As you know, I'm entirely devoted to the order of chivalry. Naturally, then, I find it appealing to see a magazine as left-leaning as The Atlantic raise the issue of taking it seriously. I don't wish to underrate the achievement; it's going to have been quite hard for the author to have written the piece, and even harder for readers to take her seriously given how baldly the terms violate their assumptions.
Nevertheless, I do wish to point out that she hasn't quite got the thing she's talking about. I'll borrow a few words I've written elsewhere, recently, to clarify just where she is wrong.
Chivalry is about respect. It is about not harming or hurting others, especially those who are more vulnerable than you. It is about putting other people first and serving others often in a heroic or courageous manner. It is about being polite and courteous. In other words, chivalry in the age of post-feminism is another name we give to civility.Well, if it's just another name for civility -- to paraphrase Flannery O'Connor (excellent article, by the way) -- then to hell with it. Civility is certainly included in the virtue of chivalry, where it is appropriate: but so is defiance, where that is what the virtue demands.
Chivalry is not only about civility. Sometimes it is about dying. A moral order that you cannot die for is not really a moral order at all, because it can contain nothing greater than the individual. But any moral order must be about things greater than the individual, or else it cannot demand that the individual should sacrifice in favor of that moral order.
This is why Hannah Rosin was wrong to say that something 'more' than chivalry was at work in the Aurora theater. Nothing more is entailed, and nothing more is required.
The important thing about chivalry is the understanding that it is a set of chains. Sometimes it is about things you must do. Sometimes it is about things you would never do.
It is a discipline, in other words, one that takes God-given strength and uses it not to dominate but to serve. If it is done this way, with an honest heart, it produces the best and noblest kind of man that humankind has ever learned to produce.