Is chivalry dead?

Bekah Scott, Staff Reporter


Walker Scott (20) demonstrates the basic form of chivalry by holding the door for his classmate, Anya Womack (20).

As society advances, the concept of chivalry diminishes in its dust. Foundations of holding the door for a woman or treating her with courtesy are simply in the past. While some women believe that they are independent, others are expectant of common courtesy from the men in their lives. Chivalry is on the verge of collapsing under pressure and is urgently begging to be brought back to the present. Both males and females have a common courtesy towards each other. Females want to be independent but want a guy with manners. Males have been raised to be courteous, but are confused as to if ladies want to be self- sufficient to protect their feminism. According to The Washington Times survey, 4 out of 5 Americans, both male and female, think there is less evident chivalry today than in the past. defines chivalrous as “being attentive to women like an ideal knight.” The word is derived from the Medieval days where a knight in shining armor would sweep the girl off her feet as they ride off into the sunset. Most people associate chivalry with holding the door for women, but it can be in many other forms within the current culture. Walking on the outside of the sidewalk, getting the car door, and seating the lady first are all forms in which chivalry disguises itself.

From the male perspective, Gavin Burkholder (19) believes chivalry is not dead. Burkholder says, “I grew up in a very well-respected family where I was taught how to treat girls right and how to treat women period. I encourage it whether they’re mean or not.” On the contrary, Ayush Adhikari (19) has his modern ideas of chivalry. “Yes it is dead, it should be the same,” he says referring to the way men treat women, and vice-versa. Everett Preston’s (21) beliefs on chivalry are very black and white. “It is very much alive. I encourage chivalry because it is the right thing to do. If you want to get girls to like you, you have to be chivalrous,” he said.

Today’s world has made the perception of chivalry into a battle of equality amongst genders. Without revival, the approach of civility will cease to exist.  From the female perspective, Andrea Pennington (19) said manners of chivalry are “just very, very limited and kind of rare, which is sad. It is someone going out of the way which many people don’t take into account.” Lauren Weaber (20) sums the views of the world of chivalry saying, “Boys are still being raised to be courteous, to a limit. As a whole, us girls don’t accept that well. We want to be individuals, and be self-sufficient.” Weaber also expressed encouraging chivalry because “boys need encouragement to keep doing it after they have been shut down so much.”

While courtesy is an action that should be taken by both genders, chivalry is the idea that men are held to a higher standard. Chivalry needs to be revived with the understanding that women do not need it, but having the door held doesn’t hurt. Treating a woman respectfully does not affect her level of feminism. Feminism in the past has been women demonstrating they needed to be like men in order to be equal. In today’s society, women have learned that they can be women to be equals with men. A woman’s feminism is not defined by chivalry; it is men appreciating women by treating them with respect.