Lou Pardi’s experience of men patronising women but then being just so sweet and nice about it is summarised in the following blog (http://pardipardi.wordpress.com/2012/03/04/dilemma-unintentional-misogyny/).
When I quickly read it, my summary was tweeted as “Men are still uncomfortable with successful women and cover it up with false gallantry”. My comments were retweeted by the writer and I received two or three replies agreeing with it. So far, so good. Maybe my fifteen minutes of fame.
Which is all well and good until someone asks the unanswered question. No-one has yet asked me to fill in what I left out. No-one has asked, so Andrew, just what is real gallantry?
But people will. And I know who you are! And this is for you and anyone else who wants to know what gallantry is. At least to me anyway.
I will now throw some light on what I said. Taking the definition of gallantry from the dictionary : brave, spirited, noble-minded, or chivalrous or exceptionally polite and attentive to women (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/gallant). Which means false gallantry is precisely as described in the blog above. So far so good.
But it still does not answer the question at all. In a post-medieval-renaissance-modernist age, what is real gallantry?
For me, true gallantry is helping someone in need and never asking for something in return.
True gallantry is admiring and praising someone who has prevailed through adversity.
True gallantry is really love that gives and asks no price.