As the saying goes, “If chivalry is dead, then women killed it.”
This, of course, is referring to the increasingly prominent ‘I can do it myself’ independent attitudes of women. But, there’s also another saying about not letting one rotten apple spoil the bunch, or bushel, or something like that. You get the point.
Take a peek at these surprising statistics:
- Only one in seven men will offer their seat to a woman on a train or bus.
- Over a third say they never assist mothers struggling with heavy prams (Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System).
- But only 7% of women view chivalrous acts as patronizing.
- Three in five men appreciate women holding doors open for them.
I’ve bolded the third point above for a reason. Often times, men don’t perform chivalrous acts because they feel that it will be offensive to the woman. That it implies that she is not able to do something herself, which means everyone is missing the point of chivalry – showing respect to others.
Of course, there are a lot of men out there who don’t do these simple acts because they just need a lesson in manners, but that’s a whole other article.
For example, over 5,000 men were surveyed, and it was found that over a third of the men said they would never help a woman struggling to carry a baby carriage up or down stairs, for fear of offending the mother. What kind of society are we turning into, when kindness is viewed as offensive? How do we progress? Where do we go from here? To become a loving, caring community of people is nearly impossible if the acts which require such a result are seen as negative.
The problem here, is that just one in 25 women say they feel embarrassed when a man demonstrates old-fashioned manners such as carrying heavy bags or pulling out chairs. This is a problem because your risk of offending someone pretty damn low – yet action is still not taken.
Less than one in five men will regularly pull out a chair for a woman to sit down. That’s under 20%. Is this really because they don’t want to offend her? Or are they just lazy?
Men have asserted for quite some time that it is women who are killing chivalry – but the proof is in the numbers, gentlemen. Not only are women (generally) not opposed to it, but I have found through endless discussions, that they crave it.
Being chivalrous and showing respect are our opportunities to show women that we are not all the same. That, as our perceptions are often incorrect about them, theirs are often incorrect about us.
It is time to stop embarrassing ourselves by overlooking these small details and courteous acts. There is no excuse.
The power lies with us to change the way relationships are viewed. It lies with us to change the tone of the phrase “all men are the same” from a negative, to a positive. It lies with us to create our own happiness by building fulfilling relationships.
Women – don’t think you’re off the hook, though. While it is a man’s job to respect women, it is a woman’s job to give him something to respect.
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