Before I start. This article is about chivalry. If that's something you want to read go ahead. If you're one of those people I heard of that is offended by chivalry, I recommend you don't read this. Or you can read it and be offended. I'll leave that up to you.
I recently had a discussion with some friends on the topic of chivalry. It began when a friend of mine didn't get up from his seat to offer it to a girl (also a friend) who walked in. She kind of glared at him and said "Chivalry is dead." To which he responded with "Modesty is dead." Both were half kidding, and he did end up giving her the seat in case you were wondering. Anyways, we ended up having a conversation about chivalry and modesty. I'm only going to address the first.
Basically, in the end the other guy and myself ended up coming up with a "chivalry code" to follow. And what I'm going to do here is write it out for you. To encourage other guys to follow it to. To try to prove that chivalry is maybe not entirely dead, but still draws a rasping rattling breath. And so that you can give pointers (especially the girls) if you feel like we missed something important. So without further ado. Or actually a tidbit of ado. For some ideals I will put examples in parentheses to explain what I'm talking about.
The Chivalry Code
The Golden Rules
We will treat all girls with respect. If they are younger or within our age range, we will treat them like we would our sister. If they are significantly older or otherwise have a great amount of authority over us, we will treat them as we would our mother.
We will do nothing to or with a girl that
a. she does not consent to. (I don't want to play soccer. Okay, we won't make you.)
b. we would not want anyone to do to our (future) wives, since almost every girl is/will be someone's wife. (I do not want anyone but myself to sleep with my wife. I will not sleep with any girl, unless I am married to her.)
If you're entering/exiting a room or something equivalent, and there is a girl, hold the door open and let her pass.
If you're in a line, and there's a girl behind you, let her pass. (Possible exemptions for, e. g. airport migration lines. You'd never make it thorugh.)
If you're sitting, and a girl is standing, give her your seat.
If a girl is carrying something, offer to carry it for her.
If it is cold and you have a sweater and a girl in your group doesn't, give it to her.
If it is cold, and a girl in your group has a sweater and offers it to you because you don't, refuse.
If it's dark and a girl needs to go home, either walk with her, or offer her a ride if possible.
Note: About half of these apply more to friends than just any girl. Like with the ariport lines, taking every girl in town home will take you forever.
On a slightly unrelated note, a thought and warning to guys. When we were talking the girl joked about how we were trying to become knights in shining armor. That seemed a bit off. Because while it conveys an image of chivalry, it doesn't connect anymore. Because knights in shining armor are also pompous, attention-drawing, and generally loved. That's not likely to happen. If you're going for the pomp and attention you have the wrong motives. You aren't likely to be praised much. Some people will acknowledge what you're doing. I hear that some may dislike you (still doesn't make sense to me). What we're trying to do here is to do what's right, because it's the right thing to do. That's why my other friend and I decided to tag ourselves Rangers instead of Knights in shining armor. Because rangers work in the background, not going for attention. And because they do what's right, no matter what the people think of them.
Originally published on January 18, 2013.