Chivalry is dead. Manners are free. You’ve heard these lines before with the only exception being that some people use them more than others. So, as I make my way through this awkward and sometimes downright disappointing world of dating, I wonder whatever happened to the gentleman? He is elusive, kind of like Superman. One minute he’s there, the next he’s gone. Well I, for one, want him to stick around ’cause he’s tops. At least at the beginning anyway.
When was the last time a guy opened a car door for you? Mine was Saturday night but I paid for the service. That’s right, I caught a cab into the city and the backdoor didn’t open when I was hopping out and suddenly every horror movie I’ve ever watched was flashing before my eyes (if you’ve ever watched The Bone Collector, you’ll understand what I’m talking about). So the cabbie jumped out and opened the door for me. This is currently the most romantic thing that’s happened to me in weeks. How sad am I?
I don’t know about you but I notice when a guy takes his time to be chivalrous. It’s sexy. Which is why I found it bemusing that The Daily Mail reported:
“Men who open doors for women are guilty of ‘benevolent sexism’ according to a new study by feminist psychologists. The volunteers were asked to keep diaries in which they were asked to note examples from a long list of both sexist and non-sexist incidents – without being told what the study was for”
It went on to say:
“The list included blatant acts of sexism such as referring to women as ‘bitch’ or ‘chick’ or unwanted attention from men. But it also included acts of ‘benevolent sexism’, even romantic statements from men about how they cannot live without a woman or how much they ‘cherish’ women, said the study”
Right. So being polite and respectful towards women is now wrong? Or sexist? Gosh, no wonder men are so bloody confused. Damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Opening a car door, heck any door, makes me feel like a lady. Perhaps this isn’t the politically correct feminist attitude but it’s how I feel. It’s about respect. It makes me feel good about myself. And usually I wonder ‘is this guy single?’ Swoon.
A few months ago I read Sam de Brito’s Building a Better Bloke. Perhaps I’m not his target audience but I was interested to see what kind of advice men give to their mates (and readers, obviously). De Brito encourages men to lift their game and “become a man women want”. It’s the obvious strategy but how many women follow this principle? Is it sexist for a woman to question and “become a woman men want?”
When we’re asked what is it we look for in a partner it rolls off the tongue but I encourage you to study that list, how much of that is actually us? If you expect a bloke to have a job, you should have one too. If you expect ambition, you should be daring as well. You can’t expect something that you don’t do yourself. This is what I’m learning after being newly single, anyway. Perhaps it’s cliche but you have to step up your game and be that sex muffin that you’d like to date. Muffins are sexy – yeah they are.
With all that said perhaps I should be opening doors for men since I like them opened for me? I do try to hold the door open for anyone who is close enough to me, many don’t. But I think gender roles sometimes come naturally. Or perhaps it’s just the romantic in me.
Do you believe it’s sexist for a man to open the door for a woman? Is chivalry dead or do these men still exist? What’s the most romantic thing someone’s ever done for you?
Rose Russo has written 56 posts.
Rose is a freelance writer, blogger and self confessed chocoholic who could quite easily live on a diet of turkish delight and English breakfast tea. She loves the fast paced nature of online media but sometimes feels like she’s the only member of Gen Y who still gets excited to pick up the newspaper on weekend mornings. If anyone has a Sportsgirl addiction cure please let her know [I may be on a first-name basis at my local store] She also writes a weekly column focusing on relationships, friendship and life stuff on her blog at The Budding Rose
Follow on twitter: @thebuddingrose