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12/28/2014

Chivalry Isn't Just a Man's Duty



A man and a woman walk into a restaurant and, plot twist, the woman holds the door open for her date. Shockingly enough the woman pays for dinner too. Why is this so surprising? Maybe it is because modern chivalry is implied to be just for the guys. In the United States, we have policies making strides towards a more equal society. Women should help move this along by practicing modern chivalry in our lives. Because we live in a society that is becoming more equal, modern chivalry should be expected from both men and women

What is modern chivalry? Part of modern chivalry is holding open doors for people. Why should only men be expected to do this? Women have arms, we are capable of opening doors too. I mean, if we approach a door and there is no big strong man to open the door for us, we don’t just sit there and wait for a man to come along and do it. Another part of being chivalrous is offering your seat to others, such as a pregnant women, the disabled or elderly. But if an able-bodied woman is sitting down and an elderly man was standing, would the man be expected to be chivalrous and let her sit? I don’t think so. Let the woman be chivalrous and stand. Who says a man always has to pay for the date? News flash, women can have well paying jobs, women can vote, a woman can be independent enough to pay for herself and her date.

How are we furthering equality in society? Feminism is a doctrine advocating having social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men according to dictionary.com. Basically, feminists want equality of the sexes. This will never happen if men are always expected to pay for everything, hold all of the doors and always offer people their seats. Having men do all of the “chivalrous” deeds will only further the patriarchal mindset of society. When the venn-diagram of gender roles becomes a circle, society will be equal. A good start to this is chivalry being expected of both genders. The United States Constitution has amendments attempting to equalize society. With the 19th amendment, women got their foot in the door with the right to vote. With the 13th, slavery was abolished. With the 14th, no person can be denied the protection of the law. With the 15th, all men could vote regardless of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. These amendments prove that our society is ever progressing towards equality.

Women and men should be expected to practice modern chivalry. Ladies, pay for you and your date, or at least yourself. Men, let them pay, you can always pay next time. If both genders are expected to cross gender role barriers and practice acts of modern chivalry, equality will naturally follow. Women need to step up to the plate and make this a daily practice. Our society is constantly striving to become more equal and I strongly believe that parallel chivalry expectations is the next logical step in furthering equality.

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