On Harvey Weinstein and Hollywood’s Idea of “Being a Gentleman”

We’re writing you on the heels of a devastating few days for men. In no uncertain terms, last week was a disaster.

It proves why our mission is so vital.

Knowing we do what we do, a slew of folks asked us about the news last week – the Harvey Weinstein debacle and the Boy Scouts’ decision to open their ranks to girls.

Our response surprised anybody who dared listen.

Men, listen up. We’ve got a problem.

For generations now, we’ve been lied to. We’ve been misled. And frankly, we’ve been purposefully confused.

We’ve got this view of women all wrong.

Hollywood… the media… the internet… they’ve lied to us.

We’ve been duped. And now the trickery is oozing out of society’s pores.

Big Problems for the Big Screen

We say the problem has been a long time coming. It goes all the way back to misconceptions about the idea of chivalry.

Women are weaker, we tell ourselves. We must open the door for them. We must pull out their chairs.

They’re so feeble. How can the poor things get through the world without us?

It’s pure bull.

It’s logic like that that’s led to monsters like Harvey Weinstein… Bill Cosby… Woody Allen… you name ‘em.

But here’s the truly scary part. These Hollywood elite are no anomaly.

There are men all around us who act and think the way they do.

Most of them think what they’re doing is perfectly normal.

Thanks to a screen-influenced culture that’s convinced itself women are part of a game (we’ve read books that specifically discuss this “game”), these men think they’re merely playing their part.

They think they’re in a contest… that the more they touch, the higher their point score and the better they’ll feel.

That’s the problem with women. They’re not part of a game.

Chivalry Must Die

All these false ideas come from a place Mr. Weinstein is quite familiar with… the realm of fiction.

Few folks bother to ever ponder the idea. But chivalry is not real and never has been – at least not the modern idea of it.

No, this notion of “gentlemanly” behavior comes mainly from the pen of just a few rather modern men.

Men like Sir Walter Scott, who wrote Ivanhoe in 1820, get the credit. And so do men like Leon Gautier who, in 1891, wrote “The Ten Commandments of the Code of Chivalry.”

He wrote it to support the Roman Catholic Church… in a time when the church was under cultural assault.

Gautier’s first two commandments should make that obvious:

  • Thou shalt believe all that the Church teaches and shalt observe all its directions.
  • Thou shalt defend the Church.

The writer’s idea that a man should be devoted to God, his lord and his lady had nothing to do with knights and bygone days. No. It aimed to grab the attention of a culture that was spinning around the drain – even if it meant using great poetic license and a revisionist’s look at the past.

In fact, true medieval culture treated women quite poorly – nothing we’d want to mimic today.

But that wouldn’t sell books or fill church pews.

So Gautier’s modern code demanded more.

“Respect” women, he begged his readers.

But he also begged us to “serve King and Country,” to “show respect to authority” and “avoid lying to your fellow man.”

You see, the notion of chivalry was touted in the 19th century as a way to rein in a culture that was heading in the wrong direction. It was a propaganda campaign launched to set things straight and keep a nation out of trouble.

The times weren’t all that different from what we see today.

Why It’s Right

But we don’t think we should live by some politically driven and fictionally derived credo.

Instead, we beg readers to think for themselves.

We shouldn’t be told to respect women. And we shouldn’t be told not to lie to our neighbors.

If we’re to be good men, those ideas must be woven into our fabric.

Oh, sure, hold the door for a woman. But hold it for a man, too.

And when you pull back her chair, ask yourself why you’re doing it.

Are you doing it because it’s the right thing to do? Or are you doing it because of the romanticized (and fake) idea our Hollywood culture wants us to believe in?

We say most men, sadly, do it for the latter.

And that’s trouble.

Just look at the men running Hollywood.

They’re trouble… big trouble.

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