Chivalry is defined as the art of being polite, gallant and courteous. Now while according to me, all these are completely reasonable, I do find a small problem with the fact that they are always directed towards women! And before you go about thinking of me as ‘ungentlemanly’ let me explain myself. I find it seemingly worrisome that the world is being populated by numerous activities, all for women. Think about it; there is Mothers day, Valentine’s day (where more often than not, men are meant to be the gift bearers), her birthday, her dog’s birthday, and who can forget that oh so special day:- Women’s day on 8th march.
Chivalry means exuding self confidence, but also compassion and empathy for women. In simple terms, it implies doing things for women a normal man would not do for his guy friends. This could be something simple from opening the door, pulling out the chair for his lady love to sit on to even ensuring that a lady does not get splashed by dirty water from a puddle run over by a speeding truck.
I recently read an article on the internet on how to behave like the complete gentleman (obviously a flimsy advert copied from Raymond’s), and well it got me thinking about a few points. The first to note was that a man should always offer his coat to his lady when she feels cold. Ummmmmm….. While this might make the girl feel cozy and all, what happens to the poor man? Doesn’t anyone actually consider his thoughts on whether he would like to have his jacket left on or not? Reminds you of Mass on Christmas night, there are obviously going to be quite a few shivering men, in spite of the fact that ladies are the ones wearing spaghetti straps.
Another point which I find quite amusing and rather quite silly is that women want men to LISTEN. Honestly I find that this is actually quite important and one of the most vital signs of communication, but it can get quite irritating when we are listening and she, pointing to her face says, “Hi, my face is up here!” However, not to belittle listening, but there is also a thing as too much listening, like in the case of shopping. If you continuously agree with what she says, well the only thing I can say is that I hope your credit card can sustain it. And while I’m at it, I might as well bring up another point- that of shopping. If you are a woman reading this, remember that you are only going to bore your man by taking him shopping; that is until he finds something more interesting to do. And if you are a man reading this, then you probably already know that to rid yourself of the boredom of shopping, you look around and suddenly find that the cosmetics section of a supermarket seems a lot more interesting. This in turn leads to a venomous look from your girl and the silent treatment. (All of which would never have happened in the first place if she hadn’t taken you out shopping).
I learnt my lesson the day I went out shopping with my mom. We spent 3 hours searching for shoes for myself, and when we finally returned home exhausted and tired, we came back with shoes….. for my mom with nothing for me!
In the past I used to think that chivalry is of the utmost importance, and so a few years ago, I approached an old lady with zeal to help her cross the road. What did I get in return? Shouting, because apparently she thought some young lad had come to steal her goodies. How humiliating. The same concept of chivalry that used to be an integral part of the male identity has become the greatest impediment to men’s freedom and their access to their basic rights.
Chivalry has become an unnecessary evil for men. Today it is not all surprising to find that many women prefer to go Dutch on a treat or prefer to hold their own doors open. So do not be at all surprised to find that your little good deed burns up in your face. With changing times, the thin lines between genders blur and there is now a dramatic shift in women’s role. This actually brings me to the conclusion of this little argument about whether chivalry is required or not. Honestly speaking, chivalry is good up to a certain extent. After all men are supposed to be the hunters and women the hunted, just remember to not keep hunting for too long as your hunted prey might waltz away with another gander and you will be left only holding your gun.