Chivalry is not dead

By Bobby Horn Jr.

Recently I came across an on-line article which caused me to stop and consider the implications. 
The article was entitled “Why Chivalry is Dead? From a Woman’s Perspective.” The author contends that chivalry died not just because men were too lazy or that women were becoming too independent but for a third cause. 
“At some point, both sexes must have felt that chivalry was less than vital. I blame it on cyber culture,” writes Aksa Manzier in She writes that texting and other social media communication have made it easier for a man to woo a woman and that he does not have to put in the work anymore. “What girl wouldn’t enjoy being taken out for dinner,” she writes. “Who isn’t interested in a guy who will buy her flowers and chocolates, a guy who will open the car door for her, a guy who will open any door for her, a guy who will take long walks with her, a guy who will watch the sunset with her? Most girls fantasize about this chivalrous gem.”
But men, she writes, will take the path of least resistance passing over one woman for a “less challenging one.” “Because of this, women feel pressured to act a certain way in order to feel loved and special. They realize that having high expectations will only parlay to disappointment,” she adds. 
Apparently, the writer does not have a problem with this since chivalry is an “oppressive behavior that has caused many women to adjust their expectations of men. Too many believe they will only be acknowledged if they adjust, which is just a form of emotional manipulation.”
OK, where do I start with what is wrong with this? First, chivalry is NOT dead and will never be dead as long as there are those who are willing to practice it. The Southern gentleman is not a myth and although it seems harder and harder to find one nowadays, they are still out there.
Before I go any further, let me explain when I write “chivalry” I am not referring to The Knights Code of Chivalry and the vows of Knighthood written of in the Song of Roland (comprised in 1098-1100) but to modern, basic forms of etiquette. 
Chivalry is never about wooing another person, just as proper etiquette is not designed to make yourself seem better than someone else—it is about respect, showing the person you are with that you respect them as well as yourself.
When I open a door for a lady, or pull out a chair for someone I am not only saying I respect you but that I also respect my daddy who taught me to do this.
“The first rule of etiquette a boy learns when he’s about to enter society is that civility is due to all women. No provocation, no matter how unjust and rudely delivered, can validate a man who fails to treat a woman with anything less than utmost courtesy,” wrote Ilona Andrews in On the Edge.
Ladies if, as Ms. Manzier writes, a man is too lazy to show basic courtesy to you, then I suggest you keeping on walking. There will be a true gentleman to take his place.
It is so common now to say that chivalry is all about subjugating women, making them feel less than equal and should therefore be cast aside. Judith Martin, author of Common Courtesy: In Which Miss Manners Solves the Problem That Baffled Mr. Jefferson, would disagree. “The rationale that etiquette should be eschewed because it fosters inequality does not ring true in a society that openly admits to a feverish interest in the comparative status-conveying qualities of sneakers. Manners are available to all, for free.” 
Some time ago a picture circulated on Facebook of a man and woman walking down the street, with the caption “What is wrong with this photo?”
The responses fell in three camps. The first was that the people were appalled that the picture showed the woman walking street-side with a man next to her. Any gentleman knows that the man should always walk closest to the street. The second camp were people upset that anyone should suggest that men and women have “places to walk” and that women, being equal, should be able to walk next to the street if they wish. The third camp was blissfully unaware of any problems in the picture.
I hope that ladies will understand that when a man opens a door for you, or offers to carry a package for you he is not saying that you are incapable of doing it, but that he has been trained that it is what is proper in a civilized society.
Men, I implore you take the time to learn courtesy and then show it. If you are not familiar with her, get acquainted with Emily Post. 
Chivalry is not dead, as long we practice it and pass it one to the generations what come after us.
Oh, and a note to boys who may come calling for a date with my daughter in four or five years from now—if you honk your car’s horn and expect her to running out to you—guess again. You will not be dating my daughter!

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