Tuesday, November 27, 2007

is chivalry dead or do people just not appreciate it anymore?

I wrote a post several weeks ago about how I appreciate seeing men give up their seats on the bus for women and how I actually think it should be the men who do it! A few people commented on how women sometimes chastise men for offering to open the door or for giving up their seat and also mentioned how there is a fine line in knowing who exactly should you give your seat up for. eg does that person look older than they actually are and might not want you to stand up for them? Saying that I am not old but I would appreciate it?!?!?!

In regards to the chastising, yesterday I experienced that that can most certainly be the case. I was waiting for a lift (the kind that take you 'up and down' not the 'pick you up in the car' kind) when two men came to wait for said same lift. One of the men gestured to let me on first and I said "Oh thank-you" and he replied, "Wow, you said thank-you, most women just give me a look." I am assuming by 'look' he means the 'how dare you look' not the 'oh how simply lovely of you look'. He seemed taken aback that I had actually said "Thank-you"*, I responded with, "Well, I appreciate that kind of thing."

How funny - that he was so shocked by a simple thank-you for letting me on the lift first. Maybe it isn't about chivalry at all, maybe some people just don't have great manners?

* I am not suggesting that I am the politest person on the planet or anything like that, I was just shocked by how much a little thank-you was responded too, as if it just doesn't happen very often.

14 comments:

Zombie said...

Yeah, like when you wave another driver to go first and they do not have the decency to give you the thnk-you wave. Pretty rude.

Justin said...

Hi Nixter. I'm not sure that your experience was about chastising and feminism. I don't know you, but I suspect that you were sunny and personal when you said 'thanks', and he responded to it.

This is an age old debate about the death of chivalry etc. But in the 20 years since I first heard the question of its demise, I've never seen anyone get offended re giving up the seat or opening a door etc.

I think that we live in a different day and age, but I've never seen any evidence that chivalry is dead.

I'm sure that there will be anecdotal evidence that someone scowled them when they gave up their seat, but I've yet to see it as a trend.

I've seen plain rudeness from men and women. And if a woman or an elderly person doesn't want the seat, she usually smiles and says: "Its OK, but thanks". But thats all I've ever seen in two decades.

kristina said...

I get taken off guard sometimes if a guy opens a door or offers a seat to me, but I am happy about it.

I gave a back handed annoyed wave to a woman driver the other day because she irritated me. She just smiled and gave me a friendly wave back. I had to laugh.

Lara said...

I've been trying to train my boyfriend to open doors for me...

Nixter said...

Hi Justin,

Fair comment and I think I would have to agree with you, I was just shocked that this guy seemed so surprised.

I guess maybe the issue for me is - how rare it is to see someone jump up to give there seat. I think this is what I find frustrating. Maybe for me that's more the problem than women not appreciating the gesture!

Maybe chivalry isn't dead, maybe you just don't see it as much as you did in the past and maybe people just don't appreciate it as much?!?

Nixter said...

I have found that too Zombie, I have noticed that the 'thank-you' wave happens more in England for some reason.

Lara - keep trying! ;)

Justin said...

I've been trying to train my boyfriend to open doors for me...

I'm not sure it's chivalry if he has to be trained!

:)

Ruth said...

Kristina - that's funny. I had a friend beep someone in a car in front of him who had at the last minute decided to turn right (thus slowing everything down traffic wise)...after beeping the man in front, said man turned around and waved...it was my friend's pastor!! He was pretty embarrassed!

I've found mixture of chivalry and not. I always say thank you, but when my bus passed by the university, mainly chivalry died out for a few stops! Once I was pregnant with three little boys (one of whom was still a baby) with me - and embarrassingly the only person to stand was a woman who looked like she'd have been 80 in the shade! I was so embarrassed! She told me she was getting off in two stops anyway - and as she got off (is that what 'alighted' means?), she handed me a five dollar note - and said 'I think you need this more than I do'!!!!

Priscilla said...

Hmmm. I always give the thank you wave. I see other people do it too. I'm not sure if that is a coast to coast thing here in the U.S....but atleast where I live people seem very nice that way.

I love chivalry! I get very irritated with women who are insulted by it! It's like men are polite to them and they just slap them in the face for it. That's plain rude!

Justin said...

OK -- question: You all seem have known women to be insulted by chivalry. I have never met one! Seriously, does it really happen? How often does it happen?

Ruth said...

Justin, what do you mean 'insulted by chilvalry'? Do you mean insulted because there was none, or who found it insulting to be treated chivalrously?

Justin said...

Ruth -- The latter.

kristina said...

I think people get suspicious of each others motives. Once, I offered to let a woman check out ahead of me at the grocery store. She reacted negatively "Why!?" She was holding ice cream. I thought her hands might be cold.

Ruth said...

No Justin, I don't know of anyone who has been insulted.

(thanks for clarifying)

Kristina - I would've been thankful to go ahead if I were holding ice cream!