Friday, February 21, 2014
The Good Men Project has another earnest, but rather boring, post about what it means to be a gentleman. The adjectives marshaled are mundane and unhelpful even as they endeavor to wear their virtues on their respective sleeves.
A quote from the Spanish writer Antonio de Guevara begins the post:
“A gentleman is to be measured in his speech, generosity in giving, sober in eating, honesty in living, kindness in forgiving, and courageousness in fighting.”
Measured in speech? Generosity in giving? Sober in eating? Honesty in living? Kindness? These seem to be virtues which we commend in women as well, right?
The only descriptor that has been traditionally ascribed to men has been the last one: courageousness in fighting. It is, alas, a most vexing and paradoxical virtue.