A normal day, on my way to work, a man holds the elevator door for me since he saw me coming. “Why, thank you!” I said. I thought that was a nice gesture. Similar situation if a man walked past me towards an entrance of an outlet or building and held the door open because he saw me approaching behind him. But would that be considered chivalrous or a good gesture? Chivalry is dead they say. But how did chivalry originate and to what extent can it be utilized in today’s world?
In the past, chivalry was related to knighthood, where knights swore to protect the weaker members of the society, i.e. women and children. Over the centuries, chivalry has evolved and has become more women oriented. Thus, a man is expected to serve a woman, i.e., open a door for her, lay down his jacket so she may not walk over a puddle.
But somehow, the definition varies. There seems to be a disconnect between men and women. What women appreciate as simple chivalric gestures from men and how men think women should be treated. Confusion caused by modern-day notion of women’s equality leading men to think whether they should or shouldn’t. Women should respond to any little chivalric gesture that means a lot to them with obvious appreciation, so that men will feel encouraged to repeat such actions to more women in the future. But at the same time, women should not expect so much chivalry that leads to unnecessary judgement and emotional tension.
Of course, it is nice that a man opened the door for me. But indeed, I shouldn’t wait at a door hoping a man, whether known or unknown, opens it for me because it is his duty to do so. My thoughts are that just because it’s the opposite sex doesn’t know make it chivalric gesture. It can be counted as a good gesture which can be highly appreciated but not expected.
What do you think?