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May 17, 2012

The Modern Age of Chivalry

When I was doing last Sunday's post on hugs, I went looking for a picture that fit what I was trying to say perfectly. I found one from an article about hugs on a site called "Hall of the Black Dragon," an online men's magazine that bills itself as the "Online Magazine for the Modern Gentleman."

I was a bit intrigued and decided to browse some of the articles after I was done with that post. It's your typical men's magazine, talking about dating life, relationships, things like that. Even if I were single, I don't know if I would try to live my life like many of the articles suggest.

But one article that I stumbled upon caught my eye a bit. Entitled "A Guide to Being Chivalrous in This Modern Age," it spoke to me because I do picture myself trying to be at least somewhat chivalrous even in these modern times. Within reason, of course. Obviously, things have changed a lot since the original age of chivalry, and you have to make allowances for that. But I don't think there's anything wrong with a bit of chivalry.

The article makes the point that there are basically four kinds of responses to this kind of behaviour, again adopting a style that I wouldn't necessarily choose, but it does get the point across. I'm going to tell you a bit about the article itself before getting into my feelings, so the list below is straight from the article (though not quoted).

These responses are:

1) Demanding it: This type of woman expects to be treated like they're precious, and expects it so much that they don't even bother acknowledging it. You won't get a thank you if you hold a door open for her.

2) Suspicious of it: This woman will look at you funny when you do something for her, wondering what your motive is. There's no way you're doing it just out of the goodness of your heart.

3) Offended by it: How dare you even think that she needs you to open a door for her!

4) Loves it: The only one of the four that makes being chivalrous feel worthwhile. This one doesn't expect it but is very happy to accept it when they do get it. They also don't mind if you do it. She is just generally appreciative that you would even think to do this for her.

Ok, so that's what the article says. It also says that basically it's up to guys to choose how they want to act and not to worry about the reaction they're going to get if they do decide to be chivalrous. If you're going to do it, enjoy the ones who accept it and don't worry about the ones who act weird about it.

We've talked about this sort of thing before, in my "Sexist Pig" post, but I think it bears revisiting here. I like to be considerate and good manners are always a must. Some of those things, the suspicious or offended ladies above would probably not like. The thing is, I wouldn't feel like I'm being myself if I didn't act that way. It's just the way I am. I would never take it to the extent where the woman would feel belittled, unless she's one who feels belittled if a man does anything nice for her. But I don't see anything wrong with just a bit of chivalry.

The world is already a rough place. Why not try to make it a little better by just being courteous? The relationship terrain between men and women is already littered with mines. I guess some would say attempting any sort of chivalry just adds another mine to the ground.

But it doesn't have to be that way.

The true chivalrous man is never doing any of this because he feels that the woman can't do something for herself. And he's also not afraid to realize that sometimes a woman is going to do the same for him. Unlike back in Medieval times, that's certainly to be expected too. I don't know how many times a woman has helped me out in situations where I really could use a hand.

So yes. I do believe it's possible to be chivalrous in this day and age. Yes, it's sort of a modified chivalry from what we remember from history (no wearing something the lady gives you when you go out for a joust, to name one example). But it's chivalry nonetheless. And sure, some women aren't going to like it.

But the ones who do like it, and react appropriately, make all of those other ones worth it.


  1. Applause, applause, applause and much smiling appreciation, Dave! You knew I'd love this one! :)

    I fall into the #4 category above. And I'll go one step further and say there's a bit of simple expectation mixed in, but not to the level of #1 example. Rather, it is an expectation for ALL people to behave in a courteous and polite manner to ALL people.

    I never have understood the "angry woman" syndrome w/ this whole thing. Nor do I get how any female would choose to take offense or feel belittled if a man offers to help her with something. Same goes for a woman offering to help a man with something, for that matter, but we are addressing a specific act here.

    Chivalry existed to celebrate the differences between the sexes. To give us a vehicle to express appreciation of the ways we complement one another across gender lines. It was a beautiful concept in its prime, and I am thankful it trickled down over the centuries and maintained integrity.

    Sadly, pretty manners are becoming the exception, rather than the rule. I find that a travesty and I will salute every man who chooses to embrace a chivalric mindset. Rock on with your manly self, Dave! I love this about you! And it must be said - thank you to Miss Barb and your daddy for raising you to be such a man. :)

    - Dawnie

  2. Loved the compliment from Dawnie. Thanks. I always feel good if a guy holds a door open for me. I also hold a door open for a guy if he's behind me. That;s just common decency to do that. I guess my mom & dad raised me good to. I've always been a very caring person about people. I worry about my friends if they are going thru bad things. I've been told I'm very caring & that makes me feel good. I can't imagine being any other way. I wouldn't want to be any other way.

  3. It is sad that basic courtesy is becoming so rare, though whether somebody wants to call it chivalry or something else is immaterial. I'm glad there are women out there like you, Dawnie, who really do appreciate it.

    You are trying to make me blush again, aren't you? :P

    Mom, if you haven't gone to visit Dawn's blog, you should definitely do so. I think you'll love it.


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