A Conversation on Chivalry

Opening Speaker: Chivalry is over rated and convenient.

Participant 1: For whom is it convenient? Chivalry is a choice. The choice to do the right things, for the right reasons, at the right times. If not, then it’s not chivalry; it’s probably a superficial act to impress!

OS: To not practice it is also a choice. The choice to believe in equality. Chivalry isn’t right. The choice to like or hate it is right.

P1: What else does choice mean, OS? Obviously, it’s one’s choice not to practice it or otherwise.
Btw, i really would like to know if YOU believe in the very concept of being chivalrous?

OS: You used the word ‘right’ so many times with regards to things or reasons. Anyway I don’t believe in chivalry 🙂

Participant 2: I don’t get chivalry, we should be respectful and mindful of everyone. I mean if some guy bumps into u we say sala BC… its just not nice… lets just have good manners and leave chivalry to the Downtown Abbey guys

OS: Chivalry should not be confused with courtesy. Yes we should respect and be mindful of everyone we interact with but I don’t think it’s fair to go beyond our means or way for someone especially if external factors aren’t compromising safety.

P2: yea m not ruining my jacket so someone shouldnt step over a puddle… side se jao 😛

Participant 3: Weird. Being as chivalrous as possible is my high. I wish the whole world, both men and women, would be more chivalrous. As long as you protect those weaker than you, in kindness and not out of some weird sense of duty, chivalry is what you are practicing. It’s about courage and honor, courtesy and justice. It isn’t something you can or cannot believe in. It is something that either comes naturally to you, you aspire towards, or you avoid. I think it’s noble.
And it’s anything but convenient. lol.

OS: P3, Thank you for that. As far as courtesy, courage and justice are concerned I agree. However, I do feel the modern interpretation of it is sometimes unfair. I think I practice chivalry in the traditional sense but i’d rather avoid it’s modern interpretation. If equality exists among two individuals I fail to understand why one of them is ‘duty bound’ or expected to be taking care of the other person especially when external factors like safety etc aren’t a concern. I’d rather have equality in my personal equations and I really wouldn’t want to be a guardian to someone who clearly doesn’t need it.

P3: In life, everyone is going to be weaker or stronger than you at some level. It depends on what level your interaction is happening, I believe. Of course its application (chivalry’s i.e.) would be different today than at the time of its inception, but that’s because the social set up at the time of origin was a violent and dangerous one, where knights were one of the strongest and women, amongst the weakest. But today, this is not necessarily true. Yes, if it’s late at night, and you’re in India, you are at a position of strength compared to any female friends you might have with you and chivalry might be expected of you, only on the basis of your being male, but to assume that is the be all and end all of chivalry is wrong. There may be times when you come across a lost child, or an injured dog or even a male colleague who is utterly lost. Or when you’re dealing with the help, or a waiter at a restaurant, or a confused elderly gentleman on the subway. 

I think Chivalry, in fact, is all about strength. If you know you are stronger than those around you, then as long as you do everything in your power to protect them, without expecting rewards or favors in return, you are being chivalrous. Those that say that it’s unfair because women always receive the benefit are buying into the notion that a woman is always weaker than a man, regardless of surroundings or circumstance, and as dismaying as it may be, the solution is not to shun chivalry, but to practice it properly, so that even those who denounce it come to receive its favors, and more importantly, because that is the burden of humanity on its path to civilization.

OS: *sips on water*…Okay!
I have a problem with it due to it’s very gendered connotations. Now, I’m not going to get into specifics of what I do which actually does resonate with your comment. However I wouldn’t compromise on equality specifically when the circumstances do not put me in a position of strength. ..courtesy would mean opening the door for someone regardless of their gender or vacating a seat for someone who clearly looks tired, with a child .. paying the bill, again without bringing gender into the equation, because I might absolutely adore the person, maybe in a position of more financial strength However I wouldn’t want to pay for someone just because according to gender stereotypes, I am supposed to or rush to open the car door for someone perfectly healthy because I’m supposed to. Assuming there is no position of strength involved in a particular situation, I do not believe in doing something just because that is what some gentleman did for his lady at the next table. In other words, I’d rather not be a position of strength and I’d love to be with someone who’s independent and doesn’t need me to pull off stupid stunts to amuse her yet if there’s ever a situation where I find myself in a position of strength, my belief system, how so ever flawed, will be doing everything that’s expected out of a decent human being.

P3: Yeah, so it is all about your own perception of your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of the people you are with. I frequently open doors for people I am with, male or female, because if I can do something that makes life easier for the person I am with, and it costs me less than nothing to do it, then why not? Does it mean I consider myself stronger than them in some way? Why, yes, it does. Often it does anyway. And for the few times where I am certain that I am at a disadvantaged position in terms of strength or capability, then what better opportunity to repay them for the chivalry I believe their advantageous position will inspire them to than by doing something as simple as opening a door, or fetching a glass of water, etc..

To All my Atheist friends..

Ummm. Agnostic here. *laughs uncomfortably* I really sincerely believe that praying to a maybe existing supernatural being constantly is quite ridiculous, especially in the absence of any concrete evidence of his/her existence whatsoever.. But I also don’t think that we have enough proof to stand up and say we’ve figured everything out. There’s a lot of stuff out there that science cannot *yet* explain. And, yes, they could all be waves and radiation and forces we have not discovered, I’m totally down with that. Just as I wouldn’t be surprised to learn we are all living in a simulated world. Or that aliens are observing us.

I guess, what I’m trying to say is.. We know nothing, A.S.

Also, I dunno. There are hardworking people, and then there’s luck. I won’t go so far as to invoke fate. It does make me mighty uncomfortable, right up there with destiny. But, sometimes hard work doesn’t pay, yo. And, sometimes, random things do. And, sometimes, when life is balancing itself out, the good you do comes back to you, just as the bad you do does. And, of course good things happen to bad people, and bad things happen to good. But, that’s as much proof for God not existing, as good things happening to good people and bad things happening to bad people is proof for the existence of God!

Nothing sucks more than organized religion. But, simply because it deceives people into thinking that acting in a certain way to appease a certain deity is the way to get eternal salvation/liberation.

Life, as humans understand it, is a matter of a handful of years. For millions of billions of years before we were born, we existed as space dust and star dust, and for millions and billions of years after we die, that atomic form is what we shall all be scattered into. Who are we to say what consciousness is to an atom? Or whether it’s fair to call that non-life? And, what if in atomic form, every Star is your God? Or what if we are given these 70-100 years to learn how to be good atoms? Or, well, anything really! What proof do we have of *everything*?

We know what we know, and what we know is very little.

The Last of the Anti-Orange Rant [Or why you will never convert me, Modi-ites!]

The problem is this, S. The reasons why we don’t support Modi have been listed out a hundred times above. As others have mentioned, your scary blind devotion to the man is disappointing and frightening.  What we will get into is this: A lot of Muslims were horribly tortured, and died, under his reign. When you […]

Pro-Modi v Anti-Modi: Facebook Debate Excerpts

July 2013 1. The development claimed by Modi in Gujarat is a bunch of lies, as independent reports by Human Rights organizations, both international and Non-governmental have already proved. 2. Modi rides on the fanaticism of his Hindutva fan-boys and fan-girls. No one here is claiming that he wakes up and does the surya namaskar […]

Justice for all? Words are wind..

So, today, one of my friends posted an article on my wall. It was called …And Justice for all. Some excerpts of the same are as follows:

Guilt is premised on an individual being conscious of his actions and of its possible repercussions when he commits the act. So the individual ‘knows’ that he doesn’t have any right to harm a fellow human, yet in a moment of weakness, does it. Would that moment/those moments define the entire personality of the individual?

Should taking someone’s life — reducing someone to a state of nothingness, after following constitutional due process — to further law’s ends, find a place in twenty-first century lawbook then?

Should there be a component of retribution at all? Who stands to benefit from this? In retaliation against one act of madness, perhaps a few moments, does anyone have authority to take someone’s life?

Can’t there be a better way of accommodating the person in society, the one labeled criminal by law?

Perhaps there can be. The perpetrator can be turned into an asset for the society. This can happen only when the law attributes criminality not to the individual as such, but to a criminal component in him. It would follow that once ‘that component’ is removed, the individual can be of benefit to the society.

Reaction:

Hmm… I don’t think my heart is big enough. But, this is why I would prefer to stay separate from the system. I think this article makes a lot of sound, valid points… but when someone crosses a line with me, they are as good as dead. To me. And, we’re talking silly lines here. If someone were to hurt or kill someone I cared about, the only reason I would pray that the Courts let them go is so that I can kill them myself.

It’s like Sanzo says, when you first kill someone, you undertake the probability of being killed yourself.

Also, this article speaks of crimes done in moments of weakness. For which, most legal systems have adequate defenses in the form of grave and sudden provocation, and the like.

Further, there’s nothing forgivable about stalking a 4 year old child, then raping and murdering her. In that case, the victim is chosen because the perpetrators know that she can’t fight back. It is our duty to her, as well as to all surviving innocents everywhere, that people who commit such heinous crimes are not just punished for it, but utterly removed from society [whether through Death, or exile to space, or as human experiments (though that probably won’t end well) is all a matter of debate] 

Point being, it isn’t just about the criminal or the victim’s family. It’s about the victim, and all other potential ones. And the fact that if you can’t protect a child’s life, you better be prepared to avenge it, otherwise what use is our existence? It means less than nothing.

The Indian Ban on Porn: Playing the Devil’s Advocate

Note: The govt./executive is the Devil for the purposes of this post.

Guys, we belong to a culture where rape is alright because, for most men in this country, the consent of a woman is an alien idea. Even marriage is like, “beta, be an ass, if you please. We’ll find you a girl to fuck. Come let us go their house and drink the tea she has made. That way you can check out how “sweet” her cooking is, as well as her body.” 
So, today, these men waiting for mommy and daddy to find them a fuck-girl aka wife, cannot comprehend the sexual autonomy women seem to be painstakingly working towards. 
Why?
> Because they know that, with the kind of jackasses they have become, no girl in their right mind would want to sleep with them. And this is the pathetic fear that makes them desperate to rape. They see women on the street, and if she’s with a guy, the automatic insecure, deprived notion that pops into their head is, “If she can sleep with him, why not me?”

Why is this relevant to this discussion? 
> I have a blog. Said blog has this cool feature relating to stats, and this includes a list of the search terms that people have used to reach my blog. Because I write about all these things, there’s a lot of “rape” and “sexual assault” tags. The kind of stuff I read on that list, i.e. the kind of stuff people are searching for, sometimes just makes me want to be sick.
>>>
Don’t get me wrong. I am totally pro-porn. But I’m not pro getting off on the pain of real victims.

What does this have to do with anything?
>> I’m not sure if, as a nation, we can differentiate between reality and fiction. And, in countries that don’t have such a problem, having a fantasy about raping your neighbor after seeing a porn clip about it stays just that: a fantasy. But, in incredible India, it’s just about waiting until said neighbor has a blackout, just like in the porn video.

What am I trying to say?
> As a nation, we don’t deserve porn. But, then again, we probably don’t even deserve to govern ourselves. Which we have time and again proved, historically, and at every turning point, instead of moving towards a society that respects its members, we have chosen to go the other way. Instead of demanding our rights, we have simply watched them go floating by to their ICU rooms, partially because there were too many of us dying for food, and partially because the handful of educated Indians wanted to do nothing but get out.

Conclusion
The Indian government is supremely ineffective. Nevertheless, as Nietzsche would agree, let them fuck up. Let them fuck up, and let us fight them, and then let them do worse things, terrible things. And let us keep fighting back.
Why?
>Because that is the only way society improves, and our’s is in desperate need of improvement. And this dialogue must be made part of the battle (i.e. on the link between porn and rape, because only such a discussion in the open media will get the point out and across that these guys are usually actors, and there’s a LOT of fucking consent involved.)

~~~

Bottomline: The freedom of our people is of supreme importance, but nothing is more important than protecting our children. And we are failing. We have failed. Let them ban what they like. We’ll find our own ways. And, maybe, maybe the guy stalking some minor girl because she’s pretty (-_-) will next time be forced to pay attention to something else when he goes online, when the search results of “rape stories” and what not show not imitable ideas of sexual violence, but simply an account of how every rapist was beaten up by his society, and the jail term he has served.

PoA: Obviously let it be known that this is wrong, and it shouldn’t be done. But, keeping in mind that the class that has just stopped struggling to survive does not have the cultural license in this nation to form meaningful relationships (or any relationships, for that matter) with the opposite gender, and has literally turned to porn, and subsequently rape, as entertainment.

Because that’s the one thing Indian society has in common with violent, exploitative pornographic content: A serious lack of consequence.

Why belonging to Delhi should not be a Source of Pride

Note: It’s not like I loathe Delhi. Well, okay, I do sort of loathe Delhi, but the tone of this article, it’s only a rant. An angry rant that’s been bubbling inside me for years and years, after every 3 months that I spent in Delhi, annually. The City has its moments, I’m sure it does. But, when all of its people love it so very much, and express it so intensely, I can’t help but take the extreme opposite stance. I am the Devil’s advocate. Hypocritical, in that she only extremely pursues ideas she already believes in, but, give her an underdog in need of defending, and no one can ever go to more extreme or dramatic lengths. umm. It’s a flaw. So, anyway, no offence meant, Delhiites, except where it’s obvious. Yeah. You guys need to fix that.

I don’t like Delhi. It’s hostile and fake and the people who’ve lived there all their lives are so proud of the fact, it’s a mix of little-scary and very disgusting.

But, by all means, yay for the chaat and aalu parathas and all the monuments built a thousand years ago that smoke and pollution and people have determinedly destroyed! Love that culture, if you must, but let no one take pride in this city within a month of what happened.

If you all recall, the girl was lying, bleeding, on the side of the road for nearly two hours while people drove by, gawking and staring in that horrid way that people from that city believe they are automatically entitled to simply because they have eyes. The DELHI police refused to help her into the PCR van, and her injured naked friend had to do it instead, because the police didn’t want blood on their uniforms.

I mean, seriously, what is everyone from this city so proud of? The roads??

Well, I’m talking about the people! The undeniable truth! We’ve been to places all over this country! The kind of hostility that the Delhi gaze has, no other city in this nation compares. It isn’t about “a few rotten apples” or a “few stray incidents”. When we’re all being proud of things, isn’t it important to know just what we’re being so proud of? And, maybe we’re all being proud of the wrong things.

It’s a possibility, don’t you think? Just like the possibility that Delhi is actually a lovely, friendly, forgiving city that doesn’t worship clique mentalities and money and actually cares about each other on the street (to even a tiny amount over giving a fuck), and most importantly, is open to people who don’t fit in any of the ideas that the city has of the people who’re supposed to inhabit it. Or however the fuck that works. *shrugs* 

My point is, what I *loathe* about Delhi is just how proud people are for having lived in a territory for the longest time, about things that they have no control over. And how it changes everyone who *ever* lives there. It’s akin to being forced into a box, and if you resist, the City will cheerfully cut off whichever limb is in the way of fitting you in that box, and the people will cheer by the sidelines. That’s what I hate.

And, yes, I am not proud of India for the absence of the Rule of Law, I’m ashamed of how far the educated citizens of this state have allowed the Nation to fall as long as their immediate rights were protected, I’m disgusted by the kind of mentality that seems to be prevalent along the majority of its citizens. I’m horribly apologetic and deeply disturbed by the communal riots, and the State sanctioned anti-sikh riots of 1984. I’m saddened to think of the fact that while thousands died of hunger, food lay rotting in and around our godowns, bound by bureaucratic red-tape and feeding only rats. I’m offended by the reality of people from MY country pausing in the middle of slaughter to ask their victims what religion they belonged to. I’m ashamed of the way we treat our minorities, and the simultaneous pride we seem to take in our “diversity”.

But, I’m proud of the fact that we made a killer constitution that has actually held this fragmented sub-continent together! I’m proud of the leaders that sat together and conducted their constitutional debates wherein they laboriously went over every word, every concept, in order to ensure that their intentions could never be misunderstood! I’m proud of the fellow Indian who gave a jacket to the Tribal girl who was stripped naked and beaten up by other fellow citizens of ours, despite being turned on by the angry mob for doing so. I’m proud of every dead whistle-blower that our State could not protect, and I’m proud of the two authors who went ahead and read out portions of Salman Rushdie’s book despite fearing for their lives. I’m proud of the logic behind the colors on our flag, and the nice people of Delhi who give jackets to stray dogs on the Street in Winter. And, I’m proud to have access to first World opportunities despite living in a clearly third-world country. And, I’m proud of the changes my college, and people from my college (also Indians) are making in the World. I’m proud of the unrelenting activists, and the people fighting corruption, and all the outrage that this incident brought forth from the public.

But, until, as a people, we can feel ashamed of the things “our people” are capable of, things will never change. And, as long as we keep defending entire systems as a whole, on some level we’re legitimizing the wrong things that do happen. Especially when it comes to attitudes and mentalities.

I mean, be proud, na. Love it! Like it’s said, Everywhere you go, there’s lots to love and hate. But, the things that bother me about Delhi, they sicken and frighten me to my core. So, please understand if I can’t just sit down and swallow it when someone tells me how Delhi is a fabulous city, or how proud they are to belong from there.

Just voicing my polite dissent.