The Art of Feminine Chivalry


A woman should be able to drive a stick shift, fire a Springfield Arms XD accurately, do the family tax return, throw a football 20 yards, and barbecue steaks. However, when men are around, she should allow men to do things for her, even if she can do them better herself. Men should always be asked to do dangerous tasks (shoveling snow, killing spiders, etc.), and they should never be criticized about their performance in front of other people, only in private.

Great post on the art of feminine chivalry.

Click of the heels to Dawn Eden.


11 thoughts on “The Art of Feminine Chivalry

  1. I guess Dawn is still lurking on the internet! Well, I’m glad I read through the link because I wasn’t too sure what to make of the snippet above.

    I do like the link … ‘Men should be judged by godly women based on whether they are doing what God wants them to do.’ Also, ‘ Along with her relationship with God, godly women should make time for relating to godly men, especially to her husband if she is married.’

    The only difficulty with the snippet that you mentioned is that many men today want the women to do these things even when he is around! Heck, I’ve been doing the taxes and balancing the checkbook for 22 yrs now. We don’t pretend that he does them when he walks through the doors. He does other things. As the snippet says, he does the dangerous things or the ‘heavy’ things. I’ve never hung sheetrock or taped and have no desire to do so! Couldn’t change the oil in the car for all the money in the world. So the struggle I have with the snippet above is that it implies that the wife must ‘stroke’ her hubby’s ego in the things she does in his stead. In a sense, yes, the male ego is a necessary survival trait that mustn’t get neglected or abused. But in many things, who is kidding who? As a married couple, we know who mowed the lawn that day or paid the bills or barbecued the steaks!

    Maybe it’s late and I’m missing the point. Just as the feminine movement took things too far, we must be careful not to let the chivalry thing be taken too far!

  2. I think you I might have been misunderstood! I recommending that wives defer to husband for certain things. For the things you do yourself, you should get the full credit. I think doing the taxes and balancing the checkbook are particularly good examples of things that a man should really really appreciate!

  3. If I might add something? I’ve beeen reading a great book on this subject “Created to Be His Help Meet” by Debi Pearl. It’s a Christian book, not specifically Catholic, and is very hard to work through, but it deals with this subject. I guess that’s the hardest thing, I lived alone before I was married, and when I lived with my mother, she was divorced so it was an all women household (save my handicapped brother who couldn’t work around the house). I learned all about house repairs, lawns, various “masculine duties” out of necessity. The football thing was just because I happen to love football. So its been a challenge (and a humiliation) to let go of those duties and defer to my husband who never had to work like that in his life. But the health of our marriage depended on it, as I am still discovering.

  4. Another book on the topic (Christian) is “Fascinating Womanhood”. It’s written by Karen Andelin who was born in 1920. Just read the reviews on Amazon to learn what a “touchy” topic this is.

  5. I can’t comment on the book itself but I would say that while I can appreciate rules of thumb, as my latest post indicates, I would not support them if they were duplicitous or manipulative, as some of those rules on indicate. Husbands are not to be managed by their wives, anymore that it is appropriate for a husband to manage his wife.

    What Wintery Knight is suggesting is not that a woman pretend that she is a damsel in distress or that she is helpless, but that she just her husband and take control of those areas in life in which he is best able to express himself as a man, and by which he rightfully acknowledged as leader of the family.

    It seems to me that most women would actually like to see their husbands be better leaders.

  6. You know, over the years I will admit that I have done an about-face on this. (I’m sure many women in their 40’s or 50’s that enjoy this blog probably feel similarly.) I started out in high school and college with very ‘feministic’ (new word) thoughts and goals. As I miraculously became convinced to stay home for a year or two with my first baby (it’s now been 19yrs), I began to see things differently. I realized that as a woman, I had this nurturing side of me and this ability to be more in tune with the children than my husband had. (Had I not stayed home, however, those innate qualities would never have flourished, I don’t think.) My husband was TERRIFIED to be the sole breadwinner. When I left my job, I was 60% of the income and the far better benefits package so we took over a 50% paycut! However, I think that once he realized he HAD to support us, he gained confidence and determination that he wouldn’t have gained otherwise. He made choices that benefited the family versus benefiting some of his career dreams. He sacrificed and much fruit has come from that. Now nineteen years later, I could NEVER support the family financially I don’t think. I could never earn what he earns. At one point, this notion of a woman having done that to her career would have disgusted me. Now, I think it’s quite a great thing … for my husband, for me, for the family. I won’t lie that at times I dream of *thinking* again in a career instead of just in a home, but the sacrifice on the homefront would be too great to me.

    So, my point is that I think many men would rise to the occasion if they had to. But since they don’t have to, a piece of them is lost. Likewise, many women would rise to the occasion of caring for their children …whether full-time or part-time. But since they don’t do it, a piece of them is lost. I do appreciate that Father Angelo doesn’t suggest this notion that all women can only do things in the kitchen and all men take care of the finances and physical labor. I have seen Christian families try to do this and it’s disastrous. The wife could have been an accountant and instead, the husband with NO financial abilities, takes over the family finances to their ruin! How dumb. It really becomes an ego thing and a power trip. So, as long as people keep their heads on, I think it’s a necessary thing to encourage the wife and husband to express themselves as a woman and man.

  7. Ah, but is Eowyn really a good example of feminine chivalry? The clear implication from The Lord of the Rings is that – before she was healed by Aragorn and accepted the love of Faramir – there was something “wrong” with her, more despair than chivalry.

  8. Dcs,

    That is very good insight and Eowyn’s character is certainly open to interpretation. I used her picture because she was a woman accomplished in the work of men, and one who was largely preoccupied with such things because many of the men of Rohan, Theoden, in particular (but not her brother) were not taking up their responsibility. I think, in part, this was her attraction to Aragorn. He was truly virile and courageous. After being healed, as you say, she accepted the love of Faramir, and lived more the life of a wife, much like what is articulated in the quote from Wintery Knight.

    But you are right, the picture does not exemplify Eowyn in a state of ideal feminine chivalry.

  9. Mike and I just recently watched Lord of the Rings (cute story: my youngest son calls it “Nord of the Wings”, and my middle son must have been too young to get it, for halfway through he looked at me and asked “What ring?” hahaha!)
    The conversation of Eowyn came up, and Mike and I both agreed the movie slanted her towards feminazism, which I don’t agree with. I do believe that Eowyn was a feminist, but a true feminist as they were meant to be. Mike didn’t like that she was a feminist, until I reminded him that I was a feminist too. This is yet another aspect of our humanity that has been manipulated and abused. Feminism, if truly rendered, deals with a humble recognition of the qualities of womanhood, and the complementarity of said feminine qualities in relation with male counterparts. I’m sure that there are many feminists at the Friary, and admittedly we need more of these women in society today. For what society considers a feminist by today’s standards is destroying womanhood from the inside out!

  10. I think Eowyn is kind of a conflicted Joan of Arc character. She is a strong woman frustrated by weak men, and looking for a strong man to love, and she has a bit of a chip on her shoulder because of it. In the end, providence uses her weakness for the good and her problem is resolved in her love for the strong man Faramir who allows her to act more womanly.

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