Resuscitating Chivalry

Located somewhere in the depths of the mysterious male mind is the desire to be the epitome of chivalry that seems to come so easy to the men in all those old movies. They just don’t know how.

But why should they? It’s not like we women expect it of them. Western society today doesn’t appreciate the man who holds the door, doesn’t praise the man who walks us home and doesn’t commend the man who opens the car door. We are outright shocked and bemused when a man pulls out our chair for us or rises when we leave a formal dining table. At least we will be the first time it happens to us.

Instead of wishing and hoping that we will someday meet a man who possesses these traits, we can take action and encourage the men in our lives to adopt a more chivalrous demeanor. The problem is that we no longer insist that the men in our lives show us respect by observing proper etiquette. Back in the day, it was quite appalling if a man did not remove his hat before speaking to us. Today, most are not insulted in the least when he doesn’t show restraint from swearing when conversing with us.

Around the time I entered the age when my peers began using foul words in common conversation I decided that I would not allow them to get away with such a travesty. I demanded that they be gentlemen when speaking to a lady. I was quite astonished with how willing they were to co-operate.

The first step is to never use these offending words your self. A friend of mine, who is very good at finding appropriate synonyms, once said that if he was talking to a girl who used the words openly, he would too, because he didn’t see her as a lady. If a man has the absence of decency to continue to use the words when you do not reciprocate, you can either walk away and have him probably never figure out why, or you can take a stand and ask him to clean up his language, at least when interacting with you. If you are kind about it and even a little humorous, your persistence will be taken well, at least most of the time.

Chivalry has not been mortally wounded.  Ladies, we can rebuild it. We have the technology.