The big debate about being chivalrous seems to stem from the fact that some men seem to confuse chivalry with machismo. Or they shy away from being chivalrous in case they offend the lady in question (whether this is from a genuine fear of causing offense or just from gleeful skirting of being kind and helpful, who knows?). I for one enjoy a good chivalrous act or two – especially when I am in need of it. And I can say with certainty, that most women welcome a kind, thoughtful act (which is what I believe sums up chivalry). However if you’re unsure which way to proceed, here’s a quick guide on how to be chivalrous without offending her:
Open the door
But not just for women. It is true, we’re perfectly capable of opening our own doors. However, a good general practice is to open the door for anyone behind you, whether it is a woman or man. Especially when the person behind you has his or her hands full. No need to go out of your way to get the door.
Ah the act of a man explaining things to a woman. A good example of Mansplaining happened to me when a guy tried explaining to me what my line of work (which I had been in for more than 10 years) really was and how to go about it. This man had never worked in this area ever but still thought that he knew better than I about the job. Men, if you catch yourself doing this… stop… right… now. apologize for mansplaining, and move along!
I’ve seen mothers with huge strollers struggling up stairs while people walk around her without helping. Seriously? Nothing wrong with a helping hand if she clearly could use the help. It’s when you decide we aren’t capable of carrying anything that it gets annoying. Either way, if you want to help out, ask, “Could I lend a hand?” or “Can I help with that?” if she says no, let her be. If she says yes, then don your best hero outfit and get to work!
Applicable to both genders
For me a good rule of thumb is if the act you’re about to do is applicable to both genders. I don’t like men pulling out my chair for me to sit down because I don’t see them doing that for other men. Or standing when I leave the table. Or running around the car to open my door (valets don’t count).
To summarize, this article is pretty much saying treat women with respect and as capable human beings and be kind to both men and women. Chivalry gets offensive if you treat her like she is incapable of doing anything on her own without your big, bad self. If you are someone who treats human being with respect and kindness, you will be seen as the chivalrous prince that you are!