Is Chivalry Dead?
The world is filled with more single people than ever before. Millennials are tagged as the generation that is bucking the trend to get married and more are living single than ever before. I won’t try to deceive you into believing that this is all part of a dedicated decision in autonomy, because the truth is there are more people using online dating sites than ever before too. With so many fish in the pond, you’d think everyone would be bringing their A game to stand out among the competition, right?!
I would venture to say, just about every guy who is actually looking for a relationship will tout himself as the “last true gentleman.” All the while, more women than ever are feeling completely disrespected by their dating prospects. Clearly there is a breakdown somewhere! Have men lost the will to vie for the affection of a lady or have women made it acceptable to just show up?
As someone with a background in psychology, I love to observe human behavior, and so this gave me an idea. In any given week I might literally encounter individuals from every corner of the world–Poland, Egypt, Sweden, Kenya, India, Brazil, and all over the US to name a few. The individuals that I encounter span every age range as well, so without much effort there before me stood the perfect pool for observation!
The observation was simple really, the most basic act of chivalry–holding a door. Every time I enter or leave my office, I always hold the door for the guests who are with me. Women rarely give this a 2nd thought, but my interest was in how men would respond to this simple gesture. Now, while I didn’t document my findings or diversify my subject pool, other than the natural diversity of the guests I assist, I did make some quick observations.
Some men cannot conceive of allowing a woman to hold the door for them. These men are generally of a non-American culture and/or an older generation.
This drew me to question, “Have we created a chivalry-optional culture in the US?” Are the days of courting a lady gone only to be replaced by a “swipe right” for a date? Is this a culture emergent from selfishness, lack of self esteem, or just plain disrespect?
Is it even chivalry, or the basic mechanics of manners that have completely broken down?
Weigh-in: Is there still hope for chivalry? Is it dying a slow death? Or has the grave marker already been placed?