Why Should Men Be Chivalrous?


malias

The last time I wrote about chivalry, I received 44 comments in the first 48 hours. Looks like chivalry is a hit again. Or at least discussions about it, if the response to my last column is any indication.

And it’s not just here. The link to the column went viral on Facebook. I’ve been asked to do a radio interview about the subject. I’ve written a follow-up for my syndicated column.

And I’m seeing lots and lots of comments in lots and lots of places. Some positive, some negative. I appreciated all of it. But seeing them made me want to clarify a few things.

The first was the comment that “Chivalry is really just kindness.” Many of you talked about how kindness is lacking in this culture—particularly between men and women—and how we all need to take the time to be thoughtful and considerate of each other, regardless of gender.

On one level, I agree wholeheartedly. I think kindness of all varieties is in particularly short supply, and I am heartily in favor of anything we can do to remind ourselves that we are all created in the image and likeness of God, and that we need to act accordingly.

But I want to clarify that chivalry and kindness are not interchangeable.

All chivalry is kindness, but all kindness is not chivalry. Chivalry, as we understand and use the term today, refers to a particular type of kindness. It is an act of kindness done by one type of person (men) on behalf of another type of person (women), for a specific reason.

Why is there an expectation that men will do these specific things for women, but not vice versa?

Because men and women are different. Males and female are, according to Blessed John Paul II, absolutely equal in dignity before God, but constitute different ways of being human.

And part of that difference is that women are physically weaker than men. Now every man is not physically stronger than every woman, but on the whole, men average a significantly higher percentage of muscle mass than women. And hence, most men who are not yet eligible for Social Security benefits are capable of physically overpowering most women who aren’t Olympic weight-lifters. And, whether we admit it or not, that causes a certain feeling of vulnerability in women.

Perhaps I’m particularly sensitive to this because I was recently on the receiving end of a man’s misuse of physical strength. He was convicted of third degree assault. And I was left feeling shaken, vulnerable, and extremely thankful to the nearby men who came to my defense.

Modern chivalry is supposed to be one way that men signal to women that they respect them and would never use their physical strength against them. As the chivalry article in Atlantic Monthly said, “Gentlemen developed symbolic practices to communicate to women that they would not inflict harm upon them and would even protect them against harm. The tacit assumption that men would risk their lives to protect women only underscores how valued women are—how elevated their status is—under the system of chivalry.”

The article goes on to describe an incident in an elevator in Harlem where a pastor tipped his hat to a young girl and she retorted “What’s that supposed to mean?”

The article continues, “The pastor’s response was: ‘Madame, by tipping my hat I was telling you several things. That I would not harm you in any way. That if someone came into this elevator and threatened you, I would defend you. That if you fell ill, I would tend to you and if necessary carry you to safety. I was telling you that even though I am a man and physically stronger than you, I will treat you with both respect and solicitude. But frankly, Madame, it would have taken too much time to tell you all of that; so, instead, I just tipped my hat.’”

And a note for those of you who asked “Why should I be chivalrous? What’s in it for me?” The answer is the same as it is for any other act of genuine kindness. Nothing. Kindness is not a quid pro quo arrangement whereby you give something and get something tangible back as a result. What does someone “get” from giving an elderly person their seat on the train? What do they get from helping a lost child, or shoveling a neighbor’s walk, or any other random act of kindness? They may get a warm feeling. They may get gratitude from the recipient. But that’s not why they do it—or at least why Christ commands them to do it.

What we get is the realization that we’re doing the right thing. That we’re respecting the image and likeness of God in this flesh-and-blood human person. That’s what we’re all called to do, and chivalry is just one small way in which we do it.

So if chivalry is so very respectful of women, why do so many well-intentioned and chivalrous men find—like the pastor in the Harlem elevator—that their efforts to be respectful are rebuffed by these very women themselves?

I’ve been thinking about that question. And I think it’ll be our next topic.

Do you have a question for Mary Beth Bonacci? Send it to askmarybeth@catholicmatch.com.






29 Comments

  1. Jay-1033664 December 13, 2013

    Thanks for the article Mary Beth. To add a positive comment to it in the midst of tragedy last year,
    Jonathan T. Blunk, 26 and Matt McQuinn, age 27 both died trying to protect their girlfriends in the Aurora theatre shooting. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Aurora_shooting

    http://www.denverpost.com/theatershooting/ci_21129372/jon-blunk-26-tried-protect-his-girlfriend

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/21/us/colorado-shooting-victims/

    If that’s not chivalry, I don’t know what is. Thank God for them!

    As for women that rebuff acts of chivalry, I very much doubt that many would rebuke these brave men.
    They literally took a bullet for their girlfriends.

  2. Paul-99681 December 13, 2013

    I can relate to this Jay and what they did takes a lot of love and courage! Many years ago when we were working on a large metal building for our machine shop and both ends were still open with the steel structure exposed.

    My mother was using a tractor nearby and feeling faint drove up to the building and stopped but passed out before taking it out of gear and the run away machine proceeded through the building at a good clip I made 2 attempts to try to jump on what meant getting in the path of the big rear tire and knew the odds of me getting run over at the speed it was traveling was almost a sure thing and franticly I jumped up on the shredder hoping to still have time to shut off the engine because she was heading for a cross member that would have been certain death if she hit that but by the grace of God the tractor hit an upright that stopped it. If she had died I never would have forgiven myself for not taking the chance or more yet, not jumping on the back of the tractor right away but really one way or the other I believe there wasn’t enough time to reach the control and if I had taken the chance and would have been run over, my mother would have felt she caused it so I can only thank God.

    I admit I was scared to run in front of the wheel and part of me feels like I was a coward but at the same time I know it would have been impossible but also even if I had jumped on the shredder right away I still would have had to get to the tractor also as for reaching any vulnerable part of the engine ,I was on the wrong side!

    I had never felt so glad for Gods intervention but when the cards are down, do I have “the right stuff” I hope so but may never know, however it defiantly gives me a new respect for those who do!

    My mother was all right and unaware of what took place wasn’t even shaken but when it was over she calmly reached over and shut off the key and I lifted her off the tractor but still upset it felt like she didn’t weigh anything at all and my sister raced back to the house to get the truck and some water for her.

    I told my mother that for all the times we worried her that she more then got even and she had to laugh! She felt bad about the damage to the tractor but I didn’t care, I just felt so happy and still do so many years later! Well she tested the building and it’s as solid as ever and the tractor is too but my mother is soon destined to be with God but how the years have passed so quickly!
    God Bless all of you!
    Paul

  3. Jeanne-1031332 December 13, 2013

    Beautifully put. Why would any woman not love to be the recipient of chivalry? I know this one appreciates it when it happens.

  4. Marina-1024960 December 13, 2013

    Chivalrous behavior has always been the hope of women when dealing with men. However, as a woman who came of age in the era of the women’s movement, I understand the reaction. Whatever anyone thinks of the women’s movement, he or she needs to remember that it was the natural backlash reaction to millennia of outright slavery, degradation, misconception paraded as “truth” and inequality. That Christ Himself was the first supporter of equal status for women (study whom He spoke to, dealt with, and was born of) seems to have been overlooked for millennia.
    Chivlary coexisted with times that this behavior was lip-service to the segment of society who had no real status; opening doors, tipping hats, and carrying heavy objects did not signify that the recipients (women) had the right to freedom, education, or even health care in their own right as human beings. Someone else (men) was always the deciding factor. We take for granted in these times that we may walk into our physician’s office and expect to be treated for cancer, but in times not so long ago, a male had to give permission for it.. The answer wasn’t always “yes.” While I applaud the return of chivalry, if that is what’s happening, I understand the mistrust many women feel in view of the historical facts. I also hope that chivalry is uplifted from lip-service status by men to a real change of heart in respect for women as people and beings, as the author of this article is fond of saying,”created in the image and likeness of God.” I am sad to say I don’t see it in society.

  5. Charley-998972 December 13, 2013

    I want to thank Marina for bringing up a very interesting tangent. But if a woman has never seen a man tip his hat before (thus not knowing that it was merely a respectful greeting), I doubt she’s old enough to experience the women’s liberation movement first hand – that or she’s never seen old westerns. Therefore, she probably wouldn’t be skeptical based on historical injustices.

    I’ve read articles stating that women are trying to become more like men in today’s society, in competing for jobs, acting like “one of the guys”, even drinking more. I forget all the points, but I’m sure you can think of many. It’s just a reaction to societal pressure of some kind. Well, that may be some basis for the aversion to chivalry as this article suggests. No man expects another man to open a car door for him (unless it’s a chauffeur). I could expand, but…

    So now some men (hopefully not me lol) are confused about how to treat women. Just like Marina alluded to, women want chivalry, i.e., to be treated special, but want to be treated as equals in a “man’s world”. They want their cake and eat it too. Heck we all do. I love cake. (That’s my tangent.)

    But let’s boil this down. The woman in the elevator questioned the pastor’s gesture simply because she’s not used to it in today’s society (and more so in urban areas – a new sociological topic). As for coming to the aid of someone in distress, I think most men nowadays would jump at helping out, or at least calling the cops on their cell phone… as I would hope most women would too.

    What would Jesus want us to do?

  6. Eric-929127 December 13, 2013

    Because there is also a difference between “charity” and “chivalry”. As a man I don’t object to either. But I do find many women have the latter confused with the former.

    As your example illustrates perhaps some girls no longer even get what chivalry is.

    And maybe it was partially my/men’s fault. From early on in my life if I asked a girl out on a date that meant I was buying. But in light of the “changes” in our society “dutch treat” really should apply to wining and dining.

    The picture you used reminds me of my last “great” act of “chivalry”. It was a little thing. My date got snagged on a log jam while salmon fishing. Though the water was cold I took my shoes off, rolled up my pants and waded into the river. It brought a giggling smile to her face as well as a quite embarrassing photo opportunity with the salmon apparently trying to knock me off my feet. But it made her happy. As the tip of the hat mentioned above should have.

    Now she was an out of work mother of three so I was also “buying” that weekend. Not sure really if that would be “charity” or “chivarly”. At least I know it was definitely one or the other as I had no ill intentions for some reason. One small step for mankind. One giant leap towards heaven for me…maybe?

    • Jena-1007929 December 13, 2013

      eric’s ‘one small step for mankind. one giant leap towards heaven for me’ — love that! :)

    • Eric-929127 December 13, 2013

      OK now I’m reading through the comments and you have guys taking bullets for a woman. I guess my example seems quite lame in comparison. Not that I wouldn’t do it, but I wouldn’t put myself in that position with a woman (again anyways) who might increase the chances of that happening. Please remember this post started with a tip of the hat. Chivalry can be something symbolic if you are man enough to back it up when the time comes.

      What can we do to foster men’s and women’s roles in society on a day to day basis? Start by acting just a little more chivalrous! At least that’s what I thought was the point of this.

    • Nicole-747666 February 16, 2014

      Thanks, Eric, for articulating “charity” versus “chivalry” in a very appropriate way. I wholeheartedly agree. I expect chivalry from men, but I don’t expect charity. I expect that a man, as Mary Beth puts it, shows me that he will not harm and in fact protect me. I also eventually want my children to learn chivalry and this begins far before they enter the picture. I believe that boys learn how to treat a woman by seeing how their father treats their mother, their sisters and all other women. I believe that girls learn that a man should respect them enough to treat them with chivalry. True chivalry means the man will treat her with enough respect to never hurt her or pressure her into a situation where she doesn’t want to be in. For these and other reasons, I do expect chivalry on a date and in a relationship. But I’ve been blessed with a good education and a good job, and I don’t expect a man to impart charity and pick up the tab all the time. I am fine with dutch treat or taking turns getting the check or whatever other arrangement is appropriate, comfortable and agreeable to both of us.

  7. Dan-1002097 December 13, 2013

    Thanks for reintroducing this topic, Mary Beth. But, I think what a man is demonstrating by an act of “chivalry”…the word itself coming from a French root suggesting “knightly” behavior…depends upon the man, the woman, and the particular situation. There’s no single, fixed implication by it that I can imagine. Implying that it has only one interpretation…some kind of assurance of protection, safety, or that physical superiority will not be used to harm…seems, to me, a bit melodramatic. And, I can see how some women, especially when they are much younger than the “chivalrous” man, could feel a bit annoyed or even belittled by what they consider an unrealistic, unwanted, even silly, melodrama. But, they should not feel that way, because the real reason is not melodramatic at all.

    I think it’s mostly about respect, not strength. In the case of those markedly older than ourselves, I hope we all are generally inclined to chivalry, regardless of gender either way. A blanket, spontaneous respect for those holding longer tenure in this beautiful yet fatally flawed world of ours. The misunderstanding comes when a younger woman is perplexed why any man near her age or older, perhaps much older, a man she might not know and likely will never know, demonstrates a similarly spontaneous regard. She is suspicious. Surely everything must have ulterior motives to concrete ends, she might reason. And here the ends look like some affront to her dignity when, in fact, they are quite the opposite.

    We live in a so-called “modern” society where…as has been well admitted to by many CM members in other threads…it is pretty much expected that men do the “asking” and women the “answering”. The element often left out of the discussion is the line where, when the lady’s answer is “no”, the man (be he a chivalrous knight in past days, or a gentleman today) respects her enough to accept her call of him, no matter how much he thinks he wants her, no matter how much he believes she “misunderstands” him. I hope most of us regard that as a progress away from times and places where women did not or do not receive such respect. But, our whole “progress” goes out the windows and into chaos if that broad, unconditioned respect of women by men is not there.

    In my unsolicited rewrite :wink: of the story you told, Mary Beth, the act of the pastor in the elevator is merely a spontaneous, anonymous acknowledgement to the young lady that, all else being equal, she warrants a certain degree of respect simply by being an adult woman, a socially-designated “answerer” whose dignity is to be heeded. A man must give that acknowledgement freely, not just to a specific woman he may be out to impress, or none of it means much at all. That’s the part the young woman did not understand. She, like too many young ladies in our time, was not accustomed to being respected by a man not after something from her.

  8. Bryan-324283 December 13, 2013

    I’ve long said Chivalry is not dead, it’s just changed forms. Chivalry is all about respect, and since every woman is different, a chivalrous man needs to respect those differences just as much as he respects women as a group.

    I once dated a girl who was very independent. She appreciated my acts of kindness of opening the door for her, but at the same felt it undermined her as person because she was proud of the fact she could do things for herself. This wasn’t an excuse to stop being polite and respectful, but rather a call to act differently out of respect for her. When we went out for a nice evening, she wasn’t allowed to open doors for herself. But giving her a ride to school it was whoever got to the door first.

    There are many ways men can be chivalrous. As the author has pointed out, it is a specific type of kindness and respect towards women demonstrated in the way we treat them.

  9. Michael-410923 December 14, 2013

    The ideal of a man being chivalrous to a lady is grand. It is ‘charity’ in that it is giving without expectation of reward. Perhaps the compliment is a woman’s buffering of some pain (nursing or negotiating a way out of a situation).

    Women have to be self-sufficient where they can be, but a chivalrous gesture should be appreciated. I worked for a delivery company, waiting to be picked up by a driver. I saw a woman with two kids carrying a heavy load to her door. I offered to help, she declined. Wearing my delivery uniform with a well-known company brand I smiled and said “I’m a professional deliveryman!” She smiled and replied “Well, I was in the army. Logistics.” “Uh…okay you win!” As long as she appreciated the gesture, chivalry was honoured (Canadians have to use ‘u’ in ‘honour’ as per the Queen’s English).

    Mothers are usually more appreciative of chivalry. I do a little extra to help a mother. While women have many overlapping capabilities as men, there are strong sociological arguments that as many jobs now don’t need muscle, and as women are having fewer children, so they don’t need protection as much. Chivalry is a form of protection, and as all protection is not as in demand, chivalry is not as in demand.

  10. William-607613 December 14, 2013

    But is the decline of chivalrous behavior something to be considered separately from the general decline of courteous behavior? (And if so, why?)

    I think one can make a case that they are both natural consequences of a democracy, what with its hyper-emphasis on the rights of the individual.

    ( I submit these thoughts respectfully, of course.)

    I recall reading a piece several years ago in which a woman described venting to her companion on the subway that nobody was offering her a seat, despite her then very-obvious pregnancy. Her female friend made a derisive comment about men in general to which the writer quickly responded, “Actually, I was referring to the women on this train. They KNOW what this feels like.”

    I think your interest in the subject is commendable, and as someone who has been greeted with hostility by women here in the NYC/NJ area when holding a door open, I do look forward to reading your next piece. (I should state that such hostility has been extremely rare, but I have since become much more cautious about extending simple courtesies to strangers.)

    However, I would submit to you (respectfully, again) that the lack of chivalrous behavior is merely one more item on a very long list of items that demonstrate a lack of interest in others and a growing interest in one’s self. I think it’s safe to say that we all have examples of increasingly boorish behavior, whether the lack of etiquette involves using a cell phone or driving a car. I tend to think the decline in etiquette has been across the board, but I’ll keep an open mind about it.

    • Eric-929127 December 14, 2013

      May I also add that seeing more than 30% of my pay check going to the government does take a little of the wind out of my sails (and that’s just the first time it’s taxed). It’s like give me 15% back. Then I can give 10% to Jesus.

      And afford to be a little more chivalrous.

  11. Douglas-984666 December 14, 2013

    What do women want? I’m not as interested in the answer to this question, as much as I’m curious why men focus so much on it. Women are equal, yet at the same time, they have “elevated status?” C’mon, I wasn’t born yesterday, and I see the inherit contradiction. Women want a lot more than they deserve. They want to have their cake, and eat it too. They want to have all of the same rights and liberties as the male half of the population, but they still want to retain the perks of womanhood (such as exemption from the draft). I don’t blame women themselves as much as I blame the manginas and “white knights” who play along and cater to them. And regarding the fact that women in general may instinctively feel intimidated by a man’s larger frame, so what? That’s not my problem. I have never hurt a woman in my entire life, so if some strange woman is going to be skittish about it, that’s her problem. Rather than go out of my way to “prove myself worthy,” I’ll avoid her altogether, thank you very much.

    The modern man feels trapped. If he swerves to the left to be “politically correct” he may offend the “traditional woman” by failing to be chivalrous. If he swerves to the right to be “chivalrous,” he may offend the “liberated woman” by being politically incorrect. However, there is a third option. Rather than swerving left or right, he has the option to rise above it and leave the woman out of the picture altogether.

    Chivalry and feminism are two sides of the same coin in that, despite disagreeing over a few particulars, they hold in common the central doctrine that the well-being of the woman comes first and that the man is simply disposable. They are both forms of servitude that subjugate the male and exalt the female, and I refuse to participate in either one of them.

    • Dan-1002097 December 15, 2013

      Douglas says “The modern man feels trapped…” by chivalry. I don’t feel trapped, Douglas. I kind of like it, actually. There’s something about it that makes sense to me, like a time-tested testimony to an irrefutable reality. Women are different from men, but have equal rights under law. Maybe there’s a contradiction there. So be it. Real life is full of contradictions. Coping with contradiction should be an excellent test of sanity.

      And, the vein of some of the idioms here…”politically correct”, “prove myself worthy”, “servitude [to woman, I guess]“, “subjugate the male”…I don’t think any of that was in the minds of the ancient knights who supposedly started chivalry, I don’t think that is in the minds of most gents who do it now…and I KNOW that none of that is in my mind about it.

  12. Marita-847688 December 14, 2013

    I’ve always loved the old saying for men to love their brides as Christ loved the Church.

  13. Douglas-984666 December 14, 2013

    Husbands love your wives; wives obey your husbands. Modern society still expects husbands to love their wives, but no longer expects wives to obey their husbands.

  14. Nina-927863 December 15, 2013

    It takes a man to raise a man. How many males are being raised by single women? How many males are influenced by female teachers/caregivers? How many of these women, for many reasons, are biased against men? A father begins at home teaching his son basics: opening doors, ladies’ first, treat your mother and sisters in certain ways. A son must see his father treating his mother with respect. With the divorce rate so high, so many single women raising sons, the marriage crisis, the nuclear family meltdown – we live in a Gender Blender. Chivalry (gentility, common courtesy, traditional roles), are becoming extinct.

  15. Erin-997783 December 16, 2013

    Very well-written. There is a definite reason for chivalry and this explains it perfectly.

  16. Lisa-1017628 December 16, 2013

    Well said Nina. I don’t want a man to take a bullet for me. I’ve expected a man to stand in the path of a moving vehicle for me. However, I work in the healthcare industry and my full time job is on a military base. When we have a patient who is acting out one of the male nurses will step in, or male security guards, and make sure the patient doesn’t harm me or anyone else. I don’t ask them to step in but they feel it is their duty. I do expect respect from a man, just as I respect him. I think it’s absolutely wonderful when a man holds the door for me or opens the car door for me. I’ve been in and out of the dating world for about 11 years. I was widowed at 25 and have dated a wide range of men and the behavior of men is so different. I will hold the door open for anyone coming along, man or woman, because it’s the right thing to do. I will help someone carry their bags no matter what their gender is. Some of my male patients don’t feel right having a woman “taking” care of their needs because they were not brought up that way.

    I think society is lacking in a great deal of respect for their fellow man. People are too worried about looking out for number one, themselves, instead of their fellow man.

  17. Bernard-974944 December 16, 2013

    This is a good article. I have a friend who was going into the mall and this woman was entering at the same time as well so he opened the door for her and she got mad at him and asked him if the was holding the door for her because he was a sexist and that he didn’t think that she could do it herself. He replied” “No ma’am. I am not doing it because I have one opinion or another about you. I am holding it for you because I am a gentleman.” She was a complete jerk to him but he maintained his respectability and he didn’t get mad at her and he still treated her like a proper lady even though her behavior was the opposite. It is easy not to treat women like a proper lady when they do not behave like a lady but we men must continue to be chivalrous because when people behave well then it raises society as a whole.

    • Douglas-984666 December 17, 2013

      No. We need to stop going out of our way for these people. Some women get offended if you hold the door, other women get offended if you don’t hold the door. At the end of the day, a lady’s feelings are about as valid as an Anglican priest’s Holy Orders. I think a gender blind approach is the only solution. Treat a woman the exact same way you would treat another man. We men need to collectively declare our independence from our indentured servitude to the opposite sex.

  18. Daniel-1035715 December 17, 2013

    I read some of the comments and skimmed through most. Just some thoughts.
    Reading about taking a bullet is sacrifice of ones life to me, way beyond chivalry. Chivalry encapsulates many qualities. In today’s day “modern world” those qualities are the same but transformed or morphed because of human advances, one being hopefully being able to discus issues openly/honestly instead of shooting first and asking questions later. Part of chivalry is to teach such qualities to the next generation, (both boys and girls – men and women) so some “bad” actions are averted by having such knowledge. Right and Wrong derived from chivalrous ideals and acts. This takes a strong family/extended family unit which in today’s world seems to make the family an option where I believe it is a necessity to transfer this and other knowledge. Here is a simple start. When dating, relationship, married open the door every time possible for her and mean it. This is a simple gesture but a meaningful act. I once was told by a girl i was dating for while that I did not need to open the doors any more for her. And I responded with, I want and like doing it for you. I also do it for anyone that I can including males. It is a simple gesture but one in action that can potentially be seen and knowledge transferred to the next individual.

    I thought I would post the definition: For me, I would add a couple more. Truthful, Honesty, patience, etc. as they tie directly into the chivalrous qualities. Can’t really have one without the others.

    chivalry (ˈʃɪvəlrɪ)
    — n , pl -ries
    1. the combination of qualities expected of an ideal knight, esp courage, honour, justice, and a readiness to help the weak
    2. courteous behaviour, esp towards women
    3. the medieval system and principles of knighthood
    4. knights, noblemen, etc, collectively

    God Bless,
    Be Well,
    Dan

  19. Dominic-981542 December 17, 2013

    Nice Mary . . Chivalry . . this is the first time i ever heard the word , but this does not mean i dont know what it stands for . . I’m in a bit of hurry so I’ll just say I’m glad there is a woman who is aware men & women are not of the same human nature because most women make there judgement with men on the basis of there own nature without even noticing it . .. . . I have a lot to share here but feel I’ll be wasting my time like always , I’m not a big fan of opinions but will remind you dont make the mistake thinking the main difference between male & female is strength or weakness . . Its much more then that & will be the cause of most divorce cases while i have said many times . . people have all the wrong answers as to why there marriage failed so they can never really learn by the experience of there mistakes .

  20. Dominic-981542 December 17, 2013

    P.S. . . And we as human beings are not more advance today , When it comes to love in relationships between Men & Women we have become more primitive . . sorry but the dominating desire & roll of woman has sent us backwoods in this area . . there is a lot in our souls that are dead now or never had a chance to come alive.

  21. Ed-501357 December 21, 2013

    Here’s another angle on Chivalry. There was a time where it was commonplace for a man to order for a woman in a restaurant. Does this still happen nowadays or has this practice gone the way of the dinosaurs?

    I think this works best when the woman decides her choice and the man relays this to the server as he respects her selection and also keeping in mind allergies to certain foods etc.

    I think it’s a nice gesture provided the woman in question is agreeable and doesn’t read that she is somehow incapable of deciding for herself.

    More importantly what do the ladies on CM think??

    Wishing Everyone the Best Of The Christmas Season and God Bless.

    Ed

  22. Patrick-1031542 December 28, 2013

    I was raised by a single mom when it was a lot less common than it is now. Some how I learned chivalry. There were men in my life. My friends had dads, neighbors, scoutmasters, men my mother occasionally dated. Some how I learned. I also learned the reason for chivalry, because I am a man and that is what a man does.

    When a woman takes umbrage (it has happened once or twice) because I hold a door for her, it does not reduce my responsibility and takes nothing from me. Most women (most of whom are younger than I) thank me. Some walk through the door and pay no more attention to me than to an automatic door opener. In either case, I welcome them.

    Douglas; you have your opinion on how to treat women and while I respect your right to hold that, with all due respect, you are wrong for a number of reasons. Leaving aside any biblical exhortations and ignoring my opinion that women are inherently superior, there is one point that you should consider.

    You are on a dating site. This would seem to indicate that you are looking for a relationship and the fact that it is a Catholic site indicates you are looking for a woman. What woman would want any relationship with a man who appears to treat any woman with less than the utmost respect?

    You might find someone who has no problem with you treating other men less than respectfully, and even women that denigrate you courtesies but the attempt must be made. By failing to show the greatest respect to others (especially women), you show that you do not respect yourself. If you do not show self-respect, what women will want you?

    Patrick

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