This word really confuses me. As a “modern” woman who has one throwback tendency (I don’t make the first move), and a lot of the rules of chivalry seem antiquated to me.
Walking on the sidewalk closest to the road.
Truth: I was not aware of this rule until I was 28. My girl was quizzing a guy I was dating (cringe, I didn’t know that was going to happen). After various questions about stuff, she dropped this nugget:
Miss M: So Playa, do you always walk on the outside?
Playa: Of course
Miss M: A guy should always walk on the sidewalk closest to the curb.
Miss M: (to the Playa) your mother raised your well
Playa: thank you
Me: No. Seriously. I don’t get it.
They then patiently explained that this was gentlemanly behaviour.
My BBFF does this and sometimes while we’re walking, he’ll remember that I’m a girl and switch over, which annoys me; especially when I had dislocated discs in my neck and he would switch mid conversation, causing me to strain my neck unnecessarily. The origin of this act of chivalry was twofold: to prevent a lady from being hit by debris from the road (horses, puddles) or from above (when folk used to literally throw their bath water and chamber pots out the window.
Chamber pots. Horses. Bath water. Yes, because all that is still relevant in 2011…
(that was sarcasm by the way…and those of you sitting in the peanut gallery? Don’t bother giving me the Amish still have horses n stuff argument either, the Amish don’t read blogs…)
In this new decade of this new millennium, I propose that there be new rules for chivalry. Opening doors and holding out jackets are all well and good, but I think you guys need some new guidelines to follow, something to navigate 21st century courtship… little things that show that you’re not an asshole.
Some of the basics still apply, but technology and feminism have created a few grey areas. The basic rule of thumb is this: treat women the way you want your mother, sister, cousin, friend to be treated. But, if you’re a misogynistic asshole who hates on women…
(who am I kidding? John Mayer doesn’t read my blog…)
I joked to one of my girls that I would make a pocket-sized guide for you guys to keep in your wallets. She dared me. I’m usually good for a dare…so voila!
Ladies, if I’m missing any new rules for chivalry, please add them in the comments below.
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