I hate the moment when you are in a room full of young men, someone older comes in the room, and none of the boys move to give them a seat. Many older people brush it off and say they do not want a seat, but when they do that they both encourage the boys’ lack of chivalry and make it acceptable. Well, I am here to say lack of chivalry and gentlemanly behavior is a lack of character, it is a lack of respect, and it is also caving to the obscenely low standards of modern society. I do not care if women chew you out for opening the door for them, open it anyway. Be the mature one.
Call me old world, but I don’t want a boy who is only gentlemanly when in a suit, bearing a corsage, and heading to a dance. Gentlemanly behavior is part of being characterized by respect and courtesy. It is one of those things that separates men from boys.
As a young woman I appreciate:
– having the door held for me.
– being walked out to my car at night in a dark parking lot. (NO woman should have to ask for an escort in that situation.)
– being assisted with packages and large stacks of paraphernalia I shouldn’t have tried to carry anyway.
– being given a seat by a gentleman in a crowded seatless room.
– when a young man starts a discussion and doesn’t just stare awkwardly.
– when a young man takes care of himself (The way a young man takes care of himself is the way he will take care of others.)
– when a young man sees needs and meets them.
– when a young man takes care to have friends that will hold him accountable.
– when in mixed company encourages other young men not to be crass. (Girls in this day and age need to work on this too)
– when a young man looks out for any young woman who doesn’t have some one taking care of her.
– being offered an umbrella or other forms of assistance in bad weather
This is just a short list of things that have come to my attention in the past couple weeks as I have observed more boys and men. In the current time many young men are faced with a problem, if they do act gentlemanly, they may be misunderstood as lovestruck or chauvinistic. It is sad that we live in a society where men can only be men if they are in a relationship and outside of that relationship any gentlemanly action is considered base. I admit there are several times I can think of where I have refuse a gentleman’s assistance because of my own pride and selfishness. I regret that.
So, I’ll make a deal with you, young men, offer me a gentlemanly gesture and I will take it. I won’t think you are in love with me or trying to disregard my rights as a woman. That is foolish. But I will thank you for taking a step out of boyhood and into manhood.