As may be recalled from last time, the entrance into the debate of the feminine imperative started with a discussion of the comparison made between Husband and Wife, and Christ and Church. It described what Christ did in relationship to His Church. Specifically:
1. An act of love is never done out of an obligation, requirement, or a debt. It is done freely, not grudgingly and not out of necessity, and the presence of any of those things renders the act to be without love. Christ wasn’t made to go to the Cross, didn’t have to go and His Father didn’t have to allow Him to go.
2. An act of grace or mercy is done without any merit to come from the person involved. However, acts of grace and mercy does require a reciprocal recognition of them. This is true of Christ and His Church.
Applying Christ’s Love to Marriage 1.0
We find this to be equally true in a functional Marriage 1.0:
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. (Ephesians 5:25-30)
We can see this to be a reciprocal relationship akin to Christ and His Church. The man makes the freewill choice without obligation of taking on a woman as his wife and provides for her sacrificially as he would provide for himself. She in turn recognize the grace that her husband has extended her as his wife and then submits to him in every way as the Church is to submit to Christ.
White-Knight Feminism (Chivalry) And The Feminine Imperative
It is not an abnormal thing that women have sought favoritism for themselves, consistent with the feminine imperative. As we recall from last time, the topic of chivalry or more properly white-knight feminism shows itself in multiple ways. SSM relates the story of the Boy Scouts being forced to wait while the AH girls got first dibs on the cookies. Dalrock mentions the story of a female commenter (and radical feminist in TradCon clothing) who is outraged that anyone would dare mention all the bad things that women do, pointing out that she perfectly illustrates the feminine imperative on how men are cowed into silence.
It is natural for a feminist such as this person to notice that men aren’t allowing themselves to be oppressed into the feminist practice known as chivalry any more. She is far from the only one. There are other examples abound. In the example I promised, we have a woman named Cathy Schutt writing in the college newspaper GlimmerGlass of the Olivet Nazarene University (that’s the original link but it’s 404′d, I’m sure because the subsequent comments showed what was written to be an embarrassment to the institution) the common refrain women have now about all the “good men” have gone away because a man wouldn’t come to open a door for her:
Now, I’m not saying holding doors is what defines a chivalrous man, but doing so can show what kind of attitude he has toward women. Some guys are ignorant of the fact that women are meant to be treated with respect.
In other words: “How dare he not recognize my inherent superiority as a woman and recognize he was put on this earth to serve ME? Can’t he see that I’m a woman, DAMMIT!” The rest of my response is on that comment. Heather Koerner writes in analysis of what happened on the Titanic something that recognizes how bold women are in response to white-knight feminism:
God tells me that I am an equal heir to His kingdom. But He also commands that my Christian brothers, my husband in particular, act to me as Christ acted toward the church. That he be willing to give himself up for me.
As I write in today’s Boundless article, “Nurturing Protection,” “the world’s masculinity either demands to be served or refuses to be bothered.” But biblical masculinity acknowledges both my worth and its mandate to serve sacrificially by laying down his life for mine.
She points out in an associated article she links to:
Those men should have helped that woman, I thought then, because we are all humans and we protect each other.
Partially, that is right. We do have a responsibility to love our neighbors as ourselves. But now I understand that they, as men, had a unique responsibility to her, as a woman.
We can refer to other numerous examples and commentary (see below for a link fest) to pull out a view of what chivalry is, but this should give us an adequate view of what is going on in the view of white-knight feminism. So if we take things to mean that each and every man is to serve all women to the point of death, then Biblically speaking we can see what is going on with white-knight feminism and how this tradition of man is being justified on the back-end by Scripture:
1. As a man, you have the responsibility of a husband laid onto you for every woman you are in contact with, whether you know her or not. You are to love every woman you are in contact with sacrificially to the point of death.
2. As a result of this tradition of men being laid into society unquestioned for hundreds of years, every man has had this laid onto him as an obligation and not a choice from being a very small child. And every woman has been raised with the view that she is entitled to this service at her whims and pleasure from a very small child. So any action a man might undertake towards a woman becomes obligation and not love, and anything a woman receives is entitlement and not grace.
3. The essence of masculinity (the definition of a “good man”) is defined in how well he satisfies the entitlement view of the women in his scope of existence.
This becomes obvious when it comes to how people try to Biblically justify this system of feminism. It is not surprising that the Scripture I quoted above (Ephesians 5:25-30) is most often used to justify white-knight feminism, though all the Scriptures they pull out in defense of chivalry have to do with the husband’s responsibility to his wife or family. Heather Koerner linked to it in the quote above along with 1 Peter 3:7. It’s the first Scripture mentioned in this forum thread. This Yahoo Answers question‘s “best answer” brings up this Scripture as well as 1 Timothy 5:8. This page references 1 Peter 3:7.
Bringing Reciprocation Into Play
Women naturally chafe at this loss of control when it comes to the feminine imperative, since it has always been the goal of women to use uxorious men (their husbands and others) to gain full control of every resource in contact of men and the essence and being of men. The Borg-like mentality of the feminine imperative is also obvious in the average woman’s response to such things (even witnessing SSM’s resistance to the concept is interesting, since it’s so ingrained into women). Women chafe at having to be responsible in return for any benefit or power they receive. It is no wonder there is such a group as the Network of Enlightened Women who want a return to traditional gender roles…but only for men. Seeing that anything and everything gets done that benefits women and hurts men is the essence of The Feminine Imperative. It’s all about getting something for nothing. But to get back to the question at hand:
So under chivalry, if I am to unconditionally be a husband to all women I am in contact with, what do women owe me?
The natural answer would be unconditional submission and respect given this demand, but the answer is always nothing! Anakin Niceguy points out that Ms. Koerner never gets around to that s-word with the description of her end of the bargain and only comes up with a load of wishy-washy tripe including her pronouncement of shared headship in the family. As he points out, the first comment on that thread is gold in that it points out the issue at hand:
I suggest that you read his remarks because he points out that the sacrifices men made in the past for women were conditioned on the societal expectation that a woman’s station in life would be beneath that of man’s. Protection = submission. It’s not a hard equation to grasp, boys and girls.
I don’t know how this Biblically-warped idea of chivalry came about originally or how men were sold into this particular form of society (it’d probably be interesting). When originally encountering this commentary on empathologism’s blog, I wondered at the time where the garbage that Russell Moore writes here comes from. But it makes perfect sense given this topic. The traditional bargain for chivalry, where a man was to be a husband to all women who submitted to him in return, was broken by the secular feminists at the barrel of a gun. Women cry and whine about not having chivalrous men serve their every whim and desire, yet whine and refuse about having to give due deference in response to it – this is what secular feminism fights against. Is it any wonder why men have ceased giving women any chivalrous deference at all, especially since they receive nothing in return for what they do but derision and disgust? If they want to be equal, let them have it in every way! Let’s remove the gender favoritism that women receive in society and let women stand exactly as men in this society!
White-knight feminism (or chivalry) is nothing different from the liberal feminism that we have in place now. It’s odd that what the secular feminists have fought against is another form of feminism The Imperative has instituted. It is not surprising that men have been shaken aware by secular feminism to see that chivalry is no different. Both serve to oppress and enslave men, in order to get as much as they can for women. Something for nothing is slavery! While chivalry may have served society well at one time (for some reason), it is not Biblical to place the husband’s willing act of love onto each and every man as an obligation towards all women! It also doesn’t serve a wife well in that her husband becomes responsible to all women and not just her! It’s high time to scrap it in society and move onto things that are better for all those involved, regardless of gender! True Biblical love shows no favoritism!
Link Fest (mainly stuff I didn’t use for the main article)
Let’s Give Chivalry Another Chance
Chivalry On The Titanic
Chivalry Only Comes From A Position of Strength
The Gift Transformed Into A Debt
Does Sheila Gregoire Think Her Own Life Is Worth More Than Yours?
Why Wasn’t It Women and Children First?