Bryanna McDermott | Student Columnist
Is chivalry really dead? It is a question which has been debated time and time again, but with no true answer.
In the 1950s chivalry was alive and well, but in 2015 the results vary. Back in the day, holding open the door for your lucky gal was simply expected, now the same gesture can earn a man a smack to the face.
Chivalry is not dead, it is hiding from feminism.
In 1992, The New York Times, published an article where they asked different people whether or not chivalry was dead. The results were split right down the middle, with some claiming that “chivalry was buried in the 1950s” and others saying that chivalry is “just plain old fashioned consideration.”
For those who think chivalry is dead, Martin Daubney, a writer for The Telegraph, blames it directly on feminism. He says that, “The risk of being accused of sexism makes me think twice before helping women.” Martin explains that people look for sexism where it clearly isn’t, and that although his mother taught him to be kind and courteous to women, he is often labeled as a sexist pig. He then made light of a survey taken by This Morning, which found that 58 percent of men would drive past if they saw a woman struggling to change her tire, saying, “This is the post-feminist backlash. Men don’t want to help women because we’re scared of appearing patronizing. You might offer to help change a tire and get a slap for being sexist.”
On the other end of the spectrum is Hailey Yook of The Daily Californian. Her article, “Chivalry isn’t dead, but it should be,” drives on the opinion that chivalry is sexist. She claims that the traditionalism of chivalry allows the continuation of gender stereotypes. Since chivalry is usually applied to a man being kind to a woman, it imposes that women are weak and need a man for support. Hailey Yook also claimed that if women let men pay for their dinners, they didn’t need an equal salary. Shouldn’t women deserve an equal salary no matter who is grabbing the check?
She also says that chivalry is all one sided, as one never sees a woman carrying a man’s books for them. Because of this she states, “I can’t help but wonder if these aren’t mere acts of kindness and affection but acts rooted in protection and power as well as displays of masculine strength and resourcefulness.”
Feminism is crushing chivalry. Acts of kindness and courtesy are now deemed sexist. Do you really believe that men don’t think women are capable of opening doors? It is 2015! Women are exceptionally powerful, they are CEOs of companies, pop culture icons, and political leaders! Letting a man open the door or pull out a chair, doesn’t show her as weak. It makes a woman look smart for finding a man who respects her enough to do the little things and support her on her quest through life.
In a blog post on alphamom.com, Chris Jordan, explains her horror of watching her teenage son get to the door of a shopping mall first and barging through without holding it for her or the two ladies behind them. She brought him back, made him hold the door, and asked him why he hadn’t held it in the first place. His answer shocked her. “Girls can do anything boys can do, so why should I do anything extra for girls?”
This response brought on a topic deeper than chivalry. Feminism is killing old fashioned manners.
The basis of chivalry is manners, and many are not even gender specific. When one goes to pick up their date, go to the door. In 2015, women drive cars and, yes, they often drive to their date’s house to pick them up. It is just good manners to walk to the door and greet them at the door instead of simply honking the horn or sending a text. If there are not enough seats, offer to give yours up. It doesn’t matter what gender, it’s being kind. Hold the door open for the persons behind you. Whether you are male or female, holding a door is effortless and being polite.
These are just three common manners that are considered chivalry, which can be applied to both genders. The list can go on and on; however, it shouldn’t have to.
Why can’t chivalry and feminism coexist? Women shouldn’t be angry when a man offers to carry their bags or help them lift a box. If she doesn’t want the help, she should kindly decline and continue on her way. Chivalry is not a form of sexism, it is a trait of kindness, courtesy and politeness which is often instilled in men at a very young age.
Chivalry needs to come out of hiding.