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Monday, March 3, 2014

That Post I've Been Wanting to Write on Chivalry

A few weeks ago, I had to go into work to help transport equipment across campus to be used for my university's annual Bible Lectureship. We were going to be duplicating and selling CDs all week, so we were going to be trained as well.

So, up to the radio station I went. There are more guys than girls who work at the station, and even then, most of the girls who work at the station are either office or directorial staff, like myself. So, looking back, I would say there were about four girls to eight guys currently in the station the day we were asked to come in.

When the time came to carry things down from the third floor of the building to the lobby where a pickup truck awaited us, I promptly grabbed a crate filled with CDs and other such paraphernalia. It was then that I heard a voice pipe up.

"Is that too heavy?" asked one of my co-workers, who had started working at the station this semester. "I can carry that, too." He was carrying a crate of the exact same size.

"I've got it," I said.

"Are you sure?" he asked again.

I nodded. "Yeah." And we all walked to the elevator.

We made a second trip up to the station to carry things, but this time, I noticed that the girls were standing back as the guys picked up the crates and other supplies we needed.

Huh.

I held back and decided to let the guys take care of the heavy equipment.


Growing up as an only child, I was raised with the mindset that if there needed to be work done, or if someone needed help, I needed to help out if I was available to do so. This included lifting heavy things on some cases. When I was in high school, I distinctly remember having to lift set pieces while some guys actually didn't do a lot of the heavy lifting.

It goes beyond lifting objects, too. Even in college, I find myself getting frustrated at the guys who just open doors by mashing the handicap/automated door button and not physically grabbing the door handle and actually letting a girl walk in or out before them.

Moments like what happened in the radio station are so refreshing. I initially thought that I was fine with carrying a decently-sized crate, and that I was perfectly fine carrying things along with the boys, but being treated as though even lifting a finger was a travesty was so, so nice.

So, why are we so quick to dismiss chivalry as dead?

Is it because we're dismissing media like Disney movies - particularly movies about dashing princes and damsels in distress - as fantasy?
Is it because we as women are so focused on being equal to guys that we often forget that they actually want to treat us with respect, and we could possibly feel offended that a guy would not want us to over-exert ourselves?
Is it because we simply don't have time for it in our busy lives?

I'm not saying that chivalry is limited to only guys. Everyone should give a helping hand to those who need it. I'm just saying that, to my fellow ladies, if a guy treats us with respect, we should respect them by allowing them to do so. Let them open doors for us, carry heavy items, and help us with our homework. If we show that we appreciate this, especially at such a crucial time as our college years, the guys in our life will appreciate it, likely more than we know. They can then carry this skill into their future homes and families.

That being said, I understand that chivalry is often dismissed as old-fashioned and possibly even just a "southern" thing. And I understand that not everyone was exposed to it growing up. However, it can just be explained like this: it's about putting others before yourself. And anyone can do just that.


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1 comment

  1. Bravo!! Chivalry is not dead! Your Daddy has been opening the car door every time for me for almost 29 years. It makes me feel treasured! And you better believe that whoever you choose for your mate will be doing the same for you one day. Or else...

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