Men who hate feminism and Gentleman-Shaming

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
Mahatma Gandhi
One of the great things about writing nonfiction and publishing out for others to see, is the “peer” review you will receive. Personally I enjoy it because it forces you to defend your views, re-evaluate them from another perspective, and maybe even change your previous notions. But other times, you simply get attacked because some people will attack you because of their own insecurities. 

One of the most generalized comments on #Chivalry is how women find it offensive. Interestingly enough, I have never met the elusive Feminist who will insult me for treating her like a lady. What I have met are a number of “guys” using Feminism as an excuse to avoid being a Gentleman.

A few days ago, a “guy” felt that my articles and motivationals on #Chivalry and #Gentleman Behavior were reason enough to go all out on a Trolling offensive against @JamesMSama and myself. Labeling himself as an Anti-Feminist, his core ideal is that #Chivalry relegates men as women’s doormats. My attempts to explain how #Chivalry is about being a Gentleman to become a better man and not about impressing “chicks” fell on deaf ears, serving only to enrage him even more. After he continued with several tweets, a couple posts to my FB group, and two emails to my blog, I was forced to block and report the “guy” to Facebook and Twitter. 

Instead of getting angry about the incident, I actually felt sorry for the “guy”. Something must have happened to him at a personal level to allow his own insecurities and a massive fear of women to lash out against men who are willing to be Gentlemen. I just hope he is able to make peace with this daemon he holds so dear to his heart, which will limit his ability to grow as a man. 

Nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude. - Thomas Jefferson

(Extended article on the subject on The Good Men Project.)


It’s About More Than Safe Sex

My most recent article for Good Men Project is about L. Condom’s new ad. Interestingly enough, the comedic depiction of what a Good Man is, has more truth within it than most Gentlemen write ups out there.

Who knew that using a condom was about becoming an activist, in the good way.


A Gentleman who has no passion when he dances, has no passion to offer a Lady

Romanceering is not a competitive sport. Women are not your opponents on a chess board.  Thinking like that is the same as assuming you have to beat them into submission. That mentality is the reason why insecure men go after weak minded women; opponents they feel can easily defeat. This very reason has cause women to think they have act dumb to attract men and not scare them off.

Gentlemen, a lady is not an opponent, but a willing dance partner. As with any partner dancing, both partners must collaborate and participate. It is your obligation to lead and to make your partner shine. It is your duty to set up the frame over which the lady glides (“Girls who glide need men who make them thump”, five extra points if you know where that is from). That means a conscientious agreement of both sides and that the woman is just as responsible to interact with the man as the man is to interact with her. The roles of genders are still present but keep in mind it is perfectly valid for the lady to take the lead every once in a while. You might be surprised just where you might end up.

Once I asked a friend how he was able to dance salsa so well, always finding great partners when he hit the dance floor. He looked at me the same way a Blind Master Po would look at young Kwai Chang Caine. “My young grasshopper, dancing is a metaphor for life and for love. It’s all about understanding the rhythm and being able to see the sections.” I knew about musical rhythms, but sections?

He followed this with one of the most enlightening and eloquent explanations about life I have had the privilege to witness. Dancing was just romantic storytelling and the dancers were the protagonists of their own personal epic. Most partner dances, like old school salsa, are broken into sections to give dancers a familiar frame over which to work their magic. This is the same frame work as romancing.

1.      The introduction
The introduction of a song sets up the basic rhythm. This is where the partners meet for the first time, and start learning about each other’s style and skill level. You establish a simple step on a simple hold where both are comfortable.

You learn about each other, and set up the ground rules on how this is going to proceed. It might be you two are not compatible. Fine, you just continue at this level till the song ends, not pushing forward but also being courteous enough to finish the song. If you DO connect at this basic level, you advance your movements to the next section of the song.

2.      The Verse
The verse tells the story of the song. Here is where each song becomes unique and should set its self apart from the rest. Think of this as the development of the story and characters. Here is where you start truly learning about your partner.

You begin to get an idea of how far you and your partner could go. Some simple steps and tricks are pulled, without committing to anything serious. This will avoid embarrassing situations and miscommunications later on. This is more about having general good time, keeping it light and fun. Again, here’s a chance to choose if you move on or not.

3.      Coro & Soneo
If you have an introduction, and the verse is the story development, Coro (Choir) and Soneo (Singer improvisation) is where the conflict of the story is exposed, where the real drama begins. Characters are presented with what they must overcome, and their previous limits are exposed. The pair will usually break hold and show off to each other. Although they are doing independent moves, they are still done to impress their partner.

You can simply stay in hold if one of you does not feel comfortable showing off; just make sure to finish the song. Avoid breaking partnerships in mid-song as that is in bad taste. Who knows, she might not be a good partner for you, but if you are a true Gentleman, she will introduce you to her friend who might be a good match.

4.      Mambo
Say it with me…. MAMBO. What does that sound like? You really can’t say that word without a hint of naughtiness, can you? If everything went well in the first three sections, you move on to Mambo. Mambo is the climax of the story, where your individual skills are combined into a single unit; based on everything you have seen up to now.

At this time it’s all about partnering. This is the part of the dance that most people remember, where all the flashy hand work, lifts, turns, and flips happen; in dancing and in…. well, you get what I mean.

5.      Ending
Ending is where things cool down.

You are given a moment to decide if you want to continue to the next song together or if you are going to take a break. If you decide not to continue to the next song, like the Gentleman you are, you must thank your partner for a wonderful dance before heading out.

By not understanding the sections, meeting up with someone will just be a hit and miss; sometimes it went well, other times it just would not click; with many confusing signals and misinterpretations. This applies to dance and to life. People tend to expect that their random partner simply match with them, and try to force the match when it does not. Other times they might even think outshining your partner and showing off will impress them. Boys and girls will try to go all out, from start to finish, not pacing themselves and giving themselves time to evaluate what was going on and what where they getting into. This attitude always results in confusing complications and a lot of apologies.

What will a change in attitude provide?

  •  Looking for a partner compatible with you before proceeding to take things to another level.

Even if you are leading, she has to be your equal in skill and interests.  No longer will you be looking for a “quick conquest” because you begin to realize that dumb partners make you look dumb by association.

  •  Both partners make their intentions clear.

To be able to partner dance well, both partners have to be in agreement as to what they will be doing. Sure, the man might lead, but the woman has to agree to it. Is it just a nice friendship, a one night stand, or are they interested in something more? You have a chance to clear the air and be honest during the each section so no one gets the wrong ideas.

  •  Give each other time to evaluate if you are comfortable with where you are and if they are ok with the next step.

Do you want to keep it as is; are you ok to moving this into something more complicated? Is she? Do either of you want to step back a bit? By staging each development, you give each other time to understand if you are comfortable with the direction that this is going. You will pace the relationship, whatever that relationship may be.

The biggest problem romanceering understands that when done improperly confusions and misinterpretations will happen. You are not a kid and you don’t have either a quota or a deadline to get something done. Take your time and enjoy the company. Sometimes a good conversationalist is better than a complicated, drama filled, partner with privileges.

(Article updated and adjusted for reprint in Good Men Project)


A Gentleman three fold. 15 lessons I learned from being a Renaissance Man.

Study the science of art. Study the art of science. Develop your senses. Especially, learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.
Leonardo Da’Vinci
Plato established that human behavior flows from three main sources: emotion, knowledge, and desire. Even the Knights of old understood that he had three basic but overlapping duties that defined his behavior; the Warrior, the Monk, and the Courtesan. This ideology is mirrored in several other martial traditions across the world as the development of the body, the mind, and the spirit.

We, as Gentlemen, understand the need to be a well-rounded individual, so we must train and mature all three aspects of ourselves. We must develop the warrior within ourselves, educate the hermit within ourselves, and entertain the fool within ourselves. As with the article on the Virtues of a Gentleman, I realize that each aspect has enough information to be developed in a book of its own, but I will try and cover all three in a single article. Please understand that some information will unfortunately be left out.

The Warrior
The Gentleman-Warrior would train in the arts of war, honing his combat skill constantly as well learning the stratagems of military tactics. His superior martial skill was tempered by his virtues of mercy, courage, valor, fairness, and his intent to protect the weak and the poor. His role was to serve as the defender of his countrymen against any and all assaults. His skill is not measured on how hard he can hit, but how many times he could get back up after being hit.
A true warrior is not determined by his skill in combat, but by his discipline and self-control.  People will be either inspired or terrified by the unflinching and fearless warrior. Just remember that your most challenging enemy will always be yourself. This will be a battle you fight every day. You must understand that only sometimes you will win that battle. You must also be able to accept the consequences of when you lose.
Most martial arts teachers will remind their students constantly that the more you sweat in the training hall, the less you bleed in the battle field. The more you trained and the more discipline you forced on yourself, the more confident you will be of your skill. Also note that the more discipline and control you exuded in a fight, the more your opponent would fear you. Realize that this applies to EVERYTHING in life. Every action you do, no matter how simple, should be done with this same level of dedication and discipline as if it was your last. Take the lessons you learn at the training hall and apply them to your every day.
1.      Train your body to keep up with the life you want to have. Nothing will stop you faster than a ill equipped body.
2.      There are no shortcuts in life. Hard work and self-sacrifice are the only ways to achieve success.
3.      Respect is something you earn. You can only lead by example. Nobody owes you anything, so don’t expect something you have not earned.
4.      Mind your presence and how you project yourself. Are you projecting strength or weakness, confidence or insecurity?
5.      Control of self is the ultimate technique. You are not a wild animal who acts out of reacting to your environment.

The Hermit
As the warrior trained his body for war, the hermit trained his mind for thought. A Gentleman-Hermit must look at the world as his classroom, searching out the secrets of the universe in even the simplest things. He also must develop enough wisdom to understand that knowledge is not just facts but how these facts interact with people.
As skilled as a fighter might be with his sword, his most dangerous weapon is still his mind. He understands that a confrontation is won or lost long before the first blow is thrown. He must have enough thirst for information and for understanding as to never grow full of himself, realizing that the more he learns, the less he actually knows of the world.  No knowledge is useless, no matter how useless it might seem. It is how you apply such knowledge that determines its use or uselessness. The classroom will begin grooming the Cavalier, but it’s up to him to read, find good company for discussions, and personal reflection to finish his training. Always remember that learning never exhausts the mind.
As a Gentleman-Hermit, you must cultivate your mind. You must try to understand your world, your history, your heritage. Only then can you begin to understand yourself. You must do the same about other cultures to start understanding those around you. You must expand your horizons with travel, by trying new things, by tasting new foods, by looking at the world past your own eyes. You must keep your mind curious and thirsty.
6.      Keep learning because learning does not exhaust the mind. The world is your classroom and everyone as a teacher.
7.      Travel as much as you can, as often as you can, to as many places as you can. There is no better teacher of the human condition as travel.
8.      Learn to look at the problem and not the symptom. We constantly confuse a result with a problem. Search for the core problem and deal with it.
9.      Speak only when you have something worthwhile saying. Avoid meaningless banter, for when you speak it should be worth listening to. Mind what you let people know
10.  Learn another language, be it French, Russian, or whichever. It’s a useful skill for when you travel, and teaches you that your culture is not the center or the world.

The Fool
This is probably the most familiar aspect of the Gentleman yet the one least thought about when thinking of Chivalry, since these days manners are so easily confused with flirting. This would contain what is often called courtly love, the idea that the caballero is to serve a lady, and after her all other ladies. The truth is that the fool is not about chasing women, but about chasing beauty.
What truly separates a Cavalier or a Gallant from what is socially understood as a gentleman is his sensibility and awareness of his emotions. Although we have to develop self-control, without the empathy and sensibility in life, we would never appreciate it. Understanding the fleeting nature of life gives teaches us to be truly alive.
As a Gentleman-Fool, you must cultivate your heart and spirit. You must learn to look at the word, find beauty in even the most mundane of things. Your appearance, attitude and manner of being should be a reflection of all your sensibility. Courtesy is, after all, just as important as courage.
11.  The only thing you need to take seriously in life is living. Take risks, avoid regrets, and do what makes you happy.
12.  Be generous, for there are more important things than money. We focus so much on the material and the superficial, that we forget to invest in the soul.
13.  Be confident in yourself. Always smile honestly and be charming. Nothing will unlock life’s greatest adventures as an honest smile.
14.  Have a gentle touch. Learn how to give a complement, how to give a caress.
15.  Learn to enjoy the finer things in life. Learn about art and music. When you learn to treat yourself well, you also learn to stop treating yourself badly.