Wednesday, December 22, 2010

On Chivalry

The other day,  I was walking down the sidewalk to my favorite coffee shop when two guys were walking toward me, taking up the entire sidewalk. Neither of them stepped aside to let me pass and I couldn't even stop to let them by first without getting walked over. So my only choice was to step into a puddle.

Douchebaggery aside (though that is what that obviously was), what the hell ever happened to chivalry?

Which raises all sorts of feminist conundrums.

I've battled with myself over this topic for years. Where do we we lose manners in the name of feminism? And where do we lose equality in the name of old fashioned patriarchal views on manners? I just don't know. The line is thin really.

What I do know is thus:

We train women to be pathetic when they never have to do anything for themselves. I like doing "guy" things for myself. Why? Because I can. I carry boxes. I climb up to fix things. I learn how to use power tools. I change the jug on the water cooler.

Fuck, I've worked on building houses! I love the rush of being up in the rafters with the guys, hammering in nails and beams. I love using the chop saw. Why? Because it's fun! Why should guys get all the fun when I'm perfectly capable of learning the same things.

So that's the same view I've always had with traditionally chivalric behavior. I'm not going to stand by a door waiting for someone to open it. I don't need a man to give up his seat because I'm healthy and don't mind standing. I'm not going to wait for someone to pull out my chair. I don't need someone to carry my luggage (Though if I've got several bags, the help is nice regardless of gender. Though I'm unlikely to pack several bags. Because that's just stupid.).

Why? Because I'm perfectly capable of doing all those things for myself. I have two hands. Two legs. With muscles in them. I can reach up on a shelf. I can use a ladder. I don't need someone to do it for me. Though, to be honest, sharing the work is nice. 

But I'll hold a door for a friend. And it's nice when a friend holds the door for me too. I don't need them to, but it's polite. Though not expected.

So maybe it comes down to basic manners.

Maybe we've just thrown basic manners out in the name of progress. If we throw gender roles out, what things would we do just to be nice? Would we step aside so someone doesn't have to walk through a puddle? Would we give up a seat for someone in poor health? Would we hold the door for the person behind us?

I would hope so. Though I have my serious doubts.

Would it be lame to issue a challenge right now? Eh, too bad. It's my blog! I will do what I want!

I want to challenge everyone to be more polite. To hold the door for the person behind them regardless of gender. To compliment a stranger once a day on something, anything. To step aside for a passing pedestrian.

Good luck!

22 comments mean you love me:

ISRAEL CARRASCO said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

It's like that saying that common decency isn't so common any more.

andygirl said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

totally!

Kittie Flyn said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Agreed - there's chivalry and then there's just common courtesy. Well said!!

writtendad said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

First, I stumbled on your blog from a comment on sahdpdx.com and I couldn't be happier. Awesome stuff on here. Really enjoying reading through a bit.

That said, you really hit this one when you said "so maybe it comes down to basic manners." That's the key. I'll hold a door for a guy or girl, I'll step aside for a guy or girl, and I'll help someone (guy or girl) if they're trying to juggle too much. I'll even accept any of the above gestures from someone regardless of gender. But I won't do it because I pity someone. And I won't do it because I'm a shining example of chivalry. I do it because it's nice to help someone and it feels good to be polite.

Challenge? I'm all over it.

Lizzy said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I HATE when people have bad manners! Those dudes that made you walk in a puddle? TOTAL DOUCHEBAGS.
That rant aside, I hear ya. I (once again) agreed with everything you said in here.
Good post lady friend! xo

Heather (aka Sugar Free) said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I'm totally with you on this one. I've boarded the bus when it was full and have had a man offer me his seat. I usually say no for the simple fact that I am capable of standing. Why should this nice man have to get up just because I have a vagina? But, it is nice to know that not everyone is a 'think for yourselfer'.

Alliegresham said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I try really hard to do that everyday. Somedays are easier than others!

andygirl said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Kittie- word!

writtendad- welcome and thanks for reading! I completely agree. it's about common courtesy.

Lizzy- right? I was SO pissed! thanks, love!

Heather- exactly! and the older men have hard time with this. they want to give up their seats. but I'm in better health. :)

Allie- me too! I used to be better at it.

by Don Davidson said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Douchebaggery. Unlike irregardless, that's a word that belongs in the dictionary! Sadly, there is too much douchebaggery going on today -- people are too self-absorbed to think about others. Thanks for the challenge, Andygirl! Let's practive random (and regular) acts of kindness.

andygirl said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

right? I didn't coin douchebaggery, but I love it as a word. :)

<3

Satan said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

man. see, that's why i walk all aggressively, i make people scoot aside on the sidewalk to make way for me. i hate it when people won't move and make me step into the street; it's so rude.
although even though if i do walk all aggressively, i will still scoot to let others walk, sometimes.
it's all about politeness. and for me, standing up for myself!

Satan said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

oh, and what happened to the "stupid dyke" post? i saw it in my feed, but i can't find it, did you delete it??
: [

andygirl said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

the stupid dyke post will be up tomorrow. I just messed up the publishing. :)

and I tried that! douches shoved me aside.

Jackie T said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

So, I know you say you're not about Christmas, and that's awesome. It's good for you and I appreciate that. However, politeness and caring for others is the highest meaning of Christmas. It's about being the darkest, coldest season and making the season a little lighter, cheerier and easier on ourselves and our community. And I agree, everyone needs to be a little more polite <3

andygirl said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

you'd think right? and I find people get MORE rude at Christmas. go figure.

<3 ya!

alonewithcats said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

You said it: It's all about manners, and people don't have them anymore. It's sad when we get all excited when we meet someone who isn't rude. I mean, people are not supposed to be rude. But there are so many Rudy McRudersons running amok that we are thankful when we cross paths with someone who isn't a total douche and practically want to award them with a medal.

andygirl said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

word! you're so right. manners should be the baseline.

Simone Says... said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

common courteously died sometime back in the mid-60s. i blame the hippies.

Jackie T said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Also, I just wanted to say about my comment, I hope it didn't come off all "Oh! Spread holiday cheer and life will be fantastic." But to me, a lot of the meaning I had for Christmas growing up is loooong gone, so I decided to turn it into my own ideals, which includes the old corny addage: peace on earth, good will towards (hu)man. So I've turned it into my own thing of being grateful to have people I love and can share a room with despite all the history, and that I can use it as a month long reminder to be a better person. Who doesn't need reminders to be a better person?

andygirl said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

oh I didn't think that at all!

I think that's a nice thing. but most people throw all that out the window and become bigger assholes. wish everyone would try to be nicer.

Kimber Leszczuk. said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Too many people have a sense of entitlement and want instant gratification and give no thought what-so-ever to the feelings of others. I am raising my kids to be kind and considerate but I worry that they are going to get stomped on by others.

I have hope though. I know there are other good people out there!! People like you who challenge others to be more polite.

There is a British author named Danny Wallace who wrote a book a while ago called JOIN ME. It was pretty interesting. His uncle was a part of a commune and died so in tribute to him he took out an ad in a paper that said "Join me" and asked people to send a photo and join him. People joined without knowing what they were joining - he had unknowingly started a cult SO he decided to make it a change for the better and told them to make every Friday a good friday and declared that on every Friday they were to do random nice things for other people. They started calling themselves Karma's army and now it is a really big thing.

There are people who love being kind and doing great things for others! The link to his website and blog are here if you want to read more about him. He is fascinating.

http://www.join-me.co.uk/

andygirl said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

wow! cool, Kimber. thanks!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...