Chivalry isn’t dead…but maybe it should be?

In Lessons, Life on April 15, 2011 by kiltforhire Tagged: , ,

Whenever I’m sitting down on public transport I always get up to give a woman or an elderly gentleman a seat.

I always hold doors for people to allow them through.

I hold car doors open for women.

I hold seats out for ladies at restaurant (although it’s not like I run into restaurants and then do that for random women that would be weird).

Most of the time I’ll allow a woman to go in front of me at a bar (unless I’ve been standing in a massive queue for 10 minutes).

But over the past few years I’ve noticed a strange disturbing trend and that is that many women just don’t accept a man being chivalrous anymore. They tut, they ignore, they say “no thanks I prefer to stand” when you offer them a seat and, I suppose, it feels kinda weird for me because I was brought up to always do those kind of things.

My mum (who I should point out called me the other day because she read my blog and was all teary about my post on family so I really should say hello *waves*) brought me up to be polite, to be respectful of people, to always ask people how they are and be concerned for people’s welfare. She made me realise that the most important part of being a human was to care for those around you and to treat women with respect.

But these days it’s getting harder and harder to be chivalrous and pleasant. I find more and more people are quick to snap at you and god forbid you hold a door for someone. Yesterday I held a door open for a woman and she said “I can do that myself you know” and gave me a horrible look.

I’m back using public transport these days and have now gotten up from seat to offer it to someone eight times. Only once has someone taken the seat. It’s getting to the point that I’m starting to think that I shouldn’t do it anymore.

So I put it out to the world – do you think that men should stop being chivalrous?

14 Responses to “Chivalry isn’t dead…but maybe it should be?”

  1. I would like to believe that I was taught the same things and attempt to open doors and the like when possible. Unfotunately I have noticed the same thing. It would seem to be a shifting of values. Shame really.

  2. Top tip on the standing up on public transport – whenever a bloke offers me a seat on the train / tube, it throws me into weeks of wondering if I look pregnant (I’m not…). So, when you kindly say “Would you like to sit?”, it can be heard as “You look a bit rotund.” Very much not the lovely, polite man’s fault, but might account for some of the tutting.

  3. I appreciate the courtesy when a man opens a door for me or when he offers to carry something heavy I’m struggling with. And even if I decline the offer, I still appreciate it. Maybe it’s not so much that chivalry is or should be dead, perhaps it’s just that women aren’t bought up to appreciate it anymore but instead turn suspicious and defensive when a kind offer is made.

  4. Maybe I’m a little old-fashioned or maybe I’m just old enough to remember that these things used to be expected from a man – but I adore men with these traits and it actually scores them a few extra ticks if it’s someone I’m dating or getting to know. I always appreciate a man treating a lady like a lady – and yet I’m a fiercely independent single Mother who never leans on anyone for anything. I think that women who rebuff these niceties are maybe just trying a little too hard to exert their independence, and do not value manners & polite conduct highly enough. Though, that being said, I am sure these are the same women who would happily complain if they were pregnant and forced to stand on a train. I, for one, wish more men were like you, Scott. Don’t go changing!

  5. Don’t change, I think it’s lovely.

  6. At the risk of sounding pro-Scottish (which I am unsurprisingly) I will point out that Scotsmen are brought up to be chivalrous. This is a good thing. I cannot abide rudeness in anyone. If a man (or woman) opens the door for me, offers me a seat on the train or even just gets up to let me into the seat next to them I will:

    1. smile broadly
    2. thank them
    3. usually tell everyone on Twitter how nice it was to meet someone with manners.

    Equally, if someone is rude enough to ignore your chivalrousness Scott it is entirely fair to tell the whole world about it.

    Don’t stop being a gentleman though – the ladies out there (and I stress the world “ladies”) will appreciate it. The ignorant b#*t#@ds can go back to hitting each other over the head with bits of tree trunks.

  7. I feel your pain matey. I also get in trouble for going out of my way sometimes, but it is still worth it. I think trying to be a half decent human being that thinks about others (female or not) is worth any torment that it might put you in.

    I know it is something that I hope to pass onto my boys one day…

  8. Please don’t change.

    We need good people out there (of which you are one –as are all the folks I know who have commented here) to be fantastic examples of nice human behaviour. You are not the problem.

    I find it increasingly challenging to be kind, generous and helpful. But I keep doing it because I’m more scared of the alternative. There are more good people out there, but the not-so -pleasant stand out a bit more.

    Stay your sweet self — you will draw other good people to you (like your lovely lady). That’s what you deserve.

    Keep writing!

  9. Don’t stop.
    I’ve always maintained that other’s moronicity shouldn’t affect the thigns you do that you believe and just and right.

    The ones who will appreciat your gestures, are the ones you are being chivalrous for in the first place. The rest… are douches.

  10. I’m with the others – I always appreciate someone extending the simple courtesies such as standing up for others, opening a door or whatever, whether that is male or female. And I certainly never blame them for it.
    What bugs me though is when I open a door for someone, and 20 people barge through all without saying ‘thank-you’. Or when I stand back to allow someone who looks like they need it more than me to get to a seat and a student hops down instead. Not cool.

  11. I might say no if you offered a seat to me because I am able bodied and don’t feel that i should be any more ‘worthy’ of said seat than you – I don’t *need* it, if you like. You got to it first, you should use it or else give it to someone who looks like they need to sit down. But I would certainly thank you. And then wonder if I looked pregnant.

    If I stand back to let someone pass or hold the door for them, and I get no smile or thank you in return, I will shout ‘You’re most welcome’ after that person. Petty? Maybe.

    It’s not just about women being rude, it’s about people being rude. Chivalry is just politeness, at the end of the day.

    Manners cost nothing.

  12. I’m going to agree with Nina. If ever a person gets up to offer me a seat on a train, I instantly think it’s because I look pregnant.
    Straw poll of my female friends think the same thing. The rest of it, wonderful. Australian women, we just aren’t used to it. But it is wonderful.

    Seats on trains pretty much come across as ‘FAT!’ Irrational as that may be.

  13. If you offer me a seat, open the door, offer to buy me a beer or offer me money, I will accept gladly.

  14. I think it’s important to hold on to values that show decency and caring for others…showing these traits shows our humanity…any any and all examples of this I’ll appreciate.I may not take up all offers, but i’ll certainly appreciate it.
    The other day getting out of a taxi, a man rushed over to me with an umbrella as it was pouring down rain…this was a beautiful gesture. Put a smile on my face!

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