Sunday, January 17, 2010

A concept sorely needed.


Is chivalry going out of style? Or are men of today in general too absorbed with their own lives that they don’t care about opening doors or offering seat to elderly or even pregnant women in buses or other public transport. I see many of them too wrapped up in their cellphones and mp3 players to even notice an old lady standing beside them. Or maybe they do, but they just don’t care anymore.

I don't buy the idea that feminist movement caused the decline of chivalry. I blame it on rudeness and inconsideration. You see, when I am walking into a restaurant or a store and someone is walking behind me, I hold the door open for that person, whether it is a woman or a man. I don’t expect the men to do this alone, as we women can do this as well because chivalry, at least in my mind, is tied to manners and basic decency.

However, one thing I don't know about is the virtue or intelligence of laying down a man’s jacket in a puddle. I figure most ladies are smart and capable enough to just step around it. Besides, what’s the guy going to do if the lady gets cold as he walks her home, give her his wet jacket?

On the other hand, maybe today’s society is just afraid. I know I am. Because whenever someone smiles at me as I walk down the street I would looked at him with suspicion. Yes, because I have no idea if he is disarming me before he assaults me or pick my pocket. And if I have a flat tire and a man stops to give me a hand, how do I know if I am going to be safe? You see, to be able to trust our fellow man in today's climate is very difficult.

So, what do good manners come down to? Respect. Chivalry at its best is showing respect to all those around us whether or not they show it back. Opening a door is not a sexist issue unless you make it one. I do not believe that the guy who opens a door is more or less likely to go to 'hooters' than the one who lets it slam in our face. I do believe however that the first guy will consider our feelings about 'hooters' before the second.

And that is respect.

4 comments:

Mimi said...

The world today is full of non-attentive people talking on cell phones or messing with their ipods and ps3's. I do appreciate good manners but have noticed they are on the decline! Come on people, use your manners and your personality!

Tracey said...

I think chivalry is dead, or at least dying. My husband son and son in law are gentlemen though, but sadly kids aren't taught respect anymore....xxx

Odette said...

Mimi,
is it because people are too busy? i know good manners is not gone - yet. but it is a dying tradition. maybe we parents can re-introduce them to our kids?
xoxoxo

Sid Brechin said...

I do blame the women's movement. I have been sworn at for opening doors followed by a scream I'm not helpless I can do it myself.

However this is the best example I have personally witnessed.

People tend to get off work at the same time and take the same trains. I recall once a train was crowed and an elderly gentleman got up to give a young woman her seat. She swore at him and gave him the I can do it myself argument. I was embarassed for him. A few months later same women on a same train. Only now she is several months pregnant. She out loud says. Isn't any Gentleman going to give lady a seat. Several men went to stand up but the gentleman who had been chewed out was there. He stood and said what she had said a few months back. Several other passengers said I remember that. All the men sat back down. I think she stood right until she gave birth as whenever someone started to stand someone who had been there when the man offered her the seat grabbed the arm of the gentleman and explained the story.

It's not like I was sworn at once or twice for offering a seat or opening a door. On a guess I would say several thousand times. My comment in such situations was usually just because you are not a lady does not mean I am not a gentleman. Sometimes they were shocked to silence sometimes they would say I am not a lady I am a women. I would answer that's correct. The dictionary defines a woman as a female of lower class than a lady. Look it up if you can read.

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