Tonight I went to dinner with some of my friends. As I left the restaurant I witnessed an elderly man open the car door for his wife/girlfriend.
In that instance I immediately thought “awesome that man is be chivalrous”! Then I started thinking about chivalry and its place in today’s society. I asked myself has chivalry really died? The answer I decided on was no not entirely. Gentlemen still practice chivalry.
Of course I do not have any data on attitudes about chivalrous behavior or even if it is still being preformed on a regular basis. It just feels as if our culture is pushing us away from chivalrous attitudes.
From the male perspective, modern American culture does not teach young men to treat women with respect.
Instead pop culture objectifies women as sexual objects rather than people. Music videos have women half dressed and gyrating in sexual ways. Typically these women are dancing around the male singer and he is singing about the questionable things he wants to do to her. While looking at her as if she is a piece of meat.
Often crude language is being used to express his desires for her. Last year’s summer hit subtly perpetuated rape culture. Many argued that Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” was affirming the idea that women in general were their’s for the taking.
Also, from the other end of the spectrum, we have certain groups of women that feel men having a chivalrous attitude is archaic. So women become offended when men do things for them. They do not want their significant other to hold a door open for them or pay for dinner. Most likely they believe that their significant other views them as incapable and therefore they feel the need to prove a point.
Honestly, I believe this to be the minority of women. I think most women like to know they have someone that is willing to show them respect and manners. Chivalry can provide that.
Here are a few behaviors that will help you become more Chivalrous:
1) Always open a door for someone. It will never cease being polite to hold a door for someone else.
2) Always pull her chair out for her. Then you may sit once she is seated.
3) Always meet her at the door. Also, walk her to the door.
4) Stand up when she enters the room.
5) If it is chilly offer her your coat.
Chivalry is not about trying to prove dominance. Its about respect. Communication is key. She may advise that she doesn’t like one of your chivalrous behaviors and that is more than okay. Its better for her to tell you which one she doesn’t like rather than you have never preformed one at all.
Here is a comical YouTube video that discusses chivalry. I found it entertaining.
Chivalry is a way of showing affection, care, and attention. I would much rather have our culture utilize these attitudes and behaviors instead of what is currently being offered. Chivalrous behaviors teach people how to be respectful of others. It brings about more polite outcomes. Overall, chivalry is nothing but manners. It seems as our culture progress it becomes more self centered. Chivalry helps restore ourselves from that self centered attitude.
This in itself is humbling.