According to Women's Media Watch, it comprises "acts of courtesy, consideration and gallantry by a man towards a woman based on gender roles".
Relationship counsellor Wayne Powell feels that some men understand this concept — "chivalry is alive and well among men born in the '60s and before," he said.
But it died, he said, with those born in the '70s and beyond. This week we asked women to share their stories about some of the men who killed chivalry — some sad, some hilarious, and some that caused the whole male/female dynamics to change.
I was going into my office one day with a male co-worker. He was about two steps in front of me so naturally when he opened the door to the building I thought it was the most natural thing for him to hold it until I went through. With this in mind, I was looking down to ensure that I did not miss the step-up to the door, only to feel the door literally hit me in the face! My co-worker, despite knowing I was right behind him, had let the door go and it swung back before I could catch it. I made an oof sound and he looked around, but continued on his way. I don't know if he didn't realise what he had done or if it just never mattered to him.
When my boyfriend and I just started talking, I was going in his car and instead of coming around and opening my door, he jumped behind the wheel and started the car engine even before I was in the car. The first time this happened I thought about it for days. But then I soon realised that this was the norm for him.
I went out with a male friend once to a club to have drinks. When we finished he sat there as if he expected me to pay for them. I just sat there looking too and pretended as if I did not know what he was up to. Eventually he had to pay 'cause at the end of the day he was the one the bartender handed the bill to.
I had just started dating this guy and he came across as gentlemanly, so naturally I assumed that he was the chivalrous type. One day he came to pick me up for a movie date and I stood by the car door expecting him to open it for me. But he just got into his side and sat their waiting and fiddling with his phone. I continued waiting for a little bit, but it started to drizzle so I just got in when I realised that if it was up to him I'd be standing there all night.
This guy and I were supposed to meet at Emancipation Park one evening. I was there for an hour and could not hear from him. I ended up calling him three times to find out what was happening. The first two times I did not get him and he did not return my call. The third time I got him and he told me he was on his way. After another 20 minutes of waiting and still not seeing or hearing from him, I just jumped into my car and went home. I never made another date with him.
I used to shop downtown but always had a problem taking the bags from the wholesale to the nearest taxi stand. One day it was getting late and I had several heavy bags and I saw a taxi and beckoned to him. The man just stood there and waited until I got to the car, then just opened the trunk and I had to put every bag inside. He then commented on what a "nice, strong" woman I was. If it wasn't getting late and I had other transport options I would have told him where to get off.
I was at a bus stop in Linstead town one evening and a guy I had always liked slapped me on my butt. I told him I did not like it but apparently he took it as a joke and so he slapped me again. Again, I told him not to do it. This time he was laughing and attempted to do it a third time. Before he could, however, I raised my hand and slapped him in the face! Persons standing at the bus stop had to come between us because of course he did not think it manly for him to take a slap from a female. That is the worst thing you could ever do to me in public because I believe it is very disrespectful and ungentlemanly and really doesn't say much about you as a man. That was the day I stopped liking him.
I was in the canteen at my workplace one day when this lady in an advanced stage of pregnancy accidentally dropped some coins on the floor. There was a young man standing in the lunch line behind her and so I thought the next thing that would happen was that he would pick them up for her. To my surprise, he didn't. He just stood there and watched the woman struggle to bend to pick up the money. I had to just shake my head.
I had just sold my car and was taking the bus for a few weeks with my young daughter. One evening I went on one, struggling with the baby. All the men looked up and then looked away. One volunteered to hold the baby, "as long as it smell clean". It was a little school boy who actually got up and offered me his seat.