Chivalry Is Dead

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I asked a question via Facebook “Is Chivalry dead and if so who killed it?” What I was able to deduce from the flood of comments is that women have lowered our standards so men are not encouraged to be chivalrous and women don’t know how to accept chivalry from men because we have become too independent and view their kindness as “thirsty”. So in a nutshell, women pretty much can be held responsible for the murder of the chivalrous man. Now, I can’t say I entirely disagree that women have, over time, lowered our standards. I also cannot disagree that some women do not know how to respond to genuine kindness from men. However, what if I told you that keeping chivalry alive is not and has never been a woman’s responsibility?

Let’s take a moment to define Chivalry. Chivalry is a medieval term used to describe a code of conduct knights and men of nobility governed themselves by. It governed their relations with women in their gentlemanliness, courtesy and manners. Now, if chivalry were a standard that men held themselves to, why would it matter how women responded to it? This is not to say that women shouldn’t be appreciative of the kind things men do for us. However, if a man is truly doing these things with the intent of being chivalrous, meaning based strictly on the duties of his manhood and expecting nothing in return, his motivation to behave chivalrously can’t be killed by a woman’s lack of gratitude or her personal standards.

We also have to be careful not to make gratitude and sexual favors synonymous. A woman does not owe a man anything more than a thank you after he has held her door, pulled out her chair, and paid for her dinner if he has done these things as his chivalrous duty. If things do go further that’s between two consenting adults, but expecting anything further reveals your true motives and is kind of, well… thirsty. Let’s be real, there are plenty of women who do not regard men with high esteem. However, chivalrous men are chivalrous because they respect their own image and they respect women in general, not just the ones they feel like “deserve” it or the ones they know will give them something in return. Men, if you want to be a chivalrous man, do it because you believe it’s the right thing to do. Chivalry is an indication of a Man’s character, not a woman’s respectability. Behave displaying the values you hold important and a woman of the same values will notice and make sure you’re appreciated for the rest of her days. Be polite even when no one cares to congratulate you, simply because it’s who you are. That is how you keep chivalry alive.




Imani Williams is a staff columnist for The Mixx Magazine from Louisville, KY. She is a Clark Atlanta University graduate with a degree in Communication and a passion for people. Her goal is to provide meaningful commentary and positive images on Black Love, Literature, Hair & Culture. Imani currently moonlights as Beyoncé.