What Is the True Definition of Chivalry
Relationship

What Is the True Definition of Chivalry

We constantly find ourselves mulling over whether chivalry is dead or it’s still alive, don’t we?

Its definition is centered towards men as it is men who are often expected to behave in a chivalrous manner. Well, it’s a free world and I might not hesitate even a bit to say that centering chivalry towards men is utterly sexist and I’m not happy with the way it’s been comprehended by the fellow residents of our planet since centuries and even longer.

Let me draw your attention towards the fact that I’m not basing my views on the meaning of chivalry in a relationship. I don’t know if you’re aware or not but chivalry doesn’t have to be romantic. And today, I shall be woman-splaining chivalry, for a change. Hold your horses until you read the entire article. This is where things get interesting!

Having seen countless memes about “Chivalry is dead”, I couldn’t help but jot down some lines explaining chivalry from a female’s POV. Oh, memes reminded me of a YouTube video where someone mocked someone else for not knowing what a meme was. In case you don’t want to be a subject of mockery, look up and find out what a meme is. You might as well find some memes based on chivalry but don’t get lost pondering in the thoughts. Thou shall be expected to bring your ass right back afterward!

What were the duties of chivalric code?

What are the codes of chivalry today? In what ways does chivalry appear in modern society?

You shall know it all. Just keep reading further.

Here begins the womansplanation of chivalry!

I am a 20-something-year-old female and I’ve met jerks and gentlemen in the ratio of 70:30. Well, jerks were jerks and they knew not a thing about chivalry. That’s all the explanation they deserve and I shall leave the rest to you. Use your imagination!

Coming to the gentlemen, well, here are some examples of someone behaving chivalrously.

I personally don’t mind being ushered to the dinner table. I would be least bothered having my chairs pulled upon wanting to be seated or having someone open the door for me. Some days, I’d brush it off my shoulders labeling it as “good mannerisms” but for the rest of the days, I wouldn’t stop wondering why the certain someone did certain something for me when I was completely able to do it on my own.  I start my morning with pilates, so don’t you question my strength. But even without the strength I acquired from pilates, being a woman has never affected my ability to pull a chair or open a door for myself.

Some days I feel flattered whilst some other days, I feel offended. “What’s there to be offended about?”, you might ask. Oh well, out of all honesty, I think all the “gentleman-ly” stuff put into play would be nice if they were used as a means to show kindness and respect combined. Howsoever, in most of the cases, some men apologetically perform the deed just to enfeeble our position as women with the sole objective of making us feel as if we are biologically weak creatures. Some use it as a means of handing over the consolation prize to our race for the prevailing male-dominance in the world of today and ever since time has come into existence.

If you are courteous to me as a gesture of grandiloquence, then good sir,  you can eff yourself. I shall give you no other chance to portray your alpha male instincts or pull off any other condescending act to prove your superiority.

With that being said, please don’t mistake me for some impressionable person who would get swayed upon by the beliefs of some misandrists encouraging women to give up some of their intrinsic characteristics, if not to prove their superiority then to be considered as equivalent to men.Yes, I cry. Yes, I have emotions. No, I can’t cook. And you might find me giggling with my friends and I might make the impression of an immature woman but don’t you dare mistaken it as my lack of strength.

I have a different peripheral view on strength. Being strong means having the courage and it is nowhere equivalent to encouraging someone to practice misandry. Do you hear me?

I don’t have a problem with being helped but the intent behind it. Even I help people regardless of whatever gender they might be. I practice the virtues of dignity, humanity, and equality, and my judgments and motives are based on a non-discriminatory approach. So, why is my want of being respected and my willingness to selflessly help people disgraced as “feminism” but the same act pulled off by my male counterparts appraised as “Chivalry”? Why can’t I be the one practicing chivalry?

I am absolutely gobsmacked seeing how the primitive definition of chivalry victimizes women and considers them to be some fragile creatures, and thus designates the role of benevolent helpers to men. Well, if you recognize me as being a damsel in distress and decide to jump in to be my knight in the shining armor- No, thank you! To me, the cliché is dead and you can bury it wherever it originated from, whether it be from the narrowness of your mindset or that of the society where we live in.

The act of chivalry has a completely varying definition in my mindset, and you are free to express your contradictory viewpoints on it. Chivalry, to me, is respecting an individual and their preferences, letting them act according to their own accord without plunging them into abjection. How hard can it be to keep one’s superiority aside and express their respect, care, and love for someone?  How difficult might it be to let women stand up to their values without being pitied upon?

If you are a man, I would want to make an appeal to you. Please let women fight for themselves and stand beside them as a pillar of support without causing any intrusion, maintaining an absolute silence.

As I mentioned previously, chivalry has its roots extended from the primitive ages. However, it should be made relevant as per the present context. With the flux in the mindset and behavior of people and with the dynamism of the society, the definition of chivalry must be updated.

Chivalry should not be specified to a particular gender, that’s my verdict. Chivalry is what a person do for another person out of respect regardless of their sexes. And that’s exactly how it should be perceived.

So, the next time you’d want to do something for me or for any other woman, ask us beforehand, for chivalry done with respect and good judgment is chivalry done right.

Megan V. Dooley

Megan is a full-time mom and a part-time blogger. She has been blogging about relationship, lifestyle and conversation for more than a decade. When she is not blogging or playing with her child, you can find her hiking or dancing.
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