Chivalry Makes Men Feel Like Men & That's a Good Thing

Inspiring 39

A feature in The Atlantic on Monday proposed that we modern women should give chivalry another chance. Reviled as sexist acts by our bra-burning foremothers, today’s feminists need not scoff at men who open doors for ladies or refuse to split the check on the first date.

These gentlemen are not assuming that we can’t open our own doors or pay for own meals. They are not making a statement on the weakness of our sex or trying to put us down in any way. They simply like doing it for us because it makes them feel like men.

I’m okay with that. I’m also okay with being treated like a lady, and acting like a lady by graciously receiving any chivalry that comes my way. It makes me feel worth the extra thought and attention of another human being. When a man holds the elevator door, or gives up a spot in line at the grocery store when it’s 5 o’clock and I have my kids with me, or says, "Excuse me, ma’am," after an accidental bump, I don’t feel weak and invaluable. If anything, it makes me feel powerful as a woman that I would deserve that little bit of extra respect simply because of my gender.

Thankfully, widespread female subjugation in the Western world is a thing of the past. Women can do anything men can do, and we don’t even have to worry about male pattern baldness. We can work, stay home, have kids, not have kids, be chefs or doctors or horticulturalists or whatever. We are so lucky!

The Atlantic sums it up nicely:

A story from the life of Samuel Proctor (d. 1997) comes to mind here. Proctor was the beloved pastor of Harlem's Abyssinian Baptist Church. Apparently, he was in the elevator one day when a young woman came in. Proctor tipped his hat at her. She was offended and said, "What is that supposed to mean?"

The pastor's response was: "Madame, by tipping my hat I was telling you several things. That I would not harm you in any way. That if someone came into this elevator and threatened you, I would defend you. That if you fell ill, I would tend to you and if necessary carry you to safety. I was telling you that even though I am a man and physically stronger than you, I will treat you with both respect and solicitude. But frankly, Madame, it would have taken too much time to tell you all of that; so, instead, I just tipped my hat."

So why not let the men be men? They aren’t treating us deferentially because they view us as powerless waifs -- they’re doing it because we are clearly awesome. And any man who takes a moment to tip his hat to me is awesome in my book too.

Do you think chivalry is making a comeback? Should it?

Image by Stefano Mazzone/Flickr

discrimination, feminism, in the news, love, marriage, romance tip, sexuality, turn-ons


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dirti... dirtiekittie

PLEASE bring back chivalry. mothers, please teach your sons the joys of being a gentleman. it has nothing to do with feminism and everything to do with respect. and gentlemen, you can open my doors, give up your seats and any other of the like for me any time and i will thank you, not give you a life lesson on pioneers in feminism. promise!! :) 

Pinst... Pinstripes4

I'm more about respect than chivalry. People just need to be polite. Don't hold the door open for me because my precious lady hands are too delicate for the task. However, please don't let the door slam in my face, especially if my hands are full. Common courtesy goes so far. I call people sir and ma'am all day because "hey, you" seems a bit rude. I treat people with respect because it's how I would like to be treated. I don't need to be taken care of so a man could feel like a man, whatever that means. I just like to be treated like a human, like any man or woman would.

kelti... kelticmom

I grew up and live in the Deep South. My husband is a Mississippi boy. We are raising our son to be a little Southern gentlemen. In most towns here, you will still hear guys say "Ma'am" and they almost always hold doors open. I went to Cleveland to visit my sister once and was shocked to see how people acted, how rude most of them were. Not to mention the "snowbirds" that winter on the beaches of Alabama. Rude, rude, rude. And my husband called one lady from a northern state I shall not mention "sweetie", and she about flipped her lid. Down here, it's just friendliness, but I guess to her he was being forward.

Flori... Floridamom96

Why so sensitive to kindness, Pinstripes? Why is it offensive for someone to be kind to you because you are a woman?

Desti... DestinyHLewis

LOVE THIS Jenny! So true! Kelticmom I totally agree. In the South it's just polite, and God Bless you for raising gentleman! 

amiec... amiecanflie

I do all these things for others and rarely hear a kind word in return. I've never had anyone other than my father and my SO open the door for me, things like that. My SO and I used to make it a little game to see who could reach the door first, open the car door first. I tell him "I know how nice it is that you do these things for me, why wouldn't I want to do nice things for you?" 

arlis... arliss123

So far I only have girls, but fortunately my husband is a gentleman, so they are fortunate enough to see proper behavior in action every day. If we have boys, I know they will have an excellent role model.

EmmaF... EmmaFromEire

I agree with you pinkmani- treat me well because i'm a person, not because you want to fel manly.

Pinst... Pinstripes4

It's not kindness I dislike. I love nice people. I don't see why the onus is on men to be nice to women, when we should all be respectful to each other regardless of gender.

fleur... fleurdelys3110

If a man can get his fill of "manliness" for the day by making my life a little easier, then who am I to complain haha! 

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