We’ve all heard the phrase over and over again: chivalry is dead.
With plenty of women (myself included) striving for equal rights, it seems a bit backward for us to constantly be waiting for men to open the door, pay for our meal, and pull our chairs out for us.
But is it really that backward? Can chivalry and feminism coexist?
What do you imagine when you think of chivalry? A knight on a white horse? A fancy man opening a car door for an equally fancy woman in the 1920s?
Well, let’s look at some modern-day examples of chivalry.
- A man opens the door for his date
- A man picks up the dinner tab
- A man pulls the chair out for his date
There are only two problems I see with these examples:
- It’s always the man being chivalrous.
- Pulling the chair out for me just makes me uncomfortable.
I don’t think being chivalrous is a problem, and I definitely don’t think it’s anti-feminist.
I think being chivalrous is the same as being polite. How can politeness be anti-feminist?
That being said, everything could use a little bit of improvement. So let’s make those modern-day examples a little more feminist.
- The first person to the door opens it for their date.
- The person who suggested the date pays for the meal.
- Both parties pull out their own chairs and no one feels uncomfortable.
Easy, right? Chivalry doesn’t have to only apply to men. I truly believe women can (and should!) be chivalrous, too.
Just remember: don’t be a dick.
If you’re the first person to the door, open it and hold it for the person behind you. (This doesn’t just apply to dates, by the way!) You shouldn’t just stand there waiting for your date to open it for you. Be a strong, independent woman, but also be polite. Don’t be that person.
It’s also totally cool to go halfsies on the dinner tab. I personally think you should work that out when you set up the date, but that’s just me. Say something like “hey, I’d really like to take you out, but I’m a little strapped for money. Would you mind splitting the bill?”
If the woman asks the guy out on the date, she should be the one who pays. Yes, she’s allowed to ask a man out, and yes, she’s allowed to pay. This is the 21st century, people.
Mind you, I’ve been in a relationship for five years now. I have no recent dating experience, soooo…
But let’s be hypothetical for a minute. Let’s pretend I didn’t just get engaged, and I haven’t been in a relationship for five years. I’m going on a first date with a guy who knows I’m a strong feminist. He thinks he doesn’t need to be chivalrous because I’m a strong, independent woman, so he doesn’t hold the door open for me.
Do you think I’m going on a second date with that guy? Hell no! He just let the door slam in my face. #rude
So just remember: chivalry still has a place in the world, and it can easily co-exist with feminism. As long as we don’t expect only men to be chivalrous.
What do you think? Can chivalry and feminism coexist? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!