Comment Of The Day: “Today’s Dispatch From ‘The Great Stupid’: The Chivalry Assignment “

Come for the ethics, stay for the chivalry lesson!

Steve-O-From NJ ( as I strongly suspected he would) responded to the infuriating tale of the high school teacher who ordered her students to act out her infantile and politically-warped view of “chivalry” with a brief lesson on what Medieval chivalry was really about. Obviously an Ethics Alarms post can’t cover this entire, rich topic, but students reading here would come away with a lot more genuine historical perspective than the young victims of a feminist teacher’s ignorance at Texas’s Shallowater High School. This Comment of the Day is admittedly tangential to the ethics issue, which is that our public school teachers frequently don’t know what they are blathering about, and are too often more concerned with woke indoctrination than they are in education.

It also points up a dilemma. Teachers should be capable of conveying the essentials of “the three ‘Rs,'” and perhaps age-appropriate science and geography. But history? Most teachers were educated in a school system that neglected or distorted history, and their own knowledge and analytical abilities in this subject are, to be kind, inadequate. Thus they pass along their own biases, misunderstandings and flawed knowledge to the next generation. I would conclude that teachers should be required to stick to the approved history textbooks and their lesson plans, except that most of those have been polluted by ideological agendas too.

Well, that’s a topic for another day. Right now, the topic is Chivalry.

Here is Steve-O’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Today’s Dispatch From ‘The Great Stupid’: The Chivalry Assignment“:

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Today’s Dispatch From “The Great Stupid”: The Chivalry Assignment (Corrected)

Chivalry

At Texas’s Shallowater High School, a “chivalry” assignment given to female students required girls to “dress in a feminine manner,” lower their heads and curtsy to please men, “walk behind men daintily as if their feet were bound,” and “not complain or whine.” The boys were told to dress in jackets and ties, pick up any object dropped by “the ladies” and to hold doors open, among other things.

The alleged purpose of the assignment was to “demonstrate to the school how the code of chivalry and standards set in the medieval concept of courtly love carries over into the modern day.” An assignment sheet included a set of “rules” with a line for an “adult witness signature” next to each:

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Comment of the Day: “Zero Sum Ethics Encore: When An Unfair Firing Is Still The Most Ethical Course”

 my hero

The dilemma posed in the recent post about the radio host fired because of the danger posed by her threatening, stalker ex-husband sparked some unexpected reactions, as many readers expressed frustration that Nancy Lane’s employer left her to her own resources in her peril. One of the more provocative alternatives proposed is Steven’s endorsement of what he calls the chivalristic response.

Here is his Comment of the Day, to the post Zero Sum Ethics Encore: When An Unfair Firing Is Still The Most Ethical Course.

The problem I have with situations such as here with Nancy Lane is there is no reason for this situation to result in an ethical dilemma or “Zero Sum”. I, as well as few others here recommend what can only be labeled as a chivalristic response. Now we are not talking the aristocratic, medieval ethos but more of a modernization of the gentlemanly behavior exhibited of those of the greatest generation without the bigotry or homophobia. With the feminization of our society it is incredibly hard to find the line between “modern” chivalry and misogyny, or at least feminism’s liberal application of the term. Continue reading

The Chivalry Curse, the President, and the Dazzling Smile

The Chair of the Democratic National Committee

The Republicans seldom look more silly—and politics seldom looks more cynical— than when the GOP complains that the media or liberal interest groups are ignoring conduct by a progressive politician that they would vociferously criticize if a conservative politician behaved similarly, even though the Republicans themselves see nothing wrong with the conduct, and would scream that the criticism was unfair if it was focused on a conservative. This is yet another of the funhouse mirror versions of the Golden Rule in action, being employed for a dubious “Gotcha!”: “Do Unto Others As You Would Do Unto Me, Even Though If You Did That Unto Me, I Would Condemn You For It.”

It is the game Republican women’s groups and  conservative pundits are playing now, because the National Organization for Women hasn’t rapped the knuckles of President Obama for calling Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D.-Fla.), the Democratic National Committee Chair, “cute.”

Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America (a conservative women’s organization), called out NOW on its double standard, and said,“Of all people who ought to be offended at President Obama’s statement it should be an ardent feminist like Wasserman-Schultz. Isn’t objectifying women by their looks a mortal sin among feminists?” Charlotte Hayes, a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum, the conservative twin of NOW, argued, “If a conservative had said this, [NOW] might have gone quite crazy. The Democrats might have gone quite crazy and tried to have his head on a platter. I guess Democrats could get really mad because you say a woman has a charming smile.”

But, she added, “I’m not one of those people who gets mad if you said I have a charming smile. I would be flattered.”

For its part, NOW has said that it has more pressing matters than criticizing a major ally’s politically incorrect gaffe, much as it couldn’t be bothered to criticize Bill Maher for calling Sarah Palin a “dumb twat” or MSNBC’s Ed Schultz for describing conservative pundit and single mother Laura Ingraham as a “right wing slut.” The President and the woman with the cute smile, meanwhile, are ignoring the whole thing.
Here is the irony, and the problem: they are all wrong. Continue reading

Gov. Mitch Daniels’ Self-Validating Decision

"My wife, may she always be right, but my wife right or wrong!"

“Simply put, I find myself caught between two duties. I love my country; I love my family more.”

Thus did Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels remove himself from consideration for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, breaking the hearts of Mitt Romney haters everywhere. Seldom have eighteen words launched so much ethical analysis, or what passes for it in the media.

Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus, for example, applauded the Governor’s priorities while accusing Daniels of “throwing his wife under the bus.” Her point was that Daniels did not have to make it so crystal clear that his wife vetoed his own desire to run, that he should have simply said that he declined, and leave it at that. Indeed, that would have been chivalrous and kind. For a public servant and politician, however, it would also have been dishonest and wrong. Just as the public needs to know why a public figure is running for president (Gingrich: Because he’s deluded….Trump: Because its good for his TV ratings…), it needs to know why a public figure is not. Continue reading

The Wrestler, the Girl, and Cultural Confusion

"Wanna wrestle?"

Sixteen-year-old high school sophomore wrestler Joel Northrup forfeited his match against a fourteen-year-old wrestler with two X chromosomes, Cassy Herkelman, at the Iowa state wrestling championships, saying that “As a matter of conscience and my faith I do not believe that it is appropriate for a boy to engage a girl in this manner.” Obviously Herkelman didn’t require protection from anyone or anything. She was her district’s 112-pound champion wrestler, and she won the Iowa championship for her class as well.  Cassie had won 20 of 33 matches, all against male wrestlers, on her way to the state championship. Maybe Northrup didn’t want to risk being ridiculed for losing to a girl; maybe he was uncomfortable with the sexual overtones of an inter-gender contest. All we can do is assess his conduct by taking him at his word: he believes a young man wrestling a young woman is morally wrong, and was willing to forfeit a match he might have won. Joel was, after all, the fifth-ranked wrestler in the state at 112 pounds, and had a 35-4 record.

Was his decision admirable, or sexist? Was it gentlemanly, or demeaning? Continue reading

Ethics Dunce: Bo, the Baseball Weenie

This video says it all.

As a well struck foul ball hurtled toward his girlfriend, Bo, nattily attired in a backwards cap, evacuated the area and allowed her to get hit. It is in such instinctual decisions that character, or the lack of it, reveals itself. When it’s crunch time, Bo thinks about #1. There are a lot of Bo’s out there, but if one of them reveals his true colors early in a relationship, there is no excuse for trusting him. Since trying to stop a baseball from hitting his date doesn’t enter his thought process,  just imagine what other acts of selfishness, disloyalty and cowardice Bo may be capable of.

Urgent message to Bo’s girlfriend, courtesy of the Amityville Horror house: “GET OUT!!!!”