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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kelti... kelticmom

I don't know, call me backwards I guess, but I like being treated like a "lady". It doesn't mean I'm not equal to them, but I love having that old fashioned Southern charm and chivalry.

Flori... Floridamom96

What's wrong with a man feeling masculine?

Flori... Floridamom96

Me, too, keltic! Give me a southern man any day.

nonmember avatar cry me a river

Blah,blah,blah Alot of women these days walk around with an inflated view of themselves with their entitlement issues and their princess mentality.Guess what open the d__n door yourselves.Many of you actually delude yourselves into believing that you deserve what you think you do.All you've done to guys the last few decades is run a smear campaign against them and bash men beyond beleif and you want chivalrous acts bestowed upon your heiness?? Take a walk...

GlowW... GlowWorm889

I agree with the article, but only in the fact that manners are important. Not chivalry. I want to raise my children to be polite to everyone, not just to women. I don't feel I garner any more respect than the average person because I'm female. You should hold open doors for anyone. You'd be surprised how many men give me surprised looks when I hold open doors for them, even though it's the respectable and polite thing to do. You should always say "please" and "thank you" and be kind to any person who crosses your path. I'm flexible on the "sir" and "ma'am" since it's not as important culturally where I live as it is other places and I know many adults who feel uncomfortable with it, but manners are super important.

nonmember avatar Zuri

We really shouldn't be complaining about things like holding open doors. That's taking feminism to a crazy new level. I never said I didn't deserve respect. I said I didn't want to spend my future in the kitchen. There's a difference. I'm a New York commuter, and a little politeness goes a long way on a crowded bus. I see nothing wrong with a male bus driver letting me go on the bus without paying exact fare instead of chucking coins for two-thirds of the ride. If a man can feel more manly by making us ladies' lives a little easier, whoa re we to complain? I just don't like being taken for a joke because of my gender- like how my family sometimes dismisses my feelings as "hormones". That bugs me because I have a real problem and you're acting like it's a joke. Nothing wrong here.

pupuk... pupukeawahine

My husband was raised out in the country by older parents.  On our first date he came around to the passenger side and opened my door and helped me out!  This was the 70s, we had long hair (both of us) and "women's rights" were in full swing.  I didn't care.  I loved it.  He still does this if my hands are full in the car, and helps me out.

pupuk... pupukeawahine

Hey cry me a river--if you're a dude, a little chivalry goes a long way, 'specially if you want some.

tuffy... tuffymama

I'm working on raising my second little gentleman. My eldest opens doors for ladies, calls to check on his grandmother, takes out my trash when he visits, shows deference to the elderly, helps his girlfriend into the car and pulls out her chair at table, removes his hat indoors, and rises when a lady leaves the table in social situations. I like knowing that because he feels instinctively that women are to be protected, he already knows any woman he is with is to be cherished. My LO already says please and thank you, and his father (God bless his reformed Yankee soul!) is teaching him "ladies first" and to open doors for women. As a former young girl, I can tell you that kind of behavior goes a long way in making a young man more attractive. And a woman should graciously accept an open door or pulled-out chair and offer a polite, "thank you."

bleed... bleedingheart8D

How about we just treat each other with respect and dignity? Be polite, say please and Thank you and say Bless You. 

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