“Chivalry” in a Feminist World

pexels-photo-433019.jpegI won’t lie when; Vanessa’s Voice contacted me and asked me to guest write, I was a little intimidated. She typically covers pretty substantial and important topics on her blog. While I…I basically wrap myself in sarcasm and complain about how hard adulting is…

Nevertheless I thought it my duty to at least ATTEMPT to write something of substance for her. PLUS she agreed to write something for me!…so how could i refuse…

So let’s attempt to cover something of real substance (while simultaneously not taking ourselves to seriously).

As a millennial, I grew up in a very confusing time. As a society we were trying to merge the idea of equal writes while, simultaneously holding onto romantic traditions.

It was an obvious struggle even in our childhood bedtime stories…

Anyone familiar with the children’s author Robert Munsch knows the story of “The Paper Bag Princess. For those that don’t, the story is about a princess who was kidnapped by a dragon and needed a brave and valiant knight to come rescue her (classic damsel in distress). BUT…as soon as the knight defeats the dragon and demands his rescued princess to “act ladylike” and put on a dress (which she has none of because the dragon burned them all)...the whole story takes a left turn and the princess rescues herself and tells the knight to go stuff-it. (Admittedly there is more to this story but this is that part that serves my narrative…)

The point is, if cartoons couldn’t figure out how to deal with equal rights AND romantic traditions from all perspectives…then how on earth were we supposed to figure it out?

Now that I’m happily married, I get to discuss these things from atop my high horse of wedded bliss. I thought I would share these discussions with you all and attempt to redefine the most common “chivilarist” expectations of men from romantic traditions.

  1. Men should hold doors for Women. I thought we would start with an easy one. As  a Canadian this rule is simple...Everyone should hold doors for everyone!
    Whether you’re a man or a woman. Whether you’re dating, friends, coworkers or complete strangers…just hold the door. If you open it first or the other person has their hands full…..just hold it…it doesn’t get simpler….
  2. Men should pay on dates. Ok…so this one is far less simple (and I’m sorry Vanessa’s Voice for any hate mail you get…) I’ve heard every argument on this from “The gender pay gap means men should still pay!” to “Whoever asks/plans the date should pay.” (since that person shouldn’t expect the other to pay for what they’ve planned). Now I won’t argue that both of these arguments don’t have merit, but I will argue that they aren’t exactly practical to ‘expect”.

    My typical answer when it comes to dating and relationship is to “communicate”…but since this is usually a situation that arises on FIRST dates…communication lines aren’t exactly at their most open. Both parties are probably still at least semi hiding their true self and the SIMPLEST solution for the MAJORITY of first dates is to likely just go dutch.

    Ask the waitress for separate cheques…one of you buy movie tickets and the other snacks…keep it simple. There is plenty of time when deciding what to do on your second date to discuss finances and who can pay for what.
  3. A man should give up his Coat or Umbrella. Ok so that last one got too real for a minute so let’s step back to simpler times. If you’re a grown woman who didn’t bring her coat with her because she wanted to show off her dress for her date (or didn’t think about an umbrella), it is not a mans job to give you his. (After all you are a strong independent woman who don’t need no man!)

    That being said, if you are a man and your date looks cold or…wet?….it’s really only common decency (and in your best interest) to resolve that situation. Whether that’s sacrificing your own comfort or just calling a cab…any solution works. (PS Women you can also call a cab in this situation)
  4. Can Women ask out Men?...the short answer is YES…this is another one I would argue is simple…but somehow it’s not? There seems to be a general consensus that it’s “emasculating” for a man to be asked out by a woman. It’s not. In fact…I don’t even understand the concept of how that COULD be emasculating. A woman tells you she is interested in you…what could be MORE …masculating?
  5. Can Men approach a Woman at a bar?...again…i would argue YES. This one comes with one IMPORTANT addendum. If she says “No” ONCE…you’re done. There’s no three strikes in this ball game. There’s no bagging for a second chance. You get one “No”, “No Thanks”, “Sorry It’s a girls night tonight”, “I have a boyfriend”, etc.

    As soon as you keep trying and bothering, that’s when you ruin it for everyone.
    OH! While I’m on the subject…”I’m a lesbian” is NOT a challenge…seriously “bro”.
  6. Men don’t have feelings. This one is more a men’s issue then a womans one. One thing 90s cartoons did a GREAT job of was letting little girls know that women can do anything men can do. One thing they ignored completely, is telling little boys that men can do anything women can do.

    For any man reading this complaining that “women don’t like men who show emotion (or heaven forbid CRY), this is the equivalent to when women complain about having to wear a new dress for every event. It is a men only problem, purely perpetrated by men.
  7. Men should “defend you from harm. Ok so I wanted to end on a fun one…
    The short answer is, this sentences is ridiculous…
    The LONG answer is; if you and your partner find yourself in harm, it  is is deep in the DNA of a man that he has to do something. So much so that everytime I hear a noise while in bed at night I think to myself “Welp i guess I get to go die while I check out what that was…”
    One of my wife’s favourite stories to tell is the night I woke up from a dead sleep thinking I heard something. I ran all the way down the stairs to the basement to find…nothing.
    My sleepy/concerned wife then yelled down from upstairs:
    Her: What are you doing?
    Me: I thought I heard someone!
    Her: …ok…so what was your plan? Fight them half asleep, with your bare hands, in your underwear?
    The point is…men need to let this one go….

I don’t know if this post counts as substantial or important as Vanessa’s Voice is typically good for, but this is about as serious as I’m capable of being without feeling nauseous.
I need to return to my protective bubble of sarcasm…

Bonus Round: “Women and Children First” in an emergency is BOGUS! I mean children sure…but my wife has equal rights to sink on a ship or burn in a fire as I do…


8 thoughts on ““Chivalry” in a Feminist World

  1. Over Easter dinner this weekend my sister pointed out to me that it’s actually the princess that rescues the prince in “Paper Bag Princess”…The dragon kidnaps the prince and burns all the princesses clothing….hence the paper bag.Then when the princess goes to rescue the prince she’s only wearing a paper bag and he yells at her….
    Admittedly my example is slightly less useful now…but now it’s an example of girls can do everything boys can do…


  2. My opinions is all men should try to keep chivalry alive! Yes, I believe they should open doors for women, and offer their coats. I agree that all people should hold doors open for others as well, the thing is everyone is different, and feels differently about these things, and perhaps one should just ask the questions,,, do you mind if I pay for the cheque? Would you like to ware my coat? May I open the door for you? , By asking these questions men will get to know what their dates/ partners/ friends like and dislike.

    Liked by 2 people

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