When I read my twitter feed or search for tweets on #Chivalry, there are a steady stream of complaints. Not just from women. From men too.
Some women tweet about how rare chivalry is and how disappointed they are in men nowadays. How no man stood up on the bus or train to offer a seat to a woman. How someone let a door hit them rather than hold it for her. How men have become so disinterested in offering these gestures.
Men will jump in with a perspective that women will say they want chivalry and affection but that it's not the truth. They will say that when push comes to shove women will want "bad boys" or will choose looks over good character. And they will cite that a an excuse to not offer chivalry to any woman, saying it's not deserved or reciprocated.
Of course, judging an entire gender by the actions of some subset is unfair to all. It's true that there are men who will offer chivalry and others who will not. There are women who will appreciate it and gravitate toward men who offer it and others who are just looking for a hot date with a slick-dressed man in a fast car.
If you are complaining about how the other sex is treating you, take a look at what part of that population you are seeking. Men, if you are going to look just for hot "chicks" dressed provocatively in hopes of getting them in bed quickly for a short-term fling, then don't expect them to be ready to give you extra points for your courtesy and consideration. In many cases, they're only looking to have fun -- and looks, clothes and a hot car may be what catch their attention.
If that's what floats your boat at this time in your life, that's your prerogative. But accept the ramifications of your choices. She's not apt to treat you with the most consideration in return.
Women, if you absolutely must have a stud with model looks, a chiseled physique, a sexy sports car and lots of money to burn, realize he may be looking for lots of women to enjoy his company. He likely isn't interested at this point in developing a long-term relationship, and so he may not have any interest in doing the smaller gestures that will appeal to women who want to be cared for.
These are choices we make, and it's fine -- just accept the consequences of the choice.
More importantly, don't use the behavior of these kinds of men and women to justify a broad-brush attack against all the other men and women out there. There ARE plenty of women who appreciate chivalry and will reciprocate with appreciation and their own gestures of caring. There ARE plenty of men who are willing to be gentlemen -- some of them may need a bit more of a reminder how, others just want the sense of being acknowledged and appreciate when they do. They don't want to feel like a doormat where a woman will accept the gesture but then go off with that stud with the steaming sports car who treats her callously.
None of this is to say that pretty, sexy women can't also have a quality character; they certainly can. It's also not to say that a good-looking guy can't also be a genuine, chivalrous guy. What it is saying is that each side has to look deeper than some of the surface attractions that seem so prevalent in our exposure to the media, magazine ads, photos and commercials.
Men, if you feel you're being treated poorly, that women say they want chivalry but go running off with the "bad boys," ask yourself what qualities you are seeking in the women you're hoping to attract. If they are surface characteristics like big breasts and a short skirt, you've opened yourself up to them leaving you in the dust. If you want quality, seek it and exude it yourself. At some point, it's time to grow up if you want a meaningful relationship that can last. Women, if the men around you don't treat you with the respect and chivalry you desire, ask yourself whether that slightly dorky-looking nice guy might actually be worth your time. You may be surprised. Ugly duckings sometimes blossom.
© 2014, John Rasiej, Bring Chivalry Back