Is There Space For Chivalry In Modern Society

Posted: September 22, 2015 in Current
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Looking at the term ‘chivalry’, there is clearly a few centuries of history behind it. You are more than welcome to read up on it, but my focus is what it developed to become and if there is still space for it in our modern society where men and women stand together as equals.

Asking teens what chivalry is, the chances are that they won’t have an idea.  Asking the generation before them, will tell you that it is opening doors and ‘stuff like that’.  A few generations before them, it would not have been a question, but it would’ve been the norm.

Now, opening car doors is not the only ‘act of chivalry’.  Here are the most obvious old-school gentleman-like gestures:

  • Pull up a chair for a lady
  • Offer your seat for a woman in a congested bus or train
  • Walking on the outside of a sidewalk
  • Proper and respectful salutations
  • Should you wear a hat, remove it when greeting someone
  • Buying flowers, not because you want forgiveness, but just because you wanted to
  • Even punctuality can be added to this list

The list continues and can even be very unique to your own circumstances, but at the end it all has something in common: mutual respect and common courtesy.  As you notice with the list above, most of these things mentioned won’t cost you anything.

Where are we going wrong then?  In short: Men don’t want to be trampled on because they act as a gentleman, and women don’t want to worry about any ‘strings attached’.

Chivalry should not be confused with the oppression of a woman, nor should it be exploited.  To the men out there I wish to ask you to try this, BUT with no strings attached.  You should not be asked to do something and you should not do it for something in return.  And to the ladies out there, do not see this as someone seeing you less independent, less equal or as someone trying to oppress you.

Chivalry has evolved into a philosophy and civilized behaviour as a way of life.  And even in our modernized times, we always find the time to philosophize about something.  And on World Rhino Day, I have realized that the good things of life perish because of our own doing!  We can not blame anyone but ourselves but I do believe that we can find the time to make space for gestures like these, so make it count.

World Rhino Day 2015


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