Chivalrous men cannot protect themselves?

Before getting into the real topic of the article, I would like to take liberty to ask readers to have a look at this video,

Dan Dennett: Cute, Sexy, Sweet, Funny” which talks about why babies are cute, babes are sexy, chocolate is sweet and jokes are funny. Contrary to popular perception, it’s not that because chocolate is sweet, we like it or because babes are sexy, guys get attracted to them or that because babies are cute, we find them adorable or because jokes are funny, we laugh at them.

In the video, philosopher Dan Dennett explains Darwin’s “Strange Inversion of Reasoning” which upholds absolute ignorance over absolute intelligence. As per that theory,

  1. Chocolate is sweet because it is a high energy food and a sweet tooth is nothing but a high energy detector and thus there is an inherent likingness for sweet things like honey to make up for the deficit of high energy foods. Chocolate is just an over-evolved form of that likingness which Dan likes to call as “super-normal stimuli”.
  2. Babes are not attractive because they are sexy, but because Mother Nature wanted natural mating, the brain was wired that way otherwise chimps would never mate! Babes are just the “super-normal stimuli” of attraction between genders.
  3. Similarly for babies, since they need a lot of care and attention, it is important that cute things are adorable and babies are cute.
  4. Finally, for jokes, as well, because there has to be a reward for the one of the toughest jobs, to make someone laugh, the brain is wired that way.

Hence we see here, that, perceptions are starkly different from reality and can be reverse at times as well. Rather than sweet things being naturally tasty there is an inclination to like sweet foods so that the body gets its quota of high energy. Mother Nature has a strange way of functioning!

Now, coming back to the topic of the article; let’s see how the same concept of “Strange Inversion of Reasoning” applies to men and their problems.

Before that, we will see some instances of invisible abuse of men,

  1. Often 10 year old male children are told by their mothers and elder sisters to escort 30 year old aunts. A 10 year old kid is told to escort an able bodied adult female who is 20 years older to him. The kid does it, thinking he is a PROTECTOR and he should do it with it pride.
  2. When a monkey enters the courtyard in rural areas, it’s the males of the family who not only go forward to shoo the monkey away but are also expected to do so, which means they are condemned if they do not do so while no accolades are heaped for doing the job. It’s but assumed that it is HIS job to be an UNPAID BODYGUARD.
  3. In western civilizations, often boys, after completing their high schools, were sent to the army for fighting for the country-land. Not only that, the bastions of police, army and armed forces has been a male territory primarily and continues to be as such and it is the men who have laid down their lives fighting for unknown people against unknown people.
  4. Movies, especially Hindi movies, often show the heroine (female) being harassed by a few males and the Hero (a macho male) fights against all the males. And after that fight scene, all animosity between the hero and the heroine vanishes into thin air and they immediately fall in love. The Knight in Shining Armor falls for the Damsel in Distress who falls for the Protector actually.
  5. Often males are expected to fight against other males in order to protect women and children.

Having seen the above instances, we will now see how this harms men and society.

All the above instances have one common under-thread; male to male violence, if it is for protecting others then it’s held in high position in the society and the Protector is hailed by one and all. Again, it is the same violent image of Protector used as a stereotypic assumption against men wherein allegations of perpetrated violence against a man by a woman are taken at face value. The accused man is punished and is not compensated if the allegations are not found to be substantial. More often than not, these allegations are used as a diversionary tactic.

Hence, the violent image of men is easily digested by the society and it actually appears that men are violent because they fight. But reality, as said earlier, is often different and opposite of perceptions. By Darwin’s “Strange Inversion of Reasoning”, it is not that men are violent because they fight to protect, but the other way round. It is because men are expected to be Protectors; they are made to turn violent by social conditioning and emotional castration.

However, there is an invisible flip side to this social behavioral pattern and attitude. As long as men indulge in violence (often against other men) in order to protect others – women, children and senior citizens – its acceptable, but if the man makes any effort to protect himself from any violence from a woman, immediately he is tagged as selfish, violent, aggressive and devilish and even basic human rights are snatched from him. He is made to feel guilty even if he’s innocent and thus he accepts the abuse therein and suffers silently. After all, he is the Protector, if he cannot PROTECT himself, how can he PROTECT others?

As explained about Male Disposability in Male Disposability – Myth or Reality, men finished off with their utility are considered disposable and their abuse becomes irrelevant for the society. Same holds good for a man trying to protect himself. As his utility as a Protector is finished off, no one bothers about blatant violation of his human rights. He is a deemed criminal and deserves only punishment.

By nature of their design, compounded with social conditioning, females are emotionally stronger, smarter and stable compared to men. It is a proven psychological fact that no violence starts physical – it’s actually the emotional violence that precedes physical violence. Going by the above analogy, any man who is accused of physical violence (even true allegations) is actually trying to protect himself. But, as explained above, a man trying to protect himself, more often than not, finds himself at the receiving end of social abuse, social neglect and social death.

Having said that, I want to categorically mention that violence (in any form be it physical or emotional) is unacceptable. However, current social setups punish only the man when he is accused of violence by a woman, whether true or false. No attempt is made to understand the root cause of violence – the emotional violence that sparked the physical violence and the visibly failed protector is given no opportunity whatsoever to protect himself.

Such a trend, poised precariously against men, is extremely harmful and is a major reason of growing resentment of men towards society, relationships and commitments. Not only that, the invisible bias that exists against men – justified due to male disposability – is devouring the stability, lifeline and lifetime of relationships. It is one of the major reasons of skyrocketing suicides by men – a glimpse of which is available at,

  1. Domestic Violence claims 170,000 husbands.
  2. Every 9 minutes a married man commits suicide.

It is also leading to the foundation of a Fatherless Society which is ultimately leading to increased crime and is posing a threat to the national security as well.

Hence, we see that on one hand, chivalry from men is highly praised and chivalrous men are considered heroes, it’s the same chivalry which works like a necessary evil for men when it comes to their own protection.

So, the question that arises here is, “Chivalrous men cannot protect themselves?

Let the readers ponder over this question and answer it for themselves.


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