From general observation over the past three weeks, I’ve come to realize if chivalry isn’t dead, then it’s definitely on life support. I ride the city bus to school every morning.When it gets to the terminal, students and commuters pack the bus, leaving only standing room. Each time, the men fill the seats, leaving ladies to endure the challenge of standing on a moving vehicle.
It’s unbelievable to see able-bodied men sitting and not one offering a seat to a young lady. Maybe it is the southern hospitality in me, or the way my family brought me up, but I’ve always been the type of guy to open a door for a woman and allow her to enter the doorway first.
True, these young women are healthy enough to stand, but it doesn’t hurt to show common courtesy and at least offer your seat. Have we gotten so far away from the days of honoring a woman with the slightest gesture?
My freshman year a couple of friends and I helped some ladies carry a table about a quarter mile from The Set to the Dyson pharmacy building. We helped because that is what a man is supposed to do. When a woman is in need of help, you offer assistance. But what sticks out from that day is one of the girls saying, “It’s good to know chivalry ain’t dead.” It gave me a nice feeling knowing this kind gesture was appreciated.
Now there are some women who do not appreciate what men will do for them. But for every lonely and bitter woman, there are at least three women who will be grateful for it.
But the problem is not just young men not showing women love, there are also middle-aged men who will grab an open seat just as a woman makes her way to sit. One would think the older generations should be able to share the knowledge about chivalry. There are some who will say chivalry is not dead because they come into contact with men who know what it means to show a woman a bit of respect. Unfortunately, most of my generation and the next are trying to be “goons” or gangsters.
But ladies please remember chivalry is nothing if you cannot show some gratitude for what a man does for you. Next time you go out and he opens your car door for you, tell that brother thank you.
To all the men, boys and “goons” that do not know about courtesy, let us follow in the steps of singer Ne-Yo, and make this the year of the gentlemen. Let us be chivalrous and offer ladies our seat. Let us open the door and allow ladies to enter first. As for me opening car doors, that will not be happening anytime soon, because I am riding the bus.
Terrence Ward is a senior broadcast journalism student from Miami. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org