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Is Chivalry Dead? From A Woman's Perspective

November 27, 2013 7 min read

Chivalry... The dating section of Elite Daily published an article a couple months back titled, "Why Chivalry is dead, From a Man's perspective," by John Picciuto. You can read John's article here. The author basically talks about how in the 'hook up culture' we now live in, that chivalry is absolutely dead. He states that,
"The real problem here is that women, for one reason or another, have become complacent and allowed men to get away with adhering to the bare minimum. We no longer have to put in the effort of flowers, chocolates, dates, etc., and if we do, we come off as stage-five clingers. I’m not looking for a girlfriend, nor am I looking for a wife. If I take you out to a nice dinner, it’s because I’m a nice guy, and I am looking forward to spending time with you somewhere other than the bedroom."
He goes on to say,
"Eventually, I feel that women will wise up and start asking for the things that they deserve, the things used to be automatic and expected of men, like holding a door, pulling out a chair, and paying for dinners. Until then, men are going to get away with putting in the bare minimum and receiving what we ultimately want anyway – sex. It’s pretty obvious that women own the cards, and when they start acting like it, they’ll finally start getting dinner from places that don’t deliver."
I read this and thought, 'So it's my/(women's) fault that chivalry is dead?!'  So if your man doesn't hold the door for you, pull out the chair for you, pay for dinners, then as women we are the losers here? WE created the problem (as John insinuates)? Isn't there MORE to being chivalrous than some dude taking me out to dinner because he's a so-called 'nice' guy? So, my husband is a 'douche' (as he calls these guys), if he doesn't hold the door open for me all the time, and pull out my chair at dinner? Before I break this down, I want to get a definition of what 'CHIVALRY' is. Here is the textbook example below:
  • the medieval knightly system with its religious, moral, and social code
  • the combination of qualities expected of an ideal knight, esp. courage, honor, courtesy, justice, and a readiness to help the weak
  • courteous behavior, esp. that of a man toward women.
  Is Chivalry Dead? It's definitely NOT dead, but it has evolved. I posed this question and got quite a bit of a response.Ninety percent came from women, both married and/or involved as well as single women and married men.  For the majority, they say that it's NOT dead, but not what it used to be. One sees it more with certain ethnic backgrounds, while another sees it more with older men rather than younger men. From a few of the men, they did say it's alive, but in not so much the 'old fashioned' ways it used to be. I think the main consensus though identified 'chivalry,' as simply, courteous behavior. BUT, I think more importantly, this courteous behavior has to come from a good place. You have to genuinely WANT to do the right thing, not because you feel you HAVE to. For me, I DO believe chivalry is around and it can be found in all sorts of people and their actions. It's simply HOW we as individuals classify chivalrous behavior, and more importantly WHO we surround ourselves with that will help us wrap our head around this idea of chivalry being alive and kicking.

MEN, I shall start with you.

1346741636679_7785697 Times have changed a lot. Women are very independent. Growing up, I would watch my mother do EVERYTHING. If she wanted something done, she did it herself. I adopted this behavior as well, and it's how I live my life to this day. I am happy I married a man who is handy around the house and keeps his lawn & home in great shape, but when it comes to 'getting sh*t done, I don't' wait for anyone. Partly because I HATE waiting and putting the responsibility in someone else's hand to get it done on their time. I am a very independent woman and have been this way since I can remember. I think many women of today might classify themselves this way. As women we want to feel empowered and know that we have the ability to take care of ourselves. BUT, at the same time, we LOVE being taken care of once in a while! Who wouldnt? Unfortunately, we expect you to inherently KNOW when to do this, to step up and do something courteous, helpful or sincere for us. We don't expectto have to TELL you to do it, we just expect that you will. JUST as we would for you.  Don't be surprised either if we get bent out of shape, when and if you don't do these things we expect of you, simply because we both care about each other, and respect one another. This can be a confusing area. You see a strong, independent, capable, 'know what they want and go after it' type of woman, and you may think, 'does this SAME 'independent' woman want, or more importantly NEED, me to do all this for her? (i.e. pulling the chair out for her at a restaurant, and paying for dinners, sending her flowers or taking her out on dates among other things)? I'm going to go out on a limb here and say for the most part, YES WE DO. BUT, let me explain. It' NOT that we think as a MAN you HAVE to do these things for us, it comes from the idea of showing you care and WANT to because it's what YOU think is right. Whatever the reason may be, it HAS TO come from a place of pure sincerity. To me, just SHOWING 'chivalrous' behavior doesn't mean a damn thing, if your doing it for your own personal gain (i.e. wanting to get in a woman's pants for example.). I'm not saying we as women DEMAND these things, BUT if you are GOING to take us out, buy us flowers, etc., then do it because you WANT to do it, not because someone is telling you too, or you THINK you should, or you think it's going to make you look better to us, even though you don't believe or think you should be doing it. If you are out to just sleep with a woman with no strings attached, then why bother being chivalrous to cover that up? You're just manipulating a woman at that point.  All we as women ask for is treat us with respect, just as you would your own mother.  Gone are the days where all men were the bread winners and women were expected to stay at home and be the homemakers. So, in this respect we don't think you NEED to do these things such as pay for our dinner, because you owe it to us as women, but as women we appreciate the gesture of respect and kindness that you would WANT to do it because you care.   

WOMEN, YOU'RE NEXT

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We as women, need to stop bitching and complaining about the lack of chivalry we see today. Part of the problem is that there are so many people out there that are just a'holes. Men and women alike. Just as much as I've seen WOMEN, NOT MEN, getting up for another pregnant woman on NYC public transportation, I have seen equally the amount of women who don't even utter a simple, 'thank you' when a door is held open for them, or even offer to pay a tab every once in a while, because they assume it's just a man's job to do so.  Even though back in the day, chivalry was a conduct code for men, in this day and age, if you expect a man to be chivalrous JUST BECAUSE he's a man, then you are in for a RUDE awakening. Now, there are exceptions to the rule. There are PLENTY of men who were raised to do ALL THESE THINGS, and will do them no questions asked, because it's their natural nature and desire to BE this way. God bless these men. BUT, I will say, just because a man does these things naturally doesn't mean he's the be all end all for a woman. I have known a few men who are chivalrous, but very jealous and very possessive men. Neither of which I personally would want in my life. What we as women need to focus more on is WHO we let in to our lives. You're not dating or marrying a whole population. Focus on the men in your life and communicate to them how you feel and what you love and want in your relationship. If it bothers you that your man doesn't do this or that for you, then let him know. DON'T assume he already knows and/or will automatically change for you. Men need to be told. Just because we as women feel that they should just "KNOW" these things, doesn't make it real. Also, don't expect to completely CHANGE a man. If men feel that they are being TOLD what to do and have NO CHOICE, then they will resent it. Believe me, you don't want to go there. Instead, since it IS about you, MAKE It about you. You don't tell him, "You NEED to start doing this, or that for me," you need to say, "I feel this way, when you do this or that, and I would feel so much better if you did this, etc etc." and explain the WHY of it too.   Listen, we are all in this together. We should all respect one another and understand we can't change people as a whole. You can however demand a standard of behavior for the people you do allow into your life, and surround yourself with the types of people who have the same morals and values as yourself. We need to stop complaining about men and  women who have crappy morals and understand it's not our job to 'fix' them. If there are men in your life that you wish did 'this' or 'that' for you then COMMUNICATE that to them. If they care about you, then they will respond. It's not so important that they didn't come to you KNOWING what to do or not to do to make you happy, it's more important that they now understand the WHY and will want to be that for you, and are willing to change. This goes for women too. It goes both ways.  

"I learned the hard way that I can't always count on others to respect my feelings, even when I respect theirs. Being a good person to others will not always result in them returning that goodness back to you. You can only control the things you do and allow your actions and words to speak volumes about the type of person YOU are."

     

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