Recently on CBC radio, I heard of Vincent Gabriel Kirouac, a modern-day knight dressed in full armour who is riding his horse Lionheart across Canada. Check here for the clip: Quebec knight riding across Canada for valour
This story got me to thinking about the Chivalric code and modern masculinity. The code outlines principles that a knight must follow to be in the knighthood. I wonder, if modern men had a detailed code of conduct, would their lives be a little easier, better and more meaningful? Would it make men more manly if they knew the rules to follow? It would definitely make the ladies swoon because secretly, we all want our knight in shining armour.
In case you do not know, the Knight’s Code of Chivalry is a moral system that states:
- All knights should protect others who cannot protect themselves such as; widows, children, and elders. Who doesn’t love a man who sticks up for the little guy (or gal). There wouldn’t be any bar brawls, inappropriate or violent sexual behavior or even Jersey Shore. I am totally down with that.
- All knights needed to have the strength and skills to fight wars. Strength and skill? Meow, that means that they are probably fit, nimble and take good care of themselves. A solid mind and body are definitely attractive features in a man. Check!
- Knights not only had to be extremely disciplined and were expected to use their power to protect the weak and defenceless. I think that Ninjas, Concert Pianists and Yogis are all damn sexy. They commit to their task as a practice and a deep meditation to achieve success. Sadly a lot of that is lost on the internet and x-box generation. Let’s bring back discipline and create stronger men.
- Knights vowed to be loyal, generous, and “noble bearing.” Wouldn’t it be great if men suddenly became the resilient noble heroes that we see in cheesy Rom-Coms? I think so. Sadly, many women see men as lecherous pigs, selfish lovers and anything but honorable. Men aren’t so bad but maybe a wee misdirected. The knights would help.
- Knights were required to tell the truth at all times and always respect the honour of women. Can we get a little woot, woot? I speak for all women who have ever been cheated on, lied to or disrespected; this is an awesome creed, knight or not.
- Knights not only vowed to protect the weak but also vowed to guard the honour of all fellow knights. I love a tradition that insists men take care of other men. I think the world would be a much sweeter place if we honestly and authentically took care of our brothers (and sisters).
- Knights always had to obey those who were placed in authority and were never allowed to refuse a challenge from an equal. Hmm, this one makes me a little uncomfortable because I have never been fond of conformity or authority as it limits creativity. Maybe if you are a petulant punk, it would be useful.
- Knights lived by honor and for glory. Honor? hells ya! Do things that make you stand up straight and walk with sexy mojo. Glory? Do things because they make you feel magnificent. I love it! Let’s all try to do more of it.
- Knights were to fear God and maintain His Church. I believe it’s good to have a moral compass to follow. I don’t know about fearing God part but respecting the natural order of things and having a spiritual practice is always a good thing.
- Knights always kept their faith and never turned their back on a foe. Just good words to follow.
- Knights despised pecuniary reward. Perhaps knights were the first hippies and lived in big beautiful communes with organic gardens, shared work and the ubiquitous peace pipe. Oh to be a hippie in the middle ages.
- They persevered to the end in any enterprise begun. There is nothing sexier in a man than one who sticks it out in order to achieve success.
- The main vow from the knights was that they shall fight for the welfare of all. Courage and valour will always be attractive qualities in a man. We definitely need more heroes with or without chainmail.
We all want to believe in heroes and a higher moral order. I am not saying that this code is perfect or even easy to achieve but perhaps if men had a shared creed, they would have more pride in their masculinity, more power in their step, more oomph in their actions.
It is so romantic to think of a real life knight in shining armour sailing through town in order to protect an honor of the highest order. What do you think it would take for men to ascribe to this notion of masculinity? Do you think there could be a renaissance of modern day knights? Or do you think that Mr. Kirouac is crazy as a jaybird, trying to make it across the giganticness of Canada on a horse? I would love to hear your thoughts.