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Is Chivalry Dead?
By Piano_on_Pointemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Mar 02, 2010 07:59 PM

We had this debate in Civics today and it was kind of interesting.

What are your views on men acting chivalrous nowadays?
Do you still feel that it's necessary, etc.

Image hotlink - 'http://www.breakupgirl.net/essays/images/chivalry.gif'

In class most of the girls said that they think it's respectful and the guy should open the door for a girl often and pay for the meal sometimes, but also give the girls a bit of independence.
The others said they enjoy being spoilt and if a guy is willing to do that, why not?

The guys on the other hand said that they shouldn't have to waste all their money on their girlfriends and go out of their way to open a door when the girls are plenty capable of doing it themselves. (Surprised they don't have girlfriends?) One girl agreed (she's naturally angry and hates everyone).


I find chivalry fascinating in a sense.
I definitely want my man to perform chivalrousness sometimes. It is respectful and it's sweet, usually.
I love reading older literature, such as Jane Austen, because it's so romantic!

36 Replies to Is Chivalry Dead?

re: Is Chivalry Dead?
By panicmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Mar 02, 2010 08:47 PM
Good question. And I can totally relate.

I was raised as a good southern boy who always opens doors for ladies, and I always let women have the right-of-way. But this is a new era. Women usually don't mind having the door held open for them, but they also don't want to stay in the kitchen and crank out tons of babies. We are all confused. And we all need to work it out together - through open dialogue.

So is chivalry dead? If you want it to be dead, then you should find a guy who believes in equality between the sexes - they're out there.

If you're a woman who believes in chivalry, then find a guy who believes in it too.

In short, no one should judge you for the decisions you make about your own family structure. Find out what works for your own family and screw everyone who doesn't like it.
re: Is Chivalry Dead?
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Mar 02, 2010 09:28 PM
I agree 100% with Panic. Chivalry was very common in times where women were considered the weaker, more submissive sex. It was almost a way to take care of women, by pulling out chairs, opening doors, etc. However, with men and women being more or less equal, it confuses everyone.

I grew up in a pretty liberal yet southern family, which is a bit of a contradiction. My mom, sister and I are just as smart as my dad and brother, and we all view each other as equals. However, the southernness came in because my dad and brother have always held doors, pulled out chairs, paid for whatever we're doing, etc. As a result though, my sister and I do the same. I always make a point to hold doors open for other people, men OR women. The other day at the post office, I held open the door for a cute old man and he laughed at me and said "honey, I think I'm the one who is supposed to be holding it for you!" and he held it for me so that I could get my big box through the door.

Anyhow, "chivalrous" behavior is pretty much the expected norm in my family, so it was really hard for me when my (now ex) boyfriend didn't do any of it. No door holding, no paying for things, no pulling out chairs. To me, it's not an issue of feminism, but an issue of manners for both men AND women.
re: Is Chivalry Dead?
By webstArmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Mar 02, 2010 09:30 PM
Edited by webstAr (54294) on 2010-03-02 21:34:23
Chivalry does NOT mean a loss of independence, and certainly doesn't mean that there's an inequality between two people. Or at least it shouldn't. Men don't open doors for women because they think that women can't, they do it because it's polite. Chivalry is also not "spoiling" women by spending a ton of money on them. It's about politeness, consideration and respect.

I've dated the types of guys who hold doors open for me, help me with my coat when we're heading out, open my side of the car before theirs, always pour my wine first, help me navigate a puddle when I'm in heels, give up their seat if I'm standing, and even walk on the edge of the side walk closest to the street (which is a definite rarity, I know.)

So no, it is not dead. :D

Edit: You know, I kind of feel bad for guys. It's a bit of a catch 22, isn't it? Some guys act this way, and women get their panties in a bunch because they assume that he thinks that they are weak and fragile and need to be taken care of. Other guys don't, and women get all huffy. While we may not be a "weaker" sex, we sure are difficult to figure out sometimes :P

Also, I agree with Kekoa, that a lot of the basic ideas apply to both men and women. Again, it's about being polite.
re: Is Chivalry Dead? (karma: 1)
By pondflyPremium member
On Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:30 PM
Sorry, I was raised to do all the above. Actually I'm not sorry, it's called being polite.
re: Is Chivalry Dead? (karma: 1)
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:13 PM
Edited by d4j (104724) on 2010-03-02 23:16:56 clarification...
Edited by d4j (104724) on 2010-03-02 23:25:58 verb fix...
It's certainly not dead in the d4j household! :) There's no reason that you can't be both a chivalrous, polite gentleman and also a great champion of women, their rights and abilities. In fact, to me they go hand in hand. To treat a woman with extra honor and consideration speaks to that man's view of her worth.

My husband is a chivalrous man. How chivalrous is he? Just like in the 'days of yore', he will take my hand and bring it up to his lips and kiss the back of it. He likes to do that a lot and he does it in PUBLIC too! Goodness, after thirty years it still makes me swooooooon....

He likes women as people and treats them as equals. But he also always opens door for all women, and it's always 'ladies first' with him. I will say that a few things have given way over the years, like he longer pulls out my chair for me anymore when we are at a restaurant, or helps me on with my coat or walks around the car and opens the door for me so I can get out or stands up at the table if I stand up. I don't need him to do those things, I'd feel helpless. But he used to do all of them when we first met and I loved it.

What also makes him chivalrous is that he is also my biggest supporter and cheerleader. If I wanted to run for President he would help me do so. Right now I have been starting my little dance teaching business and he has been telling people all over town to come to my classes, he drives all over the area hanging up posters for me. He believes I can do anything. He has told me that one of the reasons he decided he wanted to marry me was because I was intelligent and capable. Even though I stayed home to raise and homeschool our kid, it wasn't something he made me do (I wouldn't have let any man 'make' me do anything anyway).

My man is my hero, my protector, my knight in shining armor. And I'm his Queen. Basically we put each other up on pedestals because we feel like we are each the one person in this world designated to treat the other with extra attention, honor and respect. Chivalry makes me feel incredibly special, loved and cared for. Long live chivalry! :)
re: Is Chivalry Dead? (karma: 1)
By Anon1234567890member has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Mar 03, 2010 02:59 AM
I think a lot of men have been scared out of being chivalrous. I think it's lovely to have a door opened for me and I do it for other people - but I've seen 'nuff women be very rude towards men that open doors for them. "OMG do you think I'm too WEAK to do it myself? I can do anything a man can do!", and then they generally get too dolphin-like to be heard by my ears. Either that or they just start barking. Bloody Feminists.
re: Is Chivalry Dead?
By glitterfairyPremium member
On Wed Mar 03, 2010 03:59 AM
I think it's lovely when men are chivalrous. :) Now, when I say 'chivalrous' I don't mean general politeness (I expect that from everyone, including myself) but going-out-of-the-way to treat females with courtesy, like 'ladies first' into the lift and that sort of thing. I don't see this all the time, but think it's really sweet when I do see it. And I'm saddened by women who take offense at it (why? Someone's doing something nice for you! Shut up and just say thank you!)

Back to the general politeness thing though - I like it when most guys offer to carry something heavy for me, because quite honestly they're far better equipped to deal with it than I am. Conversely, if they are the one carrying a heavy load, I as a female will often ask if they need to share a bit of the load, or I'll at least hold a door open so they can go through more easily. So it is a bit of a two-way street.

The same holds true for the elderly though, I think. It's about doing small things that make peoples life a lot easier, like letting the handicapped woman in a wheelchair have right of way on the ramp (whether you're male or female).
re: Is Chivalry Dead?
By GypsieFreemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Mar 03, 2010 04:14 AM
Chivalry is dead...... And women killed it ;) :P
re: Is Chivalry Dead?
By Brittanymember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Mar 03, 2010 07:40 AM
Chivalry is alive and well in the South. A good percentage of the time when I'm on campus, if a guy is in front of me about to walk through a building he will open the door for me and go in after me. Heck, I've even had a guy practically run behind me to grab the door before I could. Love when a guy opens my car door for me...guys always let girls out of the elevator first, etc.

It's not about spoiling a girl nor is it about infringing on her independence. I'm one of those, "I don't need a guy, I'm independent, hear me roar" kinda girls but man, that doesn't mean it's not nice for a guy to hold open the door for me or pull my chair out before I sit down.

One thing I like about the south is the chivalry that is still pretty common.
re: Is Chivalry Dead?
By Helenmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Mar 03, 2010 09:20 AM
My husband and father are very chivalrous. Sometimes I dont realise how much.

Gordon always walks on the side of the pavement closest to the road. My dad ALWAYS helps me out of the car/taxi etc.

A few weeks ago Gordon told he wasn't sleeping well, why? Because I wasn't and he satyed awake with me.

I'm the major bread winner in our home but Gordon still beleives in being the perfect gentleman (and also polite) many of my friend compliment Gordon on his behaviour.

Saying that as a woman I was always brought up to hold doors etc for men or women.

Helen
re: Is Chivalry Dead?
By Lauretta
On Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:21 AM
Hmm, i'm not sure really. Some of the things mentioned here seem to me a bit unnecessary, so if my boyfriend started doing them i'd feel very uncomfortable and it would defeat the purpose. I guess it would just feel like he was spending all of his time watching out for the next thing he had to do for me, and i'd probably want to tell him to calm down and relax a bit. The way I see it, I have my ways of looking after my boyfriend and showing him that I appreciate him, and he has his ways. I don't think it's really relevant how things were done decades ago, at least not to my relationship.
re: Is Chivalry Dead?
By Danamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:32 AM
Honestly? It's not something I even think about. If you're in front of someone, you should hold the door open for them no matter your gender or theirs... it's just polite. I can pull out my own chair, and I would only feel comfortable having my meals paid for if I paid for theirs sometimes too or if they made a significantly larger amount of money than I did. My stance on this might come from the fact that I'm a pretty fiercely independent person - which also contributes to my lack of boyfriend, haha, I'm just not ready to give that up - so who knows, it might change someday...
re: Is Chivalry Dead?
By GingerPremium member
On Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:48 AM
Chivalry isn't dead so long as my boyfriend is alive, ha! He opens doors for me, insists on carrying the heavy grocery bags home, walks on the side closest to the street, pulls out my chair, carries my umbrella for me all day if it's not raining but looks like it might (we're in England so that is a lot of days), and even picks me up and carries me over puddles sometimes.

Last summer we were at my cottage on the ocean and went for a walk down the beach, and when we were coming back the other way the tide had come in a lot and there was a channel that was too deep for me to cross. So my boyfriend took off his shoes, gave them to me to hold, picked me up in his arms and carried me across in his bare feet. There was a group of people having a campfire a short distance away, and one of the guys said as we walked by, "Dude, stop it, you're making the rest of the men in the world look bad!"

I am also a fiercely independent person who likes to prove that I can do it all myself. I too am generally polite to others, holding the door, etc, but my boyfriend goes a step beyond general everyday politeness with me. I thought I'd get tired of it...but no signs of that so far! He enjoys making me feel special, and I certainly don't object to being treated like a princess every now and then. If it makes him feel good to do it, I'm not going to tell him to stop because I'm perfectly capable of pulling out my own chair.
re: Is Chivalry Dead?
By MarlaSingermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:07 AM
Edited by Jonelle (199601) on 2010-03-03 11:09:12
Edited by Jonelle (199601) on 2010-03-03 11:19:44
Maybe it is dead, because I honestly don't even think about it most of the time. What I mean is that if a man were to stand back and let me enter an elevator before him, for example, I most likely wouldn't even think of the fact that he was doing because I'm a woman. I would just think he was being polite. I think it's incredibly rude for anyone to not hold the door for the person behind them, male or female. I do let my boyfriend carry things for me, but that's because he weighs twice as much as me and has huge muscles. :)

I guess there are certain things that I think people should do for each other, male or female, because it's polite and it's nice, but I can't think of too many things that I think men should specifically do for women. However, that doesn't mean that I would ever think of complaining if a man wanted to help me with my coat or pull out my chair. Pitching a fit about that kind of thing is a type of rudeness in and of itself, in my opinion. The most I would ever say is, "Oh, thank you, but I've got it."
re: Is Chivalry Dead?
By Angelinamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:24 AM
I agree with Dana - I think its just a matter of being polite and respectful of everyone. One example that comes up in my life quite a lot is people offering a seat on the train. I'm often surprised (pleasantly!) at how many men are willing to say "would you like to sit?" if a seat becomes available before they just grab it for themselves. I almost never take the seat offered, but I really appreciate being asked.

My boyfriend is chivalrous in some ways - like, he carries the heaviest bags back from the supermarket, he lets me take the one free seat on the train, but... I don't know, its not like he goes out of his way to do it. He's just polite!
re: Is Chivalry Dead?
By MaxwellPremium member
On Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:59 AM
No, but, at the risk of being redundant, we should kill it in favor of gender-free, universal politeness. Hold a door because it is a nice thing to do, not because I'm a girl and you're a guy.
re: Is Chivalry Dead?
By webstArmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:07 PM
One example that comes up in my life quite a lot is people offering a seat on the train. I'm often surprised (pleasantly!) at how many men are willing to say "would you like to sit?" if a seat becomes available before they just grab it for themselves.


Just a little side note that I thought was pretty fantastic.. Last summer I worked at an international kids camp. There was one day where we were on a public bus with the kids for the day. We all had seats, but at one stop an older woman got on the bus and about 4 or 5 of the boys closest to the doors jumped up to offer their seats. Seeing 15/16 year old boys being that polite warmed my heart.
re: Is Chivalry Dead?
By Panda_Bear
On Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:21 PM
I think it's just common curtsy male of female every one needs to be polite and respectful of every one. In highschool several of my guy friends worked with me on student council and would always volenteer to do the most physically demanding parts of the set up and clean up of events. as well as one of my guy friends chose to carry both my bag as well as his up to the cabins at camp. we were at camp for 3 weeks and neither bag was small or light. His lack of manners was one of my biggest problems with my ex-boyfriend. I think that everyone should use proper manners at all times. It is not just males that need to be respectful and spoiling girls. it's the age old " do onto othere as you would have others do on to you"
re: Is Chivalry Dead?
By DancinDiva2005member has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:22 PM
^Speaking of the whole offering up seats thing, last summer when I was in Italy, we would take public transit fairly often and when we (the American students) would offer up our seats to the older ladies on the bus (typically carrying bags or even not..) and they looked confused. We weren't sure if the seat thing was a cultural thing or not, but it never failed that they would be confused as to why we we're giving up our seats for them.

Anyone else heard of anything like that?


And as for chivalry being dead...Um, I hope not.
I'm like Brittany in the fact that I think I can hold my own, and I'm a pretty independent person, but I still think it's nice when someone holds the door for me, or if a guy were to pull out my chair for me or any of that.

Storytime: I was on campus the other day going in a building, and it's typical that people will just hold the door open for the person behind them while they're walking through (you hold it open with one hand as you're walking through yourself). But the other day, I had a guy actually stop and step out of the way to pull the door open and let me through first. :D It pretty much made my day, ha. I love stuff like that.
I do think it's fading more these days partially because of some girls attitudes towards it (as mentioned above) and also because of the whole "macho" man attitude that seems to be coming into play. (Ie: "This is my woman!")
re: Is Chivalry Dead?
By Meganmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:56 PM
Everyone should be polite, period. Standards of social behaviour for men should not be different than standards of social behaviour for women.
re: Is Chivalry Dead?
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Mar 03, 2010 01:10 PM
^Standards of behavior should never be different? Just wondering... So you and a man both approach a door at the same time. You would think nothing of stepping ahead, opening and holding the door for him while passes through? I do that for old ladies and they are always appreciative, but I would never try that with a man because he would look at me like I was insane and he would also take it as an insult because he would have thought that I was trying to say in a non-verbal way that he should have opened it for ME.

One time at the grocery story I saw a very old man struggling to lift a half-gallon of milk out of the case. I watched him attempt it a number of times and then, when I thought he just wasn't going to be able to do it, walk over to him and said, "Here, let me help you, sir." His response? He SLAPPED my hand and said, "Get away.". I was shocked at first but then I thought about it and came to the conclusion that while I thought I was being respectful of an elder, he was embarrassed. And I guess that, being from the 'greatest generation', it was a reminder that he was old and it must have been pretty emasculating for him. I felt bad because I had just wanted to help out and instead I bummed him out.

So I understand in theory the idea of completely genderless manners and gestures, just not sure it works in real life.
re: Is Chivalry Dead?
By Meganmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Mar 03, 2010 01:24 PM
^On my university campus, the place where I go through the most doors, it's exactly as you described. Whoever gets there first holds the door open, male or female. I certainly don't have a problem with it. If a man can open a door for me to be polite, why can't I do the same? I have never seen a man get upset over something like that.

I pushed a man's car out of the snow a few weeks ago as I was walking home from school. He needed help, his shoes were Prada, and it made more sense for me to push him out of the wet snow in my jeans and Converse than him wreck his nice suit while I pressed the gas. He was appreciative and extremely polite.

If a man gets offended by something like that, I kind of think that's rude, honestly. I would never turn down a polite offer of a door opened or a heavy bag carried, but I expect to be able to do the same. When I pick up a male friend at the airport, I offer to help with his bags, and he will generally politely accept if he does need a hand. If I buy something heavy and a male shopper offers help taking it to my car, I'll accept too. I think genderless politeness IS possible and is happening.
re: Is Chivalry Dead?
By MarlaSingermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Mar 03, 2010 01:37 PM
Oh my god, if anyone ever SLAPPED MY HAND and got snippy with me for trying to help them, I would be LIVID. I don't care how embarrassed you are or how emasculated you feel, you need to be able to get over yourself enough to realize when someone has nothing but good intentions.

I agree with Megan. Basically I just think we should all care enough about each other as fellow human beings to do whatever we can to help each other out, regardless of gender.
re: Is Chivalry Dead?
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Mar 03, 2010 02:03 PM
Lol, I'm not saying that I would go out of my way NOT to help someone just because they were male.

Maybe this is a generational thing. I don't see anything wrong with making distinctions between the genders. It doesn't make one less than the other.

Oh and yea, I was pretty shocked and mad when the guy slapped my hand. But I tried to cut the old codger some slack.

:)
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