Chivalry should not become a lost art and we, as women, ought to step up to the plate a bit more and encourage men to treat us as women, thereby respecting them as men. Do you have tips, ideas, or stories to encourage men to be… men?! Open doors for us, initiate dates, honor us as women, etc? Let’s chat!
Whoever says that chivalry is a lost art is not at a good Catholic college.
When I got here, all of a sudden I felt like I didn’t have to open doors anymore. What is this madness?! Maybe chivalry wears off a bit in college (because it’s not quite the same now), but it still happens rather often. It’s interesting because I’ve noticed girls opening doors for each other as well.
I’ve heard girls here get offended at guys for doing this, and that makes me sad. I’m not a guy, so I can’t tell you exactly how that feels, but I feel like it’s an insult to his man card to shun him for doing something nice. I’m guessing that this attitude from women is a major reason why guys stop being chivalrous sometimes. We don’t know the exact reason why guys do chivalrous things, but I think it’s the least we could to do politely say “thank you” and recognize it. Unless he’s blatantly accusing you of being a weak woman, I’m fairly certain he was just trying to be nice.
Last week I was struggling to carry a heavy box of pudding across campus to our Ministry Fair. (If you were wondering, yes, 144 little pudding cups can be VERY heavy folks. And we were handing them out at the Ravens Respect Life booth with pro-life stickers on them.) A friend and I were riding the struggle bus lugging around said pudding when a guy across the parking lot offered to carry it for us. He did not question said pudding, or even ask how far he would need to go. Plus, he was carrying some raw chicken (Walmart run?) and a drink. So! We exchanged loot and he saved the day by carrying it across campus.
I think that was a rather chivalrous thing to do. We certainly could have managed (because we’re strong independent women, you know *HINT:sarcasm*), but it was a kind thing to offer. In this case, we probably did look crazy while breaking a sweat moving pudding. We kind of did need help. But even if we didn’t really need help, it is nice to have it. Even for something as simple as a door.
Moving off my soap box!
What can we do to encourage chivalry? Say thank you. We all appreciate being appreciated. And positive reinforcement encourages repetition of the good action.
And in the nicest way possible, expect this of the guys you hang out with. Guys, if you walk a step ahead to catch the door, that is awesome. If you pick something up that we drop (not dropping to get your attention, but legit dropping something), that’s nice too. And carrying things like above raw-chicken-man is rather appreciated as well.
We can’t go around with our noses in the air expecting every man to bow at our words and heed every request. Chivalry requires mutual respect. That’s why it’s important that:
1. Guy initiates chivalrous deed because he wants to be nice or legitimately help a damsel in pudding distress.
2. Girl recognizes said action and reinforces exemplary behavior.
3. Both above actions are taken so both guy and girl leave the situation feeling appreciated and respected.
To encourage men to act as chivalrous men, we have to act like respectful women. Better yet, just be a respectful person in general. When people go out of their way to be nice, say thank you. We as women have the power to raise standards or leave guys stranded wondering what the heck we expect of them. Expect chivalry by demonstrating the same amount of kindness, and people around you will notice.
Are you one of those people who gets mad when we talk about chivalry? Why or why not? Do you feel respected or belittled as a woman? If you’re a guy, what can women do to encourage you? Let the conversation being!