The Backlash! - Backlash Article Archive - Chivalry
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By Rod Van Mechelen
New Chivalry: To see the best of ourselves reflected in others, and to act always to bring out the best of both in one another.
The 7 C's of Modern Chivalry
1992 Bellevue, Wash. - Men learn how to get women, not how to keep them. Women force them to do this. Most women don't ask men for dates. They don't ask for phone numbers, let men know when they're attracted to them, and they "leave all the driving to us." This makes men focus on "how to get women."

If you know how to have a deeply intimate relationship with a woman, but are unable to get one, you will be alone. Conversely, if you can get women, then you don't have to worry about keeping them. Just get a new one every time the old one "wears out."

The men most successful at picking up women do so by enhancing their desirability. Desirable men are modern "Knights" who live by the "Seven C's" of Modern Chivalry: Clothes, Confidence, Cars, Cash, Credit, Credentials, and a Castle. (The star performers are the ones who periodically augment the Seven C's with brief displays of Compassion, Caring and Comedy.) These are what it takes to make men attractive to most women, today.

As girls, women look for the right clothing and confidence. Women are (ahem) into clothes. They expect men to dress with style and panache. But even clothes don't make the man if he isn't sure of himself. Consequently, being "cool" is critical. After that come cars.

A car is necessary to chauffeur women around to where their friends can see them. As teenagers, women expect a man to have a car. A car is crucial, and no socially conscious young woman will date for long a wonk without wheels. But as they continue to mature, they realize what really makes a "man" is cash or credit. A guy with a car can take you places, but a man with money can show you a good time.

So women want wealth. Few men think about how much money his date has, whereas even "liberated" women often get that special gleam in their eyes when they see the gold. They may say compassion and humor count for more, but what they don't say is, by definition a "man" is a person with confidence, money, or both. If you don't have money and you're not macho, then you're not a real man. Remember that next time a woman says she wants a "man" with a good sense of humor. A caring, sensitive "man."

If a caring, sensitive "man" is good, a "man" with credentials is even better. Credentials mean power. Power to move through certain spheres of influence, power to command certain kinds of respect. Credentials will open the doors to a woman's heart and bedroom faster than anything else because a "man" with credentials can confer upon her the kind of status she could otherwise acquire only by working for it herself.

Women love status as much as the next "man."

Men Know This
Deep down (in their wallets), most men know this. They know they can be caring, affectionate, sensitive and nurturing, attentive and good listeners to their wives. But if Mr. Bigbucks Powermonger comes along, their ladies may tell the judge, "I need to 'expand my horizons' -- I need a divorce!" Nothing will expand a woman's horizons faster than a "man" with more money and better credentials, and many women will jump at the opportunity to give a richer, more powerful "man" the opportunity to be their knight in shining armor.

Even as they look for "knights" to rescue them from the humdrum of the mundane, however, they often disparage male chivalry, calling it paternalistic and degrading. But this is indicative more of pop feminist propaganda than historical fact: the Age of Chivalry made feminism possible. (Sex in History, Reay Tannahill, pp 256 - 257)

Centuries ago, Europeans believed women were morally inferior to men. During the Crusades, however, bards brought back Muslim ideals about feminine virtue, and within "less than half a century, disregarded Woman had been transformed into honored Lady, in effigy if not in the flesh." (Sex in History, Reay Tannahill, p 266) Ultimately, this led men to educate, elevate, and emancipate women. It should come as no surprise, therefore, if pop feminists attack men for not being chivalrous. In their demands for affirmative action and the continuation of alimony, and in their take-back-the-night condemnations of masculinity, that is precisely what they do. Chivalry provides many benefits women are reluctant to give up.

Rights Without Responsibilities
Traditional chivalry requires men to die for women. It imposes the obligation to work at dangerous and dehumanizing jobs to support women, to take responsibility for initiating relationships, and more. All things most women refuse to do. Yet, women understandably balk at the cost this dependence imposes on them: "Along with the privilege of being protected comes the loss of rights, and not being respected and treated like a full-fledged person." (You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation, Ballantine Books Edition, June 1991, Deborah Tannen, Ph.D., p 287)

To obtain the protection and life-time support of men, women gave up their independence. Those who find thin the benefits of dependence, however, understandably desire the apparent advantages traditionally accorded men in education, work and society. Thus, the feminist campaign to "have it all." But pop feminists want it all for free. They want all the benefits of independence without any of the obligations that go with it.

As women continue to merge into the "man's world," they bring with them ideas, ethics, and values men need. But women need what men have, too: The great strength of the male ideology is its focus on rights, responsibilities, and the "big picture." Where women care on a personal level, men nurture the world.

This is a noble tradition with moral values containing all the elements that make us more and better than the base estate to which pop feminists would condemn us: "In a sense, caring for the system so that the conditions of democratic opportunity and freedom are safeguarded is a form of 'nurturing' -- the same kind of daily attention to detail that it takes to keep a home running, or to keep a relationship emotionally alive." (Women and Love: A Cultural Revolution in Progress, St. Martin's Press mass market edition, 1989, Shere Hite, p 661)

This is the essence of male chivalry, and it is time for change. It needs to be androgynous. Within our masculine tradition, therefore, I propose a new definition - a chivalry for a new age:

New Chivalry: To see the best of ourselves reflected in others, and to act always to bring out the best of both in one another.

New Chivalry
Like it or not, there resonates a feeling among most men that it is their duty to protect all women. But as pop feminists attack, and angry women rally round their anti-male banners, this nobility of spirit is under siege.

Yet chivalry is not dead. Men still pay child-support for children their ex-wives disallow them to see. College men still attend women's studies classes, where they sit humbly as professors insult their masculinity. And despite that most victims of social ills, like homelessness and on-the-job fatalities, are men, most men smile and nod when governments grant millions if not billions of dollars to offices that safeguard women's rights, but not men's. In every way, pop feminists rely on male chivalry to take whatever they can.

New Chivalry, however, transcends their pernicious pedantry to elicit the full spectrum of ethical considerations from all. New Chivalry is for women, too.

This is not without precedent. Europeans expect aristocrats of both sexes to behave according to the dictates of noblesse oblige. In essence, New Chivalry is the ethic of Androgyny, combining the moral perspectives of women, who generally construct "the moral problem as a problem of care and responsibility in relationships rather than as one of rights and rules," with men's "conception of morality as justice" that links moral "development to the logic of equality and reciprocity." (In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women's Development, Carol Gilligan, p 73)

Together, they transcend gender, connecting rights to responsibilities, compassion to justice, and self to society. As a society, we have barely begun to explore New Chivalry. Now is a good time to set aside the sexist attitudes of both women and men, and work to synthesize the best of both worlds into a finer state of being.

The problems with this
2012 Olympia, Wash. - There are so many problems with this I scarce know where to begin. What's right about it, obviously, is the foundation for a system of justice and law that is gender blind. When I wrote this chapter, it had been almost ten years since I had read Murray N. Rothbard's excellent book, Ethics of Liberty, but all the elements of what I dressed up and called "new chivalry" can be found, there.

The description of the Seven C's, though dated and perhaps cynical, is still accurate. Evolutionary Psychology explains why. But in the late eighties I read a few of L. Ron Hubbard's books on Dianetics and Scientology, which promote a vision of a better world. Say what you will about the Church of Scientology, their vision of a world free of insanity and war is good. This inspired me to imagine a better relationship between the sexes than what we have. Naive, perhaps, but there it is.

That was twenty years ago. During the past two decades it has become very obvious that the political elite are little more than puppets. The differences between Democrats and Republicans are few. The policies implemented to mollify feminists and oppress men that began in the eighties have increased and continued with each successive administration. Meanwhile, the wars of Clinton became the wars of Bush II. The wars of Bush II became the wars of Obama. The prosperity enjoyed under Clinton was the result of economic bubbles created by the policies of Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan under Reagan and perpetuated under Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and now Obama. The prosperity of the bubble economy was false, the tech bubble was the first to collapse, and now the remaining bubbles are springing leaks faster than they can be patched.

As I have written elsewhere, in 2006 I testified before a panel of federal officials in Vancouver, Wash., that a severe recession was coming. Six years later, the Obama Administration and Fed Chairman Bernanke have come close to exhausting the arsenal of policies and tricks to maintain the illusion of a recovery. I expect the first wave of massive price inflation to hit the US econonmy by mid-2013. Others, far more expert than I, forecast a peak in this inflation by 2015 or soon thereafter, followed by a deflationary depression.

But governments almost always act to increase and consolidate power. The wealthy elite want a world government. The fake war on women and the real war on men are just bit players on the world stage, clowns in a circus meant to keep us distracted while the grand designs of the factions of the wealthy elite consolidate their power. And when the time comes, it will most likely be welcomed by large majorities throughout the west, if not the entire globe. Desperate people do desperate things. The 1930s were a desperate time for the German people; they embraced the Nazis, and still thought they were free.

A "new chivalry" between the sexes is not the answer to this. For it goes far beyond the fake war on women and the real war on men, and the world is changing far more rapidly than most can imagine.


Rod Van Mechelen

Rod Van Mechelen is the author of What Everyone Should Know about Feminist Issues: The Male-Positive Perspective (the page now includes several articles by other authors), and the publisher of The Backlash! @ He is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and served for 9-1/2 years on the Cowlitz Indian Tribal Council.


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