Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Chivalry Isn't Dead

At least I hope Chivalry isn't dead. I would agree that it's dying, but in my little corner of the world, I demand that my son will help it live on.

When the kids go through a door I make Mac hold it open for SB. I ask him to defer to her and other girls on some decisions. I make him say "Yes Ma'am" and "No Ma'am." (and Sir. And I also make SB do that, too.)

It something I see less and less of in young males. Is it a regional thing? I don't know. But where I am boys and young men do not hold open doors for ladies. They don't use polite language or allow ladies to go first. They don't offer girls the first or last bite of food or the choice seat or what have you.

This was brought to my attention this week at church. I had a group of 4 and 5 year olds with me - all of which needed to go to the bathroom. The boys muscled their way to the front of the line in front of the girls.

"Nope, boys," I said. "You will wait and let the girls go first." They were astonished. Let the girls go first? Was I crazy?
A parent nearby commented that she had never heard someone make the boys wait for the girls before. Or anything else chivalrous.

"I teach my son to be a gentleman," I responded. "He holds the door, he allows his sister the first pick of strawberries and he lets his girl friends go before him."

What I didn't add, that I should have, is that God also instructs men to love his wife the way Christ loved the church. Christ was the servant of the church - He washed the church's feet. He healed the sick, he prayed for those who needed it. Christ was the original Gentleman. And the church was his bride. I want my son to know that he is to serve his bride (and all women) the way Christ served His bride - the church.

Do he always do so obligingly? No. He complains. But I'm teaching him to be a gentleman the way God designed it and that's worth all the complaints in the world. One day his wife will thank me for it!


31 comments:

Southern Queen of the Crazies said...

Thank you for your kind words on my SITS feature day. :)

Caren with a "C" said...

Great idea! It has always been something on my list to teach my sons. I guess I'd better put it to the front of the list as they are getting older and better start now.

Anonymous said...

chivalry is nothing but slavery today.you dont want equality you want superiority.

Allison said...

Anon, I do want superiority. I want my son to be better than other men. I want him to be the one who stands up for what's right and treats people with respect.

I'm confused as to whether you think men are the slaves in chivalry as the one serving women or women because they have a more submissive role?

Either way, you're entitled to your opinion, but I feel very sorry for you that you feel upstanding gentlemen is unnecessary in this world.

Thumb Warrior said...

Thank You for this Blog Topic! I have been wanting to say exactly the same things in my Blog. There are too few Men who know or want to know how to treat women properly. I strive to be chilvalrous to all the women in my life, especially my appreciative Wife. Jesus has told Us how we should treat wives and women, and it is up to us to actually do it. I treat my wife like a Queen, because she deserves nothing less. She feels special and cared for, and I get the Brownie points!!

Win Win!

MrsH said...

wonderful! just wonderful!

Louise Ducote said...

Congrats on your SITS day! Your future daughter-in-law owes you big-time!

Christa aka The BabbyMama said...

GREAT POST!

I have just a girl, and I hope she will still encounter chivalry when she's old enough to realize it. I mean from people other than her chivalrous papa.

Semper Wifey said...

Good for you!!! I agree, your future daughter-in-love will LOVE you!!! :)

Venus said...

I do agree to you with some extent, though I would venture to say that respect for others generally (regardless of gender) is often lacking nowadays. I hope that my kids generally are chivalrous to *all* people they are with. Whether they be girls, boys, elders, strangers. It's nice to hold open a door for someone else when you both get to one at the same time, it's just polite.

Also, I do love it when a man opens a door for me, I fully admit it. But I also don't *expect* it. I suspect that the issue many people may have with "chivalry" is the thought that women (or whomever is on the receiving end of the kindness) feel "entitled". I figure that as long as you're not teaching your girls to expect that a door will *always* be held open for them, then there's nothing wrong with teaching your boys to be kind. :-)

Robin said...

Good for you !!!!
:-)
Just think how much better this world would be, if parents were to learn (themselves first) and then teach their children (through example) proper etiquette and manners.

homeiswhatyoumakeit said...

We are trying to instill the same values in our little guy. Adults are called "Mr." and "Ms.", doors are held open, and "Yes, Ma'am" and "Yes, Sir" are used to answer. And, "please" and "thank you" are always used.
We get compliments on how polite our four year old is all the time.
Happy SITS day!

Allison said...

Thank you all so much!

Marie said...

Okay I only have one little minor pick..I can't stand it when a kid says to me "yes ma'am" and doesn't use my first name...I don't have kids and I am not from the south so that could be why it bothers me...But otherwise I think you are raising him right. ;)))))))

Laura Wells said...

Thank you. As a mother of two girls, I so appreciate boy moms who take the time to teach these lessons. I hope my girls marry a chivalrous boy.

misssrobin said...

What a wonderful gift you are giving to your future daughter-in-law.

Mothering From Scratch said...

{Kathy} Yes, ma'am!! I love this. I have 3 boys and 1 girl. I agree that starting those habits of viewing women in a respectful light starts at home. Opening doors is just the beginning. It is about treasuring females for what God created us to be.

Jamie H said...

I wish more people would raise their children this way!

mom2kmjx2 said...

My boys' are 9 and 13 my 9yo loves to open the door and let me go first. my 13 will do it but grumbles of course he grumbles about everything. I have always made my kids' say yes,ma'am no ma'am or by Mrs/mr/ms. Usually that person will say no its ok they can call me so and so and Im like no its respect they will call you mrs/mr/ms. so and so. then that peson usually undestands

Mrs. Pedersen said...

Love it!!!

Classic NYer said...

The world would be different if there were more parents like you. And more parents who teach their daughters to act like ladies and demand chivalry.

Happy SITS day!

Emily (The Busy Mom's Diet) said...

I have a son (1 year old) and I LOVE your point of view! I think you're smart to keep it simple, but polite.

PS Happy SITS Day!

Geeta said...

What a great post. The part about Christ struck me. I’m not Christian, but my boyfriend is, and I’m grateful because he’s opened me up to a lot more about the Christian faith – as it was intended to be before man started to twist it for his own benefit. I used to be wary about Christianity because my experiences were usually with those who were quick to tell me my views were totally wrong and bring me down. Instead, my boyfriend and I discuss the ways our faiths are similar – those aspects at the core which show we’re not so very different after all. I’ve always believed in Christ, just in a different light than a Christian would. But I believe in what he taught, and I’m happy I have someone to discuss those teachings with in an open, positive way now. I’m also happy to read what you wrote! Those are the aspects of all faiths that should be focused on: how to be a better human being. Not how to separate ourselves from one another.

Denise Malloy said...

Stopping by from SITS, happy day!

The Lucky Wife said...

Even at 6 we are already working on beginning to instill this in our son. We have much in common.... adoption, faith, values! Hope you have a wonderful SITS day and that you reach your goal of getting published soon!

Thought you might enjoy: Reasons Daddies Should Date Their Daughters

Chris Carter said...

I believe common respect to all people is a MUST! And yes, men have a responsibility to be gentlemen. Christ showed us exactly that and more- oh so much more!!! Good job! Visiting from SITS...

Darlynn Nangano said...

Do you know how great it is that you teach your kids? I have taught my nephews when they get up from the table they clear their plates and ladies first at desert time. They look at me like I am crazy, but it is important to me!! Happy SITS Day!

Darlynn@The Little Blog Dress

Kim said...

Another great post! Although we are not Christian (nor any faith following, for that matter) my husband was raised to always be a gentleman, and we are now raising our son the same way. Ladies first, always open the door for ladies, etc. At three years old he opens the door for his sister and Mommy and says "After you!" - it is so cute! Unfortunately, as you stated being a true gentleman seems to be a dyeing breed. At least we know there will be a few of them out there in the world in a couple of years ;)

krystle said...

Your son will make a great husband one day!

Anonymous said...

So what you want is not to be equal but to better... I agree with chivalry after all i do this with my girl friend, I will open the car door for her and close it, I will actually carry her purse. :P But all around chivalry died the day the bra was burnt, women want to be treated equally than shouldn't men treat them like they treat other men?

Anonymous said...

We, too, are trying to bring back Chivalry, and on a global scale. All we need is some additional members to help move things along. It's all free, and takes only as much time and effort as you are willing to put into it.
Please, visit our page for details.
http://theorderofnewchivalry.tumblr.com/
We're also on Twitter!
http://twitter.com/ChivalryMove

Thanks, Sir Sorbus.

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