Chivalry Is Like Totally Not Dead For Reals


My guess is, this guy knew something about chivalry.

So, I overheard a conversation some teenagers were having at the movie theater the other day. It went a little something like this…

Girl 1: Oh my gosh! Thank you so much Adam! I can’t believe you actually opened the door for me.

Guy (Called Adam apparently): No problem. You can pay me back later in the backseat of my car.

Girl 1: Awww, chivalry is like totally not dead.

I think it’s crucial for you all to know that this girl wasn’t being sarcastic. This deluded teenage girl actually thought her boyfriend was being chivalrous in opening a door for her and then admitting he only did it in order to get some action in the backseat of his car. Hearing this conversation originally made me laugh- a lot. And then I started worrying about the future, because if these kids are our future then….holy hell are we all in trouble! So, I think we need to have a talk about chivalry.

Chivalry is related to the  medieval institution of knighthood and it’s adherents valued the virtues of  mercy, courage, valor, fairness, and protection of the weak and the poor. The more popular form of chivalry, and the one I’m sure that teenage girl was referring to, is courtly love. The basic idea behind this type of chivalry is that a “knight” is supposed to serve his lady before any thing else, and that he should treat all other ladies with the utmost respect and courtesy. So, I mean, I could be totally wrong about this, but it would seem that a guy opening the door for you in the hopes he would get laid in the backseat of his car later would not qualify as chivalry.

Had that Adam kid opened the door for her out of respect and good manners, sure, I would be willing to make the leap to chivalry, but the fact that when she said thank you, he flat-out told her he expected to be compensated with her sweet lovin in the backseat of his car disqualifies him from the chivalry category and immediately submits him as a top contender in the douchiest boyfriend category. C’mon kids. C’mon. No really, c’mon.

And don’t think I’m just  baggin on the guy here. I’m equally upset that this girl not only accepted his douchiness as normal but went so far as to value and compliment it. Listen up girly, that is not chivalry. Not at all. He wasn’t being kind or respectful, he was being gross. And even if you wanted to get it on with him in the backseat of his car, which I have a hard time believing you did, you should have lost all interest the second he told you he expected it as some sort of payment. Ick. The proper response to that guy is ick. Unacceptable young lady. Totally unacceptable. And while we are on the topic here are a couple of other things that should never be mistaken as chivalrous by anyone.

When a guy texts or emails you a picture of his junk with the note “What d’ya think?” attached. This doesn’t mean he values your opinion.

When a guy buys you dinner….at a strip club. Sure, it’s nice of him to buy you a meal, but you’re paying a price here too lady.

When a guy criticizes your weight. He’s not being “honest”, he’s being an asshat.

Back to the ladies now. I also want to say that you should never expect a guy to wait on you hand and foot. If a guy shows you respect and treats you well, give him respect and treat him just as well. Men were not put on this planet to do nothing but serve and please us, just like we women weren’t put on this planet solely to serve and please them. You know, I say this a lot, but it really all boils down to common human decency. Just be kind to one another. Surely, it can’t be that difficult.

And to that teenage girl who thought her boyfriend was being chivalrous- Sweetheart, I assure you he wasn’t. There was nothing chivalrous about him. But, you were right about one thing, chivalry is like totally not dead. There are still considerate and thoughtful men out there who will treat you well, so why in the world would you waste your time with this douche-canoe? Think about it. Or don’t. Just don’t confuse douchebaggery with chivalry anymore. It’s pathetic and historically inaccurate. I don’t know what they are teaching kids in school these days.

50 thoughts on “Chivalry Is Like Totally Not Dead For Reals

  1. Very nice article. Too true! I am a high school youth leader and have had these kinds of discussions with the kids. They were shocked and also thought I was crazy that I thought the guys should always come to the door to pick the gal up. Friend, date, no matter. They thought it was fine and normal to honk and come on out! Now my husband and I have spent years getting our sons to open the doors and such for everyone. It’s been rewarding when I hear from people that they have such nice manners. Hopefully the girls will soon realize that this is a good thing! But they all tend at this age to go to the “douschey” ones. But one can always hope.

  2. Ok, AGAIN I find myself reading through your posts and thinking we must be cyber friends. I mean, the inevitable duel over Ryan Gosling will be a rough patch, but aside from that? Friends. I love what you choose to blog about and your sense of humor. Good stuff!!

    • Thank you! And don’t worry, I’ll let you have Gosling….as long as you keep reading my blog. :)

  3. GotC, this is a really good post. and it’s sad how chivalry is confused with such nonsense. Good on you for trying to explain the difference.
    I also read, Cappy’s ‘love letter’ in response to your blog post and I must say that I enjoyed reading that as well, although I think what was described there was not really chivalry. Or was it?

    • I think it was probably chivalry. I’m sure in that moment, that woman felt rescued by that man. If nothing else it was a staggering act of kindness.

      • very true! i wish i could see such examples in my country too. it might give us the hope that we need to push us to better times.

      • Thank you! I very strongly believe a little kindness and respect would go a long way in this world.

  4. Pingback: But really, Be A Lifehacker, Chivalry is NOT Dead. « writer's block

  5. Yeah, I think girls nowadays (especially of the new generation of Twilight-fed pre-teens who have only one sort of idea on how a guy should be and what romance is) are so used to seeing Douchebags that their only idea of how a guy should be is well, a bag of douchebaggery. And the more they accept it and come to disregard that some guys have no right to treat them a certain way, the more they fuel the whole douchebag movement.
    It sucks.

  6. I would like to proudly say that I have a very chivalrous husband. And to top of the shockness that you are feeling. He is only 24 years old. He will open doors for me or for anyone because he is nice not because he wants something out of it. He will stop on the side of the road to help someone (which I get really iffy with people these days) but he does it to help. When they offer him money or whatever he politely declines and just says just pay it forward and that will be my reward. When I first met him, I thought yeah ok buddy what do you want. But no that is how he is…his dad was…and his grandpa is. I am just hoping he can teach this to our boys when we have kids just like he learned from his dad and grandpa.

  7. Wow that was good, and i can say I have had the same thoughts! Thanks!

  8. i agree with the fact that a girl shouldn’t expect to be waited on hand and foot. I like knowing that I don’t need to be dependent on another guy. The whole “damsel in distress” thing is a little overrated, however it would be nice for a “knight in shining armor” to open a door or pull out a chair once in a while. I’ll make sure not to mistake douchbaggery with chivalry. :)

    • Thanks! One of my new missions in life it to correct the douchebaggery-chivalry correlation. :)

  9. Oh man, I hope they got caught by police patrol! My boyfriend stood up to get me extra ketchup and napkins while I dug into my whopper and got lost in it – I agree, chivalry is like so not dead!

  10. I think your last issue, that men aren’t made for women’s enjoyment and vice versa has been such a large topic in my life of late. In particular, my boyfriend is what people would call “girly”. He’s afraid of bugs, snakes, he thinks stuffed animals are cute, likes to sit around watching romance movies and eating ice-cream. Yet, others have considered me masculine (I being a female, that is); I love snakes, I like ALL animals to be exact (yes, even cockroaches, they’re adorable!), and I’m not sure what else makes me masculine… People presume I don’t like fashion and other “womanly” things, yet I like most stuff (I adore design and concepts of such). Sports are probably the only hobby I have absolutely no interest in. I think it’s because I’m sort of the pillar of the relationship. What seems to confuse people is that men need to exhibit chivalry, yet women should not. I’ve rarely ran into it, yet some men think that they need to open a door for me BECAUSE I’m a woman. I’ve seen some of this around–I shouldn’t do X because I’m a woman. It’s sort of a nicety misplaced. Yes, it’s great that someone opens a door for me, for instance. Lovely. Yet, they shouldn’t feel like it is just because I’m a woman. Being nice is being nice. It’s discrimination otherwise. I CAN open a door fine, but it’s awesome that if someone is in front of me and goes through the door, they open it for me. It makes me feel better.

    I once opened a door for someone in a wheelchair. He was slightly further behind me, so I can understand how they misunderstood, but it was just BETTER to open the door, as it would’ve slammed in this guy’s face. He gave me an UTTER death glare. Absolute loathing right there. I’ve got to say one thing: What a rude person. I didn’t open it because he was in a wheelchair, I opened it because if he was behind me. I DO that. What would he have wanted? Me to close the door and have it slam on him? (I DO understand his irritation. People try to “help” people in situations like that a lot, out of some sense of pity, yet it seems to be between niceties and uncaring. Someone may either step out of his ways in a corridor, or they won’t and accidentally smack him with a handbag or backpack.) I feel like perspective is required a LOT nowadays, in regards to such things as niceties and common descency. There’s such a mix of people–those who discriminate, those who don’t care, and those who are just nice.

    • I think your root point is absolutely correct – it’s just about being nice or kind. I always say, I can only be responsible for myself, if I do something with kindness in my heart and someone rejects it- oh well their problem, because I know my intentions were pure. Let’s all just be really kind to one another!

  11. Umm I’m probably around that girls age and even I know better. Let’s just say no guy at around my age wants to cook things for you and give you a kiss for the heck of it. So that’s why I always say to my friends “He only wants to get in your pants. He only wants to get in your pants.” But oh well they’re too sweet to then BAM! In the pants.

    • This seems to be a common affliction with girls in general- it happens to girls my age all the time.

  12. Great post. And, I’m not just saying that because I have a copy of the Accolade in a huge gaudy gold painted frame hanging on the wall in my living room.

    I wouldn’t be too shocked. This kind of misconception of what constitutes chivalry dates back forever into ancient times. Case in point, Lancelot and Guinevere.

    Guinevere: You protected my husbands kingdom and my honor! Oh, thank you brave Sir Knight!

    Lancelot: No problem, you can pay me back later by oiling my sword.

    Guinevere: Oh, you paragon of chivalry and knighthood.

    And, they don’t even get the convenient excuse of being teenagers.

    • One of my favorite comments! I live for Guinevere and Lancelot references. :)

  13. Oh man… you heard that did you.
    Well Adam was like totally being knight-like.
    The next day he bought me an ice cream and said I could pay him back by letting him get to 2nd base.
    I mean come on, ice cream is expensive these days, And that door at the movie theatres is soooo heavy!!

  14. hey girl,
    (i normally don’t say that, (as i’m a white male), but in this case, it’s your first name.

    this was a hilarious post (with sad overtones). i’m sorry the young girl can’t see what we obviously all see. sadly, she will, someday, more than likely. (unless of course she’s playing him, and she’s not really in love with the guy but rather using his “junk” to satisfy herself, in which case i’m butting out completely.

    but you were so funny a couple of times.

    “When a guy texts or emails you a picture of his junk with the note “What d’ya think?” attached. This doesn’t mean he values your opinion.”

    “When a guy buys you dinner….at a strip club. Sure, it’s nice of him to buy you a meal, but you’re paying a price here too lady.”

    how about “when a guy takes you to a movie, and the movie is “deep throat”, he doesn’t care about the plot, only that you get the point of what the girl’s job is”. LOL

    indeed, lots of men, lots of pigs. pigs with junk. but, thankfully, not all of us are like that. i constantly open doors, stand aside in elevators to let the ladies out first, etc. we didn’t call it chivalry as i grew up, we called it “good manners”. and they’re like not totally dead…….at least not yet.

    thanks again “girl”.

    • Hahaha! Consider your example added to my mental list of un-chivalrous examples. I’m all about the good manners- and you’re correct in saying that’s what it all boils down to. But I also think you bring up a good point, maybe that girl was totally just using him for his junk. Puts a new perspective on it. :)

  15. Ouch!
    Great post!

    My best friend is the most courteous, chivalrous, attentive man I know. He opens the door for me, bakes cookies, cooks for me because he knows I don’t like to cook, secretly buys me a salad in the commons when I don’t have enough money left on my card and places it on my tray after finding a seat…
    perfect! But, bummer, all that might only be because he’s gay. Darn.

    • Thank you! It’s not because he’s gay, it’s because he’s a great guy! And there are lots of great guys out there gay and straight. :)

  16. My experience had not been a good one in showing chivalry. At first, girls like but then, those same girls say “You should stop it” and so on…

    • Then those girl are crazy. Unless your type of chivalry is waging a war in their honor, because that would need to stop. :)

  17. Loved this post! Thanks for the laugh …. and for some hope that chivalry is like totally not dead!

  18. Good post! One of the things that made me fall in love with my husband was his good manners…. He opens all doors for all ladies and he even removes his hat in people’s houses… Swoon!!! I hope to teach our son this traits someday! If for no other reason than he can use it to get lucky.. kidding… Only kidding!

  19. LOL, loved this post… it’s funny and sadly true at the same time. Good job tying the humor into something that is so frustrating to see happening to women across the globe. I would say it’s sad to see him talk to her like this… but it’s even more sad to see her allow it… and quite probably get it on with him later in the car. Ick is right.

    • Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it- and saw the humor in it. I was afraid I was coming across a little old-lady lecturing-ish. :)

  20. In defense of my generation I’d just like to say that we’re not all like this, there are loads of intelligent and decent young human beings out there :)

    • Absolutely! I know some kickass teenagers who would never say or put up with this.

  21. I agree that chivalry isn’t dead, but is a rarity these days. And if one is to divulge such blatant disrespect for another and the other accepts, it is their cross to bear for their own actions, and I can’t save the world!

    I think the girl should have walked when blatantly admitted his motivations. By not doing so and pining up to him in return just enforced his disrespect for her. She will learn the hard way if her friends don’t kick her into a corner and set her straight!

    On the other hand, men and women think differently and so do teens, regarding sexuality and otherwise. Respect is, however, not gender based but perspective regarding is.

    Through their immaturity and hormonally-charged connections with one another, they are learning and making many a mistake, hopefully protected and not so misguided in the final outcome, and hopefully their true friends will guide them indirectly or directly for either gender. Her girlfriends will likely set her straight on this one when she tells them about it, which I’m sure she will later :).

    Enough of this guy’s feedback would make any of our esteems go south if we were to continue on this course, but this is all about learning and growing. It isn’t set in stone, thankfully, anything a teen does may have some regrets but most come out of it okay. Even for the guys! Simple immaturity.

    Of course, “I used her, she used me, but neither one cared, we were getting our share” comes to mind as well in that process for some.

    • Thank you for such a thoughtful response! I think you’re right, they probably will learn the more they mature. And I certainly hope that’s the case. :)

  22. Beautiful piece! Back during the dinosaur age (oops! Sorry if I scared you mentioning those things) when I was a teenager I started dating the girl that later became my wife. It’s been forty years and counting since we wed. Up to that point she had never had anyone open doors for her or anything that a nice polite young man would do. I never knew any other way. I was raised with three sisters and one brother and was taught to ALWAYS be polite and do the right thing. I am saddened by the trend away from these teachings. It is refreshing to see a young lady like you who still believes in manners and chivalry. Keep it up!

    • Congratulations! That’s a sweet love story you got there. It’s nice to hear about those so we single girls know love like that exists. :)

  23. Oh. Lord. This makes me nervous. It’s kind of the whole 16 & Pregnant Generation, where standards are way too low and all kinds of ass backwards. Isn’t there an island we can put them on?

    • I don’t know. “Ass backwards” is an excellent way to put it!


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