Chivalry Isn’t Dead

Men's Dating

Chivalry Isn’t Dead

Moxie Kline Moxie Kline • 7/28/16

Feminism is a wonderful thing. In this time period and in this culture, it would be hard to find someone who does not agree that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.

But that does not mean men and women are exactly equal. It does not mean they should be the same.

Our professional lives conform to different rules, but in our personal relationships, when we try to make our behavior more equivalent, we end up with misunderstandings, disappointment, and a general lack of romance and juiciness in our love lives.

Take the issue of who pays for a date. Some folks will tell you Dutch is a fine way to go, even on the first date. Men and women alike have come to accept the notion that the man shouldn’t have to bear all the financial burden of that risky first encounter.

As a woman, I can tell you a man rises in my esteem when he offers to pay. I do not need him to pay. I can afford my own tapas and sangria, but that is not the point. If we get rid of chivalry, then feminism has caused us to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

What is Chivalry? And What Can It Look Like to Women?

Chivalry is often defined as honorable and polite behavior toward women. Women want that. But what does this mean in the age of feminism and economic parity?

It might help to think of it as the intersection between strength and generosity.


Women want a man to be strong. We enjoy male displays of prowess, skill, and fortitude. For example, we like it when men:

  • Lift heavy objects if we can’t
  • Perform well at work
  • Patch roofs, dig gardens, fix the plumbing, or assemble a bookcase — with us and as a kind gesture toward us

Women want a man to be generous. We want to know you understand the world is bigger than just you and you are willing to give something. We like it when men:

  • Give a dollar to the homeless guy on the street or at least meet his gaze and say “sorry, not today.”
  • Give up their seat on the bus to a pregnant woman
  • Help their elderly neighbor take out his trash

Women want men to be their naturally strong and generous selves when they’re with us. Some small things you can do to stop suppressing your naturally gallant and gracious nature:

  • Open doors, pull out our chairs, and take our coats.
  • If you’re paying for the date, tip 20% no matter what and authentically thank the waiter.
  • Stand on the traffic side of the road as we walk.
  • Hold the umbrella and hail us a cab.

You won’t get demerits if you don’t do these things, but a strong and generous man does these things naturally without fanfare and without apology.

Feminist or not, every woman loves a man who is comfortable with his own strength and generosity. You may even find it brings out the very best — the femininity, kindness, and receptivity — in the woman you are with. And what man wouldn’t want that?

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