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Why We Shouldn’t Let Chivalry Die.

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If I’m not seeing people talk about chivalry being dead, I’m seeing them talk about how it should be dead because it’s demeaning to women.

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I respectfully, but vehemently, degree with both of these statements.

Firstly, if even just one man continues on being chivalrous, it may be endangered, but not dead. I’ll bear this weight if I must, but I know there are others out there like me. So, we can quickly get rid of the notion that it is dead.

On life support, maybe. Endangered, definitely. But not extinct.

I think it needs to be said that any chivalrous act I perform or encourage others to perform, has nothing to do with my thoughts on the woman’s ability to perform said act by herself.

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For example, if I thought a woman wasn’t physically capable of pulling out her own chair or opening her own door, I’d be beyond misogynistic, I’d just be a jackass.

Fortunately, this is not what chivalry is about.

Chivalry is manners. It’s a way to show respect. It’s an entire demeanor and way of living that extends beyond opening a door for a woman. It extends to how you treat everyone in your life, including other men.

We shouldn’t let chivalry die because it is a value that encourages men to continue being respectful towards everyone. While men should perform chivalrous acts, women also should see it for what it is – respect towards them.

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So, women, try not to be offended when someone holds a door, pulls out a chair, holds the umbrella, or helps you with your coat.

Instead, be offended when a man does none of these things.

If he doesn’t respect you enough to take part in small things with you, what makes you think he’ll be there for the big things?

A real woman can do it all by herself, but a real man will always be there to help her anyway.

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29 Comments

  1. crissybwell on July 30, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    I couldn’t agree more, that it’s not dead and shouldn’t die. I absolutely love your last line, but of course there are many good lines in here. I have never been the kind that liked any of that stuff, a guy holding the door or pulling out a chair, but that was only because I wasn’t used to it. I miss when a guy used to stand up when a girl would walk out of a room, I don’t know why I like that, but I love seeing that in old movies 🙂

    Anyway, another good post and lots of things to think about. Chivalry definitely shouldn’t die and I am glad that men like you and a few others I know, are still out there.

  2. Steven Rettig on July 30, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    chivalry. equality. pick one, women…

    • Alice aka Moon Cat on November 19, 2013 at 7:00 pm

      I pick chivalry, but equally for both. It is when the stronger respects the weaker. When I hold the door for a man carrying heavy boxes, or on crutches. It is respect, manners and I appreciate it from a man who shows me such consideration. My estimation of him rises. At the same time I also demand of myself the same behavior towards those who are around me. I equally respect PEOPLE.

    • The surreal McCoy on November 19, 2013 at 9:15 pm

      totally, because it’s either/or!

  3. missree2013 on July 30, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Good post. You sound appalled at the idea of the death of chivalry and I am glad to know you wish to uphold this much needed trait in human nature.

    • James Michael Sama on July 31, 2013 at 11:22 am

      Appalled is a good word for it! The more and more I read about dating experiences from women, the more surprised I get about how clueless guys really are.

      It begs the question – are women choosing all the wrong guys, or are the majority of guys really that bad?

      • missree2013 on July 31, 2013 at 1:55 pm

        I think the blame lies in all of us, men and women alike. As women we will date the men who seem nice at first when asking us out but turn out to be different after the first few dates and then men who begin to date soon forget that their behavior mustn’t change and must remain constant or else risk becoming a part of the ”bad guys” group.



  4. sbahirat on July 30, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    Love the post!

  5. […] previous blog posts I have explained why we shouldn’t let chivalry die, how to spot a player, and even how to approach a woman without getting […]

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  10. Ritu on November 19, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    What an incredible, thoughtful, well worded post, and to the point.

    For someone who has been dating for years, I find it preposterous that people tell me my expectations are too high because I expect a man to be chivalrous. It is so rare these days, but it is out there. I have been lucky enough to experience it a few times (very few!) and it’s nice to read this from a mans perspective. Whether people agree or not isn’t the question. A man can easily be chivalrous,still be respectful and treat a woman as an equal.

    Thank you for this, I look forward to reading your work in the future.

  11. Hilary on November 20, 2013 at 12:40 am

    Last sentence ruined it.

  12. Tom H on November 20, 2013 at 8:00 am

    I wish that chivalry still made sense. It might in a very small context–say, when around a woman who respected and honored men, like women used to in the age of chivalry. Anymore, most women are feminists and no longer respect and honor men, so chivalry towards them is out of place. I’m, sadly, a red pill guy who has acknowledged the truth about today’s women.

  13. Mark Braun on November 20, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Well said and shared. It is a sign of respect. It is, when all is said and done, when a strong man bows a bit to honor a woman, regardless of her age, her allure or anything else. It is when we quietly transmit the message, “Madame, it is an honor…”

  14. Heather on November 20, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Loved your article. You wouldn’t happen to be single, would you? 😉 I wish more men thought like you.

  15. Chaylo on November 21, 2013 at 2:33 am

    I for one follow and teach an old code of chivalry. A code that dates back to a time when men and women were held to a higher standard. When they were expected to improve themselves constantly. When they were expected to seek knowledge and skill. When they were expected to know how to dance. Expected know how to defend themselves and those they cared about. Expected to create beautiful things and speak beautiful words. When they were expected to treat each other with respect.
    To that end I took the time to learn ballroom dancing and swing dancing and club dancing. I learned to fence and fight and shoot bows and guns. I taught myself to make armor and jewelry. I learned to write poetry and constantly expand my vocabulary. I learned French and Latin. I study history and try to learn from the mistakes of others. And I teach these things to any who wish to learn.
    I believe chivalry is about showing nice and being considerate. Working to improve not only your life, but the lives of those around you. It can be a simple gesture. Giving someone a dime when they are short at the checkout counter. Telling someone their gas cap is open or that they dropped something. To me these are chivalrous acts. And why you do them is as important as what you do.
    When I open a car door for my date it isn’t because I think she can’t or shouldn’t or because it puts me in control. I do it as a nice gesture. It is something nice I can do that may put a smile on her face. When I pay for a meal it is not because I want her to feel that she owes me something but rather because I feel I owe her something. The company of an interesting person is of great value to me. When I reach a door first I open it for whomever is behind me. Male or female. It is simply polite.
    I believe chivalry is about making restitution when you hurt someone, on purpose or by mistake. I also believe it is about demanding restitution when you or someone you care about is hurt. I believe it is about showing respect and about expecting respect in return. If I do some thing nice for you all I expect in return is a “thank you” or a smile. Nothing more. Just an acknowledgement that the gesture was appreciated. If that is too much to ask then you are not someone with whom I wish to spend my time or my effort. I prefer the company of other chivalrous people. Male and female. Chivalry is not purely a male trait in my mind. Anyone can be chivalrous. Anyone can show respect.
    People so often confuse chivalry with chauvinism. This is why people get offended by simple kind gestures like opening a door. They mistake the intent. Which is understandable as intent is hard to see. Also, there is a great deal of chauvinism in the world and it should offend. It should offend everyone and should not be tolerated. But I will not give up my chivalry for fear of offending someone. If my chivalrous act is mistaken and does offend then I shall apologize for the offense and attempt to explain myself. If they will not listen and insist that I am a “chauvinist pig” then that is their choice. They can live in a world where chivalry is dead and every kind act give offense. But I refuse to.
    I am one of the last of a dying breed of dancing warriors poets. I have an old soul and a comfortable smile. I will teach my code to any who will learn for I believe the world is better for it.

  16. Lauren on November 21, 2013 at 8:17 am

    For 2 years now, I have been dating a man who opens doors (and I mean every time), pulls out chairs, helps with coats, etc. I consider myself very lucky. He doesn’t do these things because he thinks I cannot or as some sort of archaic power struggle, but because he loves and respects me. In the end, these small gestures and the fact that he has continued them mean more to me than any grand gesture he’s done.

  17. Autumn Conway on November 21, 2013 at 9:32 am

    There are people that get offended when a door is held for them???

  18. Tom H on November 21, 2013 at 9:44 am

    I was brought up with some manners deriving from chivalry: open doors for ladies, walk on the outside of ladies when on the street, help ladies with outer garments, help ladies get seated, help ladies up and down stairs, escort them with an arm, etc. I still do it and haven’t yet been insulted for doing so.

    Chivalry derives from the allegiance that a vassal owed his lord to provide bodies at the lord’s command and the lord had a duty to protect and provide for his vassal. The same relationship applied to marriages–the wife was to share her body with her husband and he had a duty to protect and provide for his wife. Anymore, many women feel free to deny their husbands his conjugal privileges, so chivalry has died as far as those women are concerned. Yet those same women still expect men to act in a chivalrous manner towards them. Pretty obnoxious.

  19. Jae on November 21, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    The last sentence says it all

  20. Jae on November 21, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    The last sentence says it all.

  21. jcapz on November 21, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    Great post! I’ve been enjoying reading your posts since I’ve discovered your blog and I’m really inspired. It’s definitely a nice reminder of why I started my blog too. It can’t be a bad thing that very often just a small gesture causes women I bump into to always say “wow thanks, chivalry isn’t dead” right? Shows that chivalry would be more often appreciated. Love the last sentence too!

  22. Lori on January 7, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    Dear Gentlemen – Do NOT let chivalry die!!! Just because some clueless women don’t appreciate it doesn’t mean you should discard it. The heck with them! Concentrate on finding the few APPRECIATIVE women who DO appreciate and respect YOU for being so far above average. You know, women have this same problem too – the ones that give so much, keep themselves nice for their man and respect a man and give him space – they get crapped on by plenty of lousy men. Doesn’t mean that they should become mean and nasty toward men – right? Hey, I am still waiting, waiting, waiting to find my wonderful, spiritual, fit, intelligent chivalrous man, and in return, I will take great pleasure in spoiling him rotten – like he deserves an appreciative woman to do for him. 🙂

  23. […] "We shouldn’t let chivalry die because it is a value that encourages men to continue being respectful towards everyone. While men should perform chivalrous acts, women also should see it for what it is — respect towards them," wrote James Michael Sama on his website. […]

  24. Gina Scott Roberts on November 20, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    I am a woman and I was raised Old South. That means I was taught to be respectful to others and to accept it without expectation from them in return. If someone opens a door, holds a door or whatever for me, I say thank you. I also offer this courtesy to others, accepting any thanks offered but not truly expecting it.

    Respect and equality are not contradictory. In fact, I was raised to believe you can’t truly have one without the other. If you don’t respect someone or they don’t respect you, how can you treat each other as equals? If you are not equal, how can you truly respect each other?

    I am a woman. I can open my own door, pull out my own chair but if a man does this for me, I will take it as the sign of good manners and respect with which, hopefully, it is done. Should I do the same for someone, man or woman, I hope they will do the same since I by no means intend it as a slight or comment on their ability to do so for themselves.

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