Lifestyle

Chivalry Isn’t Dead; We Just Don’t Appreciate It

If you know me you probably know that I consider myself to be pretty independent and self-sufficient. I’ve traveled around the world (with others at times and alone at times,) and I’m not afraid to step out of my comfort zone. I’m a well-educated professional who enjoys my work. I live alone, and I’ve become fairly handy inside my little home. I can lift heavy things, put furniture together and fix little issues when they arise, and regardless of the number of grocery bags I bring home, I make one trip from my parking garage to my apartment.

I’m strong and capable, yet I still love it when a man opens the door for me. Yesterday at Starbucks, the man I used to vaguely mention here, carried my heavy backpack to my car before we parted ways. Sure, I can carry the bag myself, but he has offered to carry it to my car as long as I’ve known him (for over a year now,) and I like it.

I’m attracted to the kind of man who comes to hook up the Xbox in my living room because it’s a good excuse to spend time with me. Sure, I could have hooked it up myself, but there’s something so sexy about a man who wants to take care of things like that for me. I also think it’s absolutely hot when a guy checks my tires and knows which ones need to be replaced asap. (Thanks, hot guy.)

Yesterday a woman who, no doubt, considered herself to be much stronger and more capable than I, made a comment under her breath about how women like me set us all back. Seriously? We all have the same right to our opinions, but it’s clear that this stranger and I look at this issue differently.

The man who carried my bag yesterday didn’t do it because he thought I couldn’t. He did it out of respect for me. He carried it affectionately, and I received it because I believe I’m worthy of that respect. Does that mean I go around demanding that men open doors for me or carry heavy things? Of course not…It means that when I man treats me with respect, I appreciate it.

I believe that women should be paid as much as men when their work is equally good. I also believe that women have a right to preferences within the confines of their relationships. It’s just hard to believe that there are women who think that men who behave like gentlemen are jerks. (I know it’s true, but it’s been a long time since I saw such a vitriolic response in real life.)

I do my best to respect others, so I didn’t feel the need to say something snarky to the disgruntled woman. I didn’t say anything at all. Instead I spent a few minutes thinking about the different reasons a woman might feel so strongly about this issue. Maybe someone hurt her, or maybe no one has ever shown her appreciation. Maybe she feels like she has something to prove, or maybe she was simply having a bad day.

I’ll never know why she had such a problem with the man’s desire to treat me well, but I do know that I’ll continue to enjoy it. Whether a man is carrying a heavy bag for me, opening a door for me or pulling out a chair for me at a restaurant, I’ll like it. Like most people, I enjoy feeling cared for and valued, and that’s not likely to change.

Am I the only one who likes being treated this way by a man? Does anyone else feel offended when a man holds the door open for you, etc? If so, will you explain why?

 

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    Emily
    March 29, 2016 at 9:16 am

    I personally enjoy it. It’s sadly rare these days. That’s how the Bible says men are supposed to treat women, with dignity and respect.

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      April 2, 2016 at 10:50 pm

      It doesn’t seem terribly rare in my experience, but it was far less common when I lived in the Northeast. I really like it too.

  • Reply
    Sara
    March 29, 2016 at 11:28 am

    I absolutely love being treated this way, sure I can do most things myself but like you said it feels nice to be treated nice. I think honestly that is one thing wrong with “dating” today, men are allowed to be “lazy” because of those women who think they can do it themselves. I started to go on a rant but stopped myself haha

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      April 2, 2016 at 10:52 pm

      I find it hard to be attracted to a man who doesn’t open doors, etc. In most of my experiences it has been that way, and I don’t *want* to get used to it. Of course I can open the door myself, but I feel honored when someone else does it for me. I also try to honor others, and I don’t mind that tradition at all. Just my two cents.

  • Reply
    Linda
    March 29, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    I couldn’t agree with you more. The opening doors out of respect and love are pleasures I enjoy even though I am strong and capable of doing it myself. When my husband does those little ordinary things for me it speaks volumes. His example of opening doors and doing those little ordinary things for women has carried on to my son, now grown with a newborn son of his own. I’m sure my son’s example of doing these things for his wife will be carried on by his son towards the women in his life.

    I also love it when complete strangers open doors and do those ordinary things for women. I always let them know how appreciated they are for doing that. I hope by doing so they will continue to be chivalrous and respectful of all women.

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      April 2, 2016 at 10:53 pm

      I like it too. I think it’s lovely.

  • Reply
    Mike
    March 29, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    Hey Kenlie, it’s been a long time since your last post. Hope everything is well!

    I love this post that you wrote. It helps to reaffirm that I’m not the only man who believes that it is important to treat women with honor and respect. I was mostly raised by women (mother and grandmother) and both of them always taught me to respect women as a true gentleman does such things as open and hold doors, remain standing in the presence of women, until otherwise asked to be seated, offering to carry things, even though the woman carrying the item(s) is fully capable of doing it. I find it a real honor to do these things and I do not even expect them say thank you. I do it because that was what I was taught and that is what I wish to do.
    I just recently got a new job at the library (actually it’s the same job but in a different department) and all of my co-workers are women. I’m the only man there. And it’s a little funny actually because most of them knew me from before when I would work in their department for overtime on Sundays and they knew about my mannerisms and how well I treated them when I was there. So when I got the job, they all cheered when I walked in my first day because they know that they would be well taken care of. And today, one of them gave me a very nice compliment because I offered to help move some tables and chairs around to get ready for a program that we were having at the library, and in response, she said how good it was to have a good man working with them. I couldn’t help but smile at that comment and it made me feel good to know that I too am well respected by all of them as I respect them.

    But getting back to the opening and closing of doors thing, I do it so much these days that I don’t even think about it. I do a lot of looking around when I walk (mostly for protection; being aware is one of the first steps to avoid being robbed or beat up). And there have been many times when I look back and see a woman walking a few steps behind me. That’s when I hold the door open and let her walk through first (even if the door opens inward; I just have to stretch a little more to keep it open for her!). And one of my favorite gestures is when I’m about to enter onto a bus and there are women waiting at the same stop as me, I will let them on first before I enter. Unfortunately, some men aren’t as chivalrous as me and will race on in front of them and I can’t help but think to myself “assholes!”. But this is what I do often. And sometimes it’s a little comical because when I gently wave for the ladies to get on before me, they almost seem shocked that a man lets them go first. And in their shock, they usually give me a cheerful “thank you!”.

    So anyway, not to be boastful about this, but I am glad that you posted about this Kenlie as I wanted to say honestly that this is something that I practice all the time and not only does it honor women, I think it shows the integrity and good upbringing that I had as a boy, growing into a man. I think it’s how any good Christian man should be brought up.

    Also, I have to say how much I admire you and your independence and your courage. It’s encouraging to me because when 2016 started, I sort of made an unofficial declaration that this would be a year of courage; “year of the brave” is what I’m calling it. And I’ve done some things already that exhibit a great deal of courage (one major thing in particular) and I’m proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone and try new things. So I’ll keep this trend going and continue to make this my year. 🙂

    Hope that you have a wonderful day! Stay awesome!

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      April 2, 2016 at 10:54 pm

      Aw Mike, I just adore you to pieces. I hope you know that. The ladies in your life clearly raised you right, and I’ve known that since your first comment here.

      • Reply
        Mike
        April 3, 2016 at 12:58 pm

        Thanks, Kenlie! I appreciate your kind words. I consider myself very blessed to have been brought up right and to have learned good manners. I also believe in planting “good seeds” in people’s lives. If it means that I can make a difference in someone’s life by holding a door open for them as they walk through, then I know that I am doing what God called me to do. And it’s surprising and amazing in how just the little things that are done can make a big difference in a person’s life. A few years back, a woman in my department came up to me and thanked me one day. I asked her what she was thanking me for and she told me that I held a door open for her and smiled a few days back, which she said was the perk of her day because she was going through a really rough time at the moment.
        So for me, it was a very little thing to do, but for her, it meant the world. I’m always more than happy to make someone’s day. 🙂

  • Reply
    Krissy
    March 30, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    When the topic of chivalry is brought up inevitability the topic of equality comes up. Chivalry is from an era where women were the weaker sex. Can chivalry and true equality coexist? I’m not talking about manners. I think good manners are necessary. Chivalry is being given preferential treatment simply because I’m a woman. I was active duty Navy for 10 years. Every day I was having to prove myself. And with each new duty station I had to prove I wasn’t one of “those” females. I became very independent and handy, my female friends on the ship were the same way. when I would go home on leave the helpless behavior of female relatives and friends that I observed would baffle me and my insistence on doing everything myself would baffle them. I’ve been a civilian for 9 years and have considerably chilled out. If my hubby or a male co-worker wants to do something for me, I let them go for it. Chivalry is nice and definitely flattering. Do I want it to die? No. Am I afraid that it may perpetuate the thought that we women are weaker and need to be treated delicately? Maybe. Do I want to have my cake and eat it too? Definitely.

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      April 2, 2016 at 10:57 pm

      It’s interesting to hear this from your perspective. I love it, but I’ve never had to prove my equality in that way.

      Yesterday it was pouring, and my umbrella broke. After lunch with my colleagues my boss, who couldn’t be more handsome and charming, walked out to my car with me (near the end of the mall parking lot,) and got soaked so I could stay dry under his umbrella. I don’t think he did it because he thought I was weak. I believe he did it because he values me, and he wanted me to be dry. It made me adore him more than I already did, and I think it made him feel good too — even though he was soaked by the time we arrived at my car.

  • Reply
    Una
    April 3, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    Hi Kenlie,

    I just started reading your blog and I thank you for being an inspiration for women like me.

    I found this topic interesting because of my background. I’m Fijian (Fiji is an island in the South Pacific) and men and women have very different and distinct positions in our society. Although we have become modern and fiji is one of the more developed countries in the SP, these distinctions remain especially when we return to our villages. Women do not sit in meetings, eat last during meals etc. Not by choice but because this is what tradition dictates. And this is not to say that we are not changing but although I am very modern I don’t question this when I return for village meetings, gatherings etc. I am a lawyer and the first and at this time the only university graduate in my clan but tradition is something I don’t question but I believe that we will change, given time.
    So when we talk about chivalry it really is only something that would be seen in the more urban areas.
    I do love when doors are held open for me or when a man offers to carry bags for me. Although I don’t expect it to be done I do appreciate it.
    Keep writing and I look forward to reading more from you.

    Una

  • Reply
    Observer
    May 1, 2016 at 2:49 am

    Chivalry,

    In my country good often ladies have a sense of entitlement to be treated better for the guy to have a chance with them – while they (ladies) prepare the rejection.
    So while (most people who know me would say) I have good manners, I do follow a simple SOP: I try to help (to the extent possible) all people in the same way regardless if it is a guy in his 60’s or a very attractive lady in her thirties. And inversely I never grant any special favors to a lady.

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