Chivalry : Dead, Alive or Abused ?

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How is chivalry best described ?

I did an online search and found these definitions :

1.the sum of the ideal qualifications of a knight, including courtesy, generosity, valor, and dexterity in arms.
2.the rules and customs of medieval knighthood.
3.the medieval system or institution of knighthood.
4.a group of knights.
5.gallant warriors or gentlemen: fair ladies and noble chivalry.
6.Archaic. a chivalrous act; gallant deed.

There was also :
kindness and courteousness especially towards women or the weak


There you have it ... definitions for the word chivalry.

I was chatting to a friend of mine last night and during our lengthy conversation, the subtle hints of how 'chivalry' is being abused came up. We didn't get into detail on this - but I thought about this some more and realised it's something that has come up in various conversations I have had over the past few years with people, and it's an issue that needs to be addressed.

As an independent working female, I have no qualms on fending for myself. I don't necessarily 'need' someone to go out of their way and be 'kind or courteous' to me just because I am a female.

Chivalry applies to both men and women. It is not just a man's role to be chivalrous towards women - but also for women to return the courtesy in kind to both men and women too.

My friend was telling me about how he had met up with some of his lady friends and had gone out to watch a live performance. To cut a long story short - he had paid for the tickets - and his female friends offered to pay him back for the purchase of the tickets - all save for one of them. He went on to tell me how this particular female was concerned of how she were to get home at night - and he had offered to drop her home and then take a cab back to his own place after dropping her.

I think that's so sweet and very considerate of him to do so - not everyone looks out for the well being of others - and he is one of those souls. Now as he went on to tell me of his experiences, I was fuming at the complete disregard and selfish attitude of this 'female'. She wanted to go and eat, and asked him to stop for food - and instead of paying for the food that SHE was craving - HE ended up paying for it.

Now he's not a cheapskate or anything like that - hardly frugal - however the very least she could have done was at least 'offer' to pay - especially when HE was NOT eating !! He did this for a female that was a) not his girlfriend b) not his good friend - he did it because he's quite the gentleman that way.

This is an example of chivalry being abused and it's not really fair. Perhaps this is why, men nowadays have stopped being chivalrous towards women - they might feel that they are just being taken for granted ??

There was this other scene that unfolded before me last week at a popular nightclub. I notice this girl sashay her way over to a guy and his friends, starts chatting with them, laughing with them, introduces her other friend to them - and they all get to dancing. During this whole time, she's quite flirty with one of the guys, and of course he ends up buying her AND her friend a few drinks (and this nightclub is not cheap!!). A bit later in the night, I notice, that whenever the guy tries to dance with just her, she would make some sort of excuse and move away from him. I bumped into this girl in the washroom with her friend - and they were laughing about how they got these guys to buy them drinks and how they weren't going to have spend any money that night !

That kind of attitude and behaviour is repulsive. If you don't want to be around a group of guys - then why flirt with them, get them to buy you drinks, and then give them a rejection. That's sending out mixed signals - which is not fair to the other party involved. (mind you I've also seen guys doing this to a group of high spending ladies). If you don't have the money to spend, be honest about it - and either don't go out or don't have expectations for someone else to pay for you.

Almost everyone within your own social circles would now be working and earning a decent amount of money - enough for them to maintain a particular lifestyle. It's considered 'normal' to 'split' the bill when out with friends at a restaurant or a bar - or just take turns in covering the bill when out with a common group of friends.

Personally, with my friends - we don't keep 'tabs' on who has paid for what - but we make it a point to at least offer to pay part of the bill that's shown on the table. It might be the case, that today, I pay for a meal, and tomorrow my friend will pay for drinks at a club.

Or it could be the case, whereby I once invited a guy to a bar for a drink to say thanks for going out of his way to give my cousin & me directions - and instead of letting me pay for the drink that I invited him inside for - he paid for it. I thought that was really nice of him to do so especially since I'd made it clear that I was inviting him for the drink.

It's simple things that I have noticed that are really get on my nerves. At work the other day, I came in from the rain, and was carrying my laptop, my handbag, notebook in hand as well as a yoga mat .. the man ahead of me saw me struggling with all of this as he was entering the doorway - and instead of holding the door open - just let it shut !! And I was thinking - what a bloody idiot !

It's not like I asked him to carry my things - I am more than capable of doing that - it's just the simple gesture of holding the door open - considering I was right behind him ! I have done that for tons of people - be it men or women. If I'm about to walk out a door - I always hold it open if I know someone is behind me - and it doesn't stop me from doing so just because there's a man behind me. The same way, when on the UK underground or on the bus, I get up when I see an elderly man / woman or pregnant lady needing a seat. I'm young, fit and healthy, I don't need to sit down - therefore I see no reason why I shouldn't offer my seat to someone who's older than me.

Imagine, in the same office space, there are other men like my colleagues, who will always allow me to go through the door first, or hold the door open until I catch up to them. My cubicle buddy - is quite a few years older than me, and yet he calls me 'ma'am' when greeting me .. and I tease him and tell him not to make me feel like an aunty !

I meet so many people each week - especially at nightclubs - and some of these guys and girls have become 'friends' in a way to me. The guys who barely know me, will offer to buy me a drink - not because they are trying to get me into bed - but because they are just being decent and asking me if I'd like a drink. I don't read too much into these things. In return, when I see them without a drink, and I'm about to order one for myself, I will always ask them if they would like a refill. It's just about being courteous.

Now I'm just ranting and I could go on and on about this .. what I'm trying to say is that ..

Chivalry still exists out there somewhere amongst a certain group of people.

Chivalry is being abused by both men and women in some way and form at different levels as well.

Unfortunately, most people now think of chivalry being dead because the bulk of the people one comes across - are so selfish and pigheaded that they only seem to care for themselves and not those around them.

Just remember .. be courteous ... and courtesy will follow you everywhere.