Chivalry in the Modern Age

chivalryI’m always surprised when I open a door for a woman, a stranger, and they say “Wow, chivalry isn’t dead.” I must have a very confused look on my face because I wouldn’t think of any other action.

I was just taught that way. My mother said that my father called us “men” or “gentlemen” at a young age to encourage our behavior. Or brain wash us, I’m not sure about the right definition. 🙂

But that’s the way I’ve always been. It’s been interesting over the years dating wise, at different points I’ve dated women who didn’t want you to open the door and wanted to pay for half the meal. Which is fine, I don’t want to interfere with someone’s decision on feminism or women’s liberation. Then I’d have to understand it. But it does cause problems when the next person you go out with is the opposite and suddenly you’re caught off guard in a Buster Keaton bungling and ultimately painful move to get the door. Fortunately I love physical comedy, so it looks like I’m in on the joke.

But in these modern times as more is automated, it makes chivalry, or our presumed lack of it, more difficult. We can often push the remote unconsciously before getting to the door and suddenly we didn’t look like we intended to open the door. If you’re alone you do it way in advance and then it’s misinterpreted in the delay of action. Even “I was gonna get it…” can turn into an a-ha look because it’s just too late.

And so many doors are now automated to slide open. We’re not in practice! It’s like being a bachelor and eating take out every night and then suddenly living with someone and wanting to cook and stay in.

As gender roles and technology change so rapidly it isn’t as cut and dried as it might have once been. Please give us a break. We’re guys, we really only know how to work the remote.