Tuesday, May 19, 2009

R.I.P. Chivalry?

Yesterday, after I landed in Dallas, I picked up my luggage and went outside to catch the shuttle back to the super-cheap remote parking at the airport. When I got on the bus, I realized that it was extremely packed. I placed my bag on top of one of one of the other many bags that cluttered the aisle of the bus and grabbed one of the potentially-swine-germ-covered poles and held on for dear life. As I looked around at the men and women who were sitting, I couldn't help but think one thing:

My husband would have stood up.

Now, just to clarify, I'm not offended when men don't give up their seat for me on a bus. It actually makes me feel a little awkward and guilty when they do. I also don't mind standing on a bus - I'm young and have relatively good balance, and heck, we burned our bras for this, right? Equal rights come with equal responsibility to stand on busses and open our own doors. I get that.

But that doesn't change the fact that I'm impressed by the gentlemen who still do it. Chivalrous men. I have never once been on a bus, subway train, or shuttle with Jack when he wasn't among the people standing if there weren't enough seats for everyone. It's not even an option for him. It's a reaction. A woman gets on the bus without enough seats, he stands up and insists that she sits. His dad is the same way, and in my opinion, they raised him right.

So what do you think, readers? Is this just a southern thing that you don't see anywhere else? The men I work with refuse to walk through doors before me most of the time, because they insist on holding the door for women. Jack always goes to my passenger car door first and puts me in the car before going to his own. Is it because they live in the south and it's what we do, or is it the way they were raised?

Ladies, does your husband hold doors and stand up when women do? If not, do you wish he did? Men, is it second-nature for you to do these things, or do you think equal rights mean that you're off the hook? Do you think chivalry is dead?


Tim said...

No its not dead. This is coming from a guys point of view of course. I always do those things and never even think about it. Its a subconscious thing that just happens. Yes its for sure a southern thing. I have been to the north and even lived there and noticed the difference myself as I felt ackward doing it as nobody else did so I was looked at funny. Some women even gave me the crazy eyes!

However at the same time I feel it is ALL about how you are raised. In other words I dont think were you live should take you off the hook for not having manners. I was raised that it wasnt polite to sit when a women or someone older regardless of gender was standing. Thats just how I was raised and I am going to teach my son the same things.

Womens rights are VERY important. I just dont think that has anything to do with how a man should act. Thats my story and Im sticking to it!

Love and Prayers,


*sara* said...

I don't think it's just a Southern thing, and I don't think it's dead, but it is rare. I think it's a result of how you are raised. My husband always holds the door for me or other women. I live in the Boston area and I often witness people giving up their seats on the T. I know I always stand just because I know I don't need a seat, and I am often offered a seat.

becomingone said...

I love it and expect it. It's how my parents raised my brothers and how Sean was raised as well. I was astounded when I got on the UT bus and not a single boy offered to give up his seat for a girl.

Two weeks later I went to A&M with Sean and there was not a single girl standing on the bus. Aggie hospitality? Or good old small town boys?

It sure does make those boys that do give up their seats look pretty amazing to me though.

Amanda said...

I wouldn't say chivalry is completely dead, but it may have the swine flu. Brandon opens doors for me and would stand to let me sit, and he does the same for any woman he comes across. However, I have had many a southern man let the door literally shut in my face. However, it makes me more appreciative when I come across a polite man who is nice enough to keep the door open just a little longer.

Heather Marie said...

It's not dead...it's just that some people don't care. David has for the past 4 years and probably always will hold doors, open the car door, pick up something that a stranger drops and give up his seat for anyone. Male or female. Its all about respect and some people have it and some people don't. So chivalry is not dead. But it's not as common as it use to be.

Matthew said...

Hi Mandy! I started following your blog because a friend pointed it out, and its been an interesting read! As for Chivalry, it breaks my heart when I see a male not respecting a woman. Yes, you did "burn your bras" for equality, but to me that means that guys should respect women even more. It frustrates me that its not expected up here in the "North." Just today, I was going to hold the door open for a lady who entered a store before me, but she acted as if it wasn't going to happen and, alas, I was unable to catch the door before she went in. Alright, my random tangent is done.

VacaSanto said...

To be fair to the folks who don't do it...

I traveled for 20 years of my life. On a flight every Sunday night, home Friday night.

I used to be that guy that held the door, stood up or lifted your heavy suit case (because I'm big and I'm strong).

I've had many times when a woman unloaded on me with the "Do you think I'm not capible" speech over the years and now I find I ALWAYS hold the door and lift the heavy case for guys. The response is completely predictable. "Thanks Man".

Women, on the other hand, are much more dangerous. Some (like the little daughter I raised) will love it. Most will appriciate it but the ones who actually did burn their bras will at the least give me a dirty look and from time to time will read me the riot act.

So there is this quandry. The truth is I don't have a "right" to interfere in the life of others by embarasing them on a bus by treating them like the weaker gender. I'm invading on their space when I touch their heavy suitcase and lift it on to the floor of the car rental bus.

The bra burners have altered me. I ALWAYS help the guys but I hesitate with the women.

Anna said...

I live in the NJ/NY area and I think it is rare to see men with that kind of consideration. My husband has always been the one to open my car door, hold doors for everyone, and give up his seat to anyone. If he sees someone struggling with anything he will run across the street or stop the car and get out to help. He hates when we are out shopping and someone walks infront of you in the aisle. He always will say "excuse me" before walking infront of someone.
I rarely have had another man give up his seat to me, go out of his way to hold doors (I find it rare that younger people hold doors anymore.). I have been struggling at Home Depot and other places and men will just stare and walk past me. I am a 25 year old women but it doesn't matter.
Another thing that makes me so angry is no one ever says Thank You or Have a Good Day!