Is chivalry really dead?

Courtesy Photo
Courtesy Photo

Many question what has happened to chivalry in modern society.

Usually, a woman would say that chivalry is dead, but her hidden reason for saying so is that she’s been disappointed by a man.

“I believe it exists somewhat,” said USM alumnus Andi Owen. “I feel it is more prominent in the South. Some women take offense to chivalry and some are offended when they are ‘not treated as a lady. It exists because of how most guys are brought up.”

Chivalry is simply an act of kindness toward a person who is deserving (or not) of receiving that kindness. A man should put the woman to whom he’s committed before himself, but it’s not his obligation to provide that woman with every little necessity or desire in her life. Both men and women of all ages need to demonstrate chivalry.

It is not a quality or act for just men in their 20s. Rather, it is a form of civility that all people should value. Chivalry has its cycles in life for all men and all women. A teenage girl is going to show a different version of chivalry than a 40-year-old woman, and a meek boy will evidently show more genuine chivalry as a grown man.

Commonly misunderstood in society, women play a role in chivalry as well as men do. A man is expected to open the door for a woman because society has shaped actions this way. A man opening the door for a lady is signifying that he is doing the work while she can just walk straight through.

This is surely an act of chivalry, but females in society are beginning to see this as a negative signal toward them. Women are offended by this due to feelings of inferiority or weakness.

I can open the door for myself. Truly, this is not saying that women are weak, but that they are important.

But, no generalizations should be made when it comes to chivalry. Men still show chivalry toward not only women but also children, other men and themselves.

According to the Daily Mail, only one in seven men will offer their seat to a woman on a train or bus. Although the notion of chivalry in men today is disappearing, gentlemen still exist.

Many simply do not care or have lost interest in pleasing a woman, especially with manners.

Men neglecting the dedication to being gentlemen was probably caused by women’s mindset on independence. Men may think that women are powerful and self-reliant these days, so they show no interest in making an effort to be chivalrous.

Women are neither more powerful nor are they better than men, but they surely are not helpless and timid. Women can do things on their own and for themselves, but since chivalry has been such a common and old-fashioned way of treating women, men are still expected to abide by this societal norm, which is becoming rare.

In the culture of dating and hooking up, which we are given no choice but to live in, chivalry is weakened and forgotten. I even show acts of chivalry because chivalry is sophistication and etiquette.

“I like the idea that all people, regardless of gender, should display chivalry,” said junior biology major Stephanie Ard. “When I think of chivalry, I see it hand in hand with respect. Having respect for those around you works wonders for not only them, but for you too. Chivalry isn’t dead, it’s just evolved into something that both worlds can experience.”

You must treat others how you would want to be treated and this goes for everyone. So, I would like all people to treat me with politeness. Let’s break the stereotype of only men can practice chivalry.

Chivalry should be practiced by men and women, whether it be holding the door open or buying dinner for someone. Statistics say that three in five men appreciate women holding doors open for them. Both genders have countless rights and yet also countless differences. They should treat one another equally.

Chivalry applied to only men only encourages sexism and double standards that women are forced to face. All people of both genders deserve chivalrous acts.