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Is Chivalry Really Dead?
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 dictionary.com) 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.