. We are told we must be discerning, wise as serpents, and that includes who we accept help from.

    Concerning what is catholic (which seems to be a topic), the term means universal — accepting that the church has both sinners and saints in it, and that we should not demand some form of test to be a member but preach to all and help all — at least to my Protestant brain.

    I hope the use of historical examples helps: It’s monday lunchtime here so I’m back to work.

  • GKChesteron says:

    @Zippy,

    The thing is I could pop off and say that is true, but I think you mean something fundamentally different by it. I would hazard to guess you mean, “a husband should not protect and provide for his wife and that he can never voluntarily incur an obligation that relates to her.” That would be wrong. We are arguing a fine difference, and one that I feel very confident St. Paul agrees with. I can, just as I quoted out of Hebrews before, not obligate via something lower than me nor be obligated to it. God can only swear to himself. I can’t obligate via a woman. To do so is actually an abdication of _responsibility_ and therefore no true _obligation_ exists.

    As an aside did you understand what I said about Caritas? Do you know what it means?

    @Joycalyn,

    In all things context matters.

    Without counsel plans fail,
    but with many advisers they succeed.
    – Proverbs 15:22

    Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense,
    but a man of understanding remains silent.
    Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets,
    but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.
    Proverbs 11:12,13

    Should she expose secret faults of her lord? No. Should he listen when she comes to him with a problem? Yes. In fact I’ve often told my wife she is, “the chief adviser in my court.” An adviser knows when to keep his mouth closed and not betray his king. He also knows the king has no need to do anything more than listen. The action is mine, the counsel is hers. Women acting qua women and lecturing men qua men though is a different matter. It can happen, but again you begin teaching and reaching outside of your ordinary/normative role. When that happens then you no longer have the privileges associated with the protection of chivalry (_you_ get to man up much like Deborah) and you are libel for the punishments associated with failure. And much like a know it all junior officer sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong those reactions can be swift and sharp. Sometimes, just like with men, it is better to keep quiet.

    This forum here is public. Women speaking about men are not advising “their knight/lord”. It just isn’t happening. They are telling men how to behave which is an inversion of the natural order. Now that, again going back to Deborah, may be _absolutely required of them_. However, it behooves them to be tentative and damn sure that they aren’t damning themselves.

    And if you feel the need to talk why not talk about what you have normative authority over? Younger women. God knows that right now they need it about as much as the few of us need to kick some men in line.

    Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. – Titus 2:3-5

    And if you do that you are far less likely to give any sort of offense. Wouldn’t that be the wiser thing to do? The more ladylike thing to do?

  • Dalrock says:

    @joycalyn
    GKC and CC: Can you tell me if I’m understanding your position with regard to ladies in a chivalric system? Is it that it’s uncharitable for a gentle lady to point out failings in the knights from whom she expects protection?

    This wasn’t addressed to me, but my answer is that no it isn’t inappropriate, so long as the knights in question have sworn fealty to her. If she is laying claim on another Lord’s knights (by expecting protection from them) then she is usurping the Lord the knights have sworn fealty to.

  • Zippy says:

    jocalyn:
    It appears that the kind of chivalry they support is the courtly kind; which is the kind I refer to as “dead” in the title of my post.

    Traditional chivalry recognizes a general obligation of all of the strong toward all of the vulnerable. See the Catholic Encyclopedia article that kicked this whole thing off.

  • Zippy says:

    GKC:
    I think you mean something fundamentally different by it.

    What I mean when I say obligation is obligation. I haven’t gone into the nuances of every different kind of obligation, status, and authority: that is a far bigger subject than you seem to credit if you think it can be hashed out in a combox.

    Husbands have real obligations to their wives, and the strong have real obligations toward the vulnerable. If you disagree, then we disagree; fundamentally and irreconcilably.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Joycalyn

    GKC and CC: Can you tell me if I’m understanding your position with regard to ladies in a chivalric system? Is it that it’s uncharitable for a gentle lady to point out failings in the knights from whom she expects protection?

    Intrinsically? No. Sometimes she may even have a duty to do so, and even in situations much less dire than Deborah’s time. Anyway: station trumps sex. My bosses are often women, and when she says, “Jump.”, I say, “How high?” (I should sell tickets, as I’m sure some would get a thrill from the scene.)

    Joking aside: This is the part of chivalry that Western folks aren’t very good at; in some ways men especially. I’ve been thinking about a post on chivalry that is more in-line with the OP.

    Chivalry is a more a way to think about inter-sex relations than a real prescription for living. People are uncomfortable with it from both sides of the weak/strong line. There really aren’t any lords or ladies anymore, and such that exist have to be found out by their actions and words. It takes time. Heraldry was much more convenient, though I’m usually not sorry I missed it.

    I’m less comfortable with comparing marriage to chivalry than some others. They both flow from the spring of charity, but they are different streams. A wife is a man’s body. It is stupid for me to get angry at my body for telling me it hurts. The proper response is to investigate, and see if there is real damage, or if they’re just uncomfortable. If they’re uncomfortable, then why is that? The discomfort of more strenuous exercise is good: keep it up. The discomfort is caused by poor posture. I need to change the way I sit, or hold my head.

    @Zippy

    If we’ve agreed that there is an obligation, a real obligation, then the discussion is moving forward.

    I don’t know if we agree or disagree because you’re more than coherent to me, if you catch my drift. For the greater part of the discussion you have equated obligation with “owed”. Now you want to talk about obligation by another synonym: “bound”. Obligation is a synonym to both, but the other two are not synonymous with each other.

    As always, I do look forward to what else you have to say on the subject.

    If you disagree, then we disagree; fundamentally and irreconcilably.

    Speaking of chivalry, The Lord may have something to say about that…

    By the way, I sent you an email. Last time it was in spam.

  • GKChesteron says:

    @Zippy,

    First I’m going to ask for some care in reading this since I get the sense you have flown over some of my posts.

    Your response to Joycelyn seems uncharitble to at least me as it doesn’t even respond to her question and you use it as a sideways attack against your interlocutors (they like the wrong kind!). I’m not sure how anything I said supports your assertion that I support feminizing chivalry. What you described in the previous post as “courtly” chivalry is used in the sense of “courtly love”. Nothing I’ve discussed even comes close to describing courtly love.

    Your response to me is also odd, and may be the medication talking. You say, “What I mean when I say obligation is obligation. I haven’t gone into the nuances of every different kind of obligation, status, and authority: that is a far bigger subject than you seem to credit if you think it can be hashed out in a combox.” This leads with a tautology and ends with an insistence that you couldn’t describe different “kinds” when I’m discussing the nature of the obligation itself. These are two different things entirely and why I was worried about agreeing with you.

    You also fly by my question about Caritas again.

    In fact I think Cane is more than right in that you are using obligation for more than what it means. That’s why I said what I did above. If you mean, “a man is bound to love his wife,” then we agree. If you say, “a man owes love to his wife,” then we disagree. We disagree because such a statement is fundamentally un-Christian.

    “Οἱ ἄνδρες , ἀγαπᾶτε τὰς γυναῖκας, καθὼς καὶ ὁ χριστὸς ἠγάπησεν τὴν ἐκκλησίαν”

    Protestants love the word “agape”. It shows up all the time because it is a special word. It is the word for how God loves us. It is a love that seeks no repayment. Husbands give a love that can not be repaid as it is love towards an object that has no choice in its receipt. “Objective love”. Which is why it is often translated into Latin as “Caritas”.

    Pope Benedict says this in his encyclical, “The one God in whom Israel believes, on the other hand, loves with a personal love. His love, moreover, is an elective love: among all the nations he chooses Israel and loves her—but he does so precisely with a view to healing the whole human race. God loves, and his love may certainly be called eros, yet it is also totally agape.” [ed: emphasis mine]

    We speak of Israel in the feminine because even now she is the Bride of God. God chooses to love her. He is under no obligation to her. And that’s what make the Divine story such a truly romantic and “red pillish” story (and why I don’t like Vanessa’s example). Israel doesn’t deserve this love/help. Nor can she reject it. She is chosen for this role and is loved none the less. This gives her the help she needs to survive. Courtly love in contrast would send God off as jilted but understanding lover.

    We are commanded as husbands not just to “ἀγαπᾶτε” but to love as, “χριστὸς ἠγάπησεν τὴν ἐκκλησίαν” or “Christ loved the Church”. The Church can not seize this love because it has no authority to do so. This is the love we are obliged to have, but by its very nature the obligation can not arise from wives. If we loved the object out of obligation to the object we would not be loving as God loved. Justin uses “Diligere” which comes with the connotation that through choosing an affection we grant it worth and does not use “amo”. This is why some English translations read “esteem/value”.

    It is this “loving like God” that makes us able to love even where the wife does not return the affection (and why while “game” has some merits the underlying principle is so hideously broken).

    This is why I claim that your view of obligation is essentially Marxist. In a Marxist society the objects of the “system” rise up and demand their portions of whatever the system provides. If you use “obligation” as “owe [to the wife]” then we can’t love our wives in any meaningful or useful way and we certainly can’t “wash them”.

    @CC,

    station trumps sex

    Good point. And one I missed. But non familial/filial station is weaker than commercial station. Your boss is very limited in where and how she can say, “jump”.

  • Zippy says:

    GKC:

    I’m not sure how anything I said supports your assertion that I support feminizing chivalry. What you described in the previous post as “courtly” chivalry is used in the sense of “courtly love”. Nothing I’ve discussed even comes close to describing courtly love.

    I got it from (among other places) when you said this:

    Should she expose secret faults of her lord? No. Should he listen when she comes to him with a problem? Yes. In fact I’ve often told my wife she is, “the chief adviser in my court.” An adviser knows when to keep his mouth closed and not betray his king. He also knows the king has no need to do anything more than listen. The action is mine, the counsel is hers.

    Traditional chivalry in the CathEn article pertains to general obligations of the strong toward the vulnerable. Whose “Lord” is whom only comes into play at all when discussing courtly chivalry.

    This may have become slightly confused in the discussion because I used the obligations a husband has toward his wife as an example of having obligations toward someone while not being under her authority. But I was just demonstrating the general point that authority and obligation are different. I could just as easily have used the example that we can have obligations under contract to Bob, but that Bob does not have the authority to enforce those obligations himself: he must appeal to the sovereign for enforcement.

    The sovereign in a case of Caritas is God, of course. But that doesn’t make Caritas optional. Just ask the rich man and Lazarus. And since we are quoting Benedict:

    Charity is at the heart of the Church’s social doctrine. Every responsibility and every commitment spelt out by that doctrine is derived from charity which, according to the teaching of Jesus, is the synthesis of the entire Law (cf. Mt 22:36- 40). It gives real substance to the personal relationship with God and with neighbour; it is the principle not only of micro-relationships (with friends, with family members or within small groups) but also of macro-relationships (social, economic and political ones). …

    I am aware of the ways in which charity has been and continues to be misconstrued and emptied of meaning, with the consequent risk of being misinterpreted, detached from ethical living and, in any event, undervalued. In the social, juridical, cultural, political and economic fields — the contexts, in other words, that are most exposed to this danger — it is easily dismissed as irrelevant for interpreting and giving direction to moral responsibility.

    I do have a pretty decent idea what charity is; and it gives rise to real obligations.

    The reason I don’t respond to all of the comparisons of us with God — e.g. “God chooses to love her. He is under no obligation to her.” — is because they are tendentious. We are not God.

    Now it is true that in the ideal, if we were perfect beings, we would look upon the obligations of charity not as obligations but as pure expressions of love. We are not God though; so the obligation comes first, and is what teaches us to be more like God.

    This is why I claim that your view of obligation is essentially Marxist. In a Marxist society the objects of the “system” rise up and demand their portions of whatever the system provides.

    And that is a ludicrous straw man, as if the only possible poles of action were obsequious silence or armed revolution. This is just a tendentious way of telling Vanessa to shut up, because some people find it wildly offensive to even have an abstract conversation about the obligations – real obligations – under charity that the strong have toward the vulnerable.

  • Morticia says:

    Mr Chesterton

    Don’t we owe the people we promise our services to? A man may owe nothing to all those weaker than he, but he does owe to those he promises himself to.

    If he is a CEO at a corporation he owes compensation to his workers because this is what he promised when he hired them.

    He owes his wife protection and provision because this is what he promised her, and she gave her labor and arranged her life with the understanding that he would fulfill this obligation.

    In this instance I think Dalrock expressed it well, we owe fealty to whom we swear it to.

    My understanding is that to those you do not make promises you have no sworn obligations, but you owe God because we all make our promises to Him in our prayers and our creeds. This results in a kind of trickle-down grace. God gives, and you give a portion of what He gives but prudently as a good steward.

    Our strength does not originate with ourselves..it is from God, but also those under us play a role and in many cases we sit upon their shoulders.. Sometimes we prosper precisely because others do not.
    This doesn’t mean nobody should prosper, such as in the marxist system..but it does mean that we owe a debt of gratitude and minimum of comforts to those holding the ladders we scaled to success. No man is an Island is another way of saying no man is God, and no man (or woman) is without his/her obligations to those up, sideways, and below them.

  • Dalrock says:

    @GKC
    That’s why I said what I did above. If you mean, “a man is bound to love his wife,” then we agree. If you say, “a man owes love to his wife,” then we disagree. We disagree because such a statement is fundamentally un-Christian.

    Is this specific to loving his wife “as Christ loves the Church”, or is this more general? This one might be a corner case (assuming you mean the specific), but I don’t think the marriage vows (and thereby obligations) are exclusively made to God. For example, would you disagree that a husband who takes a mistress has betrayed his wife?

  • Zippy says:

    It may be worth pointing out that the fempundits falling under the knife of Dalrock’s critique are doing something even worse than trying to demand what is not rightfully theirs: they are also causing terrible scandal in the technical sense, warping public perception of rightly ordered charity. They bear significant responsibility for every powerful man who says “enough is enough” and swears off of helping the weak and vulnerable tout court because of their ranting.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Morticia

    If he is a CEO at a corporation he owes compensation to his workers because this is what he promised when he hired them.

    Unless their actions merit firing instead of pay; say, a teacher breaking a fornication clause. The offending worker would still be the weaker in the relationship, and the stronger not showing kindness.

    People like to talk about “tough love”, but what they’re really talking about is declaring their love for a thing beyond the person; as if their obligation were not to the person herself, but to something greater than her.

    He owes his wife protection and provision because this is what he promised her, and she gave her labor and arranged her life with the understanding that he would fulfill this obligation.

    The two became one. His protection and provision for her are for himself brought together by God, and his body is a temple. It (she) belongs to God–not him. He owes it to God to care for it (her).

    @Dalrock

    Is this specific to loving his wife “as Christ loves the Church”, or is this more general? This one might be a corner case (assuming you mean the specific), but I don’t think the marriage vows (and thereby obligations) are exclusively made to God. For example, would you disagree that a husband who takes a mistress has betrayed his wife?

    I’m not GKC, but I would say that the man who commits adultery has betrayed himself. Since his wife is himself, yes, he has betrayed her. He has betrayed them both together. He has soiled the temple.

    1 Corinthians 6:18 “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.”

    It is from this (among other things) that the RCC extrapolates that (theologically) divorce is not done. “Until death, do you part” is an indicative, not an imperative. I think they’re right.

    @Zippy

    It may be worth pointing out that the fempundits falling under the knife of Dalrock’s critique are doing something even worse than trying to demand what is not rightfully theirs: they are also causing terrible scandal in the technical sense, warping public perception of rightly ordered charity. They bear significant responsibility for every powerful man who says “enough is enough” and swears off of helping the weak and vulnerable tout court because of their ranting.

    I agree with the bolded part, but I don’t see how the demands are any less scandalizing; technically speaking.

    Regardless, Zippy, take courage. Commitment is not this age’s strong suit. It cannot last.

  • Morticia says:

    A small quibble…

    You can’t deny someones pay for work they have already done. You can deny them future work so you do not owe them pay.

  • Zippy says:

    Cane:
    but I don’t see how the demands are any less scandalizing; technically speaking.

    Just to be clear here, “scandalizing” means leading others into sin. Their demands in themselves are laughable falling on mature ears; to the extent they lead others to sin they become scandal in the technical sense.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Morticia

    That is true. There is always a small part of The Other in The Familiar, that causes reciprocity, that binds us.

    @Zippy

    Just to be clear here, “scandalizing” means leading others into sin.

    The assumption then is that no weak persons are reading here, and will not cry foul when they are fired by the strong; as strong persons are reading Dalrock’s?

  • Zippy says:

    Cane:

    I have no idea what you are talking about now re:scandal.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Zippy

    I’m hearkening back to the Catholic school teacher who was fired for fornication. Was she not weak, and the school/RCC strong? Of course, I think her co-conspirator should foot the bill, but barring that: What is the schools chivalric obligation to that teacher under such circumstances?

    Vis-a-vis what we agree is happening in Dalrock’s blog comments): isn’t it the case that someone like that teacher (or sympathetic to her troubles) could be reading the comments on your blog? Wouldn’t they likely think: “Yes, they are obliged to support that teacher in her weakness! The school should pay for her insurance!”?

  • Zippy says:

    Cane:
    Was she not weak, and the school/RCC strong?

    No, not unless the first graders under her authority are, perversely, to be though of as the strong compared to her vulnerable.

    But in any case someone who thinks that chivalry or any other form of charity requires enabling sin has made a category error. Chris touched on this quite a ways back I believe, and he is of course correct.

    I get the sense that folks kind of want this to be simple-minded. So GKC reduces the possibilities to the false dichotomy of “the strong owe nothing to the weak” versus Marxism, with no other possibilities. And here you suggest that the strong owe the weak the means to sin without consequences.

    But no, it doesn’t work that way. The answer to “OK, smart guy, how does it work then?” is “its complicated”.

    But just because it is complicated – it requires discernment and good judgement – it does not follow that there is no obligation.

  • GKChesteron says:

    @ZC,

    I agree with everything Benedict says in the snippet you provided. He’s a very smart and good guy.

    Your comments though and his snippet don’t explain why you believe the obligation lies in debt owed to the wife. We agree violently that an obligation exists. We disagree on the direction of that obligation and the definition you are using and you aren’t explaining them. Cane and I have both pointed out the frustrating use of your language and you haven’t addressed that issue.

    Also, I’m making a comparison to God’s love because no less an authority than St. Paul for crying out loud does the same thing. It is not “tendentious” unless St. Paul is being tendentious. Now I may be applying it wrong (very large change of that happening) but the argumentative comparison is not wrong.

    And please, I’m not attacking Vanessa. I don’t even _know_ Vanessa other than this thread. Nothing I’ve written can even remotely be read as telling Vanessa to shut up. I disagree with what she wrote and I believe the messenger matters. I’ve now gone out of my way again saying I have no complaint against her but you do seem to be charging to her defense for no apparent reason. In the quote you made of me I wasn’t even _thinking_ about Vanessa. The only reference to Vanessa in that long post was to her _example_. I in no way addressed her person. Heck I’ve even _responded_ to women _directly_ here. That was a low blow and unneeded.

    My reference to a Marxist agape also isn’t a straw man. I’m working at what you seem to be proposing as a definition and explaining why it is wrong. I’m hardly oversimplifying (in fact quite the opposite as you’ve complained in thread) nor am I setting up an obviously false position for you to defend. You might not like it. You might think I’m crazy. I might be terribly wrong. But it isn’t a straw man.

    And since you brought up Vanessa a tangentially related item and something I haven’t seen you address directly is whether or not you think:
    1.) That ladylike conduct in some way enforces a real demand on female discussion of chivalry (you’ve dodged this a bit with your “invitation”) though your comments seem to imply that the answer is “yes”
    2.) If St. Paul’s advice to women to focus on young women might or might not be invoked here at the very least as a guide

    @Morticia,

    I agree with you if we keep that shorthand I talked about above. Also this is true, as I’ve said above if the obligation means “bound”. Yes I am bound (which is why I don’t understand Zippy’s comments on perfection…we are bound perfect or not…even ownership of debt doesn’t matter in regards to perfection…mercy for failure maybe…but not the debt itself…).

    Most of your comment seems to be correct. However I don’t understand “ladders” in this context. You are right about “trickle down grace” in a way…though I’d hesitate to use the phrase because it would likely just cause contention. And that’s why I don’t understand “ladders”. In our quest to better ourselves as temporal creatures we depend on our ancestors in any area of knowledge. However as actors with obligations our ancestors don’t matter as ancestors as much as superiors (we owe them filial duty).

    Think of it this way. I ran across an interesting quote while looking around for items on Noblesse Oblige which seems to be what you are discussing when you talk of “down”. One of the obligations is to Justice. If you are obligated to Justice then you are obligated to detest those who have trespassed against justice. Yes we can say there, “is an obligation to the detestable.” But I don’t think you mean you “owe” them anything even if you do mean that you are “bound”.

    @Dalrock,

    Haven’t posted at any length to your site at any length in months then you and Zippy touch on a hot button for me and I’m writing at length again…

    It is an interesting question. I think I’ll agree with Cane here. He has betrayed himself and God by violating his vow and _by extension_ betrayed his wife. They are after all the same theological being. I wouldn’t have answered that nearly as well if Cain hadn’t answered first though so he gets the credit.

    Speaking of the OP….

    Morticia reminded me of the Obligation of the Nobles which is _really_ what Zippy’s post is about. This is just one feature of the warriors code called Chivalry and why I don’t like what I see in the OP as a bit of unnecessary reductionism that limits a truly great thing.

  • Zippy says:

    GKC:
    My reference to a Marxist agape also isn’t a straw man.

    Yes, it is.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @GKC and Zippy

    GKC said: My reference to a Marxist agape also isn’t a straw man.

    Zippy said: Yes, it is.

    I don’t think we can say the reference to a Marxism is a straw man when the man has actually appeared.

    That being said, what GKC said initially is “This is why I claim that your view of obligation is essentially Marxist.”

    I don’t think Zippy’s view is *essentially* Marxist, but I can see how reasonable people can relate the two; particularly once we introduce the role civil governance plays in encoding and enforcing standards. After all, it’s being done all over South America.

  • Zippy says:

    Right, because only a liberation theology Marxist could believe that a husband has obligations to his wife.

    I’m pretty sure we’ve reached the reductio.

  • Vanessa says:

    The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.
    — 1 Corinthians 7

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Vanessa

    Yes, that’s why I said I’m less comfortable endorsing chivalry in marriage. For one, if that’s chivalry, then we obviously can’t be full practitioners of it except between a husband and wife.

    Additionally, conjugal rights should be exercised in secret, when we are naked. There is a sense of taking off robes and roles; to stop working, trying and just enjoy. This should not be shown to others. Our nakedness should not be uncovered.

    Chivalry, on the other hand, is explicitly for public consumption, and we should be properly dressed for it.

  • Vanessa says:

    This thread has become so long that I can scarcely navigate it on my smartphone. All I can gather is that I am unladylike and suspected of being a Marxist.

  • Elspeth says:

    LOL, V. The thread has gotten long hasn’t it?

  • Vanessa says:

    Yes, it has. It just kept scrolling and scrolling and scrolling.

    At any rate, I’m wondering if my arguments are offending liberal sentiments that I no longer share. Perhaps that is why Marxism has been brought into the discussion.

  • Morticia says:

    Yeah..I have the same problem on my tablet. Hubby was like “You’ve been on that thing for like an hour” and I’m like “half of that was scrolling down”.

  • Zippy says:

    One trick on Apple devices is to click on the last comment in the thread; keep
    that window/tab opened or bookmarked; then you snap right to the top of the stuff you haven’t read yet when you come back to it. No hyperactive scrolling needed.

    I do find it irritating that the browsers “refresh” all the time rather than maintaining state, whether I want them to or not. But if you have clicked on the last comment that is where it refreshes to.

    Also the Chrome browser for Apple devices has a “find in page” feature which is very handy.

  • Chris says:

    @Vanessa. I’m using a Linux dual screen box and I cannot keep up with this thread.

    @Zippy — has the definition of chivalry morphed during this thread… l looked up the Catholic encyclopedia and its discussion is about the socail, military and religious duties of a knight during the middle ages, which have long past.

    I went digging a bit and got this from the Westminster Longer Catechism. It is about the duties of masters or superiors.

    Q. 129. What is required of superiors towards their inferiors?

    A. It is required of superiors, according to that power they receive from God, and that relation wherein they stand, to love, pray for, and bless their inferiors; to instruct, counsel, and admonish them; countenancing, commending, and rewarding such as do well; and discountenancing, reproving, and chastising such as do ill; protecting, and providing for them all things necessary for soul and body: and by grave, wise, holy, and exemplary carriage, to procure glory to God, honor to themselves, and so to preserve that authority which God has put upon them.

    Q. 130. What are the sins of superiors?

    A. The sins of superiors are, besides the neglect of the duties required of them, an inordinate seeking of themselves, their own glory, ease, profit, or pleasure; commanding things unlawful, or not in the power of inferiors to perform; counseling, encouraging, or favoring them in that which is evil; dissuading, discouraging, or discountenancing them in that which is good; correcting them unduly; careless exposing, or leaving them to wrong, temptation, and danger; provoking them to wrath; or any way dishonoring themselves, or lessening their authority, by an unjust, indiscreet, rigorous, or remiss behavior.

    I am not sure what the RCC teaches on this — I am sure you do know.

    When we are talking about chivalry now, are we really meaning the duties of the strong or superior to the weak? This applies as much to a mother looking after her child or an elder looking after his flock… and it would apply to those whe call “Alpha” in all aspects of their lives.

    If we accept and teach that a husband should be “alpha” to his wife (I say with trepidation… for the practice is full of errors) should this not be the duties he has — and together with his wife, to their children?

    When you unpack this, it is a fearful thing. For you are accountable not to some lawyer or court, but to the living God.

  • Mike T says:

    I say with trepidation… for the practice is full of errors

    As is any human practice, but the practice of being a beta male is largely a commitment to error itself. If most Christian men were a good deal more alpha than beta, the world would be a much better place.

  • Vanessa says:

    Chris, that was an excellent comment and excerpt. It clearly shows that superiors do have duties to their inferiors, for which they are accountable to God. Likewise, a husband has a duty to his wife, for which he is accountable to God. (And inferiors such as wives likewise, but we’re focusing on the superiors in this discussion.)

    If most Christian men were a good deal more alpha than beta, the world would be a much better place.

    I agree with this. But, the more I study and learn of the Magisterium, the more I realize that the sentence would be more accurate so:

    “If most Christian men (and women) were a good deal more orthodox than unorthodox, the world would be a much better place.”

  • Vanessa says:

    What I mean is, the Magisterial teachings do not give so many specific pointers on how to deal with this-or-that issue with wives, but they do put husbands in the correct mindset to deal with whatever comes up. And what is more alpha than to decide that you are not of the world?

  • GKChesteron says:

    @Zippy,

    I asked other questions, to come back with “yes it is” is pretty lame. A straw man requires me to set up an intentionally false argument (I didn’t), to intentionally misdirect (I didn’t), or to force your opponent to defend an overly simplified position (I didn’t by your own admission and by the tacit admission of everyone else here). It isn’t a straw man. It may be wrong but not a straw man.

    @Vanessa

    We’ve used a word two ways here. One way fits the scripture you quoted. I’ll leave you to figure out which one.

  • Mike T says:

    It seems to me that the vices of the beta male are mistaken for virtues most of the time. The inability to be decisive is taken as being thoughtful and not quick to rush into things. The fear of giving offense is taken for being kind and considerate. The desire to be a partner not a head of household is taken as “servant leadership.” Being less confident is considered humility. I’m sure other examples are out there, but these come to mind at the moment.

    In hindsight when I look at most of the “nice guys” I knew growing up, in many ways they were jerks too, only unattractive. Nice guys may not neg a woman to death, but they can be passive aggressive wimps with the best of them. I think this is why I have little patience for Christians who think “alpha = bad, beta = godly.” Anyone who has lived past their teenage years should have seen plenty of examples of alphas who can be good decent people and betas who are jerks or outright scumbags.

  • Vanessa says:

    It was a straw man.

    GKC,

    I would think that you might have gathered by now that you are in the minority in your opinion of whether it is unladylike for a woman to engage in philosophical discussions of chivalry. If you find my presence so very distasteful, you are more than welcome to avoid it.

  • Zippy says:

    GKC:
    I know that you want me take seriously your contention that the idea that the strong have obligations to the vulnerable is tantamount to Marxism. I just see no reason why I should. Your line of argument has refuted itself.

    Now maybe you have some points you’d like to make about the nature of the obligations the strong have toward the vulnerable. If so, “Zippy you are a Marxist” isn’t the right approach. The right approach is “Zippy you are right, the strong have obligations to the vulnerable; but X, Y, and Z are errors to avoid once we’ve acknowledged that the strong have obligations to the vulnerable.”

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:
    Anyone who has lived past their teenage years should have seen plenty of examples of alphas who can be good decent people and betas who are jerks or outright scumbags.

    Part of the problem is that in blog discourse society’s sexual garbage collector, the PUA, has made himself the quintessential alpha-by-definition. Until people understand that that is pretension, fakery — “gaming” the system as a pretense of manhood, ahem — the term is always going to be problematic.

  • Zippy says:

    Chris:
    My understanding is that chivalry in its most traditional (oldest) form was about sanctifying the warrior class generally. Knighthood grew out of chivalry, not vice versa. (I could be wrong).

    In any case I agreed with Dalrock above that as a term, “chivalry” might not be salvagable: it was being perverted into something wasteful and harmful as soon as “court” chivalry came along, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia. The important thing is not ultimately the terminology (we are not nominalists), but that the baby not go out with the bathwater: the strong have real obligations qua strong to the vulnerable qua vulnerable.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Chris
    If we accept and teach that a husband should be “alpha” to his wife (I say with trepidation… for the practice is full of errors) should this not be the duties he has — and together with his wife, to their children?

    I don’t think the area of contention on this thread is what duties a husband has to his wife or what a wife should expect from her husband. The area of contention is what duties a man has to other men’s wives, or more specifically what expectations and demands women should make on other women’s husbands.

    @Mike T
    It seems to me that the vices of the beta male are mistaken for virtues most of the time.

    There is much truth here, but there are positive qualities to beta and negative qualities to alpha which are also overlooked. Alpha aloofness is attractive while beta attachment is often experienced as clingy. But beta attachment can also translate into loyalty/fidelity, where alpha is more likely to abandon/cheat. Likewise alpha aggressiveness and risk taking is good, except when it isn’t. The same personality traits which make for a daring exciting alpha very often manifest in catastrophic failures due to taking excessive risk. The aggressive, exciting man at the keg party isn’t necessarily the man you want managing the families investments or driving the family home on slick roads.

  • Vanessa says:

    Part of the problem is that in blog discourse society’s sexual garbage collector, the PUA

    I laughed. Makes such good sense, considering the term for the women they… err… frequent.

  • Zippy says:

    Dalrock:
    The area of contention is what duties a man has to other men’s wives, or more specifically what expectations and demands women should make on other women’s husbands.

    I don’t see it that way at all. The area of contention has been over whether the strong (which are usually men, though strength comes in many forms) have obligations to the vulnerable (who are not just women but are often women).

    Framing it as “what expectations and demands women should make on other women’s husbands” is just gratuitous contentiousness that makes it more difficult to discuss the subject objectively.

  • Vanessa says:

    The aggressive, exciting man at the keg party isn’t necessarily the man you want managing the families investments or driving the family home on slick roads.

    It seems more that women of low character seek out similar men, and of those men, they prefer the more aggressive ones. But women of high character would generally prefer aggressive (not violent or unstable, but also not passive) men of high character.

  • Vanessa says:

    Or not necessarily aggressive, but more intimidating. Aggressive makes it sound like he’s a meathead.

  • Morticia says:

    Dalrock has a very odd way of wording things.

    I frequently act in a way some might call chivalry. Some past examples…

    -when dropping stuff off at goodwill the employees hands were causing her much pain so I volunteered to do all the heavy lifting.
    -A pregnant woman was standing during mass so I offered her my seat
    -At Cosco I saw a pregnant woman struggling to load her car so I loaded it for her.
    -When I see a homeless person on the street I usually give some cash or food.
    -When in the check out isle I offered to help a woman with a baby in her arms empty her cart.
    -If I see someone stranded on the side of the road I will ask if they need my phone to make a call.
    -When my neighbor was evicted I offered her to stay at my place for a few days til she found somewhere else to go.

    These are just simple kindnesses. They don’t deprive my husband or my children of anything but a bit of my time. If they did deprive my husband or children I would not do it.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Vanessa
    Or not necessarily aggressive, but more intimidating. Aggressive makes it sound like he’s a meathead.

    I wasn’t thinking meathead, but certainly many would fit that bill. Intelligent aggressive risk takers can have the same issues. Surgeons and special forces types, for example. My point isn’t to knock any one group of men, but to point out that every personality trait you can imagine comes with both upsides and downsides. If there were a single set of traits which made for the all around ideal man, this would be the most common personality type for men.

  • Vanessa says:

    That’s true, Dalrock. The categorizations sometimes seem rather esoteric, is all. I guess that’s why Vox came up with “sigma”, but I think that’s really just a codeword for “alpha who doesn’t act like a meathead”.

    I would, for instance, have put your “loyal beta” in the alpha category, self-control and fidelity being traits I admire. I tend to prefer serious men, so when I see a man being too silly/aggressive/immature at a party, I just try to avoid him. Which isn’t always easy, as aggressive men tend to be… well… aggressive. They’ll chase you around the room all night and give you grief, which is another reason to avoid them like the plague.

  • Vanessa says:

    When I think “intimidating”, I’m thinking more “intense and reflective” than “aggressive and volatile”. But that might just be Nerd Love. LOL

  • Paul H. says:

    Dalrock, I think I agree with everything you said. The purpose of my fourth summary point was to see if this disagreement between you and Zippy, if not only the level of theory, was on the level of practice: i.e., given that we agree x is the problem, is the best solution a or b? I don’t see Zippy and you as too far apart, and yet there is obviously something that is under discussion, since I just read through a 300+ comment log.

    But I have a question of my own, and I hope you will help me work through it. We both agree that women demanding that a man give his life is pathetic: it displays a sense of entitlement which is unbefitting of their nature as women. Would you agree or disagree that a man who aims to save his own life at the expense of the weak is in some way acting like a coward?

  • Zippy says:

    Paul H:
    We both agree that women demanding that a man give his life is pathetic: it displays a sense of entitlement which is unbefitting of their nature as women. Would you agree or disagree that a man who aims to save his own life at the expense of the weak is in some way acting like a coward?

    This is getting to my proposal way earlier in the thread that the kind of obligations which are on the table are not reciprocal marketplace obligations between equal peers. That isn’t the only kind of obligation.

    Another thing that occurs to me is that there is an intermediate earthly judge standing between strong men and God, as pertains to their obligations toward the weak and vulnerable: other strong men. When entitled women bleat about the obligations strong men have to their frail selves when they get upset, it is an opportunity for hilarity and not much else. But strong men do worry about the judgement of other strong men. That is why the term “white knight” has to be remade into something derogatory rather than heroic: to defuse as much as possible the chance that a strong man’s actions or inactions might be judged cowardly by other genuinely strong men.

    Note that I’m just trying to get an objective lay of the social land here: it isn’t my intention to pass judgment on where particular people happen to be on the board right now; just to get a clear picture of the board in the abstract.

    So to some extent “white knight” and other manoslurs are similar to the linguistic gambit of the slutwalkers: a Pieperian power-by-language gambit as an attempt to defuse criticism.

    On the other hand it is perfectly legitimate to point out that the attempt is being made to coopt chivalry to mean something entirely different from strong men being accountable to themselves, God, and other strong men: it is an attempt to subvert the natural order to place castrated ‘strong men’ under the authority of women and their beta enablers. “White knight” is a perfectly amusing parody of the self-image of said enablers. The problem, as is often the case, is one term being used in both senses as if it were really just one term. Any man should be happy to be judged a non-parodic white knight: brave, strong, and selfless.

    A further tangent in this thread was over whether it is appropriate for me to permit women – and Vanessa in particular – to engage with the subject at all. In a perfectly functioning social order where it was clear to all concerned that the strong have real obligations toward the vulnerable it might not be, because everything would be obvious. On the other hand it might be, precisely because everything would be obvious. But we are about as far away from that circumstance as we could be, and as someone who is still learning here I value input from lots of different perspectives, in an informal setting, prescinding (as I repeat regularly) from particular personal judgments that seem endemic to this kind of discussion for some people.

  • Vanessa says:

    Morty made the point elsewhere that chivalry is a touchy subject for men now because there is so little of it in general. Just as thinness is a touchy subject for women — even women who are thin — now because so many are fat. Another comparison would be men talking about chastity — modern women, even chaste women, are easily offended cause… well. Nevermind.

    If these things were common or the norm, then it wouldn’t bother anyone to discuss them. But they’re now topics for debate. They’re delicate because they are unfamiliar. Should women be thin? Should women be chaste? Should men be chivalrous?

    The fact that these things are considered controversial is a controversy in itself. But it’s reflective of the chaos we live in, where we just stumble around in the social dark and try not to get clobbered.

  • Vanessa says:

    Actually, that wasn’t the point she was making. I think I just came up with that in response to what you just wrote, Zippy. But she did make the chivalry/cowardly and beauty/ugliness comparison, which was insightful.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Paul H.
    Would you agree or disagree that a man who aims to save his own life at the expense of the weak is in some way acting like a coward?

    Agreed.

  • Zippy says:

    Vanessa:
    Should women be thin? Should women be chaste? Should men be chivalrous?

    The problem with the third is that “chivalrous” is sometimes taken to mean, in substance, “an enabler of feminism”. So chivalry really is a catch-22 for a modern man in a way that chastity is not. Chastity is always the right choice (by definition, since the word simply means morally good sexual behavior). Chivalry is trickier to navigate in much the same way charity in general is tricky to navigate, because especially in the modern world it is often confused with enabling bad behavior.

  • Vanessa says:

    That’s true. That’s more apt, although her analogy was interesting for finding the feminine counterpart to chivalry.

    Oh, now it makes more sense.

    Calls for more chivalry = Feminism
    Calls for more charity = Marxism

    There’s an element of lethal force presumed in both cases, even if the speaker doesn’t intend it. The progressives have really made a mess of the virtues.

  • Zippy says:

    Vanessa:
    although her analogy was interesting for finding the feminine counterpart to chivalry.

    The comparison isn’t without merit, especially when it comes to navigational trickiness. Pursuit of beauty easily devolves into sluttiness, as attempted chivalry easily devolves into enabling feminism.

    The progressives have really made a mess of the virtues.

    Aye, that they have.

  • Vanessa says:

    I suppose that devolving is the result of pursuing the ends (sexual attention, in both cases), rather than the means.

  • Morticia says:

    Masculine essence is forcefulness/action. Feminine essence is receptiveness.

    Men sin when they reject their masculinity and lack action/forcefulness or if they don’t temper their masculinity with charity and are too forceful.

    Women sin when they reject their femininity and develop frigidness or bitch-shields, but they can also sin by not subjecting their femininity to authority and become a slut…giving themselves away to whoever strikes their fancy.

    To be properly charitable one must discern the appropriate response to each individual situation. Sometimes giving is charitable, and sometimes it is more charitable to abstain from giving. That is where the cardinal virtues come in.

  • Paul H. says:

    Zippy, regarding obligations, that’s the thought that occurred to me as well. I’m not sure the obligation is an obligation of justice, but one of fortitude. Solely in terms of natural ethics, the ultimate reason for being a coward is so that you don’t become that kind of person; I think your comment about other men being the judge of our actions is also pertinent, since fortitude in a particular way is aimed at honor. On the supernatural level, defending the weak seems to pertain to the virtue of charity, in doing good for the least of His brethren.

    I also think you’re right on white-knighting. It’s one of those terms that should apply to a very specific type of activity (e.g., groveling or treating a woman as better than she is), but it implicitly gets extended to a wide range of behaviors. That’s also the case with chivalry: it’s tricky to scoff at that word, since chivalry has nothing to do with some of the things it is commonly associated with today, whereas in some cases it really is applicable to good things. Rather than letting people corrupt a perfectly good word, it might do us better to recover the proper meaning of the word.

    Dalrock, that’s good. We’re in agreement there, too. Your criticism concerns the tone of entitlement from the author, which manifests itself in the same way in the ship-sinking story and the weak-woman-carrying-a-box story. Got it; thanks for the clarification.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Paul H
    Dalrock, that’s good. We’re in agreement there, too. Your criticism concerns the tone of entitlement from the author, which manifests itself in the same way in the ship-sinking story and the weak-woman-carrying-a-box story. Got it; thanks for the clarification.

    There is more to the issue that I wrote about shortly after Costa Concordia ran aground. If you want to see more of my perspective see the link to follow as well as the two posts it links to at the bottom: http://dalrock.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/why-wasnt-it-women-and-children-first/

  • Mike T says:

    @Dalrock

    Incidents like that open up a lot of hilarity when people use secular arguments like “women are more reproductively valuable than men” to explain a quasi-Christian cultural habit. Some thoughts that come to mind about such attitudes are why is a menopausal woman’s life valuable but a young man in his prime is not? She cannot reproduce; he can. Why should a single, childless woman get a slot on the lifeboat but a father with dependent children has to stay behind? Should a woman who has never had kids be valued for her potential reproductive value to society over a man who is currently responsible for raising one or more minors? Even better, shouldn’t a sex-in-the-city style single woman not be pointedly thrown out of the boat to make room for a father who has several dependent children under that standard?

    Or suppose a single woman takes the last slot and a married woman with a child is to be left behind. Is it not moral and just under that standard for her husband to use force–including deadly force if necessary–to remove her from the lifeboat so his wife and child can be saved?

  • Mike T says:

    I suspect most conservative women would howl in rage at those suggestions. That is generally my experience, especially at W4. Lydia went berzerk when I said that the fastest way to protect her daughter from getting drafted is to form an all-female brigade, send them to the frontier between Afghanistan and Pakistan and publicize it heavily on the international news (when the brigade is butchered in 2 days of heavy fighting with the Taliban in close quarters combat in the mountains, that would dump a heavy dose of STFU down every proponent of women in the general military’s throats).

  • anonymous says:

    It seems to me that the vices of the beta male are mistaken for virtues most of the time. The inability to be decisive is taken as being thoughtful and not quick to rush into things. The fear of giving offense is taken for being kind and considerate…

    On the other hand, it can also go the other way. Thoughtful can be mistaken for indecisive, consideration can mistaken for fear, self control can be mistaken for sexual deficiency…

  • Mike T says:

    On the other hand, it can also go the other way. Thoughtful can be mistaken for indecisive, consideration can mistaken for fear, self control can be mistaken for sexual deficiency…

    I don’t think I have ever even heard of a Christian or Churchian congregation where any of that was true.

  • Scott W. says:

    I don’t think I have ever even heard of a Christian or Churchian congregation where any of that was true.

    Actually, the only place I think I’ve heard such is in the account of the Corcyrean Civil War:

    The meaning of words had no longer the same relation to things, but was changed by them as they thought proper. Reckless daring was held to be loyal courage; prudent delay was the excuse of a coward; moderation was the disguise of unmanly weakness; to know everything was to do nothing. Frantic energy was the true quality of a man. A conspirator who wanted to be safe was a recreant in disguise. The lover of violence was always trusted, and his opponent suspected. He who succeeded in a plot was deemed knowing, but a still greater master in craft was he who detected one. On the other hand, he who plotted from the first to have nothing to do with plots was a breaker up of parties and a poltroon who was afraid of the enemy. In a word, he who could outstrip another in a bad action was applauded, and so was he who encouraged to evil one who had no idea of it. The tie of party was stronger than the tie of blood, because a partisan was more ready to dare without asking why. (For party associations are not based upon any established law, nor do they seek the public good; they are formed in defiance of the laws and from self-interest.) The seal of good faith was not divine law, but fellowship in crime. If an enemy when he was in the ascendant offered fair words, the opposite party received them not in a generous spirit, but by a jealous watchfulness of his actions. Revenge was dearer than self-preservation. Any agreements sworn to by either party, when they could do nothing else, were binding as long as both were powerless. But he who on a favorable opportunity first took courage, and struck at his enemy when he saw him off his guard, had greater pleasure in a perfidious than he would have had in an open act of revenge; he congratulated himself that he had taken the safer course, and also that he had overreached his enemy and gained the prize of superior ability. In general the dishonest more easily gain credit for cleverness than the simple for goodness; men take a pride in the one, but are ashamed of the other.

  • Anymouse says:

    “Women who live as though they are independent free agents, he mostly treats like independent free agents.”
    Seems incredibly reasonable.

  • […] Also, Zippy Catholic […]

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