Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Is Chivalry Dead?

I hear many women complain that men aren't chivalrous anymore? At first I agreed but upon reflection I’ve concluded chivalry isn’t dead…..just rare. It exists in a different form to the olden days. It seems we still let films and songs dictate how men should behave. We’re all too familiar with the fairy tales of the princess being rescued by her knight in shining armour. He’d kill the dragon, carry the princess, put her on his horse and they'd ride off into the sunset. *cue violins* Have you witnessed this kind of scene during the 20th century? That’s not to say chivalry doesn’t happen it’s just evolved.

After spending a couple of summers in New York it was evident that the men I encountered eat, breathe, and sleep chivalry. I think it’s embedded into their psyche since birth. I'm talking chairs pulled out, car doors being opened, bag’s being carried, the full works. I was truly gobsmacked whilst experiencing such behaviour. Not trying to take anything away from the good old British men of course. I just noticed chivalry on a grander scale.

A problem that men encounter when being chivalrous is the independent women talk. I don’t need no man *swings neck*. Men can be left some what confused with how to treat/approach a lady. Some men will argue that because of women chivalry no longer exists. I used to believe that if a guy is well-mannered regardless of a woman’s characteristics he will do what’s natural to him. This can prove difficult if you’re spouting how you don’t need/ want a man to do certain things yet complain he’s not opening the door for you. Make up your mind! Men know we like the idea of being swept off our feet and for them to initiate the first move but when we insist on doing everything for ourselves it can muddy the waters. Just be honest and stop fronting. This doesn’t lessen your strength or independence.

A guy I dated kindly offered to buy me a gift. My response was that I was fine; he didn't need to waste his money on me. Baring in mind if he felt it was a waste of money he wouldn't have offered. The point is I was trying to take the whole I can do for myself attitude and failed miserably because deep down I wanted the gift. I know it doesn't make any sense. I thought I'd wait until he offered again, and boy did I have a long wait.
I’ve heard men complain that their chivalrous behaviour often goes undetected or gets brushed off. I.e. A male may compliment your outfit/hair and you brush it off or receive it with scepticism. Some men have argued that some women aren’t worthy of graciousness as their attitudes are stank. Men want to feel that women are worthy of such courtesy. Women you can be chivalrous too you know. It’s not a behaviour set in stone just for men, it’s a two way street. I say thank you to any man that opens the door for me. I don’t take it for granted or have an attitude that demands or expects such behaviour.

Another factor is the evolution of Technology. Good old fashioned talking has been replaced with Facebook, Twitter, and Blackberry Messenger. I’ll often Whats App friends to say good morning. Long gone is a phone call to greet somebody a good day. Technology forces us to stay in our own little bubble consumed with our daily routines. I remember in school when we’d exchange love letters with a squashed up flower hand picked from the garden. You don’t need to do that now when you can send an email declaring your love with a romantic song via you tube. Yes the thought is still there but it seems we are no longer original. We don’t reach out to people personally anymore.

I feel we’ve become self centred and selfish compared to former years. It seems that many people are out for themselves. You’ll be lucky if someone says god bless you after you sneeze. These simple gestures are becoming non existent one of the reasons why chivalry is changing. Peoples values have changed and we live in a society when everybody wants things now.

Chivalry isn’t dead it’s just not what it used to be. The fact is men/women are probably doing kind gestures every day you’re just not recognising or appreciating it.

1 comment:

  1. No I don't think chivalry is dead. I do however, feel that there are a number of men who have received so many conflicting messages that they have just taken the easy route and given up. There are some things deemed as chivalrous which actually fall into the category of good old fashioned politeness and those things should never die.


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