Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Chivalry Is Nearly Dead - Or On Its Last Legs, Anyway

Chivalry (Born: whenever the first guy treated a woman kindly, regardless of whether or not she was boinking him or was his Mother; the word itself originated in 1250 or so Died: 2007, but many women will tell you it was much, much earlier than that - and they're probably right)

Does anyone recognize this asshole, seated on the L train at about 10:40am today?:

Probably not, since it's blurry as hell and I couldn't get a good shot of him on the train this morning without looking like the total stalker psychopath that I am.

This spoon-fed hipster ignoramus was on the bus from Greenpoint with me today, going into Willyburg to catch the L train. He was sitting in one of the seats at the front of the bus, I was in the middle, closer to the door. An elderly woman with a cane who obviously had trouble walking got on the bus and not only did she have to ask him for his seat (instead of him immediately getting up and offering it to her like someone should do), but he rolled his eyes and sighed and made a deal about it; and all he had to do was move over one seat! She looked at him with disgust after she sat down, but he was oblivious; I watched the whole thing from my seat and was just seething. I later saw this asshole on the train coming in and snapped his pic.

Have you ever noticed that on buses or trains, about 8 times out of 10 if a pregnant or elderly woman gets on, the only people who get up to offer her a seat are women? Either women or men who are so old that the poor sweethearts should just stay seated themselves, lest they fall. You'll see young, healthy men of all different ages keeping their seat - the idea of helping a pregnant or elderly woman and having any sense of chivalry as far from their mind as possible.
Or women who have a baby, and maybe another child as well, and are fumbling with trying to hold onto the both of them while not falling...again, if you see a man get up to offer his seat, it's anything just short of a miracle. I'm always offering my seat, and I'll look at these men, whose lack of chivalry, kindness, empathy and consideration knows no boundaries: all races and almost all ages. Like I said, the only ones you see really showing any chivalry are the old, old men - and even then, I notice that if they are from certain countries (I'm assuming where women are not highly regarded) then that theory goes out the window.

What happened? What the hell is wrong with men today? I mean, really: has anyone noticed (besides me and my girlfriends who sit and drink and bitch about this) that Chivalry has almost gone the way of the dinosaurs? I would like to blame the "latest generation" or whatever...but I notice it in men over 30,40 and 50, as well. Why is this?

Is it cultural, like I mentioned above, where some men are brought up in cultures where chivalry never really existed and women are just considered to be walking birth canals and private chefs - and we are holding them to the standards that we would...oh, I dunno...normal, nice fucking people? Are parents to be blamed for raising boys that are narcissistic and lack simple human empathy and a desire to be a gentleman?

Or could it also be us? Have we done something along the way to allow...to open the door, if you will, for this to happen?

I am as much of an advocate for women's rights as most self-respecting women; I wouldn't have started a site like this if I wasn't. I believe we should be treated as equally as the Boys in every way and deserve each and every right and should be treated with all the respect that men receive. I am an advocate for women when other women look the other way.
However, and I know I will get flack for this: I think that some feminists took it a wee bit too far.

I see women who get pissed off if a guy holds a door open for them. Or tries to pull back their chair at the dinner table. Uh, excuse me, but I think that's just a man showing respect. How is that any representation of disrespecting us as women?
Women today, since the struggles of the Feminist Movement of the 60's, have tried so hard to make us equal that I think they went above and beyond the call of duty; I think some radical feminists have seriously fucked the rest of us out of being treated with any kind of chivalry from many a man...or, at least, given men the path of least resistance.

I mean, hey - if a chick is going to yell at him possibly for trying to be chivalrous, then why should he bother? Let her go dutch on the bill, let her get her own damn door, and let the pregnant lady hang onto the hand rail like the rest of the guys, right? And while they're at it, if they happen to be 85 and a women, to hell with 'em if they fall down.

Well, whatever it is, it needs to stop - now. Men need to start stepping up to the plate. Quit shoving women aside in lines in the grocery store. Give a lady a seat. Just quit being assholes.

But, let's not forget the few men out there who do open doors; who do get up and let the elderly or pregnant women have a seat; who do act with all the utmost kindness and chivalry. Let's not forget them - and thank them.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being a man(or some similarity thereof)I am in total agreeance with every one of your statements. These motherfuckers must die! Unfortunately, this is a problem that has been around for years. In the year and a half that I have taken the subway, it is almost kneejerk for me to get up off my ass if the car is half full and a group of ladies come in, especially older ones. I notice whenever I do this, I get a mixed reaction, mainly from the younger people like I'm a freak or a terrorist, or both. No sooner do I give up my seat and some jackass slides his big butt in. Then I have to give a subtle hint like "Dude, why don't you give the seat to a lady?". Or better yet, sit next to them and shove them over with my big ass until there is room to sit. I can't tell you how many times I've taken the bus back to Jersey when it was so full, people were coming out of the tailpipe. The aisles would be full with people standing, many of them women. If I have a seat, I CAN'T JUST FUCKING SIT THERE! I have to get up and offer it to the nearest women, which requires climbing over the person next to you, usally some other guy with a thumb up his ass. Sometimes the women may take the seat, sometimes they smile at me and say "No, that's ok, I'll just stand". So, what's the big deal? Are men just afraid they'll look like dorks for offering? What the hell is wrong with the male race? Upbringing or lack of? Possibly. I wasn't particularly taught to do this. I just thought it was an automatic show of caring and generosity. Maybe I am a freak.



9:26 PM  
Blogger PenguinHostage said...

Umm...sounds like M has a little obsessive-compulsive problem...You see a woman standing and you CAN'T JUST SIT THERE? Give me a break, any able-bodied human being can stand on a bus, we all get our turn in the chair. Give yourself a break, just take a seat and use your good manners on the next pregant/sick/old person, regardless of sex.

3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perfect example:

When good manners are looked upon as being obsessive-compulsive.........that's pretty sad. Maybe that's why there are NOT as many guys who give up their seat, open doors, or exhibit kindness, etc. Because they are looked at as being weirdos.

10:48 PM  
Blogger Metabolic Karma said...

Well, although I agree that an invalid or an elderly person (regardless of sex) or a woman who has a bun in the oven should first and foremost be given a seat over anyone else...I don't think that if a guy wants to be kind to a woman and give up his seat he should be given shit for it.

Whether or not M. has OCD I do not know; what I do know is that when some guy gets up on the train to give me his seat (uh, that shit almost never happens) it is a really nice thing...and those kinds of things are hammered in more when you're growing up depending on where you live and if your parents teach you to do so...

11:32 PM  
Blogger PenguinHostage said...

The point it, a woman wouldn't give up her seat for a man unless he was disabled in someway. Nice manners are one thing, but being nice because upbringing has "hammered" something in your skull that a woman standing is akin to a disabled person - that is what needs to be addressed.

6:04 PM  
Blogger PenguinHostage said...

Wait, besides, I'm not the one complaining about the lack of chivalary, I hate it.

6:05 PM  
Blogger Bitchy Actress said...

Now that is a damn good point...
I sure as hell wouldn't give up my seat for a guy unless he was on crutches, missing an eye, and carrying a crippled child in his arms.

9:55 PM  
Blogger Billychic said...

Eh, I can see your point; chivalry for chivalry sake - or even because it's a hard-bred Pavlovian response - as opposed to having good manners, are different things...

Interesting argument. Oh, how I love the Penguin Mind (even though I do love a free seat because I'm a girlie-girl).

10:01 PM  
Blogger mrs lungsquish said...

When I lived in London in my early twenties, I offered a pregnant lady my seat on the Tube, I offended her, terribly. She wasn't actually pregnant. My bad. Burning and blushing cheeks ensued.

As for men giving up their seat for me - I only ever take them up on their offer if I really, really feel like I HAVE to sit down to rest, otherwise, I just say thank you very much for the offer and tell them i'm fine standing. I mean, why the hell should I have 'dibs' on their seat because I have a vagina?

I see offering up a seat to someone else as a matter of kindness and common decency, if the person standing obviously would be better off sitting down, - I don't see it as a gender issue at all.

6:35 PM  

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