The Disappearing Chivalrous Man

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

During my formative years, my parents instilled in me a sense of chivalry – a respect, courtesy and generosity towards the opposite sex. There were just certain ways to treat a lady, not through a sense of superiority, but through a sense of respect and caring.

As I observe the behavior of people these days, however, I've come to realize one of two things: either we've become desensitized to such acts of chivalry or not all of us were brought up with such ideals. Why else would I receive funny looks from both men and women when I hold the door open for a lady?

A recent article in The Jordan Times stated that a 35-year-old man was recently acquitted of murdering his wife. Apparently the couple had a domestic dispute which led to violence and—according to the court—the suicide of the woman who chose to throw herself out of the bedroom window.

The following statement in the article completely shocked me:
"The victim had an argument with her husband and he beat her up, which is something normal between married people and part of known marital problems," the court ruled. (Emphasis added.)
Does that statement sound completely absurd to anyone else? I can't imagine that there is ever a moment where such a concept is justified. I shudder to think that our society considers acts of domestic violence as part of a "normal", healthy relationship.

Single ladies, I implore you: don't settle for a man who doesn't respect you. If he treats you like a second-class citizen, that's a clear sign that you should be searching for another guy. No amount of money or roses in the world is worth putting up with disrespect and abuse. There are plenty of men in this world that know how to treat a lady, so go find one.

Source: The Jordan Times, May 19, 2007


Anonymous Who-sane said...

Yes, that statement sounds so preposterous that it makes me think it's sheer sarcasm from the editor.

5/22/2007 11:10 AM  
Blogger kinzi said...

Dave, you said it well. Thanks for affirming our dignity as women, and yours as men. There is NO room for any form of physical violence in a relationship based on mutual love and respect. Hands are meant for loving.

Someone called me yesterday about this article and said "YOU GOTTA BLOG ABOUT THIS SENTENCE!" I'm glad it was you, as a man's opinion somehow carries more weight.

5/22/2007 11:15 AM  
Blogger manal yusuf said...

well said Dave. specially comming from a man,
thank u

5/22/2007 6:45 PM  
Blogger Hatem Abunimeh said...

At the risk of being misunderstood by some readers, the Quran sanctions physical abuse :husbands may beat their wives for being disobedient — an interpretation embraced by Wahhabi and other fundamentalist Islamic groups — but mainstream Muslims have long rejected wife-beating as a medieval relic.

BTW: I"m against all types of violence.Period.

5/22/2007 10:05 PM  
Anonymous Shaden said...

Chivalrous men are rare these days, and you got it right, its the way parents raise their kids. As a woman I see a very thin line between chivalry and condescension, I can say that the majority of Arab men confuse between the two.

About the story in the Jordan Times, I think the editor mistranslated his Arabic thoughts, he probably meant to say that physical abuse towards women is very common not normal.

5/23/2007 9:31 AM  
Blogger Jad said...

It's normal because it happens just like divorce in other countries yet it's disgusting to hear such statement from the court.

5/23/2007 6:03 PM  
Blogger MommaBean said...

Dave, amen! Oh, and you can open doors for me anytime. I find it refreshing (how sad is that) and affirming. And, I agree, no woman should accept violence. While it may be "normal" it is not acceptable or right.

5/24/2007 9:20 AM  
Blogger Rambling Hal said...

Right, you're now my new favourite blogger. Am sending out this post of yours as an e-mail forward to a bunch of single girl friends of mine that could do with a reality check. Ok fine, including myself! :)

5/24/2007 12:13 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Who-sane, I agree, the sarcasm is thick.

Hatem, I guess I'd have to disagree with the Quran on this point. Apparently so do mnay Muslims, as you have pointed out.

Shaden, I'm sure you're right about the mistranslation. But whether it is considered "normal" or "common", I cringe either way.

MommaBean, I'd gladly hold the door open for you.

Hal, you're my new favorite blogger, so we're even.

5/26/2007 2:33 PM  
Blogger mm said...

Hatem, I disagree with you about the Quran sanctioning beating. the verse is not general. the word "darb" can be understood in many different ways as darb is used to mean different things in the Quran. Plus the verse is SPECIFICALLY addressing wives who commit adultery or prostitution. For muslims the prophet is the role model. The prophet says that the best of you is one who is good to his wife, plus he NEVER beat his wives. Beating is forbidden. If people misinterpret or misunderstand then that is unfortunate. this is why we must be educated in all matters including religion.

I think the court meant "common" as sadly it is very common in Jordan for husbands to beat their wives.

5/30/2007 6:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lighten up Jordanian women, a women is beaten or raped every 8 minutes in America, the land of the Free!

10/27/2007 11:11 PM  
Blogger suhasini said...

God bless you Dave! And may he make many more like u. We women wonder if God broke the mould after making the last nice man we meet. He has not :)
Never mind the funny looks, u make the world a better place.
Why r people talking about nationalities?! I wish they'd grow up...

1/17/2008 10:27 AM  

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