“I don’t want my husband opening doors for me, pulling out my chair and holding my hand all the time in public,” scoffed my friend Amber. “If chivalry isn’t dead, then it should be. Hopefully women have evolved enough that we can show men we’re strong and independent and don’t need to be taken care of.”
The question I had posed to a group of friends having coffee was “Is chivalry dead?” By chivalry, I don’t mean prancing around in suits of armor, jousting on horses and rescuing damsels in distress. I was referring to good manners and charm on a man’s part. You know…the formerly commonplace little efforts that used to win women over.
As Amber ranted about her independence…and her assumption that ALL women were that way, the rest of the group became uncomfortably quiet. Finally Susan spoke up. “I don’t know about y’all, but nothing turns me on more than my husband treating me like a diamond, like I’m his prize possession. Spew your feminism all you want, Amber, but I LOVE it when my husband walks around the car to open my door and helps me with my coat. It makes me feel so special.”
“I couldn’t agree more,” chimed Heather with a backup chorus of “me-too’s” from the rest of the group. Needless to say, Amber sat silently until the subject changed.
With the media promoting strong, autonomous, independent-spirited women for the past forty years, it’s no wonder that guys question the etiquette that used to be standard among gentlemen. They don’t want to offend a woman with a gesture that was meant impress her.
I’ve posed the chivalry question, not only to my coffee group, but online to hundreds of women across the country and a couple other continents. The resounding response is that we LOVE acts of chivalry…and want more of them. When you take the time to open doors for us, stand up when we enter a room, pull out our chairs…and all those other little things, it shows that we’re important to you. That good manners are important to you and that impressing us is important to you. Like Susan said, it makes us feel special.
There are lots of areas of life for a woman to be completely independent. Most of us like being a little DE-pendent with our men…even if we don’t have to be.
About the Author: Angela is an award winning humor columnist, freelance writer and public speaker living in Middle Georgia, and the San Francisco Bay Area. She uses her keen insight and clever wit to help husbands understand the complex mechanisms that are their wives. “I like to think of goodhusbanding.com as an owner’s manual for the average wife. Of course results may vary, but we’re all fairly similar whether we admit it or not.” Angela uses her background in psychology, the myriad of learning experiences offered through her ten year marriage, and input from her “in the trenches” audience members across the country as input for her articles.