Is Chivalry a euphemistic form of patriarchy?


Chivalry has long been preached as a virtue. As a member of the male community, one has to be always courteous to women, not let them do heavy physical labour, carry their bags and wallets, give them seats in trains and buses, allow them to have their own queue at train station ticket counters, post offices, phone bill payment outlets, etc., and many other things. These are behaviours which every male is expected to exhibit. And many of us take pride in doing the same. Women too on the other hand likes chivalrous men – one who would open the door of a car for them, one who would pick a lady up and drop her back to her apartment after a date, one who frequently utters “ladies first”. I cannot help but ponder the reason behind this. Is it the age old patriarchy disguised in a form that would seem acceptable? Perhaps something to ponder.

I’d appreciate if you share your views also in the comments. Thanks for reading.


5 thoughts on “Is Chivalry a euphemistic form of patriarchy?”

  1. Chivalry is perhaps the sharpest double edged sword without a handle that a man has to handle ever in his life. If he is not chivalrous, world smites him as the uncouth savage who doesn’t respect women. If he is indeed chivalrous, the world calls it euphemistic patriarchy. By the time a man figures out which one of them is the more just, the world would have passed him by and he would already have been branded as a savage and a chauvinist. A moment of silence for all those brave souls that perished in the pursuit of ever elusive “correct display of chivalry”. Amen.

    1. Man is transformed from being “just-another-animal” to a “social-animal”. That being said, the common characteristics in males of other mammals includes taking care and protecting their ladies, which is assumed to be natural, in general. Yet, being like that for every female, is courteous and/or chivalry. Not that I feel, it is wrong or right on anyone’s part, I just felt it stems from the same patriarchal framework.

  2. I don’t think so. You see, you’re confusing politeness and chivalry with something else. When we do the things you mentioned, we don’t undermine women in any fashion. It is just a way to show love, and be polite. Not that you couldn’t do it all by yourself.
    And chivalry started long back in time, when women wore elaborate gowns, and it caused them discomfort to open doors and seat themselves. So men helped them out, and it had continued ever since. Men are just being polite. And gentle.
    Goes on to explain: “Women love men who are gentle only for them. Men love women who’re naughtu only for them.” 😉

    1. And the continued politeness nd concern is called chivalry today, right? But a woman being polite and considerate is not looked at as chivalrous.
      I get what you mean, I’m not denying most of it, yeah, but it’s still supposedly gender-specific. You get my point? (in sengo sir’s tone :P)

  3. Very nice observation. And I must say I agree to it.
    This topic is best left pondering rather than passing on judgments.
    Another topic you might want to ponder upon can be chivalrous values versus chivalrous behavior.
    Who would you call a gentleman, person who opens the door for good looking ladies, or person who opens the door for everyone before he enters.
    In my previous office, anyone who reached the door first (even ladies) used to open the door and wait for everyone to enter before they moved in.

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