We all know Justin Timberlake ‘brought sexy back,’ but I want to know who is going to bring chivalry back. The word chivalry comes from the chivalric code, the traditional code of conduct used by the knights of medieval times. Over the years, it has come to represent virtues associated with knighthood such as honor, courtesy, loyalty and gallantry toward women. Being chivalrous goes hand-in-hand with being a gentlemen. In a day and age when gentlemen are scarce, how can we bring chivalry back?
For a gentleman to be chivalrous, what does he need? A lady.
A gallant man wants to take care of his female companions, be they his wife, girlfriend, mom, sister, cousin or friend. However, these days more and more women want to prove they can take care of themselves. This spells trouble for many a chivalric gentleman. I hear too many women complaining about men who don’t treat them like ladies, while at the same time acting so far from ladylike it’s mind boggling. If you want to be treated like a lady, then you have to act like one.
That being said, the lack of chivalrous men in the world doesn’t fall squarely on female shoulders alone – many men today lack the training and simple know-how of treating a woman like a gentleman should. Here to help are a few basic guidelines taken from Esquire’s Guide to Modern Etiquette published in 1969.
• “It’s the man who pays, but not necessarily for expenses which come up during a chance encounter with a woman.”
• “Give your hand to a woman, palm up, as a kind of rest or ledge for her hand when you help her down from buses, out of cabs, down into boats, and so on.”
• “It’s ‘ladies first,’ except when your going first is in form of service to her.”
• “Hold all doors for her, just as she hadn’t a muscle in her body.”
• “Hold all chairs for her, when she sits and when she rises.”
• “Help her in and out of her coat.”
• “Walk on the street side of the sidewalk when you can do it gracefully.
The basic principle for bringing back chivalry is this: gentlemen – do things like the ones listed above, and ladies – let them. Always remember: a proper lady attracts a chivalrous gentleman and a chivalrous gentleman will be sought after by a proper lady.