I frequently hear women complaining about how ‘chivalry is dead’ and there are no decent men left in the world. Sound familiar?
I often feel like chivalry stifles the progress and the very essence of the feminist movement. Women want to be seen equal in the eyes of men, and want equal work for equal pay, and equal opportunities – but they also want to be treated like delicate unicorn fairies and have men bend over backwards pretending to be prince charming. It’s kind of contradictory, isn’t it? It sends the message of, ‘we want to be treated equally but we also want special treatment‘. It’s embarrassing. Stop that.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s wonderful to have someone do nice things for you and treat you nicely. But why does it always have to be men treating women that way? Why is that expected? Don’t men deserve to be equally spoiled with social niceties?
I’m going to say it again, and I can’t stress this enough: it’s great to be treated with kindness and to be spoiled every once in a while, but it shouldn’t be expected by one gender and never returned by the other. Forget chivalry, and focus on being a really great person who does nice things for other people just because you feel like it.
I recently came across an article called ‘9 Chivalrous habits of a true gentleman that make women melt‘, and my eyes literally rolled to the back of my head while I read this nonsense. These are the habits as highlighted by the article:
1. Opening doors
Since when did being a decent human being and holding a door open for someone have anything to do with a person’s gender? Am I incapable as a woman of opening my own door? Am I too much of a snob to open a door for a male in return?
2. Saving the last bite of food
I have no words for this one because it is so utterly ridiculous. The article goes on about how ‘when he saves the last bite for you, it’s basically him saying he likes you more than whatever meal is in front of him’ – oh, honey, if that’s the only way that you know a guy cares about you, then you’re in trouble.
3. Spending time with your family
This has nothing to do with chivalry. Integrating yourself into your partner’s family is just part of life, and it works both ways.
4. Suffering through a girly movie
I think this one was trying to make the point that relationships are about compromise. Sure they are – but I’m not going to make my partner watch something that will cause him to be in agony for 2 hours just so that he can ‘prove how much he loves me’. How about you go and watch the latest Marvel movie with him instead?
5. Sending flowers
Flowers are great. You know what else is great? Spoiling the men sometimes too. Buying thoughtful gifts for someone you care about is, again, not limited to one gender.
6. Walking on the outside of the sidewalk
This comes down to protection. According to the article, ‘The first time someone does this, you will probably be confused. But then you’ll start to question how come other men in your life have never been concerned about positioning themselves in such a way that you’d be protected should curbside tragedy strike’.
Basically what the article is saying is that a woman’s life is more valuable than a man’s. Do I even need to point out what’s wrong with this? And sure, it’s a totally different story if a woman is injured or pregnant or whatever the case may be.
7. Kissing your forehead
I wasn’t aware that this was a chivalrous habit? Men like to feel adored, too.
8. Filling up your gas tank
I laughed out loud at this one. So I’m a strong, independent, employed female who can pay for my own petrol, but no, my boyfriend must do it for me because I am entitled to special treatment.
9. Putting your jacket on
Ah, yes. This one has always bothered me. I like to think I’m perfectly capable of dressing myself, and I also don’t think that a nice chap should freeze on a night out so that I can have his jacket. If he’s warm and I’m freezing and he’d like to give me his jacket, wonderful. But it shouldn’t be expected just because I’m female.
How do you guys, male or female, feel about chivalry? Yay or nay to special treatment for the ladies?