Ladies, it is time for a counterrevolution. Men, it is time for you to change. Yeah, yeah. I know what you are thinking: “Great. Another member of the female population telling me to change.” And to that I say: “Wow, what a typical male, making everything a self-pity party.”
Ladies everywhere, grab your pitchforks, your torches, your 5-inch heels. We are going to assassinate chivalry. Because the chivalrous acts need to stop.
A lot of us will be hesitant to do so. And I understand. Trust me when I say that it was not easy for me to hit the realization that we can do better. But chivalry is doing more harm to us than anything else. No, seriously! Just bear with me.
It is the 21st century. The age of technology, limitless knowledge at, literally, the palm of our hands, and an expanding world. We are lucky enough to be living in the United States, where we are used to such privileges as the freedom to speech and expression.
But it would be a tragedy to forget that only 100 years ago, we could not vote – the government didn’t deem our voices worthy enough. But it’s worthy to note that the United States is not even the worst culprit in the women’s suffrage movement. Good ol’ Lady Liberty granted women the right to vote in 1920 (ironic, isn’t it?). But what about others? The United Kingdom: 1928. France: 1945. Switzerland: 1971. Saudi Arabia: 2015. Yeah, over there, it is only proposed.
What do all these implicate? Well, it is not like we come from a long history of freedom. So to dismiss that which we do have in the present age would be a slap across Jesus’ face. Then he’d turn the other cheek. And, really, why stop at only one?
Many today often forget the efforts of their predecessors. We act as if we have had these privileges forever, that we do not care for them. And chivalry allows for such a mentality to live on. Women are weak, it says, so men must do those small things for them. I am sorry, but I am capable of opening my own door. Chivalry feeds the men’s instinct to dominate and take care and the girls’ desire to be nurtured and taken care of.
Sure, it is mannered. But have you considered the place it originates? Every time a guy opens a door for me, I find myself thinking, “Why?” And the answer seems to be right there. Guys really only do anything for one reason and one reason only: to impress women. And why impress them? Because it gets them laid. Men seem to be conditioned to have such manners. They do not realize why they do what they do. Has any guy stopped to think why they open doors for girls? And why not guys?
I don’t have a problem with manners! As long as they are genuine and thought about. I want a guy to open the door for me as long as he has realized while doing it and thereafter that I myself am perfectly capable of doing it myself. He should only pay if I covered him the previous time.
Chivalry as it stands right now is stupid and should be reserved for only those that are just as such. It sends a biting pain down my spine every time I see the girl who acts dumb to get the guys around her. She is so unaware of the girls around the world fighting to get an education or the girls before her who endlessly pinpointed their every move to avoid being labeled anything inferior to men. And here she is: the epitome of sexism. So, yeah, she deserves chivalry.
Because a girl weak enough to dismiss her intelligence and self-worth to act stupid for a couple of maleadorning minutes is weak enough to have to have a guy open doors, pay, and hold her stuff. But she lives with the continuation of a weak label. She will always be “whatever” and never the strong woman. She will never be independent, never be taken seriously. But if she can live with that…
That being said, chivalry should be for everyone – it is not reserved as a strictly male-to-female concept. We live in the 21st century. We are all equal today under the law. So it is time that we integrate equality into our culture. De jure equality has not meant de facto.
I am not asking for drastic change. This is not a feminist call to stop shaving and start burning bras. No. Girls: keep doing what you are doing, but do it yourself. It is time that the world realizes that we no longer need men to do our things. Sure, it is nice once in a while, if genuine. But who are we if not strong, independent, and capable of everything that is bestowed upon us? Playing dumb is over. Smart, independent, and strong is and has always been the new sexy.
- Aida Ghorbani
Online College Beat Editor