Are You There, Chivalry? It’s Me, Giorge

Chivalry is dead, I’m sad to say.

I blame the feminists. For their equal rights demands and glaring at any poor man who dares open a door for them. Now no man is chivalrous for fear of reprisals.

Which annoys the hell out of me.

Can we not have our cake and eat it too? Can we not have equal pay and gentlemen who are still willing to open doors for us and give up their seats on public transport?

Just this morning, as I left the supermarket laden with shopping bags, a suited man, on the phone, approached the automatic doors at the same time as me. There was that brief moment when we both slowed our pace, and I waited, expectantly, to see if he would let me pass. Oh, no. He glanced at me, struggling with my heavy load, appraised the distance between him and the door and then literally shoved past me to get through first.

Could he be in such a hurry that he couldn’t pause for a mere second to let a woman pass? Or is that simply not a consideration for men anymore? I expect it with the younger generation, but this bloke was older than me; surely he should know better?

There has been, of course, instances when men have redeemed their sex by being chivalrous whilst in my presence. A few months ago I was on a train to London that was full to the brim; standing room only. One delightful man stepped up and offered me his seat. I was so touched at this gentlemanly act that I wanted to kiss him. I declined given that this man was much older than me, but I did so graciously, as I wanted him to know how kind it was for him to offer.

Yet this act is quite rare these days. Why is it that I am shocked and surprised when a man opens a door for me rather than be knocked out the way as I usually am? And why is it that I feel bad at expecting these small tokens of kindness from the opposite sex?

I am interested to hear the opinions from my male readers. Do you still act chivalrously towards women? Or has feminism stamped that out of you? Or, given that we now live in a world where the balance has most definitely swayed towards the female sex, is this something we should no longer expect?

47 thoughts on “Are You There, Chivalry? It’s Me, Giorge

  1. I want to vote on your poll, but you are interested in your male readers specifically. 😉 Even so, kindness in general is lacking in our world today. But I do agree with your entry wholeheartedly.

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    1. Are, no, anyone can vote in the poll! And you are right, it isn’t just the male portion who are lacking in general human kindness. It is just as bad for a woman to not give up her seat for someone who is older than her than a man to do it.

      At some point we as a society have forgotten about the essence of humanity, which is a shame. Though this was a light hearted rant on being shoved out of the way by men, on a more serious note we as humans need to start behaving with a kinder heart.

      Thanks for your input!

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  2. The fella that blasted by you should be tripped up and fell over. What a jerk. Honestly, I will give up my seat for a woman, will let them pass first and still open the doors for my wife after six years of marriage. Am I the odd guy? My parents taught me this is the way I should treat women as well as respect my elders. (yes, i actually do these things). Next time a guy does that to you, trip him. I have never been a fan of that stupid women’s liberation thing. It’s ridiculous and unbiblical.

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  3. My mom taught me that if I was approaching a door, with a lady present, that I should run if I had to in order to open the door for her. I have a pretty good record, but not perfect. : )

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  4. I live in Virginia, and around here it’s considered basic common courtesy to hold a door open for someone. I must agree, however, that manners and civility seem to be fading at an alarming rate.

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  5. If I reach a door first and someone is near, I will open and hold the door for them, no matter if it’s a man or woman. I also offer my assistance to any who may need it. I just see it as common courtesy (maybe not so common from your post).

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  6. I think I hold just as many doors open for men (and women) as they hold for me. As for subway seats, here in Boston, people seem to give up seats to whomever needs them most (be they men, women, or little kids). Chivalry isn’t dead, but courtesy and generosity whould be extended to everyone who could use some help/

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  7. I have seen a large lack of courtesy in larger cities, in particular Montreal, I was living there with my daughter when she was age 1 1/2 until she was 7. Walking down a sidewalk it was more often than not that she and I had to get out of the way of others, and walk single file when the sidewalk was large enough for 4 people abreast. As a mother this bothered me greatly as I would want my daughter beside me for best protection of her and yet time and again we had to go single file. I did a test one day to see if anyone would move over if I did not and ended up body slammed. My daughter would hold the doors open for people exiting the metro and rarely was she ever thanked and I have many more stories than this which we experienced in Montreal. We moved to a smaller town in BC and chivalry here is not dead. Our first night here she held a door open for someone and was thanked immediately and people here have opened doors for us more often than not so we make a point of always thanking them. It is sad when a 7 year old knows more about courtesy than many adults but thank god we are living here now instead of Montreal.

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    1. Very sad indeed.

      I have done the same tests. Mr Thomas is quite often annoyed when I walk in front or behind him, but the simple fact is, I was tired of being bumped by people when walking. At one point I decided that I was just being silly, and imagining this, but when I have consciously walked a straight line where there is enough room for other to get past me, I have my shoulders bumped from people unwilling to have the courtesy to move aside.Maybe it is a city thing, I can’t be sure, but it is sad we live in an environment where common courtesy no longer exits.

      Thanks for your input!

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  8. I voted “no” but looking back I probably should’ve voted “yes.” In actuality my answer would probably be somewhere in between–something like “not quite completely” but it does, sadly, seem to be going in that direction. At least in larger cities, as someone mentioned before me–I live in Los Angeles and I notice often how chivalry (and even kindness in general) seems to be fading fast (but there are always those few people I see who restore my faith in humanity). It’s even more prevalent on the internet (at least for me)–chivalry is seen as some sort of horrible thing sometimes and I just don’t get it. I try to be chivalrous whenever possible, because that’s how I was raised and plus I just like being nice and treating women with respect and doing nice things for them. It’s hard sometimes, though, because I’m naturally shy, plus adding on to that I’ve been personally ostracized for saying that I believe in chivalry/think people should be more chivalrous. So it’s like I’m just trying to be extra nice to people and that makes me a horrible person?

    It’s just sad, really. What’s wrong with being extra extra nice to women? And of course, being kind in general. There seems to be just so much hate and malice in everything now. If you disagree with someone–even slightly–you’re seen as a repulsive person who shouldn’t be treated like a human being. Can’t everyone just be nice, even through disagreements? Society as a whole is also becoming more and more hedonistic, it seems. Happiness used to be about the betterment of the community (i.e. feeling self worth based on contribution to your community), but now it’s all about self pleasure. But really, happiness does come from being nice (including being chivalrous) to people and from helping people and society; true happiness, too. So why is that a bad thing? If you disagree with someone’s views, that should be secondary to simply treating them nicely like a fellow human being. What’s wrong with just being nice to people (and particularly, men being extra kind to women)? The world would be a much better place if people were just more kind in general.

    I know, I digress. To end, let me just say thank you for this entry. With the way some people treat chivalry (and consequently, chivalrous people), it’s really amazing to see something like this so people don’t have to feel bad for trying to be chivalrous. The guy at the supermarket definitely should’ve let you go first (and if the door wasn’t automatic, rushed ahead of you in order to hold it open). That’s just sad. =/ Agreed with everything you’ve said; beautiful entry.

    -Andrew

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    1. Thank you, Andrew!

      I agree with you with regard to disagreeing with people. On this very blog and others I’ve had in the past, I have given opinions on certain subjects that are important to me. I don’t believe that everyone should be in agreement, and I appreciate a lively debate if someone does disagree with me – we’re all independent humans, are we not, who all have their own views on the world? Unfortunately, however, there are people who cannot simply disagree, they have to do so with malice simply because they view things differently. You are right, Andrew, we can disagree without being horrible to one another, but for some that is just so hard to do. I’m sure they are the same people who will blatantly push past someone to reach a doorway first!

      Thank you for your views – they are much appreciated. I hope that you continue being chivalrous whether you are condemned for it or not!

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      1. I think people in general aren’t like they used to be. London can be really bad for rudeness despite your good experience. You can hold a door open for a man or women and they will just walk through and not even acknowledge you!

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        1. The thing is, I am so in love with London and Londoners that I tend not to see the bad side of it. Except when I was there this year during the ridiculous heat wave! How do you live without air conditioning? Honestly, how?

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          1. I don’t live in London so I love it as well, because I get to come home again afterwards!! I always wanted to live there but don’t think I could now.

            You’re an Aussie, you must be used to heat?! I spent some time in Brisbane about ten years ago. Now THAT was hot!!

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          2. Brisbane is nothing on Adelaide, let me tell you. And yes, I get that a lot ‘you’re from Australia you must be used to the heat.’ Well, I’m not. I hate it. And the sun (I also get ‘why are you so pale then?’ when Brits learn I’m from Australia.) The only way I can handle the heat is if I have 24hr access to air conditioning. That’s something you don’t get in the UK.

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  9. I like to think that as long as it is practiced by at least one person, it is never dead. Also the lack of it in so many men these days works as a good filter for the kind of people we choose to befriend.

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    1. Oh, I love that: ‘as long as it is practised by at least one person, it is never dead.’ Such a great way to look at things!

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  10. I don’t like the idea of chivalry – I’d prefer being decent to people regardless of their sex. So yes, I would have held the door open for you if you were walking behind me. But I would have also done so if it was another fellow male as well.

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  11. Loved the post. And you are right on one account. It is not dead. It has been ruined.
    Most men now use it for different reason. Like getting the lady in the bed.
    Now Chivalry is a choice, and i like to think of myself as the gentleman for the right reasons.It is nice to smile and respect women. It is like ballroom dancing, except in different ways. What was that movie called.
    One of my thoughts of the day was about chivalry
    If history is repeating itself, where is the chivalry.

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  12. Personally I think that chivalry is not dead , and to blame the feminist for all is not really the point too . I’m from those days way back and we wanted equal rights on the work floor indeed. There are many rude women too, I think it’s more a matter how we raise our children in regard of respect to others .
    groetjes, Francina

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  13. I think it matters where you look regarding chivalry. For instance, I worked in the medical field for many years and met some of the rudest men I have ever met in my life. They’d do much of what you described with pushing past and never opening doors and so on. There were a few exceptions, but there are to all rules. On the flipside, I now work at an automotive dealership. All of the guys here open doors. They offer you a ride to a different part of the lot and almost get their feelings hurt if you decide to walk. I’m not going to lie — it’s oddly refreshing to be treated like a lady instead of “just one of the guys.”

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    1. Doctor’s are the worst! I worked in medical as well, so can say that from personal experience. However the orderlies, perhaps because they are used to is as is part of their job, were always great at door-opening. Which helps in hospitals because those doors – particularly theatre doors – can be damn heavy!

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  14. Hey!! I used to think that it was DEAD too a few years ago -…… and after tons of blogs that I wrote about on this subject – I took a break and sat back to look at things from a different view!!!
    I have personally discovered that it is not dead but it is merely ASLEEP! It is in a deep sleep to say the least! LOL

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      1. Girl I have to ( we have to )

        I am single and waiting until its MY TURN to say ” i do ” so if i think / we as women think that all men are dogs….. that chilvary is dead…. etc. etc.. i will be like an old ball and chain! i refuse!! LOL good men are STILL alive and out there – God’s timing is not our timing – but it is hard and irritating sometimes…

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  15. No, not at all . . . not everywhere anyway.
    I do see its corpse from time to time, but no, it isn’t entirely dead.
    More selfishness than feminism . . . I’ve been called out a few times by angry women, but I just smile and hold the door anyway, which I do for anyone, not just women.
    Courtesy isn’t cowardice, but selfishness is.
    Great post! 🙂

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  16. It is easy to forget that as far back as the 18th century during the Enlightenment, the perception was chivalry was dying. Today people think of chivalry as the behaviour of a gentleman but this is not the conception in the medieval period. It was the ethos of a militaristic Christian Aristocracy. To get a full idea of what it meant in that period see Raymond Lull’s “Book on the Order of Chivalry” (ca. 1270).

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  17. Ha! Ha! Ha! I know what you mean about being knocked out of the way…I think men who do that are just plain rude and if chivalry was a live and kicking would still be rude anyway. But I think if more women would pause and give me a chance they would step up to the plate of being such gentlemen…..Thanks so much for liking my post “Soulful Beauty at: http://lovelyseasonscomeandgo.wordpress.com. Look forward to visiting your blog often…Take care! Betty

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  18. Well written but I am sad to say it’s died a slow painful death. I held a door open for a woman who obviously burnt her bra and everything else, she glared at me and said, “I am capable of opening a door” it was said with such venom too. Now I get moaned at if I don’t open a door on the odd equation. Can us men ever win, like you say have uour cake and eat it I can’t see happening. It’s a sad world now.

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