Accepting chivalry


#1

Ok, this is meant to be a light post so I hope it does not get into heated arguments. I am just hoping people can share their opinions and everyone's opinion gets respected

When I first left home to go to school, I noticed a lot of men held doors open for women. I don't know if it is because they were older than high school kids so they did it or if I just never noticed before. I remember feeling really akward about it all. Admitedly, there was probably some self esteem issues along with just the newnest of it all.

But as the years went by, I got use to saying 'thank you' and going in first. Also, I think that I am of the opinion, men like to feel needed so to refuse an opening of a door could be seen as offensive to a man.

Well, I often will notice at work, when there are not enough chairs to go around, men will offer their chair to women. And a lot of women will refuse and insist on standing. So be it to each their own. Well, I am the type, when a man offers me a chair, I will immediately sit in it to avoid the man insisting because basically, I am sure everyone else is thinking 'Please somebody just sit in the chair so we can get to business'. But lately, I am wondering if I am not coming accross as a snob for immediately saying 'Thank you' and sitting in the chair.

How do other's feel/handle these situations. Please keep in mind this is a light post

CM


#2

the phrase you are looking for is common courtesy

snobbish would be assuming a false feminist stance and giving the man who kindly offers you a chair or holds the door a withering glance as if you were blaming him for the wrongs of all men everywhere.

it is also proper for the young of either gender to hold doors, give up seats etc. for their elders of either gender


#3

I grew up as the girl with guy-friends, but never a boyfriend, so I was used to being one of "the guys" until high school. That's when I started noticing the chivalry, and it always made me feel really uncomfortable. I instinctively thought the boys were going to pull the chair out from under me when I went to sit or let the door slip when they opened it for me because that was my fun-spirited, prankster relationship with guys until then. I just wasn't used to someone other than my dad or brother holding doors open for me. I'll admit, I handled compliments and chivalry very poorly; I would blow it off with scarcasm or pretend not to hear, and in retrospect I'm sure that brassy attitude cost me a few good friendships. It was about my Jr year when I finally sat myself down and decided to take it like a lady, and retrained myself to respond with gratitude and grace, rather than scarcasm and suspicion :)

Around the time I'd decided to make this change, I had a guy-friend who overheard me talking about wanting to see a particular movie and said he did too, and we set up a friend-date. He drove, opened doors, complimented my outfit, paid, bought dinner, everything. It really was just a friend-date with no expectations or even a hint of chemistry, but he really helped me change myself for the better (and I have told him this).

Now I work in law enforcement (with an all-male crew) and they do tend to get upset if I don't let them open doors, etc.. so my experience is that it's not rude at all to accept it. I think maybe other women might see it that way if they aren't treated as well, but that could just be just jealousey?:shrug:


#4

One of my dearest friends was this type of guy.

And I don't meet to many like that. Not casually. And since we were old high school buddies, I didn't really expect that kind of behavior from him as adults. Although I do know he was raised to behave as such!

Needless to say, I would end up crashing into him because he'd be holding a door, and I wouldn't realize he wasn't walking through just yet... Nearly caused us some brain damage!

LOL! Sometimes I'll stand, just stating that I've been on my bumm all day, but Thank YOU!!! I never get offended by a polite man! OR woman for that matter. I like to see people take interest in others!!!


#5

[quote="puzzleannie, post:2, topic:229018"]
the phrase you are looking for is common courtesy

[/quote]

Yes. Chivalry, is an entirely different concept. Chivalry is considered to be in the realm of intellectualism known as "High Ethics". Chivalry also demands actions, not just courtesies.

In the realm of Chivalry, what the thread starter describes would fall under expectations or obligations. Something that would be done immediately with no forethought whatsoever. Most people aren’t that high level of intellectualism. Most people say, "Oh, there’s an empty seat. I really want to sit down....oh, wait. I should give to this other guy". Whereas someone who is truly chivalrous would think, "oh, there's an empty chair. Who can I give it to?" You see, the thought of having the chair for him or herself, never even crosses their mind. Not even for a nano-second. (a nano-second is one-billionth, of a second. 1x10 to the -12)
To one who is truly chivalrous, offering someone a chair, or holding the door open, would be equatable to taking a breath of air. That is the level of intense morals or "courtesy". As by comparison, what laypeople term "courtesy", is rather more of the remnants of the long history of Noble or Knightly chivalry which began to fall out of favor near the 14th or 15th century when chivalry was in decline. At that time, chivalry became watered down to the point that the commoners (ordinary citizens), and nobles (royalty), had bridged the gap that was originally divided by chivalry. The term for the social etiquette and protocol of such was termed "courtesy". The root word being "court" a reference to the high origins. The suffix "-esy" is indicative that it is a variation or an off-shoot of such. Hence, the commoners’ idea of what "courtly" behaviour might be like. With the disestablishment of the nobility and royalty, it became the concept that we know today, "courtesy".


#6

Even though I came of age at the height of the women's movement, it has never occurred to me to reject this form of courtesy when it is offered. But like everything else, it has to make some sense.

For example, a woman who is carrying nothing but her purse ought not expect a man who is carrying several packages to open a door for her, in fact she ought to be holding a door for him. Same goes with seating arrangements--the infirm and elderly get first dibs, then able-bodied women and men.

I have to admit this, though: My car was in the shop, and I had to take the bus to work. I'm in my fifties, but a career spent in ballet has left me more physically fit than most people half my age. I'm also capable of balancing indefinitely in situations that would throw most people flying. The bus was crowded.

A young woman in her thirties offered me her seat, and although I took it, with a gracious smile and a "thank you," I have to admit I was a little disconcerted: Does this mean she thought I was "old?!"

Saints, preserve us! LOL!


#7

It took me awhile to understand that when a man is chivalrous in some way, he wants to be that way and being gracious is the nicest way to thank him.

My ex boyfriend used to ask me if I wanted him to carry things- shopping bags, sweatshirts, etc., if we were walking around somewhere like in the city. I always declined because I didn't want to impose on him, and then one day he said "Will you please just let me carry something? It bothers me that you never let me. I'm trying to help you." Once I realized that he really did want to, and wasn't just "being nice" by offering, I learned how to accept a man's generosity without feeling badly about it.

Now, whenever my boyfriend asks "Can I carry that for you?" I just smile and say "Yeah, thank you."

Coworkers or strangers are a bit different I think, but I think that if a man offers you a seat at a meeting, there's no problem in accepting it. It's just nice when people are thoughtful.


#8

:D

[quote="Marie682, post:7, topic:229018"]
It took me awhile to understand that when a man is chivalrous in some way, he wants to be that way and being gracious is the nicest way to thank him.

My ex boyfriend used to ask me if I wanted him to carry things- shopping bags, sweatshirts, etc., if we were walking around somewhere like in the city. I always declined because I didn't want to impose on him, and then one day he said "Will you please just let me carry something? It bothers me that you never let me. I'm trying to help you." Once I realized that he really did want to, and wasn't just "being nice" by offering, I learned how to accept a man's generosity without feeling badly about it.

Now, whenever my boyfriend asks "Can I carry that for you?" I just smile and say "Yeah, thank you."

Coworkers or strangers are a bit different I think, but I think that if a man offers you a seat at a meeting, there's no problem in accepting it. It's just nice when people are thoughtful.

[/quote]

you realize that denying him the oppertunity to carry things, you are (inadvertantly), immasculating his identity. but now you allow him to carry things. thus, this satifies the primal need of having to prove one's self in hopes of engaging a mating ritual. the test or proof of worth is an indicator that offspring will be a positive variable in the tribal society.

oh, I do so love primal psychology. :p:D


#9

When I was young, I didn’t understand the need for chivalry. Certainly I didn’t let the door slam in other people’s faces, but the idea the rationale for why a man* should* hold the door for a woman or offer a woman his seat escaped me. No, it’s not because men like to feel needed–it’s because sometimes we do need them to do these things for us.

Drat my younger days of thinking I didn’t need the things! Since that time, I’ve had doors slam on me while pushing children in a stroller. I really need someone to hold that door sometimes. I’ve felt faint when in the very early stages of pregnancy and I did need that seat. I almost passed out one time at a crowded Mass when a gentleman jumped up to offer me his seat. As I watched my mother age, I discovered that sometimes those doors are too heavy for an elderly woman, and I learned that she did need an arm extended in order to get out of the car.

Yes, sometimes women NEED someone to do these things for us. I respond by saying thank you. :curtsey:

I also wish respond on this thread by offering a sincere apologize on behalf of women to any man reading this who has ever suffered from the implications he is a Neanderthal for having chivalry and manners. Please forgive the rudeness of women who don’t know a good thing when they see it.


#10

[quote="gardenswithkids, post:9, topic:229018"]
When I was young, I didn't understand the need for chivalry. Certainly I didn't let the door slam in other people's faces, but the idea the rationale for why a man* should* hold the door for a woman or offer a woman his seat escaped me. No, it's not because men like to feel needed--it's because sometimes we do need them to do these things for us.

Drat my younger days of thinking I didn't need the things! Since that time, I've had doors slam on me while pushing children in a stroller. I really need someone to hold that door sometimes. I've felt faint when in the very early stages of pregnancy and I did need that seat. I almost passed out one time at a crowded Mass when a gentleman jumped up to offer me his seat. As I watched my mother age, I discovered that sometimes those doors are too heavy for an elderly woman, and I learned that she did need an arm extended in order to get out of the car.

Yes, sometimes women NEED someone to do these things for us. I respond by saying thank you. :curtsey:

I also wish respond on this thread by offering a sincere apologize on behalf of women to any man reading this who has ever suffered from the implications he is a Neanderthal for having chivalry and manners. Please forgive the rudeness of women who don't know a good thing when they see it.

[/quote]

Very well said!

I think chivalry is good and its great that women will accept a man offering the seat to them or holding the door, pulling a chair out, etc. If it makes them feel uncomfortable accepting a seat well then a polite decline is perfectly suitable.


#11

[quote="Being_Brave, post:3, topic:229018"]
I grew up as the girl with guy-friends, but never a boyfriend, so I was used to being one of "the guys" until high school. That's when I started noticing the chivalry, and it always made me feel really uncomfortable. I instinctively thought the boys were going to pull the chair out from under me when I went to sit or let the door slip when they opened it for me because that was my fun-spirited, prankster relationship with guys until then. I

[/quote]

if you had a lot of older brothers you can grow up with this attitude also I hear you


#12

Unfortunately, discourtesy has become the default where I live.

Perfect example, I took my 10-year old daughter on a bus trip. (I am a woman). It was a large, Greyhound type of coach bus. When we boarded the bus, there were already a lot of people on it. Most were business men. Each side of the aisle had 2 seats. Many of the people who boarded before us had taken up two seats – sitting in one, with their coats, briefcases, laptops, etc on the other seat. Not ONE of them offered to move anything. They wouldn’t even look up at those boarding, because God forbid you make eye contact, you might ask them to move their stuff. Not only that, but no one traveling alone offered to move to a single seat so that my daughter and I could sit together. SO RUDE!


#13

I still see chivalry from men. I will always be gracious and thankful whenever they open doors for me. I think it's very nice. Although, now that I have a baby carriage almost all the time, both men and women hold the doors open for me which is a HUGE help. In college, a few of the men I hung out with would actually make a point to walk alongside of me on the street side of sidewalks stating that it was what their mothers taught them so that if a car splashed a puddle, they would get most of the water and not the ladies. Believe it or not, I was in college in the late 90s/early 2000s, so their mamas taught them well. :) My husband, who was my boyfriend at the time also bought a book on etiquette (I didn't know this until we were married and was going through our things and found his book and teased him about having it) to be sure that he was doing the right things when we went out together. Now, that was so sweet and adorable to me.

When I'm on the subway, I often see young boys giving up their seats to elderly people. Usually their mothers are directing them to do this, but I think it's great that they are being taught at a young age. I see men and women do this as well. I'm especially sensitive towards pregnant women because I actually came across more rudeness while I was pregnant. Although, there were people who'd offer me a seat on the subway or train during the off-peak times, once it was peak time, it became every man for himself. I remember standing there in my 3rd trimester, completely tired, off-balanced because of my oversized belly, swollen legs and feet and no one offering me a seat. Not that I actually expected someone to give me a seat, but I was surprised since I've experienced "chivalry" before I was pregnant. And when I was in my 2nd trimester, I remember the same thing with a pregnant woman who looked like she was going to pop and obviously needed a seat. No one gave her one look until I finally just offered her mine. She was like, "You're pregnant, too. I can't take your seat." At that point, I think a person across the way clued in when he saw one pregnant woman giving up her seat for another and realized how silly that looked (when I look back, that probably did look funny), and he gave his seat to her.

But that's really the only time when I experienced real rudeness.


#14

It gives great joy to us mothers when we see our son’s doing it on their own. But until then, we will keep directing them.


#15

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