First off before all of my rumbling and venting begins I have to allude all my generation for being woke. Now nothing just happens to fly past us. We scrutinize everything because we now attach moral and emotional significance to big and small events.
We live in a world that is in a movement, a movement to see equality among all people. Which I believe is the whole idea, it’s not to say that minorities matter most, but it’s to say that they have been since ignored. Say take black lives matter (#BLM) as an example it is not to say that blacks matter the most, but they matter just like everyone. So why not say all lives matter, because all lives matter is a norm but no one has been paying any attention to the norm, so we have switched it over so that everyone can see that in all lives matter, some seem to have mattered less.
Or you can take feminism (of course this is debatable among radicals) I see feminism as an echo that you seem to have ignored women as you were speaking about equality. So we are going to stand up for women not because we want them to be superior, but because they need to be on the same plane as men. This is my stance on feminism. I believe all people are created equal therefore no distinctions should be made in the chances they are afforded in this life. But I cry out for my fellow millennial men in the world where things seem to be ever changing and transitioning is hard.
I bet you the only 10 bucks in my pocket that most people reading this do not know what chivalry is. Chivalry is that state of being honorable towards women. You can say it is being gentlemanly but it is being a gentleman for the sake of being a gentleman.
To become a man you must first believe that you can indeed be a man. Chivalry is nothing more than being a man, a good man. Manhood used to be defined by the things man did, like working in big engineering corporations, getting their hands dirty, bringing food on the table and a weekend out with the guys. Right now women do these things just as much as men or even better. Reminds me of this poem I read over a decade and a half ago about why boys won’t play with girls, it ended by saying that the boys the boys are afraid we’d beat them at their own game, or something along those lines. So it is clear that bringing food on the table won’t make you a man just as much as making dinner doesn’t make a female a woman. I think it was T D Jakes who said ,” men don’t know whether to buy the dishes or do the dishes ”, so they must in some way to retain manhood and be chivalrous in a feminist and inclusive world. Here are some suggestions
- Open doors
Men used to get points when they opened doors for beautiful women they adored. However opening doors shouldn’t be about scoring rather it should be about caring and mannerisms. Opening doors is supposed to be to all women the young and the old alike. This means you give precedence to whom it is due and it is done as a lifestyle. Of course opening doors is a metaphor for a man should open up his space that others may benefit. Man by nature are not conversational we thrive on one word responses and grunts, but in this modern world a man has to open up and let his emotions flow. It also helps reduce tension and unnecessary pressure. Open the doors to your heart and accept vulnerability you will get to understand the world a bit by opening up.
- Privilege should mean protection
True those men have had certain privileges in this life; though we want men and women to being equal we also understand that men have certain physiological advantages. In general men are larger than women. This is why some men think that this means they are supposed to bully and abuse women. Chivalry means standing up for the weak fighting for them to have a place not just for women but children , old people , vulnerable people of all walks. My father used to say ,”if you have the privilege to go ahead first , make it easier for those behind to catch up, don’t lay stones and thorns so that you can boast about your privilege while others suffer”. To me that is what chivalry means, making it easy for everyone to be on the same plane as you.
- Stand up straight and be upright
Clearly this is another metaphor. Slouching isn’t for one who wants to be chivalrous. Stand with your shoulders straight, it will give you a sense of worth. Be upright and be an honest man. You don’t have to deceive so that you get what you want. Someone said women are easy to deceive because they want to believe, it doesn’t make them gullible and neither should it be an arsenal to put the entire woman’s defenses down. Nothing makes more sense than a man whose words match his actions. One of the greatest betrayals is finding out that a man isn’t the man they said they were. Not many men admit they are at fault when they do wrong because it was taught in old cultures that a man is always right. Be right because you are right and not because you think you are right.
- Defend yourself but don’t be defensive
Being a modern man doesn’t mean you have to be a weak man. You still have to be a strong man, a fighter and being a fighter means you have to be equally good at defense as you are at offense. You have to defend your individuality and personality in the wake of false opinions and allegations based on “every man does that” or “all men are like that”. Don’t however be defensive, where men do wrong they tend to be defensive and blame it on the women for initiating the situation that led to abuse. This is the case with GBV. I have heard men talk about how the woman is talkative, inappropriate or something like that; hence violence was used to put them in their place. The first step to corrections is admitting when wrong has been done. Yes, many men are like that; no, you are not every man. Defend being a man by right actions and give hope to those that lose hope in what men do.
- Support movements that bring about change
Much of the reasons why many men are against feminism are because they think feminism is out to get them and remove them from their place. I won’t deny that there are those that go way overboard with feminism to an extent that they do not want to see men on this planet. But I personally think that the generality of feminist ideas have to deal with addressing equality among people. There is no harm in supporting that, it won’t make you less of a man. In fact it makes you manlier as you believe that you can handle being challenged by an opposite gender and still remain a man. This isn’t only about feminism, but it’s about finding balance in this world and acknowledging that any changes in the nature of social life will not disturb the chivalry and manhood that is in you.
For now I am done venting and ranting but I feel there are more to say and still yet more to be done. However I believe we all can do it once we believe it. Imagine a world full of chivalrous men who do not use violence to prove they are men. A world were equality is a norm and men fight for it as much as women. I imagine it, I see it, and I believe its reality and I work towards it every day with every fiber of my being.
Cheers, to more Chivalry