Just the other day I wandered into this discussion with a co-worker who began complaining because men no longer seemed to open doors the way she thought they should. Below is part of our continued "discussion" about it...
...In any case, the question you raised regarding whether or not chivalry was dead has been rolling through my head for a few days now. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for humans treating all other humans with respect and, well, if everyone could just be nice to each other then the world be a better place. But I wanted to know what the peanut-gallery thought about this, so naturally I typed "is chivalry dead" into GOOGLE and got back a few interesting links which I've offered below. I suppose if you agree with me, you'll see this as an act of "chivalry." However if you don't, then it'd be something else. In any case, I think that one can get a general idea of how this Medieval (literally) concept is viewed and practiced today:
First, here is a rather nice summation of where this concept of chivarly came from and how it worked:
And a quick essay about women and chivarly in the 21st century:
And the CODE OF CHIVALRY itself:
Then the personal opinion from a variety of sources. Quick reads...
Some kind of chat board discussion regarding the loss of chivalry:
This guy has some strong opinions regarding the United Nations and manages to weave his views regarding women and chivalry into them. Take it for what it is I suppose:
I imagine that most women would agree with this article, however as she herself states, she wants to have her cake and eat it too. Her rationale behind thinking that full blown chivalry should still exist is that "Even the most hard-core independent woman is still a female. Females have emotions and feelings. Deep down we still want to be treated like a lady with respect, politeness and common courtesy." Really. Females have emotions and feelings? So that's why men should feel compelled to hold doors open? As I said, I think that everyone should think about holding doors open for anyone under any circumstance, but her reasoning is moronic. :
This takes a slight bit of reading into to, but I like the idea behind this "The folly of chivalry: is it better to die on one's feet than live on one's knees?" In other words, why "submit" to someone else's authority or ask for their help when you are capable of doing something yourself? :
And I enjoyed this, um, "bi*tch" session (Chivalry is Dead, and I am an idiot. By Jen) and particularly the responses she gets as you scroll down the page. This one specifically was great!
This whole story was about how poor widdle girly you couldn't find a big stwong man to fix this twicky car thingy. MY GOD! You whine about how men don't know about cars these days. Well , what is a woman like you doing driving a car? Shouldn't you be in the kitchen baking something? You've mistaken being a whiny bimbo for being a bi*tch.
You disgust me and all true bi*tches like me!
Posted by: Sarah Dempsey on June 10, 2003 07:45 PM
note: you'll have to replace the insistent ***** in the URL above with the B-word ...god forbid the world will implode if it is written down.
Well, there are just a few of the interesting things I found regarding chivalry in our time. Call me what you will, but "gender-specific" preferential treatment has no place in a civilization where we are simultaneously expected to treat everyone as equals. I'll hold doors open for men and women alike. Heck, I'll even hold it open for a dog, cat, lizard, or marmaset if need be. But as we sort of talked about briefly, I think that the underlying cause of this perception that chivalry is dead has less to do with the 21st century man/woman relationship than it does a more general sense of selfishness on the part of individuals. While I wasn't there, I can only guess that life in the distant past revolved around family and a tight-knit society. Today, this is a "ME" society where we are taught to live life to the fullest...to please ourselves...to succeed despite others. This isn't a recipe for taking time from our "busy" schedules and go out of our way to helping others in need, even if it is a slight gesture. All of this is very generalized, of course, as there are plenty of individuals left who exhibit kind and courteous behavior. But even if pure chivalry is dead, I'm not so sure that it isn't a bad thing in the end because everybody deserves to be treated equally (until they prove themselves unworthy of such).