Is chivalry the new sexism? – Con

Is+chivalry+the+new+sexism%3F+-+Con

Story By: Lauren Baker, Art Director

In this day and age, while I do believe that chivalry is a dying breed, I do not consider it to be the new brand of sexism, or any variation of sexism at all for that matter.

Some would say it’s sexist for a man to hold a door open for a woman simply because it  is a task she can easily do for herself. While this isn’t wrong in theory, as women are indeed capable of opening doors, the meaning behind the gesture is lost when emphasis is directed towards the negative.

If a guy holds a door open for me or lends me his jacket when it’s cold outside, I’m elated. That’s simply a way of showing interest to the woman a man chooses to spend his time with.

In the old days, men were expected to demonstrate acts of chivalry towards women if they intended to court them and eventually marry them. Men would stand up when a woman left or entered a room; some women would even reciprocate with a token of their love such as a handkerchief or a scarf for their admirers.

By today’s standards, chivalry doesn’t quite extend to those lengths. Today, chivalry might mean being the first to send a text message or being the one to text “goodnight” when the conversation ends.

It could also mean buying flowers or simply picking up the tab. And there’s nothing wrong with this.

While, in my eyes, no act of kindness goes unnoticed, it goes without saying that modern men cannot be entirely to blame on this issue.

Some men complain that women, more often than not, are desensitized by romance movies they see today. They believe that we as women see a fictional romance  film and project our own fantasies and desires onto a concept that is not reality-based.

To an extent, I can understand this point. But if we as women don’t have a general idea of what we want, how will we know what to look for? What woman doesn’t secretly wish someone would sweep her off her feet and make her feel like she is the queen of the world?

Investing too much into an ideal is what will set you up for disappointment because, let’s face it, we can’t all live “The Notebook” for ourselves.

If you are one of these women looking for your fairy-tale romance, I would encourage you to keep true to yourself and your convictions.

That being said, if you’re going to say you want romance and in the same breath accuse a man of being sexist for demonstrating a behavior you claim to want, don’t spend too much time wondering why you’re still single.

For example, you’re on a dinner date and the guy wants to order for you. If he asks your permission to do this, he’s taking your feelings into account. He won’t take advantage of the situation if he makes a point of doing so.

If he doesn’t ask, that doesn’t make him sexist necessarily, but he’s not as polite about it. What happens in the conversation itself and his actions, of course, will be more indicative of whether he’s sexist or not.

Certainly, there’s always a question of one’s motives behind said chivalrous acts. But if we’re strictly talking about chivalry, the only people I can imagine having a problem with this concept are those with bad experiences- or perhaps no experience at all.

Chivalry isn’t about submission or letting a man do everything for you simply because he is a man and you are a woman. While it is to some degree meant to establish the masculine and feminine roles in the pending relationship, its primary purpose is simply to be romantic.

Certainly, sexism is out there in many forms. More often than not, it’s pretty easy to spot, and one doesn’t have to use chivalry as a scapegoat for it.

If he’s truly sexist, it’ll go beyond date behavior. But when you think about it, if some women are so quick to dismiss true kindness as nothing more than pure sexism, who’s to say that’s not a form of sexism in and of itself?

If you are serious about finding love, show it. You can be that powerhouse woman that’s independent and strong, but if you don’t allow yourself to be vulnerable on occasion, it will be impossible to let anyone in.

That’s why they call it “falling” in love. The guy taking you out on this date already knows you can take care of yourself. He just wants to be able to take care of you too. And what’s so wrong with that?

Read the Pro side of the debate here.