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  1. #1
    chebu's Avatar
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    Question What is " chivalry beats a wolf-whistle "

    Hello, could anyone explain the meaning of
    "chivalry beats a wolf-whistle "
    in the following BBC article "Is it OK to compliment a stranger?".

    BBC News - Is it OK to compliment a stranger?

    "We're not animals and those who overstep the mark can't fall back on the excuse that "boys will be boys". Grown men know right from wrong. That said, what's wrong with paying a woman who has made an effort on her appearance a compliment? It doesn't always mean we're looking to procreate right there on the spot.
    If we are interested in getting to know a lady, the modern man has
    evolved to know chivalry beats a wolf-whistle down the street any day."

    Can I understand this phrase means that even a very polite man like chivalry makes a mistake if he encounters a very berutiful lady, so
    men always should be careful not to behave boorish?


    Your assistance will be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: What is " chivalry beats a wolf-whistle "

    Quote Originally Posted by chebu View Post
    Hello, could anyone explain the meaning of
    "chivalry beats a wolf-whistle "
    in the following BBC article "Is it OK to compliment a stranger?".

    BBC News - Is it OK to compliment a stranger?

    "We're not animals and those who overstep the mark can't fall back on the excuse that "boys will be boys". Grown men know right from wrong. That said, what's wrong with paying a woman who has made an effort on her appearance a compliment? It doesn't always mean we're looking to procreate right there on the spot.
    If we are interested in getting to know a lady, the modern man has
    evolved to know chivalry beats a wolf-whistle down the street any day."

    Can I understand this phrase means that even a very polite man like chivalry makes a mistake if he encounters a very berutiful lady, so
    men always should be careful not to behave boorish?


    Your assistance will be greatly appreciated.


    ***** A NON-TEACHER's COMMENT *****


    (1) First, I really like that phrase "We are [not] looking to procreate

    right there on the spot." The English DO have a way with language.

    Since they "invented" the English language, I guess that we should

    not be astonished by how well they use it!!! (I think that many of

    my fellow countrymen would express that idea more crudely.)

    (2) I think that the two key words are "chivalry" & "wolf whistle."

    (a) My dictionary tells me that "chivalry" comes from a Latin word

    meaning "horseman." As you know, hundreds of years ago in Europe

    there were knights (soldiers on horses) who were supposedly very

    honorable men --especially to the ladies.

    (b) "wolf whistle" refers to a loud whistle that a man might make when

    a beautiful lady passes by.

    (3) I think that the point of your paragraph is

    something like:

    When you see a beautiful woman, do not whistle. That whistle could

    be interpreted by the lady as meaning that you want to -- well, you

    know!!! Instead, be chivalrous -- open the door for her, compliment

    her on her new hairdo or dress, etc. Show her that you respect her

    as a person and that you really admire the time and care that she

    spent on looking good.



    (4) I do not know what the situation is in your country, but here in the

    United States, men are now super cautious. If a man compliments a

    woman on her new shoes, for example, she might feel that he is getting

    too personal. She might then report him, thus endangering his job. So

    many American men nowadays play it safe -- they keep their mouths

    shut.

    REMINDER: These are only my opinions.


    Respectfully yours,


    James

  3. #3
    freezeframe is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: What is " chivalry beats a wolf-whistle "

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    The English DO have a way with language.

    Since they "invented" the English language
    I thought the Germans invented English.

  4. #4
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is " chivalry beats a wolf-whistle "

    Here is a short answer:

    Don't whistle (a rather vulgar way to say "wow, what a great looking woman!), but instead act chivalrous (be polite).
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
    chebu's Avatar
    chebu is offline Junior Member
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    Smile Re: What is " chivalry beats a wolf-whistle "

    To TheParsser

    Thank you for your detailed reply!

    In my country most of men are naturally too shy
    to comment to women like "you are pretty" etc.
    So I don't find we have the problem written on
    the article.

  6. #6
    chebu's Avatar
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    Smile Re: What is " chivalry beats a wolf-whistle "

    To Brab_D

    Thank you so much for clear answer!

  7. #7
    chebu's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is " chivalry beats a wolf-whistle "

    Dear James

    I'm so sorry in replying this late.
    Thank you for very detailed answer!

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