War of the words: Chivalry isn’t dead but it should be

opinions_chivalry is not dead
It is a dated and sexist concept

By Jessica Berget, Opinions Editor

 

If chivalry isn’t dead, someone should kill it already.

Chivalry is defined both as a medieval knightly system with religious, moral, and social code such as readiness to help the weak or as courteous behaviour from a man toward a woman. The era of medieval knights is now dead and gone but the term still survives in modern society to describe men being polite or attentive to women, the most famous example being men holding the door open. It’s funny how humankind can evolve in so many ways but we continue to have a social code from a time where knights were still around. Considering we don’t live in the Middle Ages anymore, and I’m pretty sure women can open doors for themselves, I don’t understand why the concept of chivalry remains.

If you’re going to do something nice for someone, do it out of courtesy and for all people. Not specifically because they are a woman or because of some outdated social standard.

The whole idea of chivalry has sexist overtones. Why is it that men should hold the door open for women and not other men? Women were viewed as weak back in the Middle Ages—and unfortunately still are to this day—but that doesn’t mean we can’t open our own doors.

It’s a nice thing to do if you happen to be walking by and open the door for me, but it can be awkward and a little bit patronizing when some men jump at the chance to do it. It also seems as though some men only do it for some sort of recognition, or to pat themselves on the back for being a “true gentleman.” It is not that I don’t appreciate it, it just feels weird that men feel obligated to do it just because I am a woman. The idea bothers me from a feminist standpoint. If we are fighting for equality, why are women still considered weak enough that men should open doors for us?

Bottom line: Just be courteous to everyone. Forget all about gender stereotypes and societal norms, do something because it is a nice thing to do, not because of an outdated concept. If everyone did random acts of courtesy and kindness without expecting anything in return, the world would be a better place.

The Other Press

The Other Press, Douglas College's student newspaper since 1976. Articles, insight and updates from the New West and Coquitlam campuses.

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