Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Is Chivalry Still Alive?

One of the nicest compliments I've been paid recently was being called "a true southern gentleman." My mother and grandmother taught me some things that have stayed with me for the rest of my life. For instance, a gentleman opens doors for ladies and lets them precede him through. A gentleman pulls out a chair for a lady and gets her seated before sitting himself. A gentleman tips his hat (if he's wearing one) or even removes it when he meets a lady.  Those of you who've reached my age are probably familiar with these and a few other bits of what Mother would call "the manners of a gentleman."

Today, on my morning walk, I met three ladies (of varying ages). I touched the brim of my baseball cap and said, "Good morning." One of them responded. I've noticed the habit of opening doors and pulling out chairs seems to be observed more in the breach than the actual performance. And that leads me to today's question.

Am I totally out of touch? Did the movement for equality for women (and I'm totally for it--glass ceilings have no place in our modern society) make chivalry obsolete? I wonder how many of the readers of this blog still observe what I was taught to be good manners. I'd like to hear from you.

TWEET WITH A SINGLE CLICK: Is chivalry outmoded? (click here to tweet).

picture via FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Patricia Bradley said...

I swanney if you haven't stolen my blog for next week. lol Actually I'm still doing it and if you don't care, I'll link mine at Harlequin Heartwarming to yours. Mine will be titled Are Manners a Thing of the Past?

Richard Mabry said...

Patricia, I'd be honored for you to link our posts. Thanks for your comment. Interesting that it's the first one on this subject--maybe chivalry is indeed a thing of the past.

Patricia Bradley said...

I hope not, Richard...I hope not.

Dawn M Turner said...

I really hope chivalry isn't truly dead. I know it's been desperately stunted though. Sad to say, but many of the men I know never seem to think about doing all those little niceties. On the one hand, I think part of it is that they don't think about doing something like that for someone else because they weren't taught any better. On another, I think the more nasty feminists have berated enough chivalrous men about such things that they are less inclined to do it these days. I've certainly seen some men verbally lashed by feminists for doing something as simple as opening a door and holding it for them. I find it really sad when such a kindness is seen as threat worthy of scorn. :(

Richard Mabry said...

Dawn, I agree with all you've said. Part of the problem is that, whereas men of my generation learned some of these acts as normal courtesy to women, modern males don't get this kind of modeling (and that's what it takes--modeling, not instruction).
The other half of the equation is that some feminists felt (and some may still feel) that door opening and holding a chair somehow were acts demeaning to women.
Whatever the cause, sad as it may seem, although chivalry is not dead, in some instances it is on life support. Thanks for your comment.