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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