We live in a day and age in which chivalry has become an ancient word. It’s old fashioned. Our kids don’t know what it means. And, quite frankly, most of us have forgotten what it means.
Chivalry is defined as “ the quality of the ideal knight,” or nowadays, the ideal gentleman. See? Even the definition is dated! But chivalry goes deeper than a definition. Chivalry is deep-rooted in how we find mates and what a woman was once supposed to look for in a man. Some chivalrous standards that are becoming extinct:
-A man holding a door open for a woman, letting her through first.
-A man opening the car door for a woman while entering and exiting the car.
-A man walking on the street-side of a sidewalk and letting the woman walk on the inside of the sidewalk.
-A man asking a woman on a date and arranging all the details.
-A man offering a woman his jacket when she is cold.
-A man standing up when a woman leaves the table.
These are just a few examples of behaviors that used to be a common standard for men. Now, when a woman sees any of these actions, she’s skeptical. It seems like it can’t be real or authentic. So why is chivalry dead and what’s happened to it?
The problem is two-fold. Men aren’t taught to treat women this way anymore just as much as women are killing chivalry when it appears. Women now want to prove their power so much that they shut down every behavior from a man that they see as something they could do themselves. By doing so, we’ve emasculated men to the point of their not wanting to try anymore. Why bother when women are going to shut it down anyway?
We have to get back to reminding our sons of being gentlemen and actually teaching our daughters to accept the generosity of it. A man should cater to a woman and be polite and respectful of her, and a woman should be able to accept that generosity with appreciation and grace. Men can lose the lazy act as much as women can lose the “I am woman, hear me roar!” act. If you are a secure, strong woman, you don’t need to shout it. You don’t have to push through doors—they will be opened for you. And ladies, it’s our duty to accept when a man has been polite enough to do so.