By: Kandace Chanel Brown
The other day I was getting ready for class, and I peered out my window to see if it was raining. As I was looking outside, I saw quite the sight for sore eyes. It was indeed pouring rain, but something that made me smile despite that was that I saw a guy holding a girl’s umbrella for her. For some reason, it made me really happy to see that because that is not a sight we see very often anymore, and it leads to the seemingly never ending debate on chivalry. Is it dead, or still alive? Before I begin discussing this topic, I just have to say that I have the best example there is.
My father still opens doors, helps us with our coats, holds umbrellas, and everything under the sun a man should be doing for a woman. With that in mind, my expectations are set very high when it comes to a chivalrous man, and I do believe chivalry is very much alive, but it’s nowhere as common as it should be. I am a college student, so I see both sides to this every day. I attend Howard University in Washington, D.C., and the debate of chivalrous men pops up frequently among the ladies on campus. The first thing I will say is that it’s easy to tell which guys were raised properly, and which ones were raised properly – but act otherwise. There have been many times that I have walked into a building and a guy saw me coming, but did not hold the door. There have been just as many times that I have been taking the shuttle, and have walked on to a full shuttle with guys sitting down, and girls standing. That is unacceptable. How can a guy really expect to pursue a lady acting like that?
On the contrary, during my time at Howard, there have been just as many times that a guy has seen me coming, and held the door, or offered to give up their seat for me. Each time that happens, I smile politely, and say thank you because I appreciate it. One of the most common excuses for poor chivalry among men is that women don’t appreciate it. While this could prove true sometimes, it is not always the case. I can understand the frustration of something not being appreciated, however, as a guy, you want to show the woman that chivalrous men are still out there.
Ladies, when we come across a man who holds our door, umbrella, or helps us with our bags, it is important to show sincere appreciation. If we do not, it allows the continuation of the excuse that we do not appreciate it. Do not be the snobby woman who expects a man to do those things for you that you forget to be polite. Yes, you should expect chivalrous acts from a man, but it is important to accept those kind gestures enthusiastically and appreciatively.
To the gentlemen reading this post, I am not bashing all men, but I am applauding the ones who make an effort to hold doors, umbrellas, help with coats and anything else. I am thanking you because you are the ones who are keeping chivalry alive. To the ones who do not portray those small acts of courtesy, take into consideration your mom, your sister, or your grandmother. How would you feel if they were walking somewhere, and a man let the door slam in their face? They deserve to be treated better than that. So does every other woman you come in contact with. Please keep that in mind the next time you are walking somewhere, and see a lady coming… just wait a few seconds, and hold the door open for her with a smile. I promise you she will appreciate it.