The Chivalry Paradox

In some jurisdictions far more fuss is made about “violence against women” than about violence against harmless old men, say, or against male children. Were there to be a serial murderer who conscientiously killed equal numbers of male and female innocents, the progressive dailies could still be relied on to banner-headline with “Violence against women”. At least ten men would have to be done to death for every woman before the editors condescended to take notice.

Now, upon what could this possibly be based other than the old-school value of “chivalry” – a value that is at the same time derided as hand-wavingly sharing a nature (neither dividing the substance nor confounding the persons) with phallocratic violence? Were a progressive to be asked to explain just precisely why violence against women was so uniquely heinous, it may be doubted whether she could in fact do so, without either citing the alleged innocence of women in men’s power-games, (although most men who suffer violence are merely seeking to pass and repass the thoroughfare just as innocently), or else invoking some inherent sacredness or at least superiority of the female sex (of the same kind as she has spent her life opposing whenever claimed by men).

(Fiddle date-stamp to September 23, 2011)

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