Chivalry

19 Oct

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Today on twitter I had a good chat with some people regarding our personal attitude to acts of chivalry. Gender specifically meted out. I made the point that from my perspective I find respect and good manners irrespective of gender more palatable. Indeed I would like to think that this is also the influence I have had on both my own and other people’s children.
Simple actions like opening doors, forming queues and carrying heavy bags etc.

My home upbringing conditioned me to accept chivalry and not respect as the way to behave and how to expect to be behaved to. Men to women, boys to girls. This was coupled to the teaching of blind acceptance of authority figures as having some kind of extra rights and authority over and above my own instincts. This caused me physical and emotional harm

I listened to my conditioning over my instincts. I allowed myself to be coaxed into a position by a predatory person where full advantage was taken
That is my problem. The physical scars heal quickly. The emotional ones leave a lasting legacy

Because of my experience, as was gently pointed out, I have denied chivalrous men the opportunity to treat me with respect. For approximately 10 years this was acted out as aggression to anyone who dared to treat me in this way.
It was not my intention to be deliberately unkind. It was a protective shell.

Unfortunately the effect of my experience meant that I was much more at ease with bastards. I knew how they behaved. Could accurately predict and counter their behaviours with mine. It worked but dysfunctionally.

I lived my life this way with aggressively assertive feminist behaviour until my children were toddlers. I realised then that the model of parenting that I was showing them would lead them into the liklihood of perpetuating this behaviour for themselves

I realised that how I was being treated in my relationship was not how I wanted my sons to behave or my daughters to accept being treated. The responsibility to change their outcomes was mine

I have struggled internally every day since to be a more accepting person of kind behaviour. It is there always the pause to use my antennae to discern the others motive. I wish I could say it was not. It is probably not even discernible to the other. Unless they are being patronising or arrogant in my perception

For right or wrong I trust my instincts completely over and above any thing else.
I want to be accepted for me but hypocritically I have to turn down my antennae and slowly build up to accepting another.

What a quandary to live everyday. Did I deserve it? Absolutely not. Do others deserve my distrust? I would rather err on the side of caution. Do I want to be fully loved? Yes but how?

I am here. I am me. That is all I can ever be.

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8 Responses to “Chivalry”

  1. traveller47 October 19, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

    I reserve the right to be polite to you, whether you are male or female, young or old, black or white I reserve my right to treat you, my fellow traveller with kindness and respect. I don’t want anything from you, I want to give to you.

    • julieanneda October 19, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

      This I understand and can accept very easily. Thank you my friend xx

      • Stephen October 20, 2013 at 8:47 am #

        On a lighter note, if you could choose music to describe yourself, what would you choose? Here’s mine:- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKejfYzB3ak, why? Optimistic, energetic, nervous, with tones of melancholy. And you?

      • julieanneda October 20, 2013 at 10:52 am #

        I would need to think a little more carefully about that. I tend to think of epitaph by King Crimson as my signature tune but I am more than a confused person. Often dark but much more often full of mischief. Oh and confused. Did I mention confused? ;-))

      • Stephen October 20, 2013 at 11:31 am #

        Confused is good when combined with enquiring.
        Wow you really are bringing up some really GOLDEN oldies. I’d forgotten King Crimson.
        “Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.” Oscar Wilde

  2. julieanneda October 20, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

    Hahaha! Well I am old!!
    Talking about my generation 😉 xx

    • Stephen October 20, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

      Same generation? Well it’s mine at least.

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