In a world that is becoming more enlightened (albeit far too slowly) I don’t see this lament nearly as often as I used to but it still pops up. “I sure hope some guy can show me that chivalry isn’t dead.” Well, I hope they don’t because chivalry surely should be dead. And buried. Forever. (Apropos of nothing, when I wrote that last line I heard, in my head, The Toadies “Possum Kingdom. Welcome to my random digressions.)
Chivalry is horrible. Supposedly rooted around the idea of knights and dragons and damsels, it is, in reality, based around the idea that women are weak, infirm, should be treated as chattel, and are second- class citizens. If, ladies, that is your thing, well, so be it. You might actually want chivalry to come back. Lots of people like things against their best interests. But you shouldn’t.
What most women probably want is not chivalry, but respect, and there is a huge difference between the two. Perhaps some yearn for a time when men paid for dinner but that was also a time when women weren’t allowed to make any money. Perhaps you think we live in a hook-up culture now and that has killed manners. Well, one half of the population has always lived in a hook-up culture. But now that women are “allowed” to be more free with their sexuality, all of a sudden sexual freedom is a bad thing. But again, only for the ladies.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with someone opening the car door for you, or pushing in a chair. I personally never pay for drinks (alcohol is a horrible poison and if you want to drink it, that’s fine but I am not contributing to your demise) which might be seen as rude or uncool. Oh well. I would rather spend money on adventures and save the extra money to buy food to cook at home. Buying you drinks and food don’t show you respect or courtesy or any of the things that you seem to be wishing still existed. It simply is a purchase.
Instead of chivalry, most should simply hope that the man (and yes this entire article is written in the traditional male-female dating scheme of things because that is the predominant coupling of people on Earth right now) sees you as a person. Not a conquest. Not a punch card wherein after three dates, THEN you let him get into your pants. He can still reach things on high cabinets, open jars, or have you walk away from the cars on the sidewalk. But he does those things because, by and large, he is more equipped to reach things, unscrew things, and…I guess get hit by a car? (Kidding. The whole closer-to-the-building thing came from when people emptied chamber pots out the window and it allowed women a more likely chance to NOT get hit by poop. That’s pretty nice, actually.)
Just stop wishing for something to come back that is archaic, refers to you as property, and doesn’t even remotely admire you for who you are as a person. You are better than chivalry and hopefully he is too.