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posted by Andrew Shearer in Lifestyle

Is chivalry still necessary?

December 11, 2012

You're probably used to hearing the question, "Is chivalry dead?" We've discussed the issue on Athens Talks before. There are women who wish that men would behave more like gentlemen, returning to a supposed age when the average fellow cared more about his manners, and would go out of his way to show kindness to a lady.

But a recent Jezebel article got me thinking: do we really need chivalry?

On my way out of the convenience store this morning, I held the door for a man. Not an elderly man, not a disabled man. Just a guy going into the store I was coming out of. It had nothing to do with gender, size, shape, age, or anything else.

I was being polite.

I've actually seen men get upset after a woman appeared "ungrateful" after they held the door for her. You don't deserve a cookie for being a decent human being. You shouldn't be kind just because you think you'll be seen as one of the good guys. Just be good. Be good to everybody.

The article notes that chivalry was created in the Middle Ages so that men would exercise some control over their aggressive, violent tendencies. We've come a long way since then. Not all men see themselves as bigger and stronger, and not all women see themselves as smaller and weaker.

Should we continue to view the world in terms of knights and princesses, or should more focus be put on across-the-board equality and kindness?

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