Chivalry today is a personal choice that a man should not seek kudos or suffer objections on from outsiders. It is simply your personal choice of behavior and it has nothing to do with “what men are suppose to do” or any such nonsense. Let us think of it like offering out free samples of your world’s famous pork ribs to a Mall filled with women. Your goal in offering these samples is that a woman will eat it, appreciate the offer and think strongly about buying an actual dish. While you walk about with your tray full of samples you will encounter 4 types of people:
1. The opportunist – This person will eat your sample, stay in your face and ask for more and more. They don’t plan to buy your food, or even tell their friends how succulent the pig is – they just see you offering free food and they want to fill their stomachs with it. In the sense of chivalry, an opportunist is the woman who stands at a door expecting any man, not a self-proclaimed gentlemen mind you, just any man to open it because she feels that “it’s the way things are supposed to be”. When you do open a door for her she doesn’t thank you, she just scurries along and leaves you looking like an idiot.
2. The skeptic – This person comes for a sample but eyes you carefully to see if you are dressed cleanly and have good hygiene. She thinks you may have spit on the ribs, coughed on them or touched them with your nasty hands. While she may take one (if she’s curious enough) you can’t mistake her stare of scrutiny. In life when being chivalrous to a woman, like trying to offer your seat to her on a crowded bus, the skeptic will say “no” hurriedly because she thinks you want some booty in return for the favor… either that or she will run to the door when the bus stops to open it for you so that things are even. While this can be cute, it makes the act of chivalry feel odd and uncomfortable – which is probably her point afterall.
3. The Diet Nazi – The Diet Nazi doesn’t want your stupid sample, your ribs are fat, and sugary, and they have been out all day. No you get those ribs away from her you dirty, unhealthy bastard! You’ve seen these before, they wave you off and walk 3 times faster to escape your samples (in terms of food, I am guilty of being one of them). When you try to be chivalrous to a certain type of woman, you’re treated as if you walked up and touched her on her breast. “No you don’t have to do that! I can do it myself, see? There!” and they will scurry off leaving you dazed and confused. While I have no explanation for this behavior, I do know it exists (a lot) having dealt with it a few times.
4. The perfect customer – This is the lady that you set out to give samples of your pork ribs to in the first place. She comes over, tastes them, makes a comment or 2 and either goes to the counter to buy a plate of food or walks on because she wasn’t crazy about them. The point is that she came over and tried them without malicious intent, skepticism, or harsh judgment. When you walk around to the passenger side of your car and let the perfect customer sit before closing her door for her, she smiles and says “thank you”. When you offer her your umbrella to shield her from the oncoming rain (that will decimate her beautiful new hairdo), she smiles and says “thank you”.
It is simply your personal choice of behavior
As you can see only one of the 4 is going to meet your expectations. But if you are running a business, do you say “screw it” and stop offering up samples due to meeting a ton of “skeptics” who always seem to think you have a wicked agenda? No, you offer samples because you believe in the method and when you finally do get a “perfect customer” all of the bad ones are forgotten for a time.
Chivalry is a code you live and abide by despite the hundreds of faux feminists who offer up unsolicited “advice” to you about what you should and shouldn’t do.
Chivalry is the code of a knight and not all men were knights so you can only look to yourself to stick by it if you so choose to be that guy. It’s neither good nor bad to be chivalrous in this day and age. It’s simply a box you check off on in your rule-book and if you find a lady who appreciates it then you are the Arthur Pendragon of knighthood my friend.
You either do it all the time or you don’t – this choice will differ from male to male and it isn’t something for women to guilt you into or snub you out of. I know my brand of chivalry has always been on the lighter side due to the hundreds of opportunists I met in college, but it makes sense for a man who loves independent women. I don’t have to be chivalrous all the time. So find your brand of chivalry, if you so choose and remember that all customers are different and not wanting of your samples. Kick the opportunists out but be available for the perfect customers. Keep it classy gentlemen, and good luck out there.See some words or phrases that you don't understand? Check out The Dragon's Lexicon.