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Is Chivalry Really Dead?

Updated on August 10, 2008
Mah, who needs chivalry!
Mah, who needs chivalry!

Is Chivalry Dead? Well, kinda sorta maybe.

Does anyone else feel like people have been saying this for a million years now? Chivalry is dead! Men are pigs! Yay female liberation! Wait, can we have chivalry AND female liberation? Oh well, chivalry is dead!

With all the confusion about chivalry and how men are supposed to act these days, I think we’ve lost the meaning of chivalry altogether. In the medieval days, chivalry had to do with knights and stuff…like Monty Python-type nonsense. Who knows what they were thinking back then. They had women up in big skinny towers with long blonde hair (or is that a fable and not reality?) waiting to be rescued and men on white horses. Well, there are no men on white horses for this generation, I can tell you that much.

The other definition of chivalry I dug up (thank you is simply “courtesy towards women.” Back in the 50s and 60s, I think this meant buying her a milkshake and complimenting her cat eye glasses. But what does that mean today? Picking her up for a date? Buying her a house in the Bahamas? Trying not to be a complete douche?

The rules have changed these days (thank you feminist movement for burning your bras), but chivalry is missed for a lot of women. For instance, door opening. Opening a door for someone is a nice gesture, no matter the sex of the person. I open doors for people too, just for the record. But when you’re on a date, I think most women see this as an indication that their man is thoughtful. When my now long-term boyfriend opened the car door for me on our first date (after picking me up too), my head nearly fell off. Because guys just don’t do this anymore. So guys, not all women are angry feminists.

Forget the crazy angry women.

Yes there are crazy chicks out there who are offended by any sort of sweet or thoughtful gesture by a man. He offers to pay for her dinner and she throws her napkin at him, screaming to pick up a copy of The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan (also referenced in the movie 10 Things I Hate About You by angry feminist character played by Julia Stiles). But honestly, these women are a little off their rocker and usually misunderstand any gesture that a man makes.

Feminists have become a stereotype, just like the dumb blonde girl or the smart, ugly brunette. And just like the aforementioned stereotypes, none of them should be encouraged. Because there are women out there who can’t fully appreciate chivalrous gestures from men, they’re simply perpetuating the stereotype, and encouraging men to not be nice. This is why the crazy “feminists” should be ignored.

The problem with these women is that they don’t realize that when a man offers to open a door, or pay for dinner, or help her with her coat, that this is a good thing. He’s trying to be nice, and it should be encouraged, not scorned. In all my experiences, I have never met a man who did these things because he thought a woman was too stupid or lowly to do them on her own.

There are too many jerks out there who do everything they can to disrespect women and treat them like crap; we need more men who don’t do this. The worst part is that these men have made it to television and celebrity status, for all the world to see. If we don’t start encouraging chivalry again, we’re going to be stuck with a pack of men like these:

-Spencer Pratt: Who once, on television for everyone and their mom to see, told his OWN SISTER, after he made her feel bad for something ridiculous, that it was her own fault she was crying (even though he made her cry) and that she was only crying because she felt bad for her own actions.

-Bill O’Reilly: Um, just yeah.

-Brandon Davis: You know, he called Lindsey Lohan a fire crotch, then fake apologized, then called her a fire crotch again. Oh and then I think he got fat. Probably as punishment.

-Tom Cruise: I’m pretty sure he’s taken Katie Holmes’ brain without her permission, so it’s safe to say that he doesn’t respect women.

We Need a New Word for Chivalry

Today, we should bring back chivalry. It would be nice for men to think that chivalrous gestures are in style again. Chivalry doesn’t have to be degrading and insulting as it was before the feminist movement. It’s the new millennium- women have high paying jobs, men can cook (hello Emeril Lagassi?), and both sexes participate in child rearing. It’s a whole new era! And so, we can come up with a new word for chivalry! Let’s just call it thoughtful.

In this new era, some men might need to learn how to act in thoughtful ways to women. The best way to do this is to work on their manliness and rediscover what it means to be a guy. I highly recommend reading the book The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida- it’s a guide on how men should treat women these days, among other ways to master your work environment and life.

(I also recommend Deida’s book for women called It’s a Guy Thing- great explanations on how guys tick).

If men can continue to be chivalrous, which today is just another way of saying “thoughtful,” I think everyone will be happier. Here are some small things that women still appreciate in today’s world:

-Open a restaurant door, car door, or any other door you can find for a lady.

-Offer your date your jacket if she forgot hers and is cold.

-Give her advice on a problem she has, if she’s open to it.

-Compliment her on more than her looks. If she said something interesting, had a good idea, or is really good at painting, tell her!

-Teach her how to do something new. Women like it when a guy uses his natural manliness. Teach her how to drive a stick or hit a baseball ball!

So forget the whole word “chivalry.” It sounds ancient and preposterous, and today’s broseph bro-sicle has no clue about knights, unless he’s a Lord of the Rings nerd. If we just encourage guys to be “thoughtful,” maybe chivalry will make a huge appearance back into the mainstream. No white horses included, but the sentiment will be the same and that’s what was important in the first place.


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    • profile image

      Pancho 3 years ago

      Yes, Chivalry Is Dead! Not Only That, If It's On Life Support, Attach A "Do Not Resussitate" Sign! Why Revive It If All The "Good" Women Like Dating & Banging Bad Guys, So, What's The Use?! If I Do Anything Nice For A Women It's Because There's Something In It For Me! If I'm Chivalrous With A Girl/Woman It's Because She's Gonna Let Me Hit It After! Girls/Women Have Been Taking & Taking From Me For Some Time Now So Now It's Time For Some Payback Don't Y'all Think!

    • M. Rose profile image

      M. Rose 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Rick: This is what Mark should have said. Completely agree with you. There are two sides to the equation. People should always treat each other with respect, regardless of gender roles or what sex the person is. Thank you for expressing your opinion respectfully.

    • profile image

      Rick 5 years ago

      I too agree that chivalry has been lost. But I must agree with one point Mark states: With equality comes responsibility. I hate to see when men treat women badly. On the other hand I also hate to see when women just control men by demanding both excessive traditional niceties and modern equality. Luckily I have found someone who is caring and understanding, and I treat her likewise. I paid for the first few dates but now things are more even. She opens the door for me and I open the door for her.

    • M. Rose profile image

      M. Rose 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Rachel: You're awesome.

      Mark: Hey Scrooge, how many dates have you had lately with that negative attitude? I'll do Rachel one better. It's not even called chivalry. It's called "a nice gesture." Don't you ever do nice things for people that you like? Pay for a drink for a friend? Give your mom a present for no good reason? Paying on a first date is just one way of showing someone that you like them, that you'd like to see them again. It's just money dude, not the end of the world. Want to selfishly keep all your money to yourself? Have a great time doing that. But don't get all pissy at me because I offered my opinion. You don't agree with me? Well it's a good thing you're not my boyfriend then. I'd sure as hell never date you with your rude attitude.

    • profile image

      Rachel 5 years ago

      Uhh... It's called chivalry Mark.

    • profile image

      Mark 5 years ago

      M. Rose, the "whoever asks, pays" rule is flawed because women generally don't initiate first dates. As a result, men get stuck with the tab. Many men pay out of fear; fear that if they don't pay, they will never have a second date.

      I am curious as to why you think the first 2 dates must be paid for by the man? Do you have a job? Why are you entitled to free meals?

      Until women are willing to accept true equality, they will always be dependent, little girls.

    • M. Rose profile image

      M. Rose 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Mark, this is an interesting topic of discussion. Personally, I appreciate when the guy pays on the first date (though I do offer to split) as a chivalrous gesture, but mostly also because the guy usually does the asking out. If I did the asking out, I'd probably offer to pay. After the first 2 dates or so, I think the paying playing field should be even. Thanks for your insightful comment.

    • profile image

      Mark 6 years ago

      I am cool with almost every form of chivalry until it effects my wallet. Even in 2011, women still seem to expect men to pay. Perhaps that is why I have met so many women who have never been on a real date. Men are finding cost effective alternatives that allow them to keep their money and still hangout with women. I applaud men for finding a dating loophole that the rest of us could emulate. I grew tired of hearing women proclaim their independence one minute, and demanding that men adhere to traditional gender roles the next minute (paying for dinner). With equality comes responsibility.

    • M. Rose profile image

      M. Rose 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Thank you Sun-Girl for the lovely compliment!

    • Sun-Girl profile image

      Sun-Girl 6 years ago from Nigeria

      Nice and properly written,thanks dear for sharing.

    • M. Rose profile image

      M. Rose 7 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Lucy- I would also expect women to be courteous, but I'm only speaking here about how men treat women. I agree completely that there are plenty of bad girls out there as well, but that's another hub (I've even written about 10 types of women you wouldn't want to date) :)

      We should all be courteous to each other obviously...I hold no higher standards for the way men should treat women than how women should treat men. Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

    • Lucy83 profile image

      Lucy83 7 years ago

      You seem to be talking about courteous, decent behavior. Why call it chivalry? Or would you not expect such behavior from women?

      And for all the bad guys you mentioned earlier, I'm sure you can find plenty of bad girls these days. What is your message to them? Or do you only see men as responsible for moral and courtesy in society?

    • M. Rose profile image

      M. Rose 7 years ago from Orange County, CA

      LOL Woodrow...thank you for your insight, but you seem to have taken my writing way too seriously. When I write "Monty Python-type nonsense," I'm clearly not referencing a history book. The article is meant to be fun with some light advice, not factual. It's just a bit of humor, I promise!

      I do, however, appreciate your devotion to chivalry. Keep up the good work!

    • profile image

      Woodrow 7 years ago

      You need to do a little more history research before writing articles like this. Medieval knights were not demeaning and chauvinistic towards their ladies. That's an uneducated stereotype that's existed for far too long. And I would hardly call Monty Python a model example of chivalry.

      Don't forget that the feminists are the ones that pushed chivalry as being "degrading and insulting" as you called it. Why should we abandon the word in favor of "Thoughtful" when it's the feminists that wanted us to abandon it in the first place?

      Chivalrous and thoughtful are two completely different things. The art of chivalry, and the act of being chivalrous are specifically related to how MEN relate to people, and the world around them. To abandon chivalry in favor of thoughtfulness would be to abandon one of the core principles behind what it takes to be a real man.

    • M. Rose profile image

      M. Rose 7 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Great, great point cabrerjc! I completely agree. Being chivalrous does not mean a man can't also be dangerous, spontaneous and masculine. There needs to be more written that tells men these things.

      Thanks so much for your input.

    • cabrerjc profile image

      cabrerjc 7 years ago

      Chivalry isn't dead, but the problem is sometimes only the "Nice Guys" are chivalrous and who wants to be a nice guy. Men need to learn that they can be both dangerous and chivalrous, which I believe is pretty much the perfect man.

    • M. Rose profile image

      M. Rose 7 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I'm glad there's more than one guy out there who still believes in chivalry! Spread the word everyone :D Thanks guys!

    • profile image

      Samuel Thomas 7 years ago


    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      I am glad I discovered this nugget. Chivalry is on life support. But here's hoping it makes a comeback. I am chivalrous, personally. And I spread the word all I can to other men I know. Thanks for the well thought out, finely written piece.