Sunday, 5 May 2013

Chivalry

So. Like most of my random philosophical musings, this one started from a quote from Rance Quest.

"Girls are the world's treasure."

Said by Rance himself of course.

Now I know I, as well as many other men, see the idea of modern chivalry, or dare I say chivalry as a whole, as a wholly distraught behaviour. However, I'm being led to question whether or not that assumption is either wrong, or whether our perception of chivalry's 'proper use' is what is at fault.

The definition of Chivalry is:

"The qualities or manifestation of qualities idealized by knighthood, such as bravery, courtesy, honour and gallantry towards women."

Now I think it's safe for us to assume that the colloqiual use of the word 'chivalry,' and most people's objection to it, lies in the 'gallantry toward women,' section of the definition. And I've been led to think that people's problem with chivalry lies in the fact that they perceive and/or practice it as a method of behaviour suited to all men, towards all women.

But when you put chivalry into it's proper context of knighthood, the concept becomes a lot more... interesting...

"The Knight's Code of Chivalry was a moral system that stated all knights should protect others who can not protect themselves."

Badass and Attractive,
am I right?
But the important thing to remember here, is that the practitioner of 'Chivalry' was a knight himself.

Now being a knight in of itself places you in a position higher than the average man. And by doing so, also makes you more attractive than other men. Practically speaking, serving in any type of military unit, as a man, is likely to make you more attractive. You'll become more physically fit, more able to cope with stress, and more able to stay calm during intensive situations. I'd bet that you'd also become more confident in yourself, failing all else.

Furthering this, it was a common characteristic of chivalrous knights to practice what was known as "Courtly Love"

Wikipedia describes this as "An experience between erotic desire and spiritual attainment that now seems contradictory."

To put this into more relateable terms, it meant knights would sleep around in secret, as it were.

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Now here I'll stop for a second and admit that there is little to no written evidence that courtly love was practiced by knights in real life, as the concept mainly appeared in fiction from the era, however it was also deemed a practice to be kept secret, as the surface definition of 'courtly love' implies a standard of abstinence from sex, while entertaining a strong sexual desire between the knight and the woman in question.

Now I'm going to just throw the concept out that that if two people have strong sexual desire for one another, they are more than likely to end up having sex than not, especially if their feelings are kept entirely in secret from anyone who could potentially meddle.
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A closing note on courtly love then, is that it encompassed the idea that a knight must be the servant to both his wife and all other noblewomen; and where noblewomen were concerned, this servitude was also met with a deep and mutual erotic desire.

So here we have it that chivalry was practiced by: strong, attractive, men who were also expected to fight and die for their country, and who gained a great deal of sexual and romantic admiration from their audience.

Taking that into account, and taking the fact that mutual love is generally regarded as one of the most valuable experiences for one to have, (I say this from both personal experience and from the vast amount of literature that man has conceived upon the subject,) it's not a surprise that someone in such a position would describe women as "The world's treasure," because from that individual's viewpoint, that is exactly what they are.

(Although, we have to be careful to acknowledge that 'women' here identifies a select group of women, and that group would be specific to the Chivalrous individual in question.)

So next time you're about to act chivalrous, ask yourself: "Am I a strong, attractive man who is able to fight and survive for what I believe in, and who gains a great deal of sexual and romantic admiration from my audience?"

If the answer is no, you might want to rethink your actions, for the benefit of yourself.

"Even to a knight, a wench is a wench, right?"

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Self-Identity vs Perfectionism

One of the things I've begun to learn as I get older is to not give a shit about what anyone else does with their life. That being said...

One of the things I will never understand, (actually, I understand it extremely well, I think,) is the desire for self-identification, commonly through the use of labels.


Communist. Feminist. Conservative. Libitarian. MRA. Nerd. Geek. Atheist. Apatheist. Working Class. Upper Class. Aristocrat. Labourer. Gnostic. German. Slav. American. Anglo-Indian. Existentialist.

Here it is: Maslow's Heirarchy.
 In the original shrink wrap, too
Essentially all you're doing is limiting yourself. You're making yourself fit into a little group where you can belong; this makes perfect sense when looked at in context with Maslow's hierarchy of needs, (actually it doesn't.) Because you see, labeling yourself as a form of self-identity, while an attempt to fulfil the 3rd need in the hierarchy, conflicts with the 5th need. Now you may say "But! The lower needs are more important for the survival of the individual!" And I would agree; but would you seriously give up self-actualization for a rigid attempt at belonging?

You see, I'm of the viewpoint that belonging should be earned, not self-imposed. You can't say "I'm this," and then be immediately accepted into a group, (truth is you can, that's why we have the internet;) but then, as I said, you're losing your ability to fulfil yourself.

How are you losing this?

Because the scope of human achievement is enormous. To label yourself is essentially a form of settling; "I'm this, I fit in here, this is what I do," and settling is a disengagement from exploration, and exploration is the key to learning, and learning is the first step towards doing.

I find this concept of self-identity so difficult to comprehend probably because of the way I view myself.

All I want to be is the best.

...
...
...

...What does even that mean?

I know, I know: You don't know what the best is, what defines "The best?"

Now I know self-analysis doesn't always rub the right way, but I think that my rather narcissistic desire lays on the prejudice that people settle in situations where they could be conceivably better off.

I mean, take for example the title of this blog. Offense is ... in the mind of the offended. I see plenty of people getting pissed over themselves about the fact that the median wage of women is lower than the median wage for men, (despite that figure not being an accurate representative of earnings based on gender[1],) and I've seen plenty of people getting pissed over themselves that men serve much longer prison sentences than women even when all extraneous factors are controlled for[2].

But you know what I think?

...If you guessed: "He doesn't give a flying fuck," you'd be... not quite correct.

These issues are both annoying and entertaining to me. Annoying to me because other people get annoyed by them and those people in turn annoy me. Entertaining to me because some people become so passionate that it becomes either inspirational or humourous.
I hope this adequately explains
 how you'd be

But let's throw other people out of the equation for a second.

...If you guessed: "He doesn't give a flying fuck," you'd be...

You'd be correct.

You know why I don't care?

Because I have a Life I want to live.

A life I'm not quite living yet.

That's what the need for self-actualization is.

I have plenty of time for politics, for video-games, for meeting new people, for painting, writing songs, cooking, cleaning, eating, sleeping, exercising, studying; but what I do with my own time doesn't make me who I am. What I feel defines me is how I'm seen by other people; because it is only in the presence of other people that your social identity actually matters. You aren't forging it for yourself, it's the need for belonging that you're trying to compensate for.

(The key word is compensate.)

References:
[1]http://www.consad.com/content/reports/Gender%20Wage%20Gap%20Final%20Report.pdf
[2]http://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/34220/1/556980417.pdf


"Hmph. I have a high-class palate. Don't compare me to a slave like you."

Some facts about women

With references and everything!

1. Women file for 2/3rds of divorce in the U.S.
2. Women, cross-culturally, prefer men who can provide for them. Men, cross-culturally, prefer women who are physically attractive.
3. Women are more likely to abuse children.
4. Lesbian couples are more likely to commit acts of domestic violence than Gay couples.


1.^ "Advance Report of Final Divorce Statistics, 1988" (PDF). Monthly Vital Statistics Report 39 (12 (supplement 2)). 1991-05-21.
2^ Buss, D. (1989). Sex differences in human mate preferences: Evolutionary hypotheses tested in 37 cultures. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 12, 1-49. doi: 10.1017/S0140525X00023992
3^ "A 1999 report by the US Department of Health and Human Services revealed that, adjusting for the greater number of single mothers, a child is five times more likely to be murdered by a single mother than by a single father, and that children are 88% more likely to be seriously injured from abuse or neglect by their mothers than by their fathers." Glenn Sacks, "American Fathers Get A Bad Rap." (2002), accessed 01 March 2013
4↑  A Descriptive Analysis of Same-Sex Relationship Violence for a Diverse Sample, The Journal of Family Violence, Publisher Springer Netherlands, Volume 15, Number 3, September, 2000, Pages 281-293. ISSN 0885-7482

I was planning on doing 10, but my internet seems to have slowed. Will add more when it speeds up.

"I wonder how many people this will piss off."

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Friendship vs Companionship

One of the opening lines of Rance Quest is Rance's quote “Having Sex is great, but companionship is a little bit better.” At first I thought this to mean that having friends is better than having one night stands. Then I figured that that didn't suit Rance at all, because it implies that being friendzoned is better than having sex, (which is not better at all!) And then it hit me! There is a clear definition here between friendship and companionship.

You see, to be friends, you have to be there for another person for social support. Being someone's a companion is slightly different, as the only requirement is that you spend time with someone. Let's take dictionary definitions just to be clear:

Friend:
A person whom one knows and whom has a bond of mutual affection

Companion:
A person or animal with whom one spends a lot of time or with whom one travels

Sachiko offers the best cure
 for a sprained finger
The revelation struck me when I went back to replay the quest, and picked up on another line that Rance says slightly before the previous. Rance had just attacked some adventurers, and Sachiko (pictured) was worried about them, and protested that they might die. Rance replies with “Then that is their responsibility, I don't like relationships.” At first that struck me as peculiar, as it is rare for Rance to spend any time by himself at all, and then I realised what he meant by relationships. He meant having bonds with people, or in other words be meant having friends.

Now to put these quotes in a bit of context: Rance's slave and primary companion, Sill, was frozen by the demon king in the previous game, and hence he has no one to travel with. He saved Sachiko's life prior to the story of Rance Quest and told her that to repay her debt she would be his servant until he has sex with her, he then doesn't have sex with her in order to keep her around, justifying it with the previously mentioned quote: “Having Sex is great, but companionship is a little bit better.”

So, the point trying to be stressed here is that friends are pointless. While this may seem contradictory to most usual views, looking at it from a Rance point of view highlights a lot of issues that actually make a lot of sense.

The difference between Friendship and Companionship is important, as it is actually necessary for ones mental well being that they have companions rather than friends.  It's true that the people you will do things with will often be your friends, but the key difference is that one may have friends without them being companions, and although it is rarer, it is possible to have companions who are not friends, (although you may become friends as the companionship goes on.)

What Rance is saying when he says he doesn't like relationships, is that he doesn't want to form a friendship with the people he just attacked for the sake of forming a friendship. He's only interested in meeting people who he can spend time with and enjoy that time with, he has no interest in giving himself up for a group of adventurers that will come to see him as a friend.

I can't be bothered to
properly reference,
 so here's my evidence
Sachiko, on the other hand, he chooses to keep by his side and not have sex with simply because he wants her company. They've spent enough time together that once she leaves him, she could consider him a 'friend,' (he saved her life and took her on adventures that she enjoyed,) but once she's gone, she's gone. After she leaves she won't have any obligation to follow him on his quests anymore as she has her own (less dangerous) life to attend to. To Rance, that loss is not worth him getting to have sex with her, and it is implied during the quest that Rance seeks to teach her the fun of being an adventurer, so that she will want to continue to see him in the future.

The bottom line, and the point I'm trying to most stress with this analysis, is that it's not worth knowing people that you're never going to see. You can keep contact with someone and not see them; but in the end neither of you have anything to gain from that. You can have sex with someone and never see them again; but once it's over the memory becomes fleeting. Rance understands that, and so balances his relationships with people so that they actually mean something, and are neither empty nor fleeting.

(This also means he gets to have sex with them many times.)