Follow by Email

Monday, 26 May 2014

Is chivalry really dead?

We've all heard the phrase "chivalry is dead", but who killed it?

A recent incident on a busy train down to London had me wondering, what happened to chivalry and where's it gone?

It all happened when I was sitting calmly reading in my seat, when a spotty young man, wildly brandishing his iPod, demanded that I was in his seat and should move.

It turned out that it was the man next to me who was in fact in the wrong seat and so ensued a marvellous tango, as we all shuffled round to let this lad sit down.

There were other seats on the train, but he demanded that my bags and I should move to allow him to sit.

Now, by rights, this was his seat and he was entitled to it, but would this have happened years ago and quite so aggressively?

Not that long ago, a man would have happily given up his seat to a woman and this attitude is still evident within our elderly population. Kindly gents with a glint in their eye still try to help members of the fairer sex.

And I think it's absolutely delightful to see, even though, often for me, necessary to politely decline.

Men can be quick to blame the loss of chivalry on women's drive for equality, but is it really just an excuse for no manners?

I've even seen pregnant women and the elderly stand on crowded buses while younger men and women lounge in their seats.

Yes, admittedly, there are women who would be offended by someone holding a door open for them. They would see it as an assumption that they can't do it for themselves. But have we really all become so cold that we have to refuse an act of kindness?

It doesn't mean you are weaker or inferior, but just accepting of a friendly gesture from one human being to another. It's something which could completely lift your mood if you let it. What's to stop a woman opening a door for a man if he's struggling?

Now, that's real equality. Not to refuse help because we think it makes us weaker, but giving and receiving help and kindness in the hope of a better society.

So actually, is the statement that chivalry is dead just an opportunity to be lazy? For men not to be gentlemen anymore and not to have to make that extra effort. Is it really just them trying to justify the fact that they can't be bothered?

If you go onto an armed forces base, it still very much remains. The immaculate courtesy and manners displayed by serving men and women alike is outstanding. And it's nice. Really nice. Just a bit shocking when you return to the real world.

There is a new generation that believes we should only see ourselves in the world and help ourselves.

But I find this very sad. So I've decided. I'm going to be chivalrous if it kills me! And I'm going to talk to strangers, even if they think I'm mental. And I'm going to smile, even if someone steps on my foot on a crowded train.

And hopefully I might start a trend... Who knows?

No comments:

Post a Comment