RSS .92| RSS 2.0| ATOM 0.3
  • Home
  • Subscribe
  • Privacy Policy

    When chivalry masked male chauvinism

    Chivalry in the nineteenth century was often no more than blatant male chauvinism.  Women do not need the vote, nor power, nor the right to join any of the professions, the military or the church, because chivalry was said to extend to them greater privileges and protection than they could obtain from laws or any institution. And if such chivalry were extended to the destitute it would benefit them more, it is claimed, than the right to vote or any Acts of Parliament. From the New Monthly Magazine, as republished in the Montreal Gazette, June 8, 1822.

    Although females are excluded from power, and apparently without protection, yet, no class is more secure in the enjoyment of its rights. Without representatives in Parliament, they are least of all obnoxious to oppressive laws; excluded from Juries, the Bar, the Bench, their offences are always viewed with indulgence. They have no Minister in the Church, yet no class is prayed for more fervently; nor have they any part in the Army or Navy, yet, both are enthusiastic in their service; nor in the Magistracy, yet Aldermen and Justices of Peace are almost proverbially devoted to their interests. In short, everywhere, and on every occasion, they are treated as privileged, being entitled to precedence.

    It is certainly a most refined and noble principle, which grants, from generosity, that respect and reverence, and devotion, which the most unbounded power could scarcely command. If that chivalrous feeling which protect the fair from violation, from a sense of their weakness, were to be extended to the poorer classes from a sense of their destitute condition, there cannot be a doubt that their rights would be far more effectually guarded than by universal suffrage and annual parliaments: so much more omnipotent is opinion than law.


    THE PERFECT GIFT. A signed copy of my latest book, About Canada. Plus your message of up to 10 words to your gift recipient, personally inscribed by me. For details, and to order, click here. For your free Sampler Issue of About Canada, click this. Earle Gray


    TAGS. Chivalry, Male chauvinism. Women’s rights, Paternalism, Universal suffrage

    Leave a Reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.