I’m A Strong, Capable Woman, But I Won’t Apologize For Wanting Chivalry

I’m A Strong, Capable Woman, But I Won’t Apologize For Wanting Chivalry ©iStock/pixdeluxe

Chivalry seems well and truly dead these days, and it’s a shame. Apparently we can’t have equal pay, equal opportunity, and equal rights when we also want sweet gestures of courtship. I’m sick of being challenged for wanting chivalry, even if I am a strong and capable woman.

  1. The two are not mutually exclusive. Being an independent woman has nothing to do with the fact that I like it when a man holds the door for me or offers to pay for my meal. Yes, I’m perfectly capable of doing those things on my own, but when someone is kind enough to make that gesture towards me, it’s a welcome pleasure. The key word is kindness.
  2. Chivalry isn’t one-sided. Just because a man pulls out my chair at the table doesn’t mean I suddenly don’t believe in female equality. I have every intention of offering gestures of my own when the moments allow. I’ll offer to pick up the next tab, or I’ll hold the door open for him if I’m walking in front of him. It goes both ways.
  3. I want a man who stands out from the alarming number of losers. All my life, I’ve been called a whore, been catcalled as I’m walking down the street and have been greeted with unwelcome grabs to my ass in crowded bars. So forgive me if I prefer the men I date to be not only kind, but respectful of me as a human being by offering polite gestures and genuine acts of affections.
  4. Chivalry is just basic human decency. Offering to take my coat or holding out your arm as I attempt to walk over a puddle doesn’t mean I’m some damsel in distress that doesn’t believe in my own capabilities as a woman. It doesn’t mean I’m not strong. It means the other human in my company is offering me a decency, which is so painfully rare these days.
  5. Chivalrous acts don’t go unappreciated. As I said, being chivalrous isn’t a one sided thing. I appreciate the thoughtful kindness. I genuinely appreciate when you pick up the dinner check. It doesn’t mean I’m not capable of doing it myself or that I’m not planning on taking you out in return. And for any women who have taken advantage of chivalrous acts; I’ll offer my apologies for them for not offering you the same basic human decency in return.
  6. I’m not thinking about feminism; I’m observing you as a person. When I’m out on a date with a man, I’m not wearing my feminist hat. I’m wearing the hat of getting to know you and witnessing who you are as a person. I’m interested in your character, your mannerisms, and the way you treat the people in your company. The argument about feminism and chivalry isn’t an excuse to be rude.
  7. I’ll hold my own door, fine by me. If I have to hold my own door, I won’t kick up a fuss. If you ask me to split the dinner bill, I won’t even hesitate, but don’t expect me to pick up the next one to show you my appreciation of your chivalrous acts. At the end of the day, chivalry is just kindness and genuine thoughtfulness. It’s no different than when you hold the door for your buddies or pay for the round of beers during Sunday football.
  8. You won’t stand out from the crowd, because chivalry and basic respect is now rare.If you want to believe that ruling out chivalry makes us equals, that’s fine by me, but you won’t stand out from the crowd in my mind — not because you weren’t chivalrous, but because you weren’t kind, and if you want to me, a strong capable woman, I need someone who is also strong and capable… of dropping his ego and being a decent human being.