The Network of enlightened Women (NeW) is hosting a national gentlemen’s showcase, a competition meant to recognize college men who exemplify chivalry in an age that disdains the traditional roles of men and women. NeW asked NAS, “What is a gentleman?” and it got us thinking.
Here at the National Association of Scholars, the civilization we are working to revive is inspired by our vision for institutions of higher education. We seek to foster reasoned scholarship and civil debate in American colleges and universities. But higher education requires higher behavior from the people who animate it. It takes a certain kind of person to actually embody reason and civility so that scholarship will be accurate and debate will be open. In that sense, we are working not just to reform the university, but to reform the character of the next generation. We want to see the academy produce gentlemen and gentlewomen scholars. As for a gentleman, here’s our endeavor at defining him:
A gentleman is a civil and courteous man of honor who has the humility to listen to others. He is a man of character; he acts honestly even when no one is watching. He treats women with dignity and kindness. He possesses manly courage and intelligent curiosity, and he appreciates noble ideas. A gentleman is not self-centered and does not shift blame but accepts defeat with grace. He is disciplined and exercises good judgment.
A gentleman always champions the truth.