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,
(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/ )