Although the title couldn’t sum it up better, it first has to be said that chivalry is not something that has died, but evolved. In the past, men felt pressure to be chivalrous – so whether they liked it or not, they did it because, well, everyone else was doing it.
I suppose many women define chivalry in different ways, but for me, it means going out of your way to show a woman you want to take care of her, and impress her with your kindness and generosity.
This can be done in simple ways, like offering a coat if she’s cold, opening doors, sending flowers, paying the bill. It can be done in more grand ways, like sending romantic gifts to her office, asking to dance out of the blue, surprising her with a heartfelt letter.
What happened to chivalry is, the societal pressure was taken off – so men who were not naturally chivalrous (i.e. kind and generous), were now free to act however they please.
This does us a huge favor. Women of the past had to practically marry a man before she saw his true colors, because there was so much pressure for him to show decorum. Now there’s no such thing, and so the men who are truly classy will stand out.
If you’re in a predicament where you’ve dated man after man, and none of them have showed that they are willing to think for anyone but themselves, then you’ve just been dating the wrong men. In all likelihood, you’re a kind and generous woman who deserves a lot better, despite what you believe.
It may be harder to find good men out there now, since men have so much license to be as obnoxious as they want – but all you need is one good man. Just one. You’re probably not going to find him immediately, but there are enough of them out there.
You’re going to have to weed through a lot – this you probably already know. Don’t give up hope, though. Finding a chivalrous man is well worth it.
The really terrible thing that people like to assume is that, because we enjoy chivalry, we’re not feminists. I disagree. I think that respecting ourselves enough to want a man who is going to treat us with the highest possible regard is very feminist. It shows we value ourselves and take interest in our own future, as well as the future of whatever family we wish to create.
Men say to us, Why should we? Why should we be chivalrous? Those are the wrong men. They don’t get it, they’ll never get it. Ask a chivalrous man why he’s chivalrous and he’ll probably say something like, Because I love women, and I think they deserve all of the kindness a man can offer.
Men who ask why they should be chivalrous should ask themselves if they truly love women, or if they are only capable of loving themselves.
They’re just not emotionally mature enough to be a valid partner. All too often now, we see women who are willing to take care of a man in so many ways, but men can’t be bothered to lift a finger. Open the door? Why should I? Pay the bill? Why should I? As if we’re the ones asking them out, as if we’re vying for their attention.
We’re not. A note to men: If you desire us, treat us that way. Like you desire us – not like you’ve hired us.