My youngest daughter has a spelling test this week. As she and I were practicing spelling the words this weekend I was also asking her the meaning of each word.
Everything was going well until we got to one word – chivalry.
She told me her definition of the word by using it in a sentence starting with the pronoun, she.
I told her that the word was usually used to describe males.
'Why?' she asked.
I had no idea, so I whipped out the Webster's dictionary. Its definition of the word is, "the sum of the ideal qualifications of a knight, including courtesy, generosity, valor, and dexterity in arms.'
My daughter then wanted to know why women couldn't be knights which, incidentally, was another spelling word on the list.
'That's just the way it was in those days,' I told her. 'Knights were 'chivalrous' and ladies were 'fair'. Boys did boy's stuff and girls did what, in those days, was considered appropriate for them.'
She then asked me if men today were still chivalrous.
I told her that some were, in today's world we considered men who were polite, hard working and kind to be chivalrous.
She looked at me for a minute then said, 'we don't call those type of men chivalrous, we call those guys geeks.'
So there you go, according to my eight year old, chivalry is indeed dead.
I find that sad.
But wait! Is being a 'geek' a good thing these days? Like how some kids use 'bad' to mean 'good'? Anyone know?
Ah well, at least my daughter knows how to spell it.