The Gentleman’s Times – Modern Chivalry

With society in decline, what can we, as men, do to turn the tide?

Many say chivalry is dead; that the days of altruism and selflessness are over.

Shut the front door.

Yes, men are in crisis.  Women are in crisis, too.  Children are in crisis.  So are the disabled, the elderly, and the homeless to name just a few more.

When our grandfathers faced a threat to our civilization, they didn’t cower – they stood up for their principles.  They flew thousands of miles to face the enemy and risked their lives doing it.

We call them “The Greatest Generation”.  But they expected us to be great, too.  And we owe it to them, to ourselves, and to the civilization we have built to turn the tide of a declining society and return to a time when respect, honor, and dignity were hallmarks of a respectable man.

In order to do that, we must return to the ways of our ancestors – the path of chivalry.  But how do we do that in modern society?  If we open the door for a radical feminist, she might yell at us or be ungrateful for our gesture!

So what?  Getting yelled at is not going to kill you, nor is someone’s ingratitude.  To say you’re worried about being confronted by an ungrateful individual makes about as much sense as being offended.  Nothing happens.  You won’t be rushed to hospital, you won’t miss work over it, nothing.  So put on your big boy pants and man up.  

With that in mind, let’s look at some rules of chivalry and how to put them into practice in the 21st century.

Don’t cuss in front of women and/or children.  Even if they cuss, do not take that as permission to do so.

Women and children first.  This old phrase respects the natural order.  In any given situation of danger, the safety and well-being of women and children are always the first priority.

Hold doors for everyone.  If someone is nasty about it, claiming they can get the door themselves, simply say, “you’re welcome anyway.”  There’s no clapback to that (well, in truth, I’ve been told “f*** you!” as a retort from an ungrateful woman in this situation, so I clapbacked with “I’m flattered, but you’re not my type.”)

If a girl is “just one of the boys”, treat her like a lady anyway.  You might be surprised at how she responds.

Ethical behavior is not an inconvenience – it is part of a man’s honor code.  Being ethical during good times is easy.  Being ethical when temptation is great is the real test of masculinity.

The honorable thing to do is always the right thing to do.

Use your manners.  “Please”, “thank you”, and “you’re welcome” are not optional social constructs.  They build a better society.

Your word is your bond.

Protect and defend the most vulnerable members of society – women, children, the elderly, the disabled, and the poor.   Social Justice Warriors we are not, but protecting and defending those who are most vulnerable is an obligation you must accept as part of masculinity.

Give up your seat to the most vulnerable members of society.  If you can’t stand for an extra few minutes to allow a woman, child, senior citizen, disabled person, or homeless person a moment of rest, why are you even trying to be part of society?

Give up your seat to those who are obviously military veterans.  They risked their lives for you to have a place to sit.  You can sacrifice your seat if they were willing to sacrifice their lives.

Pull out a woman’s chair for her as she sits, then help her push it toward the table.  This is not just a kind gesture – there is a scientific reason for this.  Sitting down for a woman (particularly if she’s wearing heels) can be a tricky affair.  Remember that a woman’s center of gravity is different than a man’s and, as she’s sitting, there is a momentary shift in her center of gravity that can cause the chair to go flying out from under her.  Hold it firmly for her and – as she pulls it toward the table – continue to hold the chair firmly and move it along with her.

When a woman enters – or stands to leave – a room, stand with her.  If you are in a group, stand only for your girl – don’t make the other men look bad just because they haven’t got your social graces.

Pay for the first date.  She’ll probably offer to pay half.  Politely decline.  Don’t show off about it, just simply say, “no thank you, I’ve got it.”  If you can’t afford the potential cost of a date, don’t ask her out.  Instead, offer to cook something at home for her where expenses are controlled – then search for a video recipe and practice it two days before your planned date.  

Always keep five $5 bills folded in your wallet for the homeless.  If you are asked for spare change, give five dollars, not pocket change.  Giving pocket change indicates you believe the person is only worth the dregs from your purchases.  Five dollars doesn’t even come close to a person’s worth, but it’s sure better than a couple of quarters.

Don’t stand her up and don’t be late for a date.  If an emergency arises, it only takes 5 seconds to send her a text.  Her time is valuable, too.

Always remember birthdays, anniversaries, and special occasions.  With modern technology, there is no excuse for forgetting these.

When you walk together, always put yourself between her and the curb.  Doing so helps her avoid getting splashed from passing cars.  As well, if a car suddenly loses control and swerves toward you, it’s much easier to push her to safety than pulling her.

If a woman protests to a chivalrous act, don’t blame women.  Don’t blame feminism.  Don’t blame anyone.  You don’t know what she has been through.  For all you know, she’s a submissive, feminine girl who is just having a really bad day.  Being mean to her will only make it worse.  Who knows?  She might turn right around, offer an apology, and thank you for your kindness. You might strike up a conversation.  Where it may lead from there is anyone’s guess.

Get consent.  You KNOW what this means and don’t pretend you don’t.

No means no.  If she wants you to pursue after she initially says no, she’ll give clear, unmistakable signals.  If you don’t receive those signals, if the signals are not crystal clear, or if she says no a second time (after giving clear signals to proceed), do NOT pursue further.

If it’s raining, the umbrella goes over her, not you.  If she wishes to share it, she’ll move closer to you.

If she looks cold, she IS cold, she just doesn’t want to say it.  When in doubt, give her your jacket.  Do NOT ask her if she would like it – she’ll say “I’m fine”.  Simply slip it off quietly and wrap it around her shoulders.

Always carry two handkerchiefs – one in your breast pocket for her, one in your front or jacket pocket for yourself.  Hers should be silk.  Yours should be cotton.

If you’re wearing a hat of any kind, tip it when you greet a woman.

If you’re wearing a hat of any kind, remove it whenever you enter a room.

Walk her to the door after every date.  Stay 6-8 feet behind her as you do, then stop 10 feet from the door so that you don’t seem threatening.  If she wants a kiss, she’ll invite you closer or come to you.  Don’t be presumptuous.

Do NOT leave her driveway until you’re sure she is safely inside her home.  What if she unknowingly dropped her keys in the movie theater?  

Non-creepy compliments are always appreciated.  Simple statements like, ”your hair looks nice”, “that color looks great on you”, “you look lovely” are non-threatening but pleasant to receive.

If you don’t already have an agreement to order for her at restaurants, always allow her to order first.

Any texts, pictures, movies, phone calls that you and your gal share with each other are never to be shared with others without her express permission.

All conversations are assumed to be secret and not to be shared with others.  If she gives you permission to share a conversation, you may.  But just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.  Use your best judgement.  Don’t make her look bad to others in any way, shape, or form.

Stand up for any vulnerable person (timid man, woman, child, disabled, elderly, poor) who is being spoken to in an aggressive or threatening tone.  The modern mentality of “I don’t want to get involved” is, to put it bluntly, cowardly.  A bully is a bully.  Confront them.  Make sure the vulnerable person is 100% safe before leaving the scene.

If any vulnerable person is in danger, put yourself in danger to protect them.  Live by the phrase ”greater love has no man than this: to lay down one’s life for his friends” and consider everyone a potential friend – even your current enemies.  They may be converted to friends by your courage.

Call when you say you’re going to call, text when you say you’re going to text, show up when you say you’re going to show up.

Be kind and respectful to waitstaff, retail workers, customer service representatives, and anyone else who serves you.  How you treat those who serve you in commerce reflects how you will treat she who serves you in love.

If you dismiss an idea without fully understanding it, you’re the fool, not the one trying to help you learn.  The actual proverb is, “he who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him.” (Proverbs 18:13).  Just because you think a concept is ridiculous, doesn’t make you right – it makes you ignorant.

If you’re not taking her home, ask her to contact you when she’s home safely.  She’ll appreciate that you care for her safety.

Yes, these things are very old-fashioned.  Don’t dismiss them for that reason alone.  If something is old-fashioned, it’s because it has stood the test of time.

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Modern Chivalry. (2019).  The Gentleman’s Times.  Copyright © June 23, 2019, June 25, 2020, Vintage In Stepford.  All Rights Reserved.

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