Is Chivalry Dead Or Do Women Fail To Recognize It?

April 24, 2014  |  

Now I like openin’ doors
Pickin’ up (Yeah) her hanky (Yeah) off the floor
Treat her like a lady (Treat her like lady)
Light her cigarette if she smokes
Even (Help her with her coat), oh, whoa
Treat her like a lady (Treat her like lady)…

These are a few lyrics from the classic song, “Treat Her Like A Lady,” by the Temptations, a group of men who deemed it necessary to dedicate a song solely to the art of chivalry. In today’s society, chivalry is a word some haven’t heard of, and unfortunately, it is often something we don’t get to see anymore. Why is that, you ask? Because there are a number of people who have not been taught what it means  as well as what it entails, and what is unlearned cannot be put into practice.

Chivalry is the expression of courtesy and generosity marked with high-minded consideration…especially toward women. The use of this technique is often executed when a man and woman are on a date, and the man displays simple courteous acts such as opening the door and holding it while his date walks in, pulling out her chair and pushing it in once she has sat down, helping her with her coat, standing when she excuses herself from the table, or picking up the tab for dinner and leaving the tip. They don’t all have to be done on the same date, but you catch my drift. Now I know these things may sound simple, but they are classic examples of what men did, and what some still do while in the company of the opposite sex.

So I ask, is chivalry dead, or do some women fail to recognize and appreciate it? Not only that, but are women more chivalrous toward men, than men are to women? It is my belief that the art of chivalry has not departed, but that many men don’t apply it because a lot of women have not set a standard for themselves to expect it. Why is that? Because the actions and mentality of the independent woman are often showcased more than some of the more submissive qualities of yesteryear, and that can turn a man away from chivalry, and lead a woman into taking on the role of a man in the game of dating. How you ask? Let’s think about it: Nowadays there are more women approaching men and asking them out on dates, picking them up and even paying for the evening, and this is without being in a monogamous relationship. And the only form of chivalry a man is given the chance to display is opening the door for her!

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not at all inappropriate to do this, but at what point is the line drawn between being the woman who receives chivalry or the one who gives it? More often than not, many women don’t realize that they are keeping a man from expressing the noble characteristics of being a true gentleman, because most women have become so used to non-chivalrous guys that they forget the fact that good, kind, and honorable men still exist and they actually enjoy treating a woman like a lady. However, it’s at the woman’s discretion to figure out whether or not she will recognize and welcome such treatment. Not only that, but it’s a man’s duty to let a woman know that he is a gentleman, and not a simple jerk who’s only after one thing.

Ladies, the next time you’re on a date, no matter who initiated it, take a quick inventory of your actions to see if you are the woman who recognizes and appreciates chivalry or if you have decided not to make it a requirement. Ask yourself these quick questions: Do I expect him to open all doors for me? Am I paying the check and leaving the tip? Are my mannerisms that of a lady worthy of chivalrous treatment, or am I acting like one of his boys? And last but definitely not least, am I showing appreciation of his gentleman-like behavior by simply saying thank you, even when he simply holds the door for me? While taking your short quiz, also be observant of your date’s actions to see if he is a man with upstanding character when it comes to women, because that’s what will separate him from the average new age dater and will further let you know if you are conscious of the way a lady should be treated.

While many rules of dating have changed, the basics of etiquette in the game should still apply for both men and women. Chivalry is an art that has not faded completely, but it is up to men and women to continue its legacy and show its value.

Liz Lampkin is the Author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin

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