This is a series of posts between myself a guest female blogger where we will tackle a certain question or issue. These series of posts are set up to create dialogue between the genders and give balanced information opinions, ideas, and fun to the conversation. You can check out more from the series here.
So myself and Max will tackle the question:
Is Chivalry Dead or Just in a Coma?
As a woman in a big city, every day I am confronted with evidence that men no longer feel compelled to give women any special consideration. Doors are routinely allowed to shut in my face. I am pushed and bumped out of lines at the bar. And a man giving up his seat to me on the streetcar is absolutely out of question.
All the same, chivalry isn’t something I give a lot of thought to on a daily basis. I don’t expect random men I encounter in my daily life to extend any courtesies to me. The world seems to no longer work that way and I think I’m okay with that.
Where chivalry comes into play for me is in my personal relationships. And while “must be chivalrous” appears nowhere on my list of must-haves in a partner, I admit that I do notice (and care) when a man’s behavior is something less than chivalrous. I may be an independent single woman but I still expect a man I’m being intimate with to open doors for me, stand when I get up from the table and help me on and off with my coat. I expect him to walk on the outside of the sidewalk and to see me home at the end of the evening. Even in a casual type of relationship I think less of a man who doesn’t offer me cab fare home after a night of thronxing.
Sadly I can count on half of one hand the number of men I’ve been involved with whose chivalry games were on point. It seems somewhere along the line someone gave men the message that this type of behavior is no longer required. If you ask the modern single man, he’ll tell you that independent women killed chivalry by robbing him of the desire to be chivalrous. He’ll tell you that there are far too many “independent” women out there who have the nerve to get offended when a man opens a door for her. Or to become enraged when a man slips up and doesn’t pull out her chair for her. Or who want to be domineering and controlling one minute and then expect to be treated like a delicate lily the next. To hear men tell it, these women have their heads spinning so much had no choice but to start reserving chivalrous behavior for their ultra-VIP customers only.
My immediate inclination was to agree with this but on closer inspection I’m not sure it holds water. I’m not sure that women have the power to kill a behavior in men unless they let us. Otherwise why wouldn’t we able to stop men from leaving the toilet seat up or vanishing without a trace? No I’m sorry but I don’t buy it. I think if chivalry is in fact dead (and not just laying somewhere gathering its strength while we shuffle around gender roles and figure out who is gonna do what) it’s because men started realizing that they could get by without it. They realized they could sit their happy asses down on public transit without offering their seats to a lady and no one would call them on it. They caught on that no woman is going to stop dating them because they don’t open doors for her. They realized that they could slam a woman for the first time and not call her the next day and still slam again. In short, men got lazy and women let them get away with it.
But back to the original question that my homie asked me. Is chivalry dead or is it in a coma? Is it an antiquated notion whose day has come and gone or a facet of traditional gender roles that needs to be reevaluated? I don’t know but I don’t think it really matters. What matters is that chivalry is scarcer than a 40-year-old virgin these days.
Chivalry used to be a unilateral display of good manners. Men didn’t extend it only to women they felt deserved it and women didn’t use it as a gauge of a man’s character. It was just the done thing. Now how chivalry is displayed and received will tell you something about the person you’re dealing with. So I leave you with a tip. Ladies, when a man does something chivalrous for you, smile and say thank you. Don’t think about the political implications of it. Take it as a testament to his respect for you, not as evidence that he thinks you’re incapable of taking care of yourself. And men, Andy Rutledge said “Opening the door for a lady is not optional, and will never go out of style”. Take that to heart. Being chivalrous is always a win. And it will make getting the drawers that much easier…who doesn’t want that?
From Ashy to Classy
Chivalry is it really in a coma or has the idea of chivalry evolved some? I have always thought when different issues arise in society. I like to step back and think about has the concept evolved from a way we perceived it to be in the past.
First off, lets define what chivalry is. Chivalry is the medieval system, principles, and customs of knighthood. The qualities idealized by knighthood, such as bravery, courtesy, honor, and gallantry toward women.
Basically the idea of chivalry is one attributed to knights and a medieval system. So, even the definition of chivalry needs some updating. I understand the context of a knight saving his fair maiden from a tower with a fire-breathing dragon guarding her. This is the mythical dream that many women and some men believes happens. Love, marriage, and relationships are far from being the knight and lady situation but more intricate.
I think within this question the idea of being chivalrous and a gentleman are synonymous. I am totally in favor of general behavior that is considered chivalrous or gentleman . From opening up the door for a woman to walking on the left side of the street when walking down the street to even helping a woman with their coat. All of those things I would describe as being chivalrous. The problem comes into the idea that many men’s and women’s definition of what is gentlemanly or chivalrous is skewed or unrealistic.
Some women have misconstrued a man trickin for being a gentleman while some men are just so lame or uncouth to understand simple nuisances of women. Then we have women who want independence and only want a man to be a gentleman or chivalrous only when it is convenient but, on the other hand we have men have not learned now to properly conduct themselves around a woman.
Women that say men aren’t as chivalrous per say I will agree with but at the same time I will also say certain things have evolved in our society to the point were certain things maybe not be expected as before in the past. For example, how is a man suppose to may every time you all go out when you both make around 40K a year. That isn’t fair by any means or notion. Some women love to have a dude take them out interested or not are they thinking about these dudes when they say men aren’t chivalrous are is it only the guys you are interested in that you want to lump in this “statistic”. Just because a man is doing “everything” that you may have decided is your “pre-designed” overblown expectations of what chivalry is.
Taking a woman to Ruth Chris’, giving you three bouquets of flowers, and rolling out the red carpet when I just met you is not being chivalrous its trickin plain and simple. The idea of “rolling out the red carpet” for woman to some men has been unappreciated. Some men have been jaded from the traditionalized aspect of chivalry because of the reaction they have gotten from women. How many times have you heard a women say:
“Yeah my sponsor took me out”
“He is a suckah for helping me out and being there for me.”
From the male perspective chivalry lies somewhat in the lap of women and I will tell you why. Like I have said before Nonice runs the world and will make men do damn near anything to get it and have acceptance of it. Chivalry isn’t in a coma it just maybe more of the idea that the certain men YOU kick it aren’t chivalrous. With that being said if women want men to be more chivalrous and gentlemanly they need to make men more accountable for their actions and how they treat them. The men will follow believe me.
Men also have their cross to bear in this situation of unchivalrous nature. Men definitely need to buck up and understand that just because one chick was on some wack stuff doesn’t mean that everyone is the same. This goes along with the same problem with women treating every man like they were the dude that broke their heart in ’99. Men definitely have loss some of their manners and it is some women’s right to take us to task on it. I understand that Snoop and Dr. Dre made the song “B**** Aint Sh** But Hoes and Tricks” but as men we have to have more of the fortitude to understand that every woman doesn’t fall into this category. Men have to realized also that you have to not let the whole Jarrod Effect take over your life and being able to balance your alpha maleness with beta maleness. You can’t just be Captain Save a Ho o any woman then get made because of the results of not doing your due diligence to see what type of woman she was.
The whole debate on chivalry is a constant circle because men will say that women aren’t showing their worthiness to be chivalrous to while women will say that men aren’t being chivalrous enough. At the end of the ball really lies in both sides of the court. I will leave you with these questions:
Women: Are you worthy of being chivalrous to?
Men: Are you being chivalrous enough to warrant the attention of a quality woman?
I just say treat someone like you would really wanted to be treated…