The Lost Art of Chivalry – A Blog Review

An interesting topic today, at least in my opinion. A fellow blogger (Dean Richards) wrote a piece about the lost art of chivalry, based on an article published by James Sama, both here on WordPress. I read Dean Richards’ article first and then the original article. I was intrigued. I think I’ll add my own opinions on this topic, discussing the points presented in the original article. Thanks to Dean Richards for inspiring me.

The first thing James M Sama points out is ‘giving up your seat’ for women. He says ‘I always cringe a bit when I see a woman or elderly person forced to stand while young men remain distracted by their phones.’

I shuddered a bit upon reading that. Putting women in the same category as elderly people only underscores his opinion that women are weak and should be protected. I don’t think I’m weak. I think I’m capable of asking for a seat when I need it. I don’t want a guy to give up his seat for me. I don’t think James meant to stereotype women, at least I hope so, but he does. As a woman, I want to be treated equally. Guys should give up their seat for elderly or handicapped. And so should girls.

His next two statements are ‘pulling out a women’s chair’ and ‘open doors for her’.  To be fair, I never had a guy pulling out my seat for me, but I imagine it being awkward and unnecessary. I don’t think it’s a bad thing that this is no longer a common practice.

Opening doors for people is something everyone should do, doesn’t matter what gender you are. I hold doors open for really everyone, boy, girl and everything in between. He also states guys should open the car doors for girls. I’m not sure what I think about it. I would appreciate the gesture, but I would feel conflicted about it too. I like to be thought of as strong and independent. Don’t open the car door for me guys, I can do it by myself.

‘Call, don’t text a date invite’ is the writer’s next point. Sure, I agree that it shows more courtesy and more interest. I do feel however that texting or mailing to set up a date lowers the threshold to actually ask someone out on a date. So I’d say it depends on the person asking and the relationship already established.

The next thing James would like to see more are ‘Compliment, compliments, compliments’. I agree whole-heartedly with this! People are being criticized way too much to my liking and valued too little. Everyone has something that makes them unique and valuable. I think we should all compliment each other more often. So not only should guys tell his girl how beautiful she is (again a stereotype) but also how smart and kind. Just like girls should tell their boyfriends they are handsome and smart and gentle. This of course also applies to homosexual relationships, just compliment your partners!

The next two gentlemanly handholds James writes about make my skin crawl. ‘Walking on the street side of the sidewalk’ and ‘Walking her to her door’. It implies women are weak, can’t take care of themselves and should have a strong manly man to care for them. Do you feel the shiver yet? The idea is nice, to protect the one you love, but I just don’t think this is the way to do that. It’s old-fashioned and in my opinion unnecessary. He claims men should walk on the street side because that way they’ll take the hit when a car strays. I don’t think one man will stop the car from slamming the woman. There are other ways to show you care about someone’s safety, for instance a safety warning. A warning shows that you care AND that you respect women’s independence. And let’s be honest, I’d never heard about this ‘street-side of the sidewalk’ gesture before, I wouldn’t even know a guy was trying to protect me for evilly straying cars.

Walking a girl to her door holds the same implications to me, although they probably are realistically true. It’s more dangerous for a woman to walk outside on her own than it is for men, so you win that one James.

And the last point the writer tries to make is ‘Parking far away? Drop her off first’. The way he explains it in his article is that you should offer to drop a girl off at the door, especially if she wears heels, to save her the walk. Okay. I agree. It should be offered and when I say no he’ll have to accept that. I think however that it should be nice to let the girl drive for once.

James M Sama had good intentions with his blog, I’m sure. He wanted the respect back for girls, to show them that men do care and can be gentlemen. I agree with him that respect is lacking sometimes. (Have you watched any MTV music video lately?)

But, the way he proposes to solve this problem is not to my liking because it underscores the stereotypes that are already so prominently there. Girls should work towards showing more respect for guys and guys should show more respect towards girls. It’s not a one way thing. I’d like to encourage girls and guys to both work on the equality. Let’s do so by showering each other in compliments, hold doors open for each other and by showing an honest and respectful interest in each other. As always, I’d love to hear your take on this. Should guys do more gentlemanly things? Or do you think we should focus more on equality?

Until next time,

Vanya

(Image source: http://dateoxygen.com/deep-breath-resuscitating-chivalry/ ; Dean Richards’ Blog : http://darichards.com/ ; James Sama’s Blog : http://jamesmsama.wordpress.com/2014/02/01/8-acts-of-chivalry-to-bring-back/ )

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Valueing Valentine’s Day

So I kind of forgot about writing yesterday and today, so this blog will be a bit messier than my other blog posts so far. I hope you don’t mind.

I think it’s very hard to  forget or try to ignore that today is Valentine’s day. I’m not even going to try to ignore it. This post will be about what I think of this red and pink day.

When I was a bit younger, say 15 or so, I hated Valentine’s day. I was the kind of girl who wanted roses and cards but never received them. My friends back then send each other cards, but I don’t really remember getting them myself. Maybe I’ve forgotten about it, but I’m pretty sure I never got a card or rose. I’m also fairly sure I’m not the only one who never received anything. When I was 15 it was hard and it made me sad. I valued Valentine’s day too much. Maybe it was because things like that matter when you’re teenager, eager for attention and appreciation.

I’m 19 now and even though I realized today was Valentine’s day, I think I only really noticed twice today. The first time when I got a coupon for 1 + 1 free coffee on my way to the subway, and the second time when my friends sent me ‘happy valentine’s day’ messages. I accepted the coupon with grace and sent some messages back to my friends and that’s pretty much my Valentine’s day. I understand some people bicker about the meaning of Valentine’s day and the consumerism it portrays but I don’t think that’s what they are really complaining about. They are thinking about their 15 year old selves who never received any cards. They are thinking about the days they thought Valentine’s day was important and that it was crucial to at least get roses or cards.

I have grown out of that mind-set a long time ago and moved on. The people who still feel self-conscious about this may need to reconsider why they are angry or upset. Isn’t Valentine’s day traditionally a nice day? It’s a day much like Thanksgiving in my opinion. It’s about appreciating the ones you love and actually saying it out loud or showing it to them. I spend Valentine’s day appreciating my friends. My best friend and I sent each other cards this year. I love her and she loves me and we don’t say it too often. We took the chance to say it out loud and not feel self-conscious or awkward about it. It may not be the targeted romance for this day, but love is love right?

Valentine’s day means something different for almost everyone. Do you feel it’s useless consumerism? Do you think it’s a wonderful day full of love? Did you send someone a card? Let me know in the comment section!

Until next time,

Vanya

(Image source: http://jenniferlshelton.com/tag/shadow/)

Achieving Happiness With Goals

This is a garden I visited in China.

I love having goals. Goals make me do things and make me feel like I’ve achieved things when I complete them. For the last two years I made myself pick a goal for an entire year. Last year my goal was to do fun things whenever I got the opportunity. I’m very happy I decided that was my goal for that year, because not only have I travelled quite a bit because of it, I also met a load of new people, who I consider to be my friends right now. The reason I took on that challenge was because I was not happy with the way my life was going. I was bored out of my mind, stuck in a pattern of living that didn’t make me happy.

I’d decided on that goal in January 2013 and I only took the first step to achieving that goal by June 2013. In June, I went to my first Nerdfighter Gathering. The gathering took place at someone’s home about 1 ½ hours travel from my hometown. I was quite scared to meet all these people I didn’t know and I was really worried they wouldn’t like me or that I wouldn’t like them. Making friends wasn’t something I was particularly good at, so you can imagine my discomfort.

It all turned out great. I had a good time getting to know these new people and I talked to almost all of them. When I left for home at the end of that day people hugged me and waved me goodbye and I told myself I would go to the next Gathering too. From then on I went to a bunch of other gatherings, even hosting one myself. I’ve made so many friends and got to meet so many new people, I can’t even remember what my life was like before I became an active Nerdfighter.

The second step to achieving my goal was going to China in the summer of 2013. I’d always wanted to travel to places far away and since I was finishing High School that year too, I’d figured it be a great excuse to do just that. China was absolutely wonderful. It’s such a different culture and I’ve had an amazing time. Again, I met new people, tasted new foods, saw the Great Wall and other incredible places. Looking back on that vacation, I get really proud of myself for daring to go that far outside of my comfort zone.

Setting a goal for myself has turned my life upside down, in a good way. So I decided to put a new goal for myself again this year. Since I’m much happier now than before it was quite hard to think of a new goal. I eventually went with a much less fun goal, namely getting healthier. I have had diabetes since I was just four years old and I recently discovered I’m not doing as well as I should, so I’m working on that. I’m trying to eat healthier and to move a bit more. I won’t say it’s going as smoothly as I’d liked it to go, but at least I’m trying.

I guess that’s what I like about goals. It makes you try harder and it shows you how things could be different. Do you like goals and do you set them for yourself? Do you like smaller goals or large ones like the ones I set for myself? I’d love to know, so please leave me a comment below.

Until next time,

Vanya

(Image Source – Personal archive ; Video Source – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyQi79aYfxU )