Chivalry: We got it all wrong

I am so excited for this date! I hope he’s nice, has a good job and doesn’t smell-- is that

him? Oh my he’s adorable! He’s waving. Oh my gosh what should I do? Wave back you

dummy! Oh, right. Well, here I go… oh—how nice, he opened the door for me. What a sweetheart!

I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. In fact, that’s really considerate. It doesn’t mean that he thinks I’m incapable of opening it up myself or that I wouldn’t do the same for him. He’s just trying to be nice. He’s just being chivalrous.

Chivalry dates back to Medieval England during the 10th Century when a moral system

was developed for knights to decrease violence in society and promote good manners.

Named the Code of Chivalry, it included ideals for knights to live by such as bravery,

courtesy, honor and kindness towards women.

Now, in the 21st Century, we have created a double standard; men are expected to behave a certain way towards women, but women aren’t expected to return the favor. This horrific attitude has caused endless debates and people feeling like they have to resist kind gestures for it would show “weakness”.

When it comes to chivalry, it isn’t something that men just show towards women. Now I

get it, for the longest time, men and women had roles in relationships. In 1890 only 15 percent of women worked, according to theatlantic.com. A man worked to care for his lady and women stayed home.

Nowadays the lines between genders have pretty much dissolved and women are much

more independent. With this being said, I believe chivalry should go both ways, for not only are women fully capable of opening up a door by themselves, they are also fully capable of doing the same thing for a man.

Chivalry doesn’t have to turn into a double standard, it could just be something

everybody tries to incorporate in their lives to be a better person. It could just be about awareness of others, awareness of sudden opportunities that arise in day to day life to do a good deed for someone else.

But this goes beyond opening doors. I’m talking about kindness here. I’m talking about

doing good for others every opportunity one gets, whether that be helping someone carry a heavy load or picking up the check at dinner or just smiling at someone in the hallway. It’s about being the best person one can be despite gender.

People have to stop looking at help as a negative thing. Ladies, we know you are fully

capable of picking up the check. Letting somebody else do it doesn’t make you any less of a feminist, I promise. Men, you don’t look bad for not opening a door for someone, take that responsibility off your shoulders, it’s 2018.

By now chivalry shouldn’t even be a problem anymore. There are wars, hunger and

homelessness. If anything, chivalry is a blessing right now. So everybody just take a deep breath, relax and just say, “Thank you”.

Photo credit by Avery Lichtenberg

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