Some say that the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance is dead. The age of chivalry is never past, so long as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth. - Charles Kingsley
Chivalry – an honorable and polite way of behaving, especially towards women. Old school romance and fairy tales describe chivalry as the quality expected in a knight in shining armor who is brave, courteous and gallantry towards women, or we can call it as horsemanship. Moving back to 11th century’s old French there were these qualities which were idealized by knighthood and the men were expected to be decked in elaborated armors over well-dressed horses. Well, certainly that type of chivalry is long past several centuries ago but the modern chivalry has found a new meaning.
Modern day chivalry can be described as opening and holding doors for a lady, pulling out chairs, walking on the outside of sidewalk, picking her up and getting her safe home, paying after a meal etc. All these acts can make us believe that chivalry is still alive in men around us. But is it? Somewhere the men we see around us now are lacking this courteous behavior. You can blame it on the new hook up culture where dating sounds a thing of the past and only for boring duds since all the cool and happening people believe in hooking up instantly, grabbing drinks, having “fun”, and then walking their way the next morning. We can also partially blame it on the technology which has caused our feelings and the way of expressing them to be constrained in 140 character tweets or text messages. Communicating and knowing the opposite sex is a big enough deal that being benevolent and considerate towards them seem out of the question.
Can we blame it on the boys for not being chivalrous enough? I don’t think so because as the society and the mind sets are changing on such a fast pace and equality and women empowerment has become global issues with women being as confident as never before the demand for chivalry from such women often confuses the male species. On one hand women fantasize about being swept off their feet by a prince charming and expect men to make the first move and ask them out, they also preach about how strong and independent they are.
Still many men behave in a courteous way to make their girl feel special but there actions also at times go unnoticed and unappreciated. In fact they are also often misinterpreted by the fairer sex who doesn’t want anybody to think that they are dependant over anything or anybody. In such a situation even while believing in chivalry, men prefer to stay in their arrogant, self-centred attitude.
This also brings us to an important question that weather the girl you are investing your time in and being gentleman to deserves your gentleman attitude. Does she recognizes your little acts of benevolence and appreciates them or respond to them in a positive manner? Also chivalry cannot be expected out of just men. It is more like a two way road. If you are a guy who pays for dinner and movies every time you go out then she should be a girl who offers to split the bills or pays for the meals every once in a while. If she happens to be such a girl and also makes sure to tell you how lucky she is for having a guy like you then sure as hell she deserves all your chivalry and special treatment and you shall put in all your efforts to be that knight in armor for that damsel in distress.
When the discussion over expecting chivalry comes I think a basic kindness and courteous behavior is well appreciated by one and all. But being too chivalrous can make people suspicious too. As common courtesy is rare to find whenever we observe somebody being too kind it makes us doubt their gestures and their intentions. So staying natural but open hearted can be the way to go. And chivalry isn’t only about being kind to somebody you are romantically involved with. But saying a simple “Bless You” or offering your seat to anybody who appears to be more needy than you can be counted as courteous.
As for girls I can say that yes we are strong, we are independent and we do not need a man every time for opening doors for us or carry our grocery bags as we can do it on our own. Afterall we are well trained multi-taskers with unique expertise in carrying a dozen shopping bags, talking on phone, managing a baby and yet opening door to enter into another shopping store, all at the same time. But a little princess treatment also doesn’t hurt. We women do like to be treated well and dream of somebody who will happily place us upon a pedestal. And none of this can lessen our strength or independence. Now whatever your opinion be on this but honestly, I pretty much go weak in my knees whenever my guy pulls chairs for me or holds the doors!