blogging gobbledygook and such

When I am heading towards a door to enter or exit, I always wait for the person in front of me (whether on my side or the other) to move first. I am usually mildly surprised if a guy waits for me to go past the door instead, that I usually decline his offer to let me through first. I believe in gender equality. Which does not mean I think women are equal, or unequal, to men as such, but rather I do not see the need to underestimate or overestimate a person’s ability based on his or her sex. So since I am perfectly capable of opening doors myself, I do not see why you should open it for me. Though I do honestly appreciate the thought behind the gesture!

That said, I do like, enjoy, and appreciate chivary when I expect it. If I were on a date, I would expect a certain amount of chivalry displayed for me. I don’t think I would think highly of a guy who opens the door to a fancy restaurant and leaving me behind. I would think him terribly rude if he talks for more than a couple of minutes, should his phone ring in the middle of a date. I would think him… no, I would not think of him anymore if he were to drive off after dropping me home after the date at night without waiting to make sure I entered the house safely.

Ironically, if you do all that to me and you’re just a friend, I would not like it very much. I appreciate the thought, but I won’t like it. I’d feel as if you think me weak; that I am not perfectly capable to do all these myself. Of course I realise some guys are chivalrous by nature and do not have anything but the kindest intentions when they treat me like a lady. I guess I equate chivalry with romance, so if you opened doors for me, I’d be alarmed.

I think I like chivalry when there is a romantic intention behind it. It makes me feel like he only does this to me, because I’m special to him. Chivalry seems spoiled to me when I know the guy does not have romantic intentions; I do not feel deserved of such attention.

I wanted to write about chivalry and gender equality, if they are or are not mutually exclusive. Instead, I went off-tangent into my self-absorbed mode and wrote aboutΒ what I feel of chivalry instead.

I like to talk about myself, but I don’t want to scare too many of you away. πŸ˜‰

So yeah: chivalry & gender equality: are they mutually exclusive? Or not?

Comments on: "Of Chivalry & Gender Equality" (8)

  1. lovelyloey said:

    (Your favourite pseudo-feminist speaks)
    I would assume, from a male chauvinist’s perspective, chivalry and gender equality is mutually exclusive, because if women so damn want to prove their worth and show that they are as good as men, open your own damn doors and change your own lightbulb!
    But from my point of view, if I am pursuing true gender equality, I shouldn’t expect chivalry which is a show of inequality; that men somehow for some reason need to give women special rights. Of course, if they do it out to impress girls, then that’s a different story. But the bottomline still remains, we shouldn’t expect them to behave that way?

    sulz: i think akismet’s a chauvinist; this is the second time i fished your comment out of my spam box.

    oh… meaning my boyfriend cannot open doors for me next time ah? 😦 haha, not that i care much about people opening doors for me, but changing lightbulb is another matter to consider… πŸ˜›

    i’m clearly not cut out to be a feminist i guess! i’m going to rethink it as ‘good manners’ instead of ‘chivalry’ as an attempt.

  2. Well, I don’t quite agree with your point of view. You see, some guys are just chivalric by nature, they would try to be nice to anybody they see, even so if they are females. Doesn’t exactly mean they consider females as weak or something but it’s just that they like them to feel special. It could also be a social thing, you know..some women like men to be gentlemen so they become like that by default. Well, that’s what I think it is.

    On the other hand, I’m totally for gender equality, I don’t think the problem of women exploitation can be solved by giving them special rights. They need to be treated as equals so that they can develop the kind of confidence and stand tall. Of course if it’s an older lady..or even a guy for that matter, you should offer to open the door or let them sit in your seat. That’s basic courtesy.

    sulz: i know what you mean about being chivalric by nature, but at the same time at the back of my mind i wonder, why the special treatment just for ladies? or can you be equally chivalrous to men? haha, that’s a strange thought…

    hmm, i’m inclined toward your point of view.

  3. Sulz: Women need to decide what they want – equality or chivalry. By imposing different rules on guys in different roles (dates versus friends) we confuse them. This is not very different from forcing them to answer questions of the kind ‘does my bum look big in this?’.

    Even standards keep life easy and simple for everyone.

    Besides as we know, manners come from consideration. If someone is considerate and holding the door for you, it is good manners to not be churlish and accept graciously a gift of consideration. But I am sure you know that. πŸ™‚

    sulz: so that means chivalry and equality are mutually exclusive? one or the other? 😦 that makes sense, but at the same time it would be nice to have the both. πŸ˜›

    well, sometimes i just react instinctively and decline, it’s not meant to be ‘churlish’ or ungracious. i just feel uncomfortable accepting something from a stranger, even a simple gesture. it’s an asian thing to refuse gifts the first time you’re offer (if you accept it it looks greedy – that’s the perspective!). i’ll try not to.

  4. I think you are missing that those actions are more about good manners and respect than chivalry. If you are entering or exiting a building and someone is closely approaching it is simply good manners to offer assistance to that person, be the person man or woman. The same is often true of most so called chivalrous acts. This world needs more acts of kindness, good manner and displays of respect not less.

    sulz: hmm, i guess i should change my perspective from chivalry to good manners. that sounds much better, and does not discriminate against or prefer any sex in particular. πŸ™‚

  5. Oh, poor sulz. It seems most of us disagree with your post. I, too, must join that club. You know I adore you, but I have to say that women can’t have it both ways. And, in my world, a woman can hold the door for a man, too. I think there are other ways your beloved can show you that you’re special to him than by chivalrous behaviour. I agree with others here that good manners are just that.
    I do applaud you for your courage in exploring this issue. I love how you are always willing to question tradition and assumptions. πŸ˜€

    sulz: hey, you can’t agree with me all the time! (i’m not sure if i agree with myself after reading what i wrote again, haha.) i’d be too presumptuous to think so. well, i do open doors for man, i definitely have no qualms about that. maybe i’m mistaking good manners as chivalry; if so, i’m going to change my mindset.

  6. lovelyloey said:

    I mean, he can open the door for you because e.g. maybe your hands are busy, or he wants to do it for YOU, not because you’re a woman?

    sulz: hmm, i’d like that. πŸ™‚

  7. Hi sulz,
    I do not share your notion that because someone has romantic intentions towards me, they have to suddenly have a different set of manners than they would if we were just friends. I agree with Shefaly. I don’t confuse men by expecting them to be chivalrous in some situations and not in others.

    And, I expect all men and all women to demonstrate common courtesy and good manners. I also expect children to demonstrate their good manners as well.

    When I’m the first one at the door I open it and I hold it open for others, regardless of their apparent gender or age. This is common courtesy.

    I offer to carry bags for people who have full hands. This is demonstrates kindness and good manners.

    I hold car doors open for others and help them in and out of vehicles too. And, if I drove you home I would not be driving away until you turned your key in the lock, opened the door and waved goodbye to me. This demonstrates my concern for the safety of my friends.

    I also agree with the others, who emphasized that this is all about “courtesy and good manners”. IMHO it has nothing whatsoever to do with romance.

    Lastly, like MusEditions said: “I think there are other ways your beloved can show you that you’re special to him than by chivalrous behaviour. ”
    Cheers

    P.S. As a youth leader I have spent years teaching both girls and boys several subjects that are frequently neglected in families today. Among them are: common courtesies, good manners and public speaking.

    sulz: okay, thanks for your perspective. πŸ™‚

  8. The moment I read this, all I could think of is the “door test” from A Bronx Tale.

    Personally, I was raised like most southern boys to be what you might call “chivalrous.” It has nothing to do with implying weakness in women and is actually a form of respect and adoration. You hold doors open for them, you make sure they don’t have to walk alone through parking lots at night, and you never harm or allow a woman to be harmed in your presence without doing everything you can to intervene.

    sulz: thanks for your perspective, kstafford. yours and others’s take on this has made me understand the concept of chivalry better, and maybe i can appreciate/understand it better from now on. πŸ™‚

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