Ask Him: Is Chivalry Really Dead?

Ask Him: Is Chivalry Really Dead?

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“Why aren't men more courteous with us women? Whatever happened to opening doors and helping you with your coat?”
— Danielle, 31, Lawrenceburg

Dear Danielle,

What you're describing is known as "chivalry." Although the word sounds like something you do when it's cold outside, it's actually a term with which men should become more familiar.

The word "chivalry" comes from an old French word chevalier, or "knight." The American Heritage Dictionary defines "chivalry" as "The qualities idealized by knighthood, such as bravery, courtesy, honor and gallantry toward women." Still waiting for your "knight in shining armor"? That's where the phrase comes from. Unfortunately, instead of showing up on a magnificent white steed and professing his unconditional love, today's man seems content on pulling up in a tricked-out Honda Civic pumping out thousands of watts of misogynistic crap.

And for whatever reason, many of you women fall for it.

I'm not saying it's your fault, entirely. But it makes me cringe when I hear women cranking up the "booty music" in their own cars, blissfully ignorant of the song's defamatory lyrics, all because they like the "beat" of the song. As long as it's funny, or you can dance to it, many women don't seem to mind being referred to as a sexual truck stop. To some of you, it doesn't matter that you're being called names so degrading I can't even repeat them. It's all just one big joke. Funny stuff, right? That is, until one day, you grow up and realize that, to a lot of guys out there, guess what? It’s no longer a joke, and they really will think you’re just another, well, insert synonyms for female dog and garden tool here.


Today's music tells guys that, hey, you know what? It's hard out here for a pimp. Livin' large and in charge. And dudes eat that stuff up. Why? Because in all reality, they have no clue what it means to live that kind of life. Wanna see how glamorous "thug life" really is? Visit your local prison on any given Sunday. Kinda puts things into perspective.

Look, don't get me wrong here. I'm a musician myself, and don't believe in censorship. Ok, not in extreme levels of censorship. Society has to have some kind of moral standards. And so do women. If you want men to respect you, ask for it. Better yet, demand it. And if you can't seem to find a guy who's willing to treat you like a lady, maybe you're looking in all the wrong places.

There are plenty of "gentlemen" out there – regardless of their taste in music. Guys who do things like open doors and send flowers. Not to toot my own horn here, but I've done that kind of stuff my entire life. Why? Because I was taught that that is the proper way to treat a woman.

Granted, no woman wants a doormat. But if you want respect, start by respecting yourself for the truly wonderful being that you are. You deserve nothing less. Then, one day, you and your gallant knight can ride off together into the sunset – in his Civic that he helped you to get into. And just maybe, live happily ever after.