Who Is Really Killing Chivalry?
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As the saying goes, “If chivalry is dead, then women killed it.”
This, of course, is referring to the increasingly prominent ‘I can do it myself’ independent attitudes of women. But, there’s also another saying about not letting one rotten apple spoil the bunch, or bushel, or something like that. You get the point.
Take a peek at these surprising statistics:
- Only one in seven men will offer their seat to a woman on a train or bus.
- Over a third say they never assist mothers struggling with heavy prams (Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System).
- But only 7% of women view chivalrous acts as patronizing.
- Three in five men appreciate women holding doors open for them.
I’ve bolded the third point above for a reason. Often times, men don’t perform chivalrous acts because they feel that it will be offensive to the woman. That it implies that she is not able to do something herself, which means everyone is missing the point of chivalry – showing respect to others.
Of course, there are a lot of men out there who don’t do these simple acts because they just need a lesson in manners, but that’s a whole other article.
For example, over 5,000 men were surveyed, and it was found that over a third of the men said they would never help a woman struggling to carry a baby carriage up or down stairs, for fear of offending the mother. What kind of society are we turning into, when kindness is viewed as offensive? How do we progress? Where do we go from here? To become a loving, caring community of people is nearly impossible if the acts which require such a result are seen as negative.
The problem here, is that just one in 25 women say they feel embarrassed when a man demonstrates old-fashioned manners such as carrying heavy bags or pulling out chairs. This is a problem because your risk of offending someone pretty damn low – yet action is still not taken.
Less than one in five men will regularly pull out a chair for a woman to sit down. That’s under 20%. Is this really because they don’t want to offend her? Or are they just lazy?
Men have asserted for quite some time that it is women who are killing chivalry – but the proof is in the numbers, gentlemen. Not only are women (generally) not opposed to it, but I have found through endless discussions, that they crave it.
Being chivalrous and showing respect are our opportunities to show women that we are not all the same. That, as our perceptions are often incorrect about them, theirs are often incorrect about us.
It is time to stop embarrassing ourselves by overlooking these small details and courteous acts. There is no excuse.
The power lies with us to change the way relationships are viewed. It lies with us to change the tone of the phrase “all men are the same” from a negative, to a positive. It lies with us to create our own happiness by building fulfilling relationships.
Women – don’t think you’re off the hook, though. While it is a man’s job to respect women, it is a woman’s job to give him something to respect.
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Of course there is that school of thought among guys (read guys NOT men) that; “You women burned your bras, now suffer the consequences!”
It’s a very handy excuse to be lazy!
Why wouldn’t a man get to be lazy in the presence of a woman? How ridiculous would it seem if two men went around all day opening doors for each other?
Even if I don’t need help doing something and a man does it anyway, I 100% appreciate the effort and my respect for grows for that person.
I pride myself with the fact that I still hold these values.. I do it at times, for the shock value alone.. The thing that bugs me is when my gestures go unnoticed.. These women (and men, at times) feel they are entitled to my efforts, and show no gratitude or even notice..
Your last line says it all for me.. I will give you all the respect, until the day you show me that you aren’t deserving of it.. You have to act like a lady if you want to be treated like one, period..
Strangers don’t have to care about your efforts buddy. They probably don’t want your efforts, despite whatever survey here is cited.
This is such a good post. Thank you for your endeavors in bringing back chivalry. Kudos!
What you’ve over looked is that it’s a mother’s and father’s job to teach boys from a very young age how to be a gentleman. When boys are old enough to open a door, they need to be taught to open the door for their mother and sister(s). They need to be taught not to enter the door first. I’ve actually waited at the door for my sons to open the door. It’s not that I cannot open it, it’s what should be done…and I ALWAYS thank them. So manners and appreciation have to be modeled. What is that saying, ‘Do as I do, not as I say’?
Sadly, being in education I can tell you first hand that it is not being taught and because it is something that also needs to be modeled, teachers can really not make an impact in this area…it does need to come from the home.
Wait, why are women entering the doorway first? Isn’t that sexist?
Great Post! Being an “Independent Woman” since I was a child I STILL enjoy common Human courtesy. I open doors, offer my seat, help people of ALL ages and gender with their carts/carriages/wheelchairs. HELP and courtesy is GENDERLESS.
I appreciate the same being offered to me and yes there’s many women that are chivalrous – we exist… and BOTH genders should be celebrated for the “kindness” shown.
I am a very traditional believer in many things, AND I was raised by a single father whom was not the most chivalrous man anyone will ever meet. However, I refused to date any man (or boy if you prefer) that didn’t immediately respect me enough to open a car door or conduct himself appropriately around women. I am 23 years old, and believe it or not it didn’t take me long to come across men that still do this. A man that on every occasion opens my car door, pulls out my chair, and speaks when spoken to in public (I still believe that in a public setting a man should be addressed versus a women). These beliefs are not because I or anyone that knows me would consider me anything less than a strong independent woman, this is solely because I respect myself enough to know that chivalry is solely a respect driven act.
I believe that the problem with chivalry dying is caused by women, women who don’t respect themselves enough to demand or wait for the man who will hold her door. I can’t say that I blame men for not holding doors for women who do not appreciate or understand the level of respect that comes with it. Why would anyone do something that continuously goes unnoticed or isn’t appreciated.I am not saying that all women are this way, however it seems as though our society as a whole has began the ‘settling’ movement (that’s what I call it at least) everyone is completely content with compromising what they don’t think is important or isn’t common (chivalry) for something they want (a relationship). Open your eyes boys and girls, it’s always the small things that matter.. the things that can’t be bought. .. respect, dignity, comfort. I won’t ever tell anyone that I am ‘lucky’ to have found an amazing man, because I was never going to settle for less. I just so happened to by fate to meet and incredible man who was raised properly and treats ALL people with respect, some would say that’s luck… I prefer to hand this one to fate and strong beliefs in what I and he deserve. Great read!
One problem: if it’s respect then respect must be reciprocated. I do not see the female side of the equation if I as a male am expected to open car doors and risk physical danger. the reason men rejecting it is because it is counter to equality. I treat women like I do men. If I see a man carrying something and he does not specifically ask for help, I will leave him alone. I would never open a car door for a man. The whole idea of a man being a protector does not fit with feminist ideals since. They claim that gender is a social construct. Many of the components of chivalry are based on the belief that women are meek and vulnerable.
I completely agree I can’t remember a single instance when a woman held a door open for me. It is an old sexist custom and honestly many people prefer to take care of themselves and don’t see an imposition on their time as kindness.
[…] My awesome blogger friend, James M. Sama, posts frequently about Chivalry. In today’s blog he suggested that WOMEN may have killed off Chivalry. […]
I think another problem is that women don’t demand anything of men for fear of scaring them off. Some women have just been treated like crap for so long that they feel like when a man is chivalrous they are putting him out somehow. No one wants to feel like a burden.
It can also be viewed as ingratiating or manipulative behavior.
I vividly remember, almost 20 years ago, an older man stepping out of a grocery line to help me carry my 6 month old baby (in a bulky carrier), three bags of groceries and a gallon of milk to my car. He left his cart and his spot in line to help me! A simple, random act of kindness left an impression so powerful I remember it to this day. That’s chivalry!
[…] a recent article, we discussed some statistics about men and chivalry. The percentages of men who practice chivalrous acts of respect and courtesy such as pulling out […]
im with u mizliz!! im a single 46 lady and i help out, show manners and kindness where needed with men, women, children and animals.
spoiled. entitled. masculine women. a entire generation saw their peers forced into a deadly war where many didn’t come back and even more came back with life long problems… their conclusion: women were oppressed.
chivalry is dead because respect for men is dead. Homer Simpson. everyone loves Raymond… you idiots catering to women are gonna get taken advantage of. you’re disposable. all they want is your utility.
take care of yourself or marry a foreign woman.the American female is toxic.
I completely respect men. I just don’t respect you. I probably wouldn’t respect your friends.
[…] James Michael Sama – Who Is Really Killing Chivalry? […]
Unfortunately, the one woman in 25 who gets offended can cause legal troubles (in a workplace, for example) by filing sexual discrimination/harassment suits against a man who displays chivalry. In her eyes and in her empowered insecurity, she mistakes that act as a precursor to rape or as a condescension of epic proportions. But there are no legal risks for not being chivalrous–the only penalty is being labeled a jerk, which most men have heard before anyway. While one rotten apple shouldn’t spoil the bunch, the risk of a lawsuit from an irrational wacko often weighs heavier in our minds than the risk of losing a smile and a thank-you from other level-headed and deserving women. Men with something to lose have been taught to err on the side of caution by women who use feminism as a weapon. Self-applying a label doesn’t grant respect or privilege–only actions can earn them.
In the end, both genders lose.
Unfortunately AgreewithSteven, we still live in a very sexist society. That means that you probably shouldn’t go around assuming you know what strange women want. That’s reality.
[…] Who is really killing chivalry […]
Kindness towards anybody (children, animals and so on) is a different topic. This article is about chilvalry. I believe that men who like and respect women will always want to be chilvalrous. Unfortunateley not all men truly like women or are just too selfish in general and a lot of women don’t feel feminine and consequently don’t particularly like men either, which is why they don’t like chivalry. So gentlemen, treat ladies with chivalry and treat feminists like a man.
I would also suggest that our gadget-poisoned society has made men (and women) less thoughtful. Because, in our electronic-device filled world, ignoring people around us is all too easy. Before long, we’re all forgetting the social niceties that can brighten someone’s otherwise tough day.
I would like to chime in here and say that I feel for men. Women don’t make it easy. There are tons of mixed signals. I would like to say that has never been me, but I can’t. When I was younger and fresh out of the military, I would have given a man a run for his money if he so much as thought about offering to help me carry something. I was tough and out to prove a point. However, as I have matured and become comfortable with who I am, no longer trying to prove to the world that I am capable and strong, I truly appreciate an act of kindness from a man. I am capable, I am able, but I am also a woman and I enjoy being treated as such. I may not always hand over the heavy item, but I will always thank a man for being a gentleman and for offering. It is rare that anyone ever takes the time to stop and offer assistance, so when it is done, I can’t help but be super appreciative.
For example, on more than one occasion, after work and in my business clothes I have been at a gas station fiddling around under the hood of the car to add oil or check oil or whatever the case is with my former old beat up car. There have been men all around who are willing to watch me, but never once offered assistance. Many times I get in my car and just want to cry because I don’t do cars. There are men who do and can. Why don’t they?
So men reading this, please listen. Most women love a gentleman, even when it is only to be a gentleman and not to “pick up” on or intend to see us in the future. I apologize for the women who are unkind and reject your gentleman like behavior, but don’t let that stop you. They may be trying to prove something to themselves and there is nothing you can do about that.
I never see a woman checking her oil when I’m at the gas station. I have offered to fill a tire or three. I have also jump started a few cars and changed tires. I work at a full service carwash in Winnipeg and sometimes I’m on the driver’s side when a car comes in. Today I helped a young woman out of her F-150 and she had quite an appreciative grip on my hand and profusely thanked me. I’m pretty sure I’m the only gentleman in that place. I help women, injured people and elderly everyday. No one else seems to. 🙁 Maybe it’s because I’m 46, from NJ and not some 20 something, who doesn’t have a strong work ethic? I am just nice to people and that niceness does come back 🙂
That is wonderful Jonathan. It seems to be so rare. I often wonder if it is just because of where I live, or if it is across the board that men don’t go out of their way to offer to help a woman. I have a friend who just moved to the south and she is constantly commenting on how genuine and kind the people are there and that men are truly gentleman. Every time she tells me a story, I think it is sad that we are so surprised by the actions of a gentleman. That is the way that it should be!
Keep it up Jonathan. The more people see men acting like gentlemen and woman being grateful, the more likely it is that others will catch on. 🙂
You feel for men and not women on this issue?
As a woman, I believe Chivalry should be done both by women and men. I do open the doors to men, offer my seat, do kind things for them, say thank you for their kind gestures, and smile to show appreciation to them. Men want respect and kindness too. Unfortunately, the media and feminists stereotype men in a negative way and teach women to treat men poorly whether male family members or any other males outside of family. Media put so much attention on Mother’s Day, but Father’s Day is not highly regarded as the same as Mother’s Day. The media paint men in shows as incompetent, lazy, not smart, irresponsible, and other negative things shaming the men as a whole. Court systems in US view single men who are fathers as not able to care to their children and many custodies of children are given to females due to stereotypes. I can’t blame men for being upset at women especially since feminism and media continues to teach females especially young ones that it is okay to use the men for their needs, put everything on their tab for everything while the woman money saves her money, not show respect to males and do chivalry to them, and other things. Feminism is becoming a problem in eastern nations and men are speaking out and more men are not doing chivalry because they don’t get respect from the women in return for their kind gestures.
I really like it when people show respect for me and my time when I go about in public. I generally mind my own business. I come from a big city. I can and do take care of myself, and that includes keeping an eye out for potentially misogynistic people who have stalked me in the past or otherwise violated my personal space on the streets. I think it’s important to be mindful that sometimes the most chivolrous thing you can do is leave a woman alone who’s probably been harrassed all day by men who feel a need to express their sexual desires toward her.