The Charm of Chivalry
Within our fast paced, hyper-globalized, snapchatting 21st century world where we can find growing parallels of feminism and misogyny, it is also becoming increasingly difficult to witness genuine forms of chivalry.
Even the word itself seems to conjure some sort of ancient "white knight" image. Somehow, as a young woman growing up in the western world today, it's seen as old fashioned and a sign of princess - disorder to expect a man to give up his seat or hold open doors for you.
I’ll be honest, I’m no different - born in the East but raised in the urban Canadian life - I’m all about that Independent Woman thing. Pay for the first date? Nah, I got it. Drive me? Nah, I’ll meet you there, babe. That’s not to say I’m a feminist either; I firmly believe that there are differences between men and women and that both have unique abilities that work to their advantage. It’s all about finding a balance and playing the game right.
All of that said and done, I was recently witness to a very excellently executed work of chivalry and.... Well, to be frank, it blew me away.
Note that I mentioned earlier that it's difficult to find "genuine" examples of our white knights. I'll be straightforward: I'm not easily impressed. Illusions of chivalry completely permeate our society today. A practice that originated in a quiet and respectful appreciation of the softer sex has faded into a semblance of what it once was. In fact, it's mostly a facade these days - an element of prétention, a way to make a show of [economic] class.
So, with all this in mind, I kept up my scrupulous gaze last night, trying to stay discerning like I do with most guys. But somehow, he artfully took down my guard with the same gentleness with which he slowly kissed me. In fact, I didn't even realize it was happening until I was thinking about it later.
I'd like to say I'm pretty sensitive to chauvinism. There was none of it. I'm also fairly critical of the way men approach women: words, actions and everything in between - does it add up? Is this how he is for real? But every gesture, every conversation was done with an appropriate sense of hesitancy and his actions never betrayed his words : not in the living room, not in the bedroom.
His insistence to have me go through a door first every single time was puzzling initially but I soon recognized the streak of classical upbringing. Take off your shoes when you enter the home, hold the door for the lady. Make your bed as soon as you rise, offer her your coat if she’s cold.
And you know what was pleasantly surprising? The hesitancy and cautiousness somehow enhanced his masculinity. I think as young women grow, we're taught to perceive gentleness in men as weakness... But it isn't. It really isn't.
Chivalry is charming. It’s sexy.