MK here, dreaming of knights. I'm old fashioned enough to appreciate chivalry in every sense of the word. I'm all for women's rights and independence, but I've never felt a need to have a man step out of the traditional role of behaving like a gentleman . . . and treat a lady like a lady. I like it! My feminine sensibilities are never insulted when I cross paths with a gentleman.
Writing historical romance, I get to spend more time with chivalrous men in my stories than I do in the real world, which I find most unfortunate. I shouldn't be shocked when a man I don't know opens a door or lets me walk ahead of him into a store, but it happens so rarely that I am surprised. It always brings a smile to my lips because I think, "Chivalry really isn't dead."
Despite it's origins, chivalry, or the chivalric code, is not an old-fashioned concept. It may have been developed during the middle ages, but it still lives on in many societies, cultures, and households, though not nearly enough . . . in my opinion. The meaning of chivalry has evolved, but at it core is still the code of honor and loyalty, and everything that goes with those traits.
Some of my favorite present-day acts of chivalry:
Opening the door for someone. I do believe men should open doors for women, including car doors. Of course there are exceptions that might require the roles to be reversed, but when able, I firmly believe that this is the role of a gentleman. What about a woman opening a door? I believe that in the absence of a man, it should fall to a woman to open the door for children, her elders, those who aren't able to open the door for themselves, or even for the person who walks up behind her.
Giving her your coat or giving up your seat. I love when a man is thoughtful, and without thought for himself, removes his coat and drapes it over a lady's shoulders if she's cold. It's just as important to offer your chair whether inside or on a train or bus.
Walking a woman to her car or front door. In lieu of walking her to her door (some women prefer not to have the escort), remain in the driveway or close by and wait until she's safely inside her home.
Allowing her to order dinner first. Like in many situations, it falls upon the chivalrous man to let a woman go first, and ordering a meal is no different.
Standing up for people. I'll clarify and say that I believe everyone should stand up for those who are bullied or abused, no matter if they be man or woman. However, in a situation where another man is being rude in any way, it should fall to the gentleman she's with to speak up.
Removing your hat when you enter a room, especially in a lady's presence. This is one I rarely see and I always find it disappointing.
Being honorable. This another trail that should fall to all men and women, so I won't qualify it. To be good, honest, right-minded, moral, and principled, this is to be honorable. It is most certainly a chivalrous trait worth possessing.
This is a bit of a cheesy video, but something like it should be shared in every classroom in every school in America.
There are so many more, but these simple acts always make my heart skip. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for strong women. Heck, I write strong women in my books who know how to fight, argue, and defend others, but I still believe in chivalry in all its many wonderful forms. Whether I write historical or contemporary, you can be certain of one thing: the hero will always be chivalrous.
What are your favorite acts of chivalry, whether receiving or giving?
Meet the Author
If you had to make a choice, would it be loyalty or love? Fall in love with swashbuckling heroes and courageous heroines in Blackwood Crossing, a story about buried secrets and second chances.
Blackwood Crossing by MK McClintock
Genre: Historical Romantic Mystery
Heat Level: 2
Language Level: 2
Violence Level: 2
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