It was the year chivalry died, more black people were murdered because police were afraid of their blackness, and the Canadiens had had a fantastic start to the regular season.
The death of chivalry, similar to the death of many people in poverty, had suffered a long struggle, without an event that could be taught to kids: no walls fell.
As with torture by one thousand cuts, chivalry drained away with small realizations: the character in a film suggested being taken care of was assumed weakness; a man made a public display of his disgust in being purchased a meal by a woman, saying I can take care of myself, you know.
Chivalry’s statue started to crumble into the Port.
As women wanted to be treated more like humans than puppies that a man really liked, defenders of chivalry came on the attack with a desperation particular to those people who know their ideas are about to die.
You can tell how a man is raised by how he treats a woman, suggested a breakfast TV anchor- somehow qualified to discuss critical issues- now afraid of using the term chivalry whatsoever, as though a curse.
A portion of the jawbone fell from the crumbling statue.
Men are meant to take care of women because it’s natural, wrote bloggers, trying to stay above the surface of a St-Laurence river that had risen too high: dog-paddling, with hopes to tread, swallowing mouthfuls of water, furious.
Chivalry is natural because it was told to me to be normal when I was younger, a suggestion that assumed events from the past were without motive, touching themselves to the word nostalgia, although, in the same breath, saying how black people were now equal: not like before.
Contrary to those who pass away in the slow and daily mass death of poverty and prison, chivalry died while believing itself ‘civilized,’ ‘gentlemanly’ and the last ‘honourable’ thing that was only dying because everyone else had become so bad, like the ostracized dictator who says everyone else is so stupid, this revolution is unnatural, trying so hard to mask the unfortunate feeling that maybe they were, in fact, the stupid one: maybe, the revolution made sense.
Contrary to deaths that were justified because certain shades of people were ‘devils’ who required murdering, chivalry died while feeling better than everyone else, and its lacking logic allowed it to crumble from the inside. The death of chivalry was lamented across race, age, and gender, demonstrating that the previous marketing scheme for chivalry so convincing that those whose subordination, necessary for chivalry to make sense, were among those who cried on its grave.
Its soldiers were angrier than ever, believing that the death of a terrible leader meant that they were to die, too, because, for all this time, they had been lead by the wrong idea.
Because change is scary.