Once upon a time, people were held to strict social standards. Men and women had different roles in society, and their social customs—manners—were formal and well-defined. I don’t need to go to great lengths to describe this code, because you all know what I’m talking about. Men treated women with a certain attitude. As the role of women in society changed, so did the aforementioned social codes—the “death” of chivalry. It’s not fair to ask for both equality and old-school social codes. It doesn’t work like that. Women blame men for being mannerless, and men defend themselves, and we all fight and nobody lives happily ever after.
Because they are no longer expected or commonplace, the simplest chivalrous behaviors (say, opening a door) will make a young man stand out. People remember that stuff. We remember the nice guy who takes the extra half a second to reach for a door handle. Why? There are a lot of morons out there—rude, obnoxious, selfish bums that have a negative effect on our sense of humanity. And just when we’ve lost all faith in humanity, a boy comes along that is willing to put someone else before himself, even if for two seconds. That sense of kindness speaks volumes in this world.
Luckily, a model exists for this behavior. There’s a small part of the male population that is courteous to all they meet, in public and private. They use “ma’am” and “sir” often and without shame. They pay for dates, volunteer to take the short end of the stick, stand up for their friends, and respect others—male and female alike. They do these things preemptively and they offer their services before they’re asked for. The most remarkable thing is that they don’t expect a thing in return, and they never complain about their self-imposed sense of duty. Ever. Guess which boys have girls chasing after them? (To those that don’t have girls lined up around the block waiting for a date: you’re among the best of the best. We’re legitimately too intimidated to approach you. Just give it time.)
These young men, these decent human beings, are champions. And yet I see them get abused for “impeding on the rights of women”. It’s no wonder that boys are afraid to be a little bit classy. Every other time they try to do a nice thing, some feminist yells at them until she’s blue in the face, and then the boys turn into the bitter men we all know and hate. We don’t need more of those in the world. And yet we don’t need to go back to the olden days where women weren’t allowed to work and men had to do every last thing.
There’s a happy medium, and there are decent human beings who have figured it out. I’m grateful for them. They give me a reason to believe that humanity, love, and decency are still present in this desolate place.
Chivalry is alive—not well, but alive. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Gentlemen, go forth and be men, for goodness’ sake; ladies, give these poor boys a break and thank them for their effort. They deserve some major points. Let’s help the nice guy finish first.