Chivalry is “behaving in an honorable or polite way especially toward women.” I define the term for those who have no knowledge of chivalry, and for those who do know what it is but decide not to follow it. Chivalry, especially in the millennial generation, has become uncommon. Being a woman in this generation who still believes in “old-school” relationship values, I wonder why that is.
Chivalry has been swept under the rug for many reasons — one being that men feel as though it is unnecessary and silly. I’ve spoken to several men about the term and asked why they don’t do the simplest gestures for women. Many don’t see why they should have to open the door or walk on the outside when walking the sidewalks.
My generation is known as the hookup generation, so to witness an act of romance is very unlikely. The hookup generation is quick at jumping to the end goal – sex. Many people don’t take the time to get to know the person or take them on a date before sleeping together.
I don’t feel as though it is just a man’s fault — women play a role in the disappearance of chivalry, as well.
Millennial women often rush the process or don’t care to be properly respected by men. This generation of women have become independent and headstrong, and nothing is wrong with that. However, the problem comes when women want to be independent to the point that they don’t want men to do anything for them.
“Men only changed because women did. That’s because men are born to please women. Modern woman don’t know this, for they’ve been conditioned to think of men as oppressors,” author Suzanne Venker wrote.
Women can open their own doors and take care of themselves. No one is trying to take that from them. From what I’ve witnessed, women don’t really care about a guy being a gentleman. What I often hear is: “Does he have money?” Is that really important if that guy is going to treat you badly at the end of the day?
We often see the social media adage “Men ain’t shit,” accompanied by a tale of a man’s bad actions. But, have we taken a moment to look at ourselves first? Nine times out of 10, that guy acted the same way he did when you first met him. You were likely just blinded by something that didn’t matter in the beginning, so now you’re forced to see his true colors. If you retraced your steps to the beginning, you will see that you allowed for all of the ungentlemanly things to begin.
Both genders are at fault for the demise of chivalry. To some, it still doesn’t matter. I believe that women are queens and men are our kings. Kings are meant to take care and be there for the queens, and vice versa. Nothing is wrong with being an independent woman, but feeling as though you don’t need a man to be a gentleman can be a curse.
Chivalry may not be dead, but it has been forgotten.
Te’Kayla Pittman is a 19-year-old mass communication freshman from Atlanta, Georgia.