#47. Chivalry is Dead, Buried & Defected On
Since I was born in 1970, I’m not sure if I can ever recall the concept of ‘chivalry’ as a common occurrence in my life. Perhaps it was only a practice in Victorian England, as acts chivalry are certainly not prevalent in today’s society. When I was pregnant, and huge, in the dead of summer, you would have had to pry the cold dead male carcass off his subway seat before he would offer it to me. In fact, it was only other women who ever offered up their seat. Since I am on the subway and streetcar daily, I have noticed that my experience is the norm for pregnant women. And the elderly. And the handicapped. In fact, if a blind, deaf, mute, pregnant old woman on crutches would be standing over a man, (of any age), he would, nine times out of ten, ignore this woman at all cost.
Some of the tactics to remain planted in his seat on public transportation include, but are not limited to: the bury the head in the paper/ibook/smartphone/cell game/bible; the ‘pretend you’re asleep or in a coma'; the ‘stare at your feet'; and the ever popular ‘aversion of the gaze’.
I’ve been thinking about the chivalrous gestures of old that seem to be forgotten. The opening of a door. The walking on the outside of the sidewalk. The pulling out of a chair. I do not believe that the Women’s Liberation movement is the reason why men have stopped being polite towards women. I think that men have just gotten lazy, spoiled and entitled.
The more roles that we women take on, the less we seem to be gaining from this ‘doing it all’ lifestyle. And the more that we accomplish seems to allow men to do less and take us, and the lifestyle that we afford them, for granted.
There is a ‘shout out’ section of the evening edition of the T.O.Night – a free newspaper accessible to all Toronto public transit commuters. There has been an on-going discussion on this forum from various women who write into the paper about their husband’s loafing around, not helping with the cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping and children. Basically, women are pissed off and wondering why they are doing all of the household chores, child rearing and working hard at their careers without any assistance form their so-called husbands/boyfriends. Most of the responses to these ‘sickandtired’ women are urging them to throw the bums out. Of course a few responses were of the, ‘as long as he loves you, keep trying to get him more involved’. Or, ‘try couple’s counseling’.
Look, I know not every man and husband is a lazy, boorish squatter. I just think that there are way more of these creeps floating around than there are the good guys. What would I tell all those women out there that are sick and tired of pulling all the weight around the home, children and finances?
Unless your husband or boyfriend has a medical condition that inhibits him from being an equal partner in your relationship, then roll him off the couch and kick his useless butt to the curb. Especially if you are a mother. Who needs their husband behaving like a child? And, who wants their kid/s to think that this behavior is acceptable? I have one mantra that I believe in whole heartedly, which is as follows: The only thing worse than a husband/boyfriend who is a combo of qualities that are: lazy, rude, selfish, alcoholic, drug dependent, unreliable, angry, infantile, egocentric or a cheating husband, is the woman who allows the loser to behave like he’s the King of Siam.
Gloria Steinem asked us to ‘become the man we want to marry’. She and the woman’s liberation movement that worked tirelessly in the face of male oppression succeeded at elevating our status from that of man’s property. Becoming the man we want to marry doesn’t mean that we don’t want or need men, but that we have every right to inhabit a life of passion, strength, power and dignity. We have more options and rights as a result. So why are we going to let men that are just not good enough for us make us ‘sick and tired’?
To all the men who love, celebrate and partner with their strong and accomplished women, you are what a real man should be. Anything less Ladies, is unacceptable. Being a strong woman with many hats does not mean that you should also endlessly cater to a man. Real men do not need to be mothered and want to play an active role in the household maintenance and child rearing activities.
If you are a married mother reading this who is doing everything on your own anyway, what exactly do you need or want a deadbeat husband/boyfriend for? Are you scared about becoming a single mother? NEWSFLASH: You already are! And worse, you have an extra delinquent ‘kid’ (husband/boyfriend) that is likely draining the life out of you! Thin the herd. Kick him out, enjoy some peace, less laundry, and a life on your own terms! That’s the secret we single mother’s have. It’s way easier and much happier being a single mom than a married wreck!
If anything, chivalry should be making a serious comeback to show women how much their tireless efforts in the home and at work are appreciated if they want to keep us in those roles. It might be advantageous at this point in societal evolution for men to start proving their worth to us and give us some reasons to keep them around!
I find it very interesting that many charities now exist to give money to the women in developing nations because studies have proven that they will use the money to assist and contribute to their entire communities. Studies have also shown that the men who are given the same amount money in the same communities, blow the same amount on alcohol. And who is the inferior gender?