“Chivalry is dead!”
How many times has this been heard coming out of a female recently hurt by male actions, the older generations complaining about the newer, or even from a jerk with a smirk on his face? Growing up in this modern society that’s determined to be hypocritically equal, I’ve heard that particular phrase more times than Mr. Darcy stands when a woman enters the room.
Interestingly enough, I did some research and found that most of the term “chivalry” comes from battle etiquette in the medieval ages; but to all intents and purposes, nowadays chivalry means something entirely different. Instead of having etiquette on the battlefield, it’s having etiquette when interacting with women. It’s the gentlemen’s code, the act of courteous conduct. It’s not just the practice of opening doors and paying for meals; chivalry is, quite simply, treating a girl right.
When did treating a girl right become outdated?
In a world filled with catcalls and misogyny, treating women with love and respect becomes so much more vital. There is no excuse for treating a woman badly, and it’s all the more heartbreaking that women have started thinking that sort of treatment is normal from men. From a young age girls are taught to walk in groups, be cautious of drinks given to them, avoid places at night, and in general, to be wary of male attention. It has become commonplace for women to assume that they’re being looked at as sex objects on the street. They’re not wrong. A significant percentage of men are the jerks females have to guard against.
A note to men: women deserve so much better than that. We as men need to step it up to counter all the jerks in the world. It isn’t hard to treat members of the opposite gender like actual human beings with emotions. Yet, we shouldn’t stop there. The little gestures of direct eye contact, bringing flowers for a date, complimenting something other than look—it all means so much to girls. Too many magazines and movies and clothing companies; too much of society is constantly telling them that if they’re not a specific body type, they’re wrong. If they don’t dress with a specific style, they’re shamed. If they don’t act a certain way, no one will like them. To have men who treat them like the beautiful, special people they are, help to counteract much of society’s harmful messages. For goodness sake, don't act chivalrous because you expect to get something in return. That's not how it works. I shouldn’t have to spell it out so plainly. It should be obvious. Females should be able to appreciate being treated like ladies rather than suspecting some ulterior motive.
Now granted, there are times women don’t like being treated with chivalry. I’ve met girls who have felt uncomfortable being treated differently than I would a guy. Refusing to walk through when I hold a door open, holding tight to a heavy bag when I offer to carry it, thrusting money at a waiter when I ask if I can pay the bill. It’s like they think my actions are accusing her of being weak; unable to do basic things. Please know, I mean no insult. I’m not attacking your independence. I’m not gender discriminating. It’s my way of showing the respect and consideration a girl should have. If the girl insists on being treated like one of the guys, that’s her prerogative. I won’t argue, but I sure as heck won’t ignore my upbringings before the moment she asks me to stop.
There are those who have argued against me that women are the ones who have killed chivalry and that being a female feminist means you’re against it. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Women who are wary of courteous behavior from a guy are the ones who have been hurt by them or have known other females who have been treated wrong their entire lives. Becoming a feminist is taking part in the fight back against a dominantly male society and their mistreatment of the female gender. Feminism is a necessary step for women to take because so many men have forgone their chivalric roots. If we treated women like they should be treated; as equals and with care and appreciation, there would be no cause for feminism. Saying feminism is the reason chivalry’s dead is like saying your immune system causes viruses.Please, men. Practice the art of chivalry. Be the man women want to be with because you treat them properly without judging, shaming, or objectifying. Please, women. As many jerks as there may be in the world, there are a ton of men who want to treat you with love and kindness. Men who want to give you their seat, put their jacket over your shoulders, open your doors. Look for them; don’t settle for the plethora of guys who don’t appreciate you for all of who you are
You deserve better than that.