Return of the Modern Gentleman.

Maybe I’m just a chauvinist but I believe that many of the chivalrous behaviours and values that the traditional gentleman upheld still ring true to this day. Whilst I am all for empowering a person regardless of their gender I still hold in my mind that it is my responsibility to provide for and protect my family. Whether this is out of some notion of pride or merely a testosterone fueled male response to the modern world is a question left to debate. But for me as a man who is about to undergo one of the most life changing events in his life, the ideas of chivalry and courtly romance are something that will form the basis of my ever-lasting devotion to my fiancee.

I would caution against confusing the ideas of chilvary with that of gender inequality. More the idea is that anyone, regardless of their gender or gender of their partner, should be courteous and respectful towards their significant other. The traditional gentleman would not concern himself with the idea that his actions could be misconstrued as patronising, as long he himself knew they were moral and just. Too often does the idea that a man should provide for his family turn to a debate on gender equality when in reality, it is merely our sense of pride and devotion that drives us to feel responsible for providing for and protecting our family.

It was then with great pride that I was able to turn to like minded individuals. The mix of serious issues dabble with light hearted entertainment enables everyone to understand why some of us cling to what some would call out-moded ideals. The modern gentlemen represents many desirable qualities that we can all strive to achieve and the Art of Manliness community shows that even today there is a strong support for bringing old tradition back into the modern world.

Maybe I’m just nostalgic for times gone past. Maybe I’m just aspiring to an ideal that has no place in this modern world but for myself adhering to them has, I believe, lead me to becoming a much better man. Having my fiancee by my side brought out characteristics in myself that I never knew existed and showed me how much I respected my father and his relationship with my mother. If anyone is to blame with this idea that all men should aspire to be gentlemen it should be my father as it was not his teachings but manner which instilled in me the ideals that I aspire to today.

And for that, I am ever grateful.

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  1. As someone who I know is a skeptic (in the definition of the term sense, not in the ‘skeptics’ movement sense) and a pragmatist why do you feel that embracing societies ideals of manliness is a good idea without questioning. You talk romantically about gender roles and societal positions but you forget that it is not up to you to determine what level assistance / reassurance a woman may want from you. That is for them to decide then ask if required.
    And that is why you don’t understand the feminist movement. You need to read ‘The masculine self’ it’s a gender studies book focusing on men and why we are pretty messed up and should shun the ways of the past and seek true balance within ourselves and equality with women on every level.

  2. What part of such ideals should we not seek to embrace? I tried to extrapolate what I feel personally into a more broad context but unfortunately it does come out with a chauvinistic tone to it. In essence I believe there are certain ideals, embodied mostly clearly in the traditional gentleman, that all people may ascribe to without gender coming into the equation. My personal beliefs stray from this gender equality mindset because unfortunately, human genders are not the same. Whilst I recognise that the past had woman seen as inferior to their male counterparts my opinion is far from that. More I believe that the differences that men and women have make them more suited to certain tasks.

    What inspired the post was the idea that a simple kindness that I might extend to anyone whether they are male or female, such as opening the door, can be misconstrued as a patronising gesture towards the fairer gender. To me this is extremely offensive and forms part of my belief that society has gone too far in regulating how people behave. Is it wrong for a man to desire to be the sole bread winner so that his wife may stay at home to look after the children? No more than a woman should desire the same thing for her husband, yet the former is seen as chauvinistic and the latter as empowering. It is with this I have an issue.

    Gender equality is something that is bandied about far too often, and whilst we must atone for the wrongs the male half of the human race committed against our fairer companions we must face that we are in fact different halves of a species. I am all for terms of equality when it comes to rights and treatment, but anything that is done to give a gender an advantage over the other is, in my opinion, the highest form of sexism possible. In a truly level playing field there will be differences between men and women, and the sooner we realise this the sooner our perception of gender equality can change for the better.

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