Chivalry Is Not Dead… But Should it be?

I know, I know, I haven’t blogged for a while… you missed me? Awww… If you didn’t well boo hoo.
I’m about to talk about something that will step on a lot of toes, corns and farms, but I find that it’s quite necessary. I’m talking bout ma clique! Chivalry.

Some argue that it’s dead. Some (like me) say it’s not, and intend to be chivalrous until their dying day. You may be wondering, “really? Chivalry still exists in 2013?” You better believe it. As long as I’m alive, it does.
I actually had intended to write about this for a while now, actually made the draft and everything weeks ago, but it turns out its a good thing I didn’t, as I’ve been freshly armed with new insight and other opinions on this ever controversial topic.

A couple weeks ago, I took the bus with daddy from New Kingston to go home. This was in the 5 o clock bells so you know most people would be leaving work. The bus was pretty empty when we got on, but as the journey went on, it became filled very quickly, and of course there were more women than men. Soon all the seats were gone and only standing room was left. There were two particularly chatty ladies behind my seat and as we came to another stop, some women came in (daddy was asleep by this time so don’t judge him–he’s old). Instinctively I motioned to one of them asking if she wanted to sit and she gladly accepted. The two ladies stopped in mid conversation, mouths agape, and eyes widened in awe, like they had just witnessed the zombie apocalypse. Wasn’t a big deal to me, it’s something I always do, you know, being the gentleman I am.
<—- If I lived in the 15th century, who knows, maybe this would be me! This is a little drastic though but I'd like to think of myself as that guy 😀

There was however another occasion, devoid of the bus this time, when after choir practice, a friend of mine who was traveling from Mandeville had two pretty sizable bags with her. I was talking to her about something, and for some weird reason it didn’t occur to me to offer to help carry one of her bags. Imagine my surprise to hear her and a couple of the ladies from the choir cussing about how all the men tan bad and were the scum of the earth just walked past and none offered to help.
You know who did feel a way?                                                  THIS GUY —–>

I actually apologized to her about it, you know, seeing that she kinda has a little spot inna mi heart, and now guys reading must be saying, “yute! yaa ediat?! Apologize fi wah?!” Clearly we have different convictions. Like I said before, this is how I view myself when it comes on to chivalry:

(I’d prolly have a helmet that allows her to see my face and winning smile though, just sayin’)


Now, for the crux of the matter!

In this day and age, is chivalry really necessary? Opening doors, paying the bill (as a man) if you go on a date, lending her your jacket if she’s cold–that stuff; should we still do that? On Monday, February 11, 2013, I was in the back of a bus and posted this status on Facebook based on what I observed at the time:

Hate to see 3 and 4 men sitting on a bus while a woman stands in their vicinity and NONE a dem naa budge or even think to offer up their seat.

I also put it on my bbm status, that prompted the following response from a good friend of mine (clearly a guy): “Y mi fi gi up mi seat? Woman cyaah stand? Joke u a mek”. At first, I was like “wow” but as we continued talking, he conceded that he would definitely give his girl an empty seat if there was only one and the two of them were traveling, as well as a pregnant woman and old people. Fair enough. (See? He’s not so bad, you can calm down now girls…lol) But according to him, a regular woman can stand! He pointed out a very important thing to me. “Equality we seh.”  Equality. Hmm… I never really thought of that.
For real enuh, this is 2013 after all. Women have long before this been empowered. This is no longer “a man’s world”. Although most of the leaders of the world are men, women have been gradually phasing themselves into things that were once upon a time considered manly and are actually taking over. Women are doing construction, engineering, running companies, driving taxis! Anything you can think of that a man can do, besides creating and supplying sperm, a woman can also do. Women are just as strong as men and it can be argued that women are actually stronger, as generally they have a much higher threshold for pain and stress than men. For ages women have fought for equality, and though this is not the case everywhere, in many societies they have succeeded in this battle! Women are now considered equal in most places, especially in the Western world. So I ask again: Is chivalry necessary?
I am of the train of thought that since this was once a man’s world, being chivalrous was sort of a way to appease women, to let them feel good and appreciated because at the time we were considered superior. It sounds messed up, but it’s really not. Think of even the bible. It focused mostly on men; women had to play a significant role in what was happening at the time or be really important to be mentioned in the bible.This kind of thinking now begs this question, since we are now considered as equal in most societies, shouldn’t chivalry be done away with? N.B. If you have a corn, or several corns or tender toes, kindly remove them at once. Why should guys go the extra mile for women anymore? Because it’s nice? We feel bad for how the world used to be? If we’re equal, y’all can stand up when there are no more seats. Open your own doors. Change your own tires if you have a flat. Pay the bill on dates. Heck, some women don’t even care for chivalry! Why do some of us still do it? Maybe cause we want something? I dunno, maybe 🙂

There are compelling arguments to be made for both sides. Personally, I’ve always thought that I should treat women special, not because I want anything, or because mi a luk dem, but because I believe we really are a little stronger physically, so we can bear a little discomfort to make y’all happy, especially for all the good stuff (most) women have done and will continue to do. Men have always been seen (by themselves and by women) as the providers in homes, and even though this has changed drastically, I think it is still a part of our nature to want to be like that and to look out for our women. Maybe I’m stupid or just stuck in the old ways of life, but I’m okay with that.

Some women take this thing too far though. Like they are God’s gifts to man and should be waited on hand and foot. Hear mi a seh nuh, mi nuh deh pan dat. To my Facebook status update about hating to see men sit around a woman in a bus with no regard to her, a friend of mine commented saying saying, “offer your seat… no matter how far u r”. Ummm… sure, if I’m on the back seat why not bawl out to someone in the front to push past everybody to come where I am and I bore up to the front where she was? Especially if she’s surrounded by other men? Dat nuh mek no sense. I don’t think that’s a reasonable expectation. Maybe a man who is close by would just kiss him teet and tek di seat. Frankly, for her to even say that kinda annoys me. And I am Mr. Seat Giver Upper Man! I hate standing in buses yet I do it anyway.

Check out the Merriam Webster definition of ‘chivalrous’. It’s showing gracious courtesy and generosity, mostly because you can. I still intend to open doors for women, and give up my seat on buses or other places, walk in front of them going down a flight of stairs or behind them going up. I intend to be chivalrous because it feels good, not because I think I’m required to. Some women will appreciate it, some won’t, but if I was doing it for appreciation, I woulda stop long time. People say chivalry is dead; if I was doing it for appreciation, I woulda been the one who killed it!

As I told my friend in our bbm convo, its different strokes for different folks. I don’t think chivalry will ever fully be dead, but I agree, the world has changed and it might not be seen as important as it once was. Men and women are for the most part now considered equal.

I digress though, guys shouldn’t have to pay the bill on every date, cause that’s just selfish to me, especially if you (as woman) have the means to do it sometimes. Sometimes.

This picture is what I live by, but maybe most of you think like my friend Vondane: “Chivalry died when female independence got life”. Perhaps chivalry (in this day and age) is like Roman numerals, unnecessary. But come to think of it, they’re still used 🙂

You know the drill! If you think I’m some chauvinist pig or I’ve possibly opened your eyes to a side of chivalry you’ve never thought about before, comment below, whether you agree, disagree or you’re ambivalent. If you read this from Facebook or Twitter, you can always comment there, or if you wanna shoot me an email to talk about stuff privately, feel free to hit me up at: allenalwayne@gmail.com

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5 thoughts on “Chivalry Is Not Dead… But Should it be?

  1. Chivalry is what men do for women. The other way around, I think that's just plain courtesy. I personally don't expect chivalrous happenings at any point in time, as I open my own doors, pull my own chairs, heft my own bags. But when I am offered help, I see it as courtesy and not necessarily chivalry because I'd do the same thing for someone who needed help. As for the women who expect to be waited on hand and foot, that's just being plain lazy.

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  2. Ok, a lot of thoughts came to me when I read this, so please bear with me as I share them all.
    Firstly I believe that what is lacking in today's society is common courtesy in general.
    Holding a door open for someone irrespective of gender is just plain courteous. I hold doors open for men. For e.g. if I just entered a building or room and a man were to come directly after me, I would hold the door open for him. IF he has manners he will hold on to the door upon approaching allowing me to go, as opposed to walking past me without so much as a thank you. I do it for both genders, it doesn't matter to me, I was raised to be a gentleman's lady…well a lady overall 🙂
    In this day and age I don't think that chivalry should be dead, or has been killed by this whole women's lib and equality crap. I believe what has happened is that the general populous just no longer has manners. This I believe is one big reason for the breakdown in society in general
    By the way you did read right, I referred to this whole concept of women's lib and equality as crap. Before you get offended, let me hasten to say that as a woman I appreciate the struggle and the fight that women before me fought to allow me the privileges I have today. I however referred to it as crap because what it has evolved into is total and utter foolishness, this whole concept of “I AM WOMAN HEAR ME ROAR!!!” is just rubbish. God designed us to be equal; no gender is more or less significant than the next. We are all entitled to our basic human rights on a level playing field irrespective of gender. However God designed gender roles for a purpose and any woman who thinks that she is capable of fulfilling a man's role in society is only fooling herself. I am not bashing or undermining our capabilities as women, however there are some things we just CANNOT do, no matter how hard we try – donating sperm isn't the only thing that falls into that category. I believe that no woman can father a child (a concept perpetuated a lot especially in single parent households). Once again not bashing that kind of family as my mother was a single mom, but she was and still is incapable of playing the roles of both mother and father.
    The family structure that God implemented, where the Man was the head of the household is not because God is sexist. I believe that women were designed to nurture their families. It is hard to fully cater to the emotional needs of your family when your main priority is to “win bread” so to speak. I am also not saying men shouldn't strive to cater to their family’s emotional needs either, but God instilled different qualities in both genders that perfectly complement each other and that have to work together to achieve the common good.
    A friend said to me the other day that “being single forever wasn't a part of God's plan for mankind” and I agree. He made a helpmeet for Adam and as such Male AND Female TOGETHER reflect the image of our heavenly father in totality.
    My 2 cents
    Sandrie

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  3. Ha! Well well well….I agree wholeheartedly with common courtesy. I too open doors for men.. or just when and where necessary. But, I do believe in men opening doors, pulling out chairs and carrying bags (when necessary). It doesn't mean I'm incapble of doing it myself. I am more than capable! (Check me at the end of the month with my crocus bags lol struggling from Coronation Market) However, I think there is a place for men doing these very things. It says something…to onlookers and to the person receiving the courtesy!

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  4. its interesting to think of chivalry as curtesy but in my opinion what this argument really boils down to are those standards that society still inculcates in us as soon as we are born. We're grown up to think of males behaving a certain way and the correct and incorrect way they are to treat their feminine counterparts. It doesn't matter how feminist or independent you are as a woman, if you have heavy bags and see the door opened for u and there are two persons available to help, the general public would instinctively look down upon the male who was not inclined to help, more-so than the woman.
    I do believe common curtesy should be shown on all fronts, to everyone regardless of gender. However, what's even more interesting may be the fact that while we'd like to believe there's not a need for chivalry anymore–that we, as women, can open our own doors, pull out our own chairs and pay for our own bill on that valentine's day date– we may actually rely on chivalry more that we know. This is because without it, what we might actually find is an end to the notion of romance as we know it.

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  5. I'm enjoying thhis debate. Thanks for raising awreness for an issue that has long beenof concern to me.
    I don't think chivalry is dead–dying maybe but as long as articles like this one are made public there is still hope.

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