Chivalry is Dead? What the Wild Things Do Now
Let me keep it real, I'm into chivalry. Matter of fact, seemingly insignificant small things to other women, were always a reason for me to be dismissive of a man, back in the day, when I was dating. I find it absolutely horrific when a man doesn't let all the ladies on or out of an elevator, first. Doesn't open and hold a door for a woman. Doesn't open a car door for a woman, and let her sit down before he hops behind the wheel. And oh yes, I prefer not to be the one driving, if I'm in a car with my husband or any other man. Less I feel like I'm riding him around. I always thought it was a nice touch when eating out and a man gets up when I excuse myself to the restroom. I don't believe in going “dutch”, at all, with a man I'm romantically involved with. And no, I don’t really believe in offering to leave the tip on a date either. Obviously marriage is a little different, because what's yours is mine and what's mine is mine....I KID! I always liked when a man pursued me and the holy grail, when walking down the street, a man should be the one walking closest to the curb. Did I mention that I believe a man should relinquish his seat to a woman when the opportunity arrives?
Before I explore this further, let me just say that my husband is European, Danish to be specific. In my opinion, Denmark is one of the most egalitarian societies I've experienced when it comes to gender roles. Needless to say, there are things my husband simply does not do and hasn't really been motivated to do. i.e. walk closest to the curb. According to him, this is an antiquated practice that went out the window when we ceased having horses and buggies, which is the reason why it initially came about, but my daddy still practices this, as does my gay bestie, so I'm sticking to it. Besides, I love feeling like a queen and chivalry for me is more about that, than it is about reinforcing that women are somehow the weaker gender.
I know that there are many women who do not feel this way. In fact, I've gotten into heated debates with single girlfriends of mine who think my stance is old-fashioned. We have discussed, almost ad nauseam, whether or not I would even be able to find a man, if I were single in present day with my archaic stance on chivalry. I have one friend who doesn't think it's necessary for her to wait for a man to ask her out? "Why should I?" She asks. I'm highly capable. I know what I want, and I already know I'm interested. I agree. She is all these things and furthermore, she's a beautiful woman, highly intelligent, an intriguing soul, and the list of her praises continues. All the more reason, a man should be motivated to ask her out, less he risk such an intriguing and exceptional catch, getting away from him. Plus, it has been my experience, that men know what they want, too. If he is not making the first move, perhaps he simply isn't into you. I firmly believe that.
We can point to a number of pop cultural influences that have truly confused a generation of women and has them believing that they can do anything a man can do. Can they? Of course. A woman can absolutely do anything a man can do. Should she? No! Somethings, in my humble opinion, are best left for a man. Like the chase and the pursuit. Sometimes how you go about getting something, sets the tone for the way things will be moving forward.
In short, I just love to be treated well and like a lady. I don't believe this is passé and I don't think it has anything at all to do with my capabilities as a woman. Just because I believe in chivalry, does not mean I am unable to work outside the home or undeserving of the same opportunities a man is given. Is this a double standard? I'm not sure, but I don't think there will ever be a day when I will be pulling out a chair for a man or feeling the desire to say “after you”. I don't agree that chivalry is a form of benevolent sexism and that giving women special treatment, somehow denotes that they are the weaker sex. Rather, I DO believe that chivalry actually supports the belief that women are valuable and therefore, worthy and deserving of special care. The fact of the matter for me is that women and men are equal, yet different and the difference justifies and warrants acknowledgement.
What say you, fam? Sound off in the comments!
Photography by Kait Ebinger