I was browsing pictures for my next blog entry when I came across a blog about the death of Chivalry. It immediately caught my attention because I do have the same sentiments. I do believe that there has been a major decline in the number of gentlemen in this world. But what piqued my interest was the argument being made whether or not women should be blamed for it. I couldn’t help but react and read on with my brows raised. After reading the whole entry I decided to state my thoughts on it through a comment; however, I felt that I needed to do more than that. I wanted to expound on the topic.
The age of chivalry dates back to the medieval times, specifically the age of knights and horses. it is generally defined as:
The sum of the ideal qualifications of a knight such as generosity, valor, honor, dexterity in arms, courtesy and gallantry toward women; Principles of knighthood
As time passed, more people associated these principles with being a gentleman. It focused on the proper behavior of men toward women. In my opinion, and I think a lot of people would agree that during those days women were less recognized. They were assumed to be passive and dependent. They were brought up to be gentle, submissive, and agreeable. Those were some of the qualities that they must possess in order to be accepted by society. Thus, the term Damsel in distress. I would think that men were made to be gallant and courteous because they saw women as fragile. On the other hand, I also believe that it was based on respect and a sense that women are worthy of it. And that for me, is the essence of chivalry.
Though times have changed and women have grown more capable and more independent it should not directly affect the existence of chivalry. Independence should not stop men from respecting women. It should not stop the value of courteousness or gallantry. The way I see things, women being blamed for the loss of chivalry is like an insult. Are we supposed to be ashamed or regretful that we have achievements and we can take care of ourselves? Does it strip us from our worthiness? I think not. Principles are fundamental. They are general truths about conduct. Doing them should not be based on external factors. They are done because they are deemed to be right.
Personally, I think that chivalry is lost because men believe that they don’t have to practice it. They would not be reprimanded nor punished if they failed to simply open the door or carry our things for us. We have tired of expecting men to be gentlemanly because most of the time we are just disappointed. And I really think it’s stereotypical for them to say that if they show simple acts of respect toward women, they are labeled as “nice guys” I mean what is so wrong about that? Unless they have their own selfish reasons as implied by saying “Nice guys finish last” they should take pride in doing the right thing instead of doing them only if they can gain something from it. It’s sad that more people have become jaded, selfish and cynical. Do they really think that if they weren’t chivalrous they would do any better?
That is why, when I see a man offering his seat for an old woman or letting a woman pass before continuing to walk, I can’t help but smile. It’s not everyday you see something like that. When I’m on a date and he insists on opening the car door before he lets me out; leads me to the place and allows me to walk in first, gets my chair for me and sits when I’m all settled; I automatically have this preconception that he must really be something. Just by doing those simple things, he not only reflects a fine upbringing and made himself even more interesting; he also earned my high regards. So, the thought that chivalry is dead or on life support because of women really does not sit well with me. I just think that men simply decided that it didn’t matter anymore.