Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
"For the practice of wearing a kilt without undergarments, see True Scotsman. No true Scotsman is an informal fallacy, an ad hoc attempt to retain an unreasoned assertion. When faced with a counterexample to a universal claim ("no Scotsman would do such a thing" ), rather than denying the counterexample or rejecting the original universal claim, this ...[text shortened]... thanks for your reply. Would you care to comment further on the referenced wiki site text above?
I don't know how much more I need to add for purposes of clarification.
I was making an analogy between a 'no true Scotsman' and a 'no true
gentleman' kind of argument.
The original post implies that it's always to a lady's benefit, if not her
necessity, to associate with a gentleman. (This seems to assume that a
lady could always readily distinguish a gentleman from, say, a cad, and I
would submit that it's not always that simple.) I dispute this proposition.
I have observed that many self-declared 'gentlemen' selfishly have taken
advantage of vulnerably trusting 'ladies'. I anticipated this objection,
'No true gentleman would ever mistreat a lady', by referring to a similar
objection in the case of a 'No true Scotsman' kind of argument.
The original post's criteria for a 'gentleman' seems too superficial for me.
I would rather trust some men with rougher manners over other men who
seem to have perfected the art of smooth deception or refined dishonesty.
And I would like to add one point. The original post has emphasized every
gentleman's obligations to act in certain ways toward the 'ladies'. But would
every gentleman perceive every woman (or just some) as a real 'lady'?
What would happen when a 'gentleman' encountered a woman whom he
regarded as unworthy of being treated like a 'lady'? In medieval Europe,
there was a code of conduct for knights (and gentleman of high status)
emphasizing chivalry toward the 'ladies', women of sufficiently high status.
But a knight who might feel honoured to be allowed to kiss a lady's hand
also might well feel entitled to take a peasant girl by force and rape her
because she definitely was not a 'lady' to him.
I know that feminism (or expanding women's rights and opportunities) often
has been blamed for the apparent decline of 'ladies' and 'gentlemen' behaving
as old etiquette manuals instructed them to behave. While I can be enough
of an old-fashioned romantic at heart to feel a sense of loss about the decline
of courtship (now it's widely called 'hooking up'!) in modern Western cultures,
on the whole I feel better that feminism has gained ground and the code
of 'chivalry' (cited in the original post) has become increasingly obsolete
*along with the sexist assumptions that underpin it*. Notwithstanding
my appreciation of the past, I prefer to look forward to a future when men
and women can understand and embrace each other as equals--with love.