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NAS: Oh, so chivalrous!

Back with the Not Alone Series gals this week!

Oh, so chivalrous!

Chivalry should not become a lost art and we, as women, ought to step up to the plate a bit more and encourage men to treat us as women, thereby respecting them as men. Do you have tips, ideas, or stories to encourage men to be... men?! Open doors for us, initiate dates, honor us as women, etc? Let's chat! (Thanks to Sarah Thérèse!)

My thoughts on this topic are varied and a little confusing even for me, but I will try to articulate it without sounding like I am complaining, which I am not.

I think chivalry is a lot about how it makes men and women feel, perception, and realizing we are all connected in this crazy world instead of living for ourselves.  I also think chivalry is not just about men doing things for women, but human beings taking care of human beings.  All that being said, here's a story to bed illustrate my thoughts.

About a month ago my friend who was recently ordained a priest drove down from where he's doing research in NC to visit me for a Sunday afternoon.  We had dinner, explored Charlotte, visited a few churches, enjoyed a sweet at Amelie's, and checked out my new house.  It was a lovely afternoon.  Mostly because I got to hang out with my friend, but also because I was reminded about what my standard for a man is.  This guy has always been so kind, thoughtful, and considerate of others - not just me, not just other women.

Some things that made the evening feel so lovely were:

  1. Each time we got into the car, he opened the door for me.  Not because I wasn't capable, I am.  That's not the point.
  2. Every time we entered a building, he opened the door for me.  
  3. At the end of the night when he dropped me off at my apartment, he walked me up the stairs to ensure I was safe.
Now all of those things are small, and didn't cost anything but his consideration of me and respect for me.  As a single woman in her late 20s, they are all things I do for myself on a regular basis.  I don't have anyone to open my car door, help me with the groceries, lead me into a building, or even make sure I get into my home safely at night.  I think that's why I find it so special and memorable.  

Now it shouldn't be memorable, it should be ordinary.  

We have these crazy ideas that if a man opens a door for a woman than he's thinking about how helpless she is, how incapable of caring for herself she might be, or how weak she is.  REALLY?  You opened the door for me so therefore you think I'm helpless!  What crazy woman made that connection and then screamed it from the rooftop and brainwashed all of the other women to yell at all men to never do that again?

I read this article the other day by Msgr. Pope about how dating has all but disappeared from our culture.  Women in their late 30s and early 40s were commenting below the article that they don't think they've been on an official 'date' in their whole life.  They've been out with guys, but just hanging out.  One of my favorite, but controversial, bloggers had something to say about that whole hanging out thing.

How can we reverse this trend?  How can we bring back the idea of dating, chivalry, and awareness for others?  

The topic asks "how do we encourage this" - I don't know.  Saying thank you and be affirming when it happens, but not obvious.  There's no need to say, "It's so great that you opened the door for me young sir, no one ever does that, how did you get to be such a lovely young man, let's get married."  And that might be extreme but us ladies also need to stop thinking that because a guy opened a door for us that means he wants to marry us.  It means he's a decent human being.  It's also a sad state of society that there are so few guys doing this that we are afraid there aren't any decent human beings around anymore.  I know that I go there sometimes.

Anyway, those are my thoughts ... thanks to Morgan and Jen for hosting and this week head over to Jen's to read the other ladies' thoughts on chivalry and see you next Tuesday for more of the Not Alone Series!


  1. Katie! I enjoyed reading your post. I totally agree that the little things mean so much, and we as women need to encourage men more to give them the confidence to continue acting in this chivalrous way! :)

  2. It sounds like the priesthood got another good one. And yeah who ever did decide that opening a door for a woman made her helpless?!

  3. Hi Katie! Yay for chivalry! Great post!


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