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.