In case you were wondering why the modern man struggles so much with chivalry, look no further than the women he finds himself having to deal with. I was speaking with a female friend of mine
over an impromptu lunch-date on facebook chat, who had this to say about modern-day chivalry:
“Nowadays, it just feels like I’m being treated like a child. I HATE waiting for men to open doors for me, walking in front of me when we are on stairs, holding umbrellas.. Ughh.. all of it. Simply because I am ALL about efficiency and me waiting for you to open my door holds up the process!”
Unfortunately, the verbal assault and tongue-lashing I ought to have administered to her only came to me much later. I must have been temporarily distracted by the fact that by her own admission, chivalry is still alive and well. Nonetheless, this should have been my response to her statement.
Most men in my generation (including those who were fortunate enough to have a father or father-figure or someone like that, in their lives) were raised by their omni-present, all-knowing mothers.
By default Through our upbringing, it is embedded in our DNA that as men they are certain things a man must do in the presence of ladies. Opening doors, holding elevator lifts, pulling out chairs, pulling back chairs, letting her order first (don’t order for her unless you’re damn sure you know what she wants to have), suggesting something for her in case she’s never tried sushi the particular cuisine before, waiting until her food arrives before you start eating, walking on the outer side of the “sidewalk”, never letting her carry anything heavy, driving her around especially at night, helping her to put on her coat, holding up the umbrella, walking her to the bus stop, waiting for her to board the mat, making sure she get home safe etc.. We’re meant to do that with all female friends, relatives, classmates, colleagues, bootycalls (when single), girlfriend (when not single). This is what society expects of us and we shoulder our responsibilities proudly.
However, men also learn how to curb this chivalrousness to avoid turning into human door-mats and mechanic ATM machines. And so, like everything else in life, there are limits and reasons behind those limits:
I blame feminism. Since when did chivalry become a form of oppression or even worse “being treated like a child” as my female colleague suggested above? A women who is secure in her femininity then you should have no problem letting us men take care of you, protect you and do all those things that
go unnoticed until we screw up let you know that we were raised right. You can’t be shouting “girl power” and “independent woman” while at the same time complaining that we don’t treat you like a lady and take care of you. Which brings me to…
Again, I blame feminism. There are too many women out there joy-riding on our chivalrousness, please be reminded that modern chivalry is not a one-way street. If I take the time and effort to spoil you with gifts, take you out to places, leave handwritten love-letters under the wiper of your car or write your long emails, smother you with compliments, I’m not doing it because I’m expected to do it, I do it because I want to do it for you. Naturally, I expect
head you to reciprocate in equal measure. I may not be your boyfriend or your father or your babyfather or a friend or even someone you know but if I hold the door for you, the least you can do say thank you or smile while you swiftly walk past to avoid me standing there looking dumber than the top-hat wearing doorman at the Hilton, just look/act/sound grateful, throw me a bone or something. Pun intended
Woman on the crowded bus scenario:
As a general rule, if you’re female, fairly healthy-looking and over 8 years of age, don’t be expecting me to stand and give up my seat for you. Grannies and pregnant women are the only group of persons that I would never allow to be standing in a mat or a hoppa while I’m seated. I would also like to state there is no preferential treatment among men when confronted with a smoldering hot drop-dead gorgeous woman and her over-sized handbag. Best believe she and her 6 ‘inch Manono’s will be standing until she alights.
Frankly, the part of Chivalry that dictated that men pay for all dates is outdated. In the old days, women either didn’t work or worked in jobs that paid very little. The latter may still be true today but men are in the same boat too. I don’t think there’s a man alive who wouldn’t be willing to pay on every single date he was on with women. However the reality is that after the first 4 dates or so, I’m kinda sorta expecting you to not expect me to keep taking you to the finest spots in town and still foot the bill. In fact, after the 3rd date, once you’ve established I’m not a) a psychopathic stalker b) a hit-and-run type dude c) trying to win a bet I made with my boys 10 minutes before we first met, then I think we should be able to organise a nice home-cooked lunch-date at my place or yours.
For those of us men already in relationships, we understand that our significant other not only expects us to continue to treat them like a lady but also to recognize that she is quite capable of handling certain things on her own. As for in the bedroom, I think its pretty clear that being courteous, polite and sh*t may not always make her feel like the desirable woman that she is, there for your taking. “May I”, “Please” and other such niceties must never be spoken but rather shown in the way you gently place your hands over her neck and proceed to ravage her senseless.
That is all.
Over to you, good people of DR, your thoughts on the state of modern-day chivalry?
oh and btw, what s/he did or didn’t do for you over Valentine’s last month counts.