Chivalry is not Chauvinism
Maybe it’s because chivalry and chauvinism both involve men and how they view women…. Maybe it’s because they both start with “ch”… But the meaning of chivalry is often mixed with chauvinism.
the medieval knightly system with its religious, moral, and social code.
knights, noblemen, and horsemen collectively.
“I fought against the cream of French chivalry”
the combination of qualities expected of an ideal knight, especially courage, honor, courtesy, justice, and a readiness to help the weak.
synonyms: knight errantry, courtly manners, knightliness, courtliness, nobility; bravery, courage, boldness, valor, heroism, daring, intrepidity; bushido
“the values of chivalry”
exaggerated or aggressive patriotism.
“public opinion was easily moved to chauvinism and nationalism”
synonyms: jingoism, excessive patriotism, blind patriotism, excessive nationalism, sectarianism, isolationism, flag-waving; More
excessive or prejudiced loyalty or support for one’s own cause, group, or gender.
plural noun: chauvinisms
“a bastion of male chauvinism”
synonyms: jingoism, excessive patriotism, blind patriotism, excessive nationalism, sectarianism, isolationism, flag-waving; xenophobia, racism, ethnocentrism, ethnocentricity; partisanship, partiality, prejudice, bias, discrimination, bigotry; male chauvinism, antifeminism, misogyny, sexism
“they have a tendency toward small-mindedness and chauvinism”
I don’t know if anyone even realizes they have connected the two words. I think it happened unconsciously somewhere around the time of the cultural revolution of the 60s.
I’ll be clear… that revolution for some very good things for women. There were many ridiculous ideas about women and their worth. Truly “male chauvinistic” ideas.
To be a gentleman is to value things rightly. To honor and respect women.
That sounds like chivalry to me.
Offering to hold the door for a woman didn’t mean we think she is weak. It means we want to show her honor.
It is polite to hold the door open for people, right?
Gentlemen show manners not just because of social norms or old fashioned rules… rather, that politeness comes out of a drive to honor people, to value people.
I can’t say that it will be ready to separate the cultural associations between chauvinism and chivalry, but we should strive to model that we are men of honor.