Is chivalry dead…or just hiding?

By on September 19, 2006

Old fashioned movies always displayed perfect chivalry. Men would open doors for women, offer their jacket when a breeze hit and even in extreme cases, use their coat to help her step over a puddle in the rain. In those romance movies, just a quick kiss was enough to satisfy a man’s lust. How many men really do those things now? And how many women would actually accept those offers?

Before, women used to play the damsel in distress, waiting for their Prince Charming to come rescue and whisk them away. Women were like puppets, being controlled by men. Now the strings have been cut and women embrace their independence.

“Men wouldn’t go out of their way to hold a door open for another capable man, so why would they for an independent, strong-willed woman?” said sophomore Vince Mercandetti.

Women now claim they don’t need a man to be happy. Rather than depending on men, they like to prove otherwise; that being single is the way to go. “I lived the past 12 years of my life living with only girls, and seeing men as an object that just comes and goes. Relying on yourself is key. Sometimes you’re the only person you can trust,” said Annie Patch, junior journalism major.

Chivalry has changed a great deal over time. “As chivalry is concerned, I think it more has to do with women than men. I think men have lost a lot of motivation over the years to be as courteous to women,” Mercandetti said. “Where do you find motivation, when every woman seems to be taken or drawn to guys that seem to care less about them, or pay them less attention and give them less respect?”

Many guys figure they shouldn’t even bother.

“It seems like holding a door open only accomplishes the fact that the girl will now no longer have to extend her arm. Chances are she is not going to say anything more than thank you. In general, girls seem to no longer show any sort of recognition to courteous guys so what are we gaining from being nice,” Mercandetti said.

While that does seem to be true is some cases, what men don’t know is that deep down, women really just want to be treated well. “I wish chivalry wasn’t so hard to come by nowadays, because to me when a guy does little things…like hold a door open…it means the most,” sophomore Sarah Ahmad said.

But sometimes it seems like guys are completely oblivious to it. “I don’t think guys are afraid of being chivalrous, I just think most of them were never taught to be chivalrous or they are just too lazy,” sophomore Jessica Alamanza said.

Maybe time and age is an issue. “My opinion is simple, chivalry is dead between the ages of 16 and 25, after that men become chivalric because they finally realize that women deserve to be treated well,” sophomore Dave Shepard said.

A common misconception is that chivalry is one sided. Men should practice chivalry, as should women. For example, if the man opens the car door for the girl, she should lean over and unlock his door while he walks around. Instead of the man always paying for everything, the girl can offer to pay, split or buy the movie tickets instead. The little things can go a long way.

To be chivalrous today means opening the door for anyone, male or female. Sadly today, any acts of kindness can be taken the wrong way, with assumptions of an ulterior motive. “Common courtesy in general has dwindled, just like we don’t hold doors open for women, nobody says hello to each other as they walk by on campus unless they already know each other either,” Mercandetti said.


About copress