Sunday, August 14, 2011

CHIVALRY IS DEAD! Is it, Ladies? Or Did We Take Part In The Murder??

I was speaking with a coworker one day at work, Cameron. This is a coworker that knows that I'm all about a man showing chivalry: Opening doors on buildings to let women go in or out first, letting a lady get in front of you at the check out line, opening car doors, etc. So he proceeded to tell me that he was going into a store, and a lady approached the same door. He opened the door and stepped back so the lady could enter first. He said the lady told him, "Oh no, YOU go ahead." He then said, "No, please. You are a lady, you go first." The lady continued to go on and on with him about it, until finally, he gave in and entered the store before the lady.


Ok, I admit. I was seeing this guy one time that believed in ALWAYS opening the door for me. He wouldn't be caught dead letting me open my own car door. I remember one day, we were getting ready to go somewhere. I was getting ready to open my car door, and he said, "DON'T YOU DO IT!" It was hot, I was tired, my feet were hurting, I was hungry, and I'm a Gemini, so I said, "Ugh! You don't have to open my car door for me ALL THE TIME, ya know?!" He said, "Tameka, I'm a man, and you are a woman, so therefore, yes, I do."

I had to come right back and apologize about the incident.

Aside from him, the "what should be" normal pulling the chair out so your lady can sit, opening doors, kissing a lady's hand, holding her umbrella in the rain, putting her jacket on for her, is close to non-existing. Somewhere, somehow, someone is still doing it all, but it's not often that you find this. Just like the lady and my coworker, this is probably a lady that absolutely forgot that there are guys that will still do it to make us feel special, because they appreciate ladies, or they do it just because they are natural gentlemen, like my boy Cam. When you aren't used to it, you don't know how to accept it, and you don't even realize when you should just go with it and appreciate it; just let it happen.

In my case, I'm not so used to it, so when the guy that I was dating was doing it so often, I had to get used to it.......with an attitude. It was even annoying at times. At first, when a guy would open a door for me, and this is no lie: I would be like, "I'M NOT HANDICAPPED! I CAN OPEN A DOOR BY MYSELF!" I never had a man in my life as a young girl to do little cute things for me, so I had NO IDEA that it was "nice" for a guy to "take care" of me in that manner. The ex: There were many times when he would say, "HOLD UP! DON'T TOUCH THAT DOOR!!" Because I would put my hand on the door ready to open it; it just wasn't built in to me to expect it in the first place. Sure, there have been times when I would go to a store or something, and a stranger will hold the door open for me; it even happens at my job. I can be coming in from lunch and back into the building, and a customer can be coming in at the same time, and he will step aside and let me in first. THEN, there are those SEVERAL that walk in right before me.

*************************EXPERIENCE COMING UP NEXT**********************************

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One day, I was going into a gas station, and an African American "gentleman" was going in before me. He walked in the store and let the door close on me. I actually had to open the door back to go in! The attendant saw the incident and said, "He tried to close you up in the door didn't he?" He never realized that he did it. Before somebody says, "MAYBE HE DIDN'T KNOW YOU WERE BEHIND HIM", (I know my readers so well) He did know I was behind him, because he spoke to me as we both were walking toward the door.

One of my classmates was telling me that she and her two small children were at the mall one day,and these guys were sitting on a bench. She was pushing her children in a double stroller and struggled to open the door to go into one of locations. She said the guys just sat there and watched her, and even made a remark about how cute her kids were. WOW! Never got up to offer help with the door.

Ladies: if a man stands back to let you enter into a place first, if he opens your car door, if he pulls your chair out for you, order your food for you, etc. BY ALL MEANS, let him do it, and let him know that you are appreciative. No matter how much smack I talk, I totally do believe that there are SOME gentlemen out there that does these things naturally. They do it because it's in their hearts and they feel as if that's the way things should be done. A HANDFUL of men still feel as if women are special and should be protected and nurtured. So many of us have been beaten and battered, (mentally and physically) that we don't recognize when someone comes along with a gentle touch. We are numb, because we are so used to the rap songs calling us bitches and "hoes", and showing our naked bodies as if they are no longer our temples. We are used to the R&B songs that make it seem like we are sexual objects. We are used to the non-chivalry that we may run into every day, but this is why we should cherish each and every moment that we are reminded that chivalry is not buried.

In my eyes, chivalry can come in the form of opening doors, all the way down to a gentle smile. Let us no longer NOT recognize a gentleman's gesture and attempt at chivalry. I also totally believe that we have to speak to our men and stop believing that they can read our minds. Yes, most things are common sense, like, approach me like a lady, respect me as a lady, talk to me like a lady, etc. Don't approach me and tell me to "write your number down." (Yes, this happened.) We have to speak to these guys and tell them what we want. If you want your door opened, tell him. If you want to tell him what you want to eat and for him to tell the waiter, tell him. (This is a good way to see if he pays attention to you.) If you want him to pull your chair out, tell him. So many things can be changed with communication.

Too many times, we sit back and pout, because "he" doesn't do these things, and should know better. I have become very vocal about what I will, won't, can't and won't accept. I'm not extremely demanding, but I know what I want, and whoever is with me, or around me will have to know this. For them to not oblige will eliminate any unwanted trash.

Chivalry may seem to have been dead at some points, but there's no reason for us, as ladies, to not be able to bring it back to life. TALK! COMMUNICATION! PUTTING YOUR FOOT DOWN! OPEN YOUR MOUTH AND TELL THEM WHAT YOU WANT!



1 comment:

  1. Nice! I do think that some young ladies aren't aware of what a "gentleman" actually is. I fuss at my nieces about not being concerned about things that occurred before they were born. Most of their friends have no idea about the beauty of an Isley Brothers or Al Green song because if it happened before their date of birth, it's not important to them. I influence my teen niece to listen to Teddy P. or James Ingram to understand how a man SHOULD feel about/treats a lady. Because today's music doesn't offer any instructions on how men view women or how women view themselves. Aside from the music point of view, parents need to teach their daughters on how to feel strong while still accepting chivalry from a man. There's no need to be independent when it's not necessary. It's nothing wrong with a man doing something for a woman. Nothing at all.