Here’s an incredibly original question that has never been asked before ever in the history of all time: is…chivalry…dead? *Weak outstretch of arm. Shuddering last death gasp*
I’m certain that if so, chivalry perished not minutes before Generation Y was born, because it’s a question that has been following us throughout the entirety of our lives. So I, an authority on all things ever, am going to evaluate this question in hopes of putting it to bed.
They say there’s no smoke without fire, but what exactly happened to raise this question? Did we as a society start realising everyone should just hold doors open for everyone else? Did men stop laying down their jackets over rainy puddles for their dates because it’s absurd and impractical? Did women become capable of entering cars unassisted? I just. Don’t. Know.
Originally a code of honour created for the following of knights, chivalry has always been gender specific. So, maybe the problem isn’t that it is no longer practiced; maybe the reality is just that chivalry has become more evenly dispersed:
For example, if you, a male, give me your jacket when I’m cold, that’s nice of you: you likely have more muscle mass than I do and therefore are more capable of producing body heat. And if you want to open a jar for me, the same thing goes: thank you for helping me in my dire time of need, when my arms were too weak for this specific task and evidentially yours were not.
But if we’re approaching a car, I think I’m capable of opening it myself. If you do it for me, neither though, will I be offended. If we’re nearing the threshold of a door and you hold it open for me, thanks again, but had I approached it first, I’d have done the same for you. And, lastly, if you try to open my beer for me… well, listen, I will take our drinks and I will open both of them, in an attempt to show off my novelty party trick wherein I am capable of opening a beer utilising most things around me.
At the end of the day, (when you’re hopefully chivalrously dropping me home at a respectful 9:30pm, lest I catch a cold or faint) the point I’m labouring here is this: I don’t think ours is a generation in which chivalry is dead; I think ours is a generation in which we learned to respect everyone, if anyone at all.
I don’t expect men to do nice things for me just because they’re men and I’m a helpless woman. If I expect anyone to do anything for me, it’s because it’s nice, respectful, courteous, generous, and also a bunch of other synonyms that mean you’re not an ass. And as a female, I’ll do the same for you: man, woman, or weak, inferior person who can’t even open their own beer.