- Category: Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
- Published: 30 March 2016
- Written by BRETT O’GRADY | OPINION EDITOR
The best and most common way to describe chivalry is Noah Calhoun from Nicholas Spark’s The Notebook. Noah would move mountains for Allie Hamilton. A real man totally devoted to making a woman feel that she is cared for. A man who would not let his man hood feel threatened over proclaiming he loves a girl.
The more time goes on, the more rare acts of chivalry have become. It begins to make us ponder, has chivalry become nonexistent?
In some essences of the word, yes, chivalry is dead. Its technical definition being ‘the medieval knightly system with its religious, moral, and social code.’ The more urban definition refers to chivalry as morally treating someone with utter respect. No longer is it common for men to chivalrously court women in these long drawn out theatrics of affection. Honestly, to some extent I think that is good thing. I mean why do we as women think we are entitled to be the only ones whom chivalry should be directed at?
Watching my friends in mature relationships, I see a give and take in the romance. On one occasion someone will be romantic, and the other will put on the romance on the next occasion. In today’s society chivalry is no longer a one way street.
While back in the day, a man would be the one to put the effort into the relationship, while a woman accepted the chivalry. It is now much more evenly distributed. I think this is in part due to woman’s newfound independence and the popular feminist movements.
No longer is the man the only one in a relationship bringing in money, therefore giving him the power to be chivalrous. Now a woman brings home her own paycheck and can afford acts of chivalrous. The male does not always have to get the bill anymore.
Along with both partners in relationships working, you have to acknowledge the fact that we live in a fast paced society. Between sports, school, jobs, clubs, family and friends there is barely enough time to catch up on The Walking Dead.
Being chivalrous means being romantic and that takes a lot of time, effort, and dedication. If neither party is really into the other person, taking all that time to be chivalrous is going to seem like a waste of time for the both of them.
If you don’t think the other person is worth moving mountains for, no one is going to want to forgo a Friday night with their friends, when that may be the only down time they get all week. When you find something truly worth rearranging your whole life for, you will see both partners willing to take the time to be more chivalrous toward one another.
That being said, if you look hard enough there are still chivalrous men out there. When the stars align and both people know the other is worth it, chivalry will be there. Only this time both partners will be working to romanticize the other.
Like stated earlier, chivalry was originally meant to describe the rules and customs of medieval knighthood. However, we all know that Lady Brienne of Tarth is one of the toughest knights in Game of Thrones, and after all, she is a woman. So I’m not sure where in history everyone decided that men are the only ones that can be chivalrous.
Chivalry is very much still alive, it just like all other customs, have evolved to keep up with our ever-changing society. Chivalry is now something shared by both people in a relationship. Not only is it shared by both parties in a relationship, but it is also something saved to share with a very few select people. Making chivalry something less common today, but making it far more special.