Sunday, 4 March 2012

Chivalry is still breathing and let’s leave it to breathe!

Some people say chivalry is dead and some say it's old-fashioned now but I would like to explore a deeper meaning of the word here. I know many women of my age and those older who say that all men are the same and no gentlemen really exist in our generation, but I would like to differ here.

I've met men who opened doors for me, offered an elbow to walk along, hosted a suitcase in a plane’s overhead compartment or waited for me to enter the lift, or pulled the chair, or paid the bill on our first meeting. I’m not offended when a man offers to carry a heavy shopping bag or recommend walking on the outside of the sidewalk when escorting me down the street. I have come out feeling nice about the experience and the person. I am a lady and would like to be treated like one. And if a man is man enough to do that, I am impressed.

Once I went for an adventure trip with my friends, where while climbing up, at one moment, I almost slipped through a rock. A friend of mine extended his hand to help but I told him to let me try by my own. He backed off and waited for me to join him at the top. I managed it by my own. Of course it’s an adventure trip so in a similar situation I don’t want a man to do the helping a damsel in distress thing for me. I can handle that. But in a social environment, if a man offers to get me a chair or a drink, I find it courteous. I don’t expect a man to do all this but if he does it for any woman, young or old, I would be delighted by the gesture.  Though it’s important to do it naturally, without just trying to make an impression.

I wonder why few feminists make it a frowned gesture by giving it name of gender bias. I feel it’s perfectly fine if some one shows they care.  Holding a door open for a woman is one of the basic chivalrous acts. That doesn’t mean a woman is incapable of opening the door herself. It just means that you are showing common courtesy and respect. I don’t believe their politeness stemmed from the belief women were less. Why should we equate simple courtesy with gender roles? I feel that everyone, male or female, should be willing to assist those who need it, and should also be appreciative of any assistance given.

If a man rings me at home at night it could be because he wants to ensure I reached safely. It’s fine if some one lends a coat to any body struggling with a sleeve. There is no reason for a war of the genders here. Women inclined towards feminist tendencies should understand that there is not always a hidden motive behind this gesture to let you down. Remember you are not so weak that a man can establish your dependence by simply opening a door for you.  Receive such gestures politely with gratitude.

I dislike women who pretend to be delicate darlings all the time and pretend to walk all brittle when draped in a sari and expect a man to hold their purse or mobile. Please don’t try to be like a lady; if you are not. Just be yourself, be whoever but don’t fake being feminine just to extract chivalry from a gentleman and be treated like a VIP at his expense.

Chivalry is simple courtesy. And it should work out both ways: If a man holds the door open for you, you must say ‘thank you’ in return. Such behavior and good manners are expected in BOTH the genders. It’s not a concept that should be limited to the things men do for women or vice versa but extended to include things that people do for ‘others’.

Generally people ask questions – Is chivalry dead? I say No it’s not dead but it is to a point endangered. To the men who still practice it without being tacky, I salute. To those who don’t, get off your lazy ass, put the video game controller down and help your lady open that jar. There is nothing wrong with being chivalrous to a woman you love or are courting.

We should all be kind to each other whenever we can. I would rather risk offending someone than risk leaving them to struggle when they could have used a hand.
So guys! Go get chivalrous to all women not just the pretty ones ;-) and all the ladies out there learn to appreciate the little gestures that make you feel so special :-)


  1. truly...chivalry indeed celebrates womanhood...makes her realize how special she is!

  2. Thank you so much. This is the for the first time that people who are not connected in my real world have given me their feedback. Thanks for sparing time and sharing your views :)

  3. chivalry ain't dead, its related more to a burning passion for doing something, than just opening a jar... passion for righteousness, or doing anything with heart is chivalry.. its from inside.since childhood..

  4. I saw a trailer last night Gaurav :)