‘ON CHIVALRY ‘
When I am out and about in the CBD, I often see how men and women, scramble to board the fastest matatus to Ongata Rongai (Kenya’s Diaspora), and my heart sinks. Chivalry is Dead.
What happened to the knightly honour with which we were raised? Where men would open doors for women, foot the dinner bill, ask her out for coffee, pull her a seat, offer her his place in the queue? All this was once normal, now it’s like a historical monument, there to be heard about but never to be practiced. What does this make our society?
In the traditional African set up, men would offer protection to their households, risk their lives to bring food back home but for some reason, this seldom happens. It is unfortunate when you look at some of the traditions we bury. A colleague said to me the other day that if he found a driver with a flat tyre along Mombasa Road, he would only offer help, if it were a gentleman.
I could not conceal the shock on my face as he continued to elaborate. “You see, men will not accuse you of anything, women on the other hand, could even slap you for being sexist when you offer a helping hand.” I then asked myself, is this the reason why men are no longer quick to step in and offer help?
If being a modern man is to push women aside and to manhandle them ruggedly like rugby players then I will opt for traditional behaviour anytime, as I believe women appreciate it when a man pulls her a seat, gets the door for her, chooses a dinner table etc. And gentlemen, we have got to practice it, persevere at it, until it becomes ingrained in us as a culture which we then pass down to generations.
So, in closing, let us re-visit the Knightly honour that was once prestigiously bestowed on the male species. Welcome to a man’s world. From Mitchell Odhiambo. For a female perspective, click link to read my colleague Beryl’s views – http://goo.gl/nEYUWF