Did Women Kill Chivalry?

June 25, 2010  |  

Think about all the men in your life. Just the other day I was telling someone how men are always getting flak for not being chivalrous, but all the men I know are. Thinking deeper I didn’t know if they were chivalrous because they were raised to be or because I expected it from them. Either way, I get my door opened.

While running errands the other day, I noticed something…

Woman at the bank is about to walk through the clear glass door. Man approaches on the other side of the door. He spots her coming, grabs the handle and holds door open for her. She walks through. She also simultaneously acts like he doesn’t exist.
Chivalrous Man: You’re Welcome!
Flighty woman: (3 seconds after walking through) Oh, thank you..
Man formally known as Chivalrous: See, that’s why we don’t hold doors for them! Should have let the door hit her.

Now imagine that this happens two to three times a day to a man, for years. Is he going to keep opening doors or let them swing?

As much as we want men to open doors, give us seats on the subway and walk on the open end of the sidewalk, how can we expect to get these courtesies if we don’t acknowledge them?

My school of thought teaches that one should always be kind and give their best, even if no one’s looking. But maybe years and years of being unappreciated have genetically eradicated the chivalry gene in men. Or maybe, just maybe, no one’s teaching them to act right because we don’t act right. (SIDE NOTE: Women can be chivalrous too) I hate to seem like I’m women bashing, but if we were more kind, receptive and appreciative things may be different.

I heard that chivalry was dead, but I think it’s just got a bad flu. – Meg Ryan

How is chivalry kept alive? It’s kept alive like any other societal trend. We need to acknowledge it, give positive reinforcement, teach our young men to do it, teach our young women to expect it and teach everyone to appreciate it.

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  • Northern Cali Honey

    It would be nice to meet more gentlemen out there, that's for sure. Everytime a man opens my door, I gladly say Thank you. If someone is nice to you, you are nice to them (simple as that). I like to be treated like a lady, chivalry is all about being respectful and waiting on a lady. We need to BRING THIS SHH back…so LADIES next time a man opens a door for you, JUST walk in and SAY thank you. It won't kill you and more men may start doing it more if its APPRECIATED. You can be a strong woman and be respected to you know.

  • Faron M.

    My dad was truck driver and was rarely around to teach me the ways of chivalry. I had no day to day father figure. So some would say I was suppose to fall off by the waste side and not know a thing about how to teach a woman and being a gentleman.

    But by luck, I had a mother that raised on all the little things and ways of having chivalry in this new age. I have opened a many a door for women I did not even know and not one piece of appreciation was returned. But I never got mad. Why?

    I did not know her. So therefore I felt I was not doing it for her acknowledgment. I was doing it because it was the right thing to do. I am going to open her door. If she likes it or not. I don't care.

    My wife likes her door opened too and that is enough appreciation I need.

  • Elle

    Women did kill it for the most part.

    I see the "I can do it myself"-scenes all the time. Or those which where described in the article. I remember seeing a guy hold the door open as woman after woman would enter/exit and he never really got a chance to enter. They all – ALL – ignored him, didn't thank him, didn't even look at him to acknowledge his existence. Horrible! When I got to the door, I smiled at him, thanked him and said something about him not ever getting through the door if he keeps holding it for all of the women. We chatted a bit and I told him that he should never let the lack of appreciation kill his inner gentleman.

    It's not so much chivalry that's dead. It is common courtesy which is out of window many times. People are very selfish these days and couldn't care less about how to make life a little nicer and easier for others.

  • Amber

    Many times I ignore men because I don't want them hitting on me or obviously checking me out. I get tired of that so I tend to say a very qucik thank you and keep it moving.

  • minerva

    my husband always attempt to open doors( if its pouring down, i tell him not; too hot, i suggest he gets in first to open the windows & crank up the a.c.)….

    my sons open doors for their wives &

    other women….

    most men i run into, also open doors- and i immediately thank them!

    i love & appreciate the kindness.