Is chivalry dead or have we killed it?

IT WAS their second date.

He wanted to pay for dinner but she made a big fuss, so they split the bill. When they reached the parking lot after their meal, Saurabh held the car door open while Divya got in. She gave him a dirty look. What’s wrong with him, she wondered? Did he think she couldn’t get into the car by herself? When they reached her place, Saurabh insisted on walking Divya her front door and waiting until she was inside before leaving. This also irritated her. It’s a ploy, she thought, he just wants to get into my home and my bed.

If you relate to Divya’s reaction then you are probably a New Age feminist, one who finds chivalrous acts offensive. Women like you feel that guys who open doors and give seats for females are undermining them in some way, that equality between the sexes mean equal treatment. You squirm if a man suggests he carry your suitcase or open a jar for you.

Of course you are entitled to your reactions, which could be considered brave, noble and so on, but let me tell you something you may not want to hear: There are still some of us who like the old- fashioned routine from men, the red roses and pulling out the chair routine. We mourn the extinction of the gentleman, and reminisce about the time when men hovered by our side while we shopped, carried our packages and called just to say “ I was thinking about you”. The possibility that the days of chivalry are over is seriously worrying.

THERE’S ROOM FOR BOTH

BEFORE you start accusing me of being sexist, or a wimpy feminist, let me tell you that I firmly believe that men and women should be equal in the face of the law. But also want the other manly stuff from men.

believe there’s room for both in today’s world and that we shouldn’t encourage the boorish behaviour of men who feel that pleasing women isn’t important any more.

We should also consider the role we women are playing that gives men the idea that they no longer have to out of their way to show us consideration? There is a emotional reaction the idea of chivalry,” says counsellor Komal Mathur. “ One part of us wishes to be escorted and have the bill paid by a guy, but the other side resists.” Some feel that the shift in traditional gender roles has brought out the worst in us, and the ‘ I- don’t- needa- man” culture has dealt chivalry a blow. “ By acting insulted when a guy offers to carry your bags for you, or offers you his seat in the metro, you are actually encouraging the death of chivalry,” says 30- year- old Charu Sharma.

What was once an obviously manly virtue shrouded in controversy and has somehow been devalued. Those belonging to the post- feminist generation have the idea that a chivalrous man is sexist. This has confused the guys. If they act gallant they risk being slighted or labelled. But if they treat women the way they would their male buddies, they are accused of being insensitive.

Pagination

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