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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11 thoughts on “Who Is Really Killing Chivalry?”
Reblogged this on MadeleineMaya.
Traditionally, chivalry was a code for how knights should treat other knights. They hardly ever showed such courtesy to anybody else. Especially not women. This idea of chivalry meaning a man showing a woman respect is straight out of Victorian fairy tales. And it is problematic. This is for two reasons: first, it focuses on how men should treat women and differentiates that treatment from how they treat men (it’s hard to treat someone as an equal when you see them as fundamentally different), and second, it assumes that women need help with things that are not difficult tasks. Respect should be shown to all people. If someone is behind you as you are going into a building, hold the door open. Don’t bother making sure that they are female first. If a woman is struggling with her pram, then help her because she is struggling and not because she is female. A man giving a woman his seat on a train because she is a woman is stupid. We can stand just fine, thank you. I don’t need a man to go out of his way to open a car door or pull a seat back for me. What I need is for that man to respect my independence and my equality. If he will talk to me like I am an intelligent human, and not step in and help me when I am not struggling, and accept that I should be treated as his equal while acknowledging that society still does not see me as such, then he is a good man in my books.
The code of chivalry was always about how knights treated everyone else. Whether they all lived up to it or not is a different discussion, but the Code of Chivalry emphasized a Christ-like use of one’s strength and abilities put to the service of others, especially the weaker, generally comprised of the old, infirm, women and children. http://www.lordsandladies.org/knights-code-of-chivalry.htm
And that’s the whole point of chivalry – that it is done *because* you are a woman, or because this person is sick, or this person is elderly. We get the world we have today because deference depends on social class or perhaps attractiveness, as opposed to general equality. I’m sorry for you if the chivalry you have experienced has come from a place of arrogance, but don’t crucify the code for the mistakes of the contender. Help build a world/environment/society where the strong serve the weak, instead of dominate them.
If someone is going out of his way to express respect and deference to you, please don’t take out your acrimony on him. We may be equals in dignity, but we’re still made up of profound and beautiful differences in nature – many women *are* superior intellectually and socially. Don’t begrudge us at least the use of our muscles when we offer them; for some of us, it’s the best we can do, because we want to care.
I have studied the Middle Ages extensively. It was a very classist time. No, the nobility did not care about the poor. Knights were soldiers. They cared how other soldiers of their ranks were treated. Women and old people weren’t their main consideration. And I can think of better examples of how to treat people than the Christian Christ. No, men and women are not fundamentally different. We have far more in common then we have different. Our diffrences are social, not natural. We will only achieve equal treatment when we realize that and live as if that is the case.
I’ll gladly take a seat if a man offers it, unless someone who needs it more than I is also standing by. Then I will offer it. The physically stronger should humbly help the weaker. Society would be kinder.
I have been grateful of chivalry when struggling with a pram or heavily pregnant and desperate to sit. It seems these days that women are more likely to offer such help. I’ve even had the experience of a frail and elderly lady offering me a seat on the train (when I was eight months pregnant), whilst business men buried their heads in the paper. Awkward…
Chivalry is a sign of respect…… Respect must be earned,which is why men get it and womyn don’t. Respect is not another gov’t special right, privilege, or affirmative action tokengive away to females. Fuck them and the coven they worship with. Die cunts and burn in hell with this faggot writer.
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I really love the article. Yet, SOME women will not se chivalry good because they grew up in a harsh environment, or because they’re “shemales” but, the majority YES. Please, continue sharing about this theme and keep teaching men that showing kindness to a female is not out of fashion. Everyone gets what they think they deserve. And believe me gentlemen, empowered, and independent women will give you a second look as they expect from others not only respect, but kindness too. I am a 43 y/o woman who grew up learning to be strong and independent, but a feminine female, and always expected that kind of attention… I’m the oldest of three children and I was raised that way! And my brothers, they’re enchanter gentlemen. One is now married, and the youngest not yet, but he has several women who look for him because the way he treat them and all they say “he’s different”. Personally, I never really dated someone, i always friend zoned the candidates until that gentleman with chivalry treats arrived. Now, I’ve been with my husband for 24 years and we have three children. Now, I’m teaching my 2 boys the “chivalry way”, to treat all women, and of course, to my only daughter (oldest) to respect herself and to accept no one who doesn’t show the signs of being raise by a queen. I think he arrived already, but they’re still friends. Don’t give up your kindness gentlemen, there are very few women who would see chivalry as being thirsty, but the ones looking for a man like you still exist. I’ve seen many women repent of not taking chivalry treats as important until the prospect is gone… To “both sides”, someone is still looking for you, don’t give up!
Sorry I know I’m late but want to somment. As a gay man myself it bothers me, because I don’t want practice chivalry but want practice kindness to all people that deserve kindness (regardless of their gender or sexual orientation), but old-fashioned author only care about :if the man wants practice chivalry”, but how if man DOESN’T want practice chivalry only for women (but wants to practice kindness and respect regardless of gender). I honestly want practice chivalry to man I like, but I live in homophobic society :(.
I know the author has written new article about respect for all people (regardless of gender), but I still comment about this article why respect must be decreased to become only men to women?. As a gay man myself it bothers me, because I don’t want practice chivalry but want practice kindness to all people that deserve kindness (regardless of their gender or sexual orientation), but old-fashioned author only care about :if the man wants practice chivalry”, but how if man DOESN’T want practice chivalry only for women (but wants to practice kindness and respect regardless of gender). I honestly want practice chivalry to man I like, but I live in homophobic society :(.