The International Fellowship of Chivalry-Now

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Feminism & Chivalry-Now

It's been suggested that Chivalry-Now is the male version of feminism.
     The idea certainly has merit. Like feminism, we seek to improve life for everyone by dealing with gender-related issues. We merely approach from opposite sides of the spectrum.
     Admitting such similarities might raise hackles on people who hold negative views of feminism. To clarify this, the feminism I refer to is the one that supports gender equality under the law for the good of all people.
     Images of radical, male-bashing extremists have long been used to give the wider scope of feminism a bad name. The media and political leaders quote off-the-wall extremists in order to generate the needless contention that they thrive on.
     The feminist movement reached it heyday during the Viet Nam War protests and the Hippie movement of the 1960s. All three were lumped together by the media and the fact that there was some overlapping concern among proponents. Defenders of the status quo took advantage of this hodge-podge of protest to make sure that whatever truth they represented look radical. This tainted feminism in the eyes of many, even today.
     We would like to make clear that Chivalry-Now has no connection with the free-love, drug-infested, anti-war movements of the 60s and early 70s. We have no connection to those who represented the status quo either. To illustrate, we provide the following summations:

  • There should be no question that women and men are equal under the law, and treated according to their individual value. If that is the feminist agenda of today, we are in complete accord. Beyond that recognition, the lives of women are their own. They are as responsible for their own destinies as men are. We help assure their rights and freedom, as they assure ours, through respect and harmonious relationships.
  • Love is an important principle that we need to propagate. The so-called "free-love" of the 60s and 70s, however, wasn't love at all - just a catch-phrase for license and rebellion.
  • Drugs and alcohol ruin people's lives, along with the lives of their loved ones, and should be avoided as a rational, individual decision. Intoxication always puts honor at risk.
  • Anti-war movements often project a very shallow moral posture that blinds participants to the consequences of what they espouse. When loud contention replaces reason, it becomes counterproductive, furthering the divide by solidifying factions.
  • On the other hand, supporting war for the sake of nationalistic or so-called "patriotic" pride disavows our responsibility as mature, free-thinking, morally-patriotic citizens. War is not a high school football game or business strategy. People die, while others commit themselves to revenge. The reasons for a just war have to be exceptional.

Chivalry-Now may seem difficult to judge because it harkens back to far earlier times, while incorporating today's wisdom as well. When we speak of love, peace and equal rights, our words are not rooted in the turbulent 60s and 70s, but in the spirit likened to the Age of Reason, from which freedom and democracy gained their precarious foothold.
     Chivalry-Now must never be an excuse for ego satisfaction, or a ploy to attract women, or a cover for other forms of license. Our integrity bears no alliance to liberalism or conservatism, but only to truth and human compassion. We don't seek power-hungry advocates, thrilled by the influence they hold over their listeners. That's for television pulpits. We don't reduce our principles to slogans that lose the true depth of their precious meaning. That's for political consultants. We avoid all such tendencies as variations of greed.
     With all this in mind, we place preconceptions aside and approach feminism from where we stand, with open minds and hopeful hearts.
    
I've read blogs where men express contempt for feminism, and do so in the name of chivalry! While harshly accusing the women's movement of destroying chivalry, they say things like: "if women want to be the equal of men they should…"
    
Such words not only imply that women are not equal with men, but that equality is something that can be earned if women only submit to male judgment!
    
Their idea of equality makes no sense. Are all men equal among themselves? Are all men strong and honest and self-disciplined? Do they all labor to the best of their ability? Do they share the exact same interests or political views? Of course not. Yet defenders of misogyny build fictitious walls of homogeneity around the male gender, while holding women to what amounts to higher standards.
    
As for destroying chivalry, what kind of chivalry is so easily destroyed? Was it flourishing in the 1950s? Or 40s? Could a movement demanding equal rights for women destroy male ethics, already built on equal rights? Only men destroy that lineage of chivalry through decades of neglect, propagated by the cultural migration of the Industrial Revolution.
    
We all hold human differences. Some express themselves to varying degrees in each gender, but not exclusively. We have masculine women, feminine males, and a whole gamut of variations in between.
    
If we learn anything from the polarization of politics, it's that extreme views propagate their opposite on the other side, each contending outrageously instead of finding common ground. The extreme misogynist and the man-hating feminist are both related and dependent upon each other in this regard. They depend on each other for their blind anger and discontent, while the rest of us shake our heads in remorse.

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