Sunday, August 26, 2007

Throwback: Is Chivalry Dead? Hell Yeah!

I'll never forget it... It was a Friday afternoon of my junior year at UNC and I jumped on the campus shuttle on Franklin Street to head back to my dorm. These two girls were behind me and their conversation went something like this:

Girl 1: "Did you get up with Tony yesterday?"

Girl 2: "Yeah girl... I ain't talkin' to him no more... This nigga brought me flowers and candy! Opening doors and all that mess. Lame!"

Girl 1: "For real? loser!"

Girl 2: "I know right... I told him to take that shit elsewhere and I said it just like that!"

Girl 1: "What'd he do?"

Girl 2: "His ass left! *both laughed*.. .what was he supposed to do? A REAL nigga would've checked me..."

Obviously that wasn't verbatim, but it was pretty damn close. I remember thinking... "Woooow! these chicks got major self-esteem issues"...I brushed it off as young girls not realizing and appreciating a good dude.

AFTER college, a couple of my boys made the same mistake of taking flowers or candy (or both) to girls on their first casual outtings. Both of them couldn't figure out why the girls didn't call them back after the first meeting. It was painful to listen to them rationalize where things went wrong and not consider that maybe the flowers and candy thing might've done them in. They then would later tell me how the same girls were now with "less thoughtful" guys. Could it be they were too chivalrous?

Thinking of chivalry, a person usually recalls a time when men saved damsels in distress and women were typically uneducated. In this time long ago, a chivalrous code was developed in order to protect the helpless ladies.

In modern society, women are just as smart and independent as men, and it seems that, often times, chivalry comes off as sexism, forcing women to accept a submissive role , thereby not recognizing their independence. A relationship should be founded on the mutual benefits two people receive from each other’s company, and should consider each individuals’ personality.
Chivalry tries to define how relationships should work by assigning roles based on sex, excluding character contrasts. I'm sure sure these same girls would have appreciated these things once better rapport was established and her independence was recognized, but being too chivalrous too early seemed like a bad move.

I proposed this idea to some female friends in the past. The responses were generally the same: “I want to be independent but it’s nice to have a guy show he cares by doing things for me every so often.”

Seems hard to argue, but my point is this: a guy should do something chivalrous because he is inclined to do so after some sort of relationship is established, not because it is an expected duty of men. Otherwise, you'll be that loser standing on the porch trying to figure out where you went wrong.

Ignorance: I think the girls up top just wanted drama.


the chairman said...

Man B, I thought it was just me, but I have totally changed my approach to CHIVALRY. Women definately bring out the poetry and other chivalrous acts, but its been dead for a long time.

I think this also comes from the fact that most people do have a low self-esteem. A person who is confident in who they are can accepts these loving acts with grace.

Mix that with the BAD BOY image that is some what glorified in today's society.

A Beautiful Life said...

If a guy I didn't really know or like bought me flowers or candy on the first date, I would be nervous. I guess that's why I think the first "outing" should be something light, like getting lunch or tea/coffee. Once it's clear that he wants to court me and I want him to court me, then he can do nice things like that. I don't want expensive gifts until I'm engaged because I want to make sure that I don't like him just because he buys me nice things. However, I want to be treated like a lady. Chivalry is sexy, at least to me.
I was once where those girls were. My dream man used to be a corporate thug. He wore a suit and tie to work, but had thug like tendencies. LOL. That is so crazy. You are right about the self-esteem part. Who you like is a reflection of you. Maybe deep down those girls didn't feel like they were worth the flowers. I USED to think it was sexy when a man checked me. I saw that as being powerful. I want a mean with authority and leadership qualities. I want someone to call me out when I am wrong in a nice way, but none of that yelling or shaking mess. LOL. In the same way, although my husband and I may disagree, I shouldn't ever have to yell or scream at him. There's a way to speak to each other.

4EverJennayNay said...

Your posts are comment provoking... I can't just lurk.

Flowers and candy on the first date is a no-go. It's too sweet too soon and will be perceived as a corny move by a corny dude. At the most, a flower or two, but not a whole bokay.

It's an affectionate thing that you save for after you've gotten to know the person, something to remind them of the sweet guy you are. You use that as a tool to keep things fresh.

Now personally I do expect doors to be opened for me. I think that's just good manners, but that's how I am. My brothers get the door for me. Others may feel differently.

Chilvery isn't dead, but it has evolved.

And as far as those girls you mentioned, umm... yea. They had some growing to do. I agree with A Beatiful Life, power in a man is an afrodisiac, but respect and properly used power is even more sensual.

kim said...

Yes. Flowers and candy on the first date is very wack! It makes you look desperate and like you are trying too hard. Life is right. You should keep it light the first time. And Yes! Chivalry died a long time ago! Being thoughtful is not the same thing.

Gene said...

Brandon, that conversation was HI-FREAKIN-LARRY-US!

Was the next line gonna be: "Girl, I need a nigga to beat me! Sh*t! That's a REAL man."

the chairman said...

GENE... When you beat them what technique do use... Open fist, back hand?

JUst let a brotha now!

Brandon said...

Gene- I wouldn't have been surprised. I understand having a guy that won't let you run over him, but I think she wanted to be smacked around just a little bit.

Gene said...

Well Chairman, I don't beat women folks. But my nigga Ike Turner told me that nothing reestablishes order like an uppercut to the gut .... unless you got a Ms. Sophia type who will "kill 'im dead" if a man raises his hand towards her.

Ticia said...

I want a man like this...don't trip!!

hottnikz said...

Girls like these make women look bad. This burns me up. It's hard to find men that does stuff like that anymore. These girls didn't get a lot of love coming up or something.

Anyway, I'm teaching my son to be the chivalrous. He doesn't have many examples to follow but I'm doing the best I can. If I ever had a daughter I'll make sure she knows her worth. These girls obviously had low self-esteem.

Vdizzle said...

Maybe my ass is just country but I agree, we (women) have killed chivalry.

Personally, I think females use their independence as an excuse to cover their issues. You know they always say, "oh I have always had to do this on my own," or "ain't nothing I can't get from my dad." I am a spoiled brat, but you better hold that door open for me or let me go first when we're walking.

In reality, it's just a critique on how effed up our society is. It's all a cover, but also a vicious cycle.

Sugar said...

Gosh, I had seen this when it was first posted. I could be wrong, but it sounds like the girl that guy was out with was a "chickenhead" for lack of better words. Chickenheads or ghetto superstars behave this way. See, the problem is, when he met her, she probably had her ass and breasts hanging out and of course he had to have that....even though he wanted a woman who would appreciate his kind gesture. A more dignified woman.

Chivalry isn't dead. Many men keep trying to apply those virtues to the wrong women, and those women as another commenter said, make better women look bad.

I would be a little wary of a man bringing candy and flowers on a first date, but I do expect for him to be "manly" after we've been going out for a little bit. Opening doors, PAYING unless I want to treat him one night, etc.

Men, don't use those hoodrats as an excuse to get out of doing the right thing with the right woman....