Tell me honestly, when was the last time a man had the courtesy to let you pass before going through the door? Or held your chair for you to sit down in a restaurant? Can’t remember? Well, I couldn’t either until I met a friend recently. In an entirely unexpected meeting with a friend, I realised a fundamental truth: men seem to have forgotten to be chivalrous.
Now, I do realise that there are women who consider chivalry a form of chauvinism and at best, do not expect it. But, let me tell you. I’m not one of them. Give me old world charm and chivalry any day to modern-day individualism. As a woman, I enjoy being pampered. I love it when a man pauses to hold the door open for me or pulls up a chair for me to sit. Of course, I am perfectly capable of doing all those things myself, but I do feel nice to get that sort of attention from a man. However, the sad truth today is that men don’t seem to know how. Perhaps it’s the highly individualistic world in which we live, perhaps it’s the Indian male’s sense of entitlement or even an assumption that feminists don’t expect chivalry. Whatever it is, chivalry as an attribute is both disappearing and underrated.
Call me old-fashioned, but there is something incredibly attractive about a man who knows how to treat a woman. When my friend, let’s call him X, held the door open for me, I was more than just pleasantly surprised. Talking to him later in the day, I mentioned this and all he said was, “My sisters would give me a proper dressing down if they realise I didn’t do that. For me, it’s normal.”
This definition of normal seems to be fast disappearing, especially among Indian men. In my everyday interaction with men of all hues and shades, I find that almost none have the courtesy to hold a door from slamming on the face of the person behind them. Indeed, in several instances, opened a door only to find men race past me and through the door like they’re in a tearing hurry to catch a train. Very few have even had the courtesy to say thank you after I’ve stepped back and held the door for them.
In a world were common courtesy seems endangered, it was a happy surprise to know that men like X still exist. An uncommon species perhaps, but not yet completely extinct.

On chivalry and assorted things…

One thought on “On chivalry and assorted things…

  • October 26, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    Over here, men are always chivalrous when they want “something” from you. Which makes it both funny and sad.

    Also, I find that many men, whilst trying to be chivalrous, do it in a clumsy way. It’s rare and wonderful when a man actually does it naturally and doesn’t make a show of it. It’s not easy, though, I’m sure, especially when in a world where apparently they can get told of for holding the door for a woman! 😉


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