The Death of Chivalry: Giving Up Your Seat For a Woman

Recently I saw a discussion about an article on chivalry, in which the general consensus seemed to be that chivalry was dead. They argued that not enough men still acted chivalrous, and that anyone who didn’t do things such as giving up their seat for a woman or pulling back her chair gave men everywhere a bad name. But is chivalry truly something to strive for, or is there a different side to it?

It seems clear that these men were indeed right that chivalry as defined in the article is becoming more and more rare: to me, as someone from a younger generation, it actually came as a complete surprise that men are “supposed” to give up their seat for a girl/woman. Sure, I knew that it was expected to do so for the elderly, but for women in general? I never knew that. In fact, I saw it as a practice that was done decades ago but that by now had long been abandoned.

And perhaps that’s actually the case, because the world has changed. Sure, we still live in a patriarchy, but unlike a few decades ago, we are now fully aware of it and we have begun to see it as a bad thing. We have begun to think that women should be equal, and perhaps that means that chivalry truly has reached its point of no return. That as the older generations die, the young will forget it ever existed.

But is that a bad thing? Perhaps. It depends on the point of view. To me, it seems ridiculous to give up your seat for a woman, because it implies that she somehow needs it more, that she is weaker, but at the same time, holding open the door for a woman seems perfectly fine. Why? Because it’s just good manner to do so.

In the end, chivalry isn’t truly dead, but over the next few decades, it will change. The current kind of chivalry advocated in these articles works to strengthen the patriarchy, but with only some slight and natural changes, it can start to do the exact opposite. After all, have a look at some of the things mentioned: opening doors for her, which is just perfectly polite, regardless of gender. Women can do that too, and in fact, they do all the time. Giving compliments? Perfect! I’m a guy, but I don’t mind getting some of those! And giving up your seat for someone who is less mobile than you are? Absolutely wonderful, just as long as you do it for the right reasons (and are absolutely sure that this person agrees that he/she is old so that you don’t cause any mid-life crises!).

Ultimately, it might be a good thing that there are movements that try to promote chivalry, just as long as we change the norms. We need to be aware of the patriarchy and let go of the idea that chivalry is only related to becoming “the perfect gentleman.” Chivalry should become something universal, unrelated to gender, that simply represents good manners and that can make this world a better place, one small gesture at a time. If that is done, it could easily become part of modern life once again.

~

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See you next Monday!

More on this topic from Dean Richards:

Feminism is Losing its Touch

Our Purpose: A Simple and Concrete Explanation of the Meaning of Life

White Students Accuse Black Teacher of Racism: Lies, Bias and Bad Media

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About Dean Richards

A young student with a passion for writing. Aspiring author and human rights activist, but I write about anything. "If you don't like how things are, change it! You're not a tree!" New blog post every Monday!
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5 Responses to The Death of Chivalry: Giving Up Your Seat For a Woman

  1. Anonymous says:

    To put it simply, women want equality, except when they don’t.

    • I understand what you’re getting at, but I don’t really agree. It is important to remember that feminism or women in general are not represented by one person. Yes, some women might find equality more important than others, so some will want equal treatment at all times and some might care so little that they’ll say “I do want men to get up for me because it’s convenient.” But that doesn’t mean that women are being hypocritical in their striving towards equality. They’re just different people.

      But on the whole, equality is something to strive for, and that means full equality in every way. Not the 50/50 in every job kind of equality, but things like marriage proposals (which I’m guessing is one of the things you’re getting at) might just become more 50/50 in the future.

      So yes, women want equality except when they don’t, but that last part is just a sacrifice that will have to be made for the greater good of equality.

  2. Nadia says:

    I couldn’t agree more with the general notion of your article. 🙂 ‘Chivalry’, not as it’s depicted in that article, but in its modern state should be universal. I don’t actually believe that ‘Chivalry’ is the right word to describe what’s dying in this world…

    Although this might be an entirely different topic, or not, you choose, what’s slowly lessening is courteous behaviour in both men and women. I personally think that we should get rid of the word ‘Chivalry’ and replace it with ‘Courtesy’. As ‘Chivalry’ solely fixates on men’s behaviour towards women and ‘Courtesy’ is not tied to gender at all.

    I enjoyed this week’s post. Well-written and interesting (there ya go, a few compliments to break the ice :p) !

  3. I agree with Nadia a resurgence of courtesy would certainly be welcome in a world where people think it’s totally reasonable to completely ignore one another and their needs. General manners are always nice to see as well.
    However, I don’t think there is a need to throw out all of chivalry in the name of sexual equality. Men and women are not the same and it’s foolish to pretend they are. Recognizing the difference between the sexes is not a problem, assuming that these differences make you unequal in your rights, capacities, etc. is the problem.
    I guess I want to say, ‘be careful what you let go away. Sometimes it’s the little things that make the world a nice place to live.’

  4. wannabemgtow says:

    I used to do these types of things for women all the time. I was regarded in junior high and high school as “the ultimate gentleman”. What did it get me? BROKEN HEARTED, CHEATED ON AND LEFT FOR DEAD. Instead of “the bad boy” that all the hot girls wanted to date, I became “the guy that’s like my brother” and couldnt pay for a blowjob, much less a date. No, Im not kidding. Today’s women do not see this as “courtesy” or anything of the sort. They see it as weakness. My own mother saw me crying over another girl that shafted me one day and said “son, forget everything Ive ever taught you about girls. They are dogs and wanted to be treated like dogs. Dont let yourself get hurt anymore, my heart can’t handle it”. That was the day I quit being a gentleman and I’ve never looked back.

    I wouldn’t recommend any man show a woman any sign of weakness these days because they will exploit it. They are programmed from birth to do so. Men should not date or marry either until the definition of “equality” the courts and our society have changes back to it’s actual meaning. Instead of treating men like walking ATM machines, we should be treated like human beings and we shouldn’t let up the strike until the bra-burning feminazi union breaks. #MGTOW

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