Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage.
So, we have already discussed if Chivalry is dead and if it’s sexist. The next big question is if it’s even needed, especially in these modern days of gender equality. To discuss this, I am going to have to take a mind frame that I usually try to avoid, to focus at the negative aspect of this generation and the one to come of age. I say that I try to avoid this because I have never believed in judging one generation as if the previous one was exempt of their own issues. I also am a firm believer that spotlighting negative aspects does little to create positive results, but if we don’t understand the negative aspects that today’s men deal with, we can’t really understand if Chivalry is truly needed.
We live in a society that is providing men two options; become the douchebag slacker/mook or men who have been taught to be ashamed of being a man. Combine that with a scarcity for proper role models and a society that focuses on selfishness and self-gratification, we are left with a poor profile of what we can expect from modern men.
We are bombarded most media with the image of the slacker man-child, the incompetent dad, and the douchebag asshole; all of which are justified with the simple notion that you can’t expect any more from men. In social media, we are then bombarded with the idea that toxic masculinity has made all masculinity something of a death trap for anyone who relates with men in general. We have become guilty of the crime of being men, unless we ourselves begin to condemn the dangers of being a man, because apparently men have no self-control over their animal instincts.
With so many outside influences telling young men they aren’t good enough, you would think that we provide them with some kind of positive example, a role model to teach them what they can do right. Yet they are left to look up to men who can get away with domestic abuse, drug charges, and sexual violence simply because of their athletic ability, musical talent, or financial situation. The boys are learning these lessons well as we can see in our current college campuses.
Instead of telling boys everything they are doing wrong and will do wrong, why don’t we give them examples they can look up to, give them hope that they can be more, and teach them that life isn’t about “what’s in it for me,” but about “what can I give back.” That’s what Chivalry has been about from the beginning, men who live in a way that they set an example to others, who lead by doing, and inspire others to dream about achieving better world.
We need to stop glamorizing the slacker and the douchebag. We need to stop equating toxic masculinity with all masculinity. We need to teach boys to strive for more than just sliding by. We need to men that being a man isn’t an excuse for incompetent parenting, and that the label of Dad is earned. We need to teach men to stand up for others and not just themselves. We need to create a society where being a man shouldn’t be an excuse for bad behavior but instead a reason for good behavior. We need to set examples to men of all they can achieve, instead of treating them as a problem that needs to be fixed.
How far could men go if we taught them to do better, instead of telling them what they are doing wrong?