Rants and Raves: Chivalry

Chivalry. Yes, yes, we know – we women got the vote, feminism is a force to be reckoned with, and times have changed. And while we fully value and appreciate what our leading ladies accomplished for us in terms of women’s rights – we wouldn’t trade them for anything – we still have to wonder why chivalry seems to have died off.

Lines are often blurred in terms of roles these days. Women are the breadwinners, men are stay-at-home dads. Men are comfortable, and enjoy, being in the kitchen, while women play poker and enjoy a good Scotch. Men like to shop. Women like to golf. Men who aren’t afraid to cry, hug lots and express their feelings are awesome (whatever, Blachford). Men are softer, women are tougher. But still, does chivalry have to be dead?

Webster’s defines “chivalrous” as this:

a: marked by honour, generosity and courtesy; 
b: marked by gracious courtesy and high-minded consideration especially to women.

Some of you feel chivalry was a trade-off for women’s liberation.
Society has become too self-centred.
It has something to do with the vibrant mix of cultures peacefully living side by side and adapting to and exchanging customs. Diversity.
Technology has caused the opportunities for being chivalrous to dwindle.
Whatever the reason, we challenge you to bring it back for 2012. We’re not asking for grand gestures. We’re talking about small tokens of appreciation – when it comes down to it, just good old thoughtfulness. Is that an easier word to digest?

Call us old fashioned, but these are musts in our book. You’re a gay man with your bestie girl? We say rules still apply.

Hold open a door and let a lady walk through first (also applies to elevators). Offer her your suit jacket to drape on her shoulders if she is freezing. Wait for her to get inside safely if you’re dropping her off at her door.

If you see a woman struggling to open a door because her hands are full of grocery bags, hold the door open for her. Riding public transit and a young woman is attempting to get her baby’s stroller on the bus? Help her out. See an elderly person who needs a seat? GET UP and offer it to them. See a mom (or dad) with a car full of kids vying for the same parking spot as you and you’re on your own? Please, let them have it. They’ve got their hands full already. And yes, in this age of equality, these rules can apply to women, too. See a sister that needs a hand? Lend one. We preach it, we should teach it.
In short, chivalry is a choice. The choice to do the right thing, for the right reason, at the right time. 
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