Chivalry is Dead – Good Riddance
According to a survey conducted by the dating site Match.com, 3 out of 4 women think chivalry is dead. And I say “good riddance.” This isn’t some feminist rant, shouting “rah, rah women.” It’s time we stopped considering politeness as solely what men do for women, and realize that what we consider chivalrous is simply just being a good human. Lets take a look at an article called 23 Acts of Chivalry That Men Need to Bring Back, and update a few of them, shall we?
Holding open the door for people.
I remember getting in to a bit of an argument with a guy I was briefly dating over who holds the door open. I thought it was silly that it was even an issue, I mean, I always lived by the rule that whomever gets to the door first opens it. I’m not going to stand there longingly stroking the glass like a shelter kitten, waiting for someone to help me open a door. I’m also not demonstrating some sort of control or power by opening a door myself. As a good human, if I get to the door first, I’m holding the door for anyone and everyone else approaching the door; my date, the young couple with a toddler and car seat, the group of teenagers, etc. It’s called “not being a d*ck.” Side note, if someone holds the door open for you, always say “thank you.”
You’re never above a “thank you.”
Sharing your umbrella.
Do I really have to point out that sharing an umbrella with someone while it’s raining is non-gender specific? I will tell you where a stark separation lies, however. Height. I’m 4’10”. Someone is bound to be uncomfortable in an umbrella sharing situation. But, truly, if water is falling from the sky, and you don’t think to share your umbrella with a friend you’re walking with, you need to take a good hard look at the life you’re leading.
Giving your coat to a woman when she’s cold.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t offer your jacket if someone is cold, I’m saying that it shouldn’t be expected behavior. Someone being cold does not become anyone else’s responsibility. Be proactive; check out a weather forecast for the day and plan accordingly. Now, living in the Southwest Michigan, I understand that weather can take a sudden and unexpected turn. A blazing hot afternoon can give way to a surprisingly cool evening. I have a hoodie with me at all times for just such occasions.
Walking women to the door after a date.
As polite as it can be for someone to walk you to your door, it also carries the feeling of “what more do they want out of this date?” which quickly changes polite gesture to uneasy situation. Walk your date to the door, exchange pleasantries, and be on your way. If you’re dropping off a friend or coworker, make sure you see them get in their home safely before you take off. That way if they have a problem, like lost keys for example, you are right there to help.
Complimenting (in a sincere and not-creepy way) and being nice to her friends.
Whaaaaa? Being sincerely nice to people? That’s “chivalry”? This whole time I thought being nice was being human. You like someone’s shirt? Tell them. Someone’s beard game is strong? High-five a dude. It’s so easy to spread a little sunshine, and not because you think it will earn you points with anyone else.
Being kind and respectful to wait staff when dining out together.
Want to separate the social wheat from the chaff? Watch how people treat anyone in the restaurant/retail industry. Being patient, polite, and understanding has NOTHING to do with chivalry. The person waiting on your table is a person and deserves to be treated accordingly. Treating staff as though they are at your personal beck and call is unkind and disrespectful. Their job is to provide service, not to serve you. I’ve always said the world would be a much better place if everyone did a mandatory one-year tour working in a restaurant or department store. There would be no war. Dogs and cats would live together.
There were other things on the list that have no place in chivalry. Things like “leave her cute notes,” and “surprise her with flowers ‘just because’.” Let me be the first to tell you, heart shaped boxes of candy and teddy bears delivered to her work have NOTHING to do with chivalry. That’s romance. You shouldn’t confuse the two.
So, can we agree that calling it chivalry is dead? Can we embrace it, rather, as “not being a douchebag?”