We are striving for equality between sexes in today's world, yet I still hear many women complain about the lack of chivalry, that it is a dying art. We demand to be treated just like men- but with a little more consideration. When dating, it is acceptable for the man to pay or to split the bill, but if the woman were to pay the bill, it would likely be seen as a poor reflection on the man. What's up with that?
For as far back as history goes, men have been the providers, the hunters, the ones who made sure that their families were taken care of. The women tended the home, raised the children, cooked and cleaned. This goes way far back. At some point (I have to research more but I would guess it was with the world wars) women made their entrance into the work force, and liked it there.
Today we live in a society where the reversal of gender roles is becoming more common, and perhaps more acceptable (more on gender roles in another post! I find myself straying off topic!)... but in searching for a potential partner, I am encouraged by friends and by society- "make sure he treats you like a lady!"
By that concept, do I want to submit myself to traditional standards- do I want a guy who will woo me, court me, gift me with flowers, pull my chair out, be ever so attentive to my needs and desires? Well, of course. Who wouldn't? But is that FAIR?
I bought a dictionary yesterday, very excited by that. It's over 2,000 pages of words. :) According to the dictionary, chivalry is the 'sum of the ideal qualifications of a knight, including courtesy, generosity, valor, and dexterity in arms.'
If knights in shining armor still existed in the literal sense, I am sure that women would want to be knights too. And we all can aspire to be more courteous to one another, generous with... and I'm drawing a blank as to what valor is. Back to the dictionary (knew I needed one!)... ah- heroic courage, bravery. Yes, anyone who is in a relationship or ever been in one knows that you need a lot of valor, regardless of your sex. As to the importance of dexterity in arms... well, I agree, but perhaps in a more literal sense... ;)
The point I am getting at is that in the quest for equality of sexes, perhaps chivalry is becoming a lost art because men either don't want to offend or don't see the point in treating someone differently because they are female. Why not advocate, then, for mutual chivalry? Treating both parties with the same qualities valued by the medieval knights... holding doors, taking the bill, offering the first roll, taking one's coat- all does not have to be done by one party. Taking the initiative to show another how much you respect them should elicit positive feelings (aka Groovy Vibes) for all involved.
What do you think?