What happened to chivalry?

Photo credit: Minerva Studio / Shutterstock
Photo credit: Minerva Studio / Shutterstock

Heads up! Some men might find this offensive, but so what? I travel a lot and in my journeys of planes, trains, and automobiles — even ships — I have noticed a disturbing trend over the past decade or so. I see men sitting on their behinds while women — sometimes elderly women at that — stand and hold onto handrails, or hand grasps, for dear life. Back in the day, men gave up their seats for women. A few still do, but not many.

Now the argument could be made that women want equal rights these days and that this should not be an issue. I call that BS and excuses. Good manners have nothing to do with equal rights. While there is really nothing that can be done about rude male strangers, women need to check their men and sons who are doing the wrong thing. I see women all the time opening up car doors for themselves, holding building doors open for men, and other nonsense. The younger generation of males is falling by the wayside because they are not being taught good manners. My sons have been taught but I see many others who have not been schooled on the basics.

Men should be opening doors, pulling out chairs, giving up seats, letting women go first, and that is only the beginning. The next time you see a man sitting on his behind while a woman is standing, give him the side eye and see if he gets the point. If you are a man and you know you are not doing the right thing, start acting properly. Your feet might hurt a little from standing, but you will work it out.


Zane is the NY Times Bestselling Author of dozens of titles, the Publisher of Strebor Books and Infinite Words, divisions of Simon and Schuster, and the Creator, Scriptwriter and Executive Producer of both television and film.

  1. Men don’t need to do that anymore to get what we want. Your use of the word “manners” is hilarious. Stop dreaming of how the world USED to be. We USED to pick cotton. We USED to carry mail by horse. We USED to have a milkman. During those times, it USED to be like 6 women per town and men had to kiss a$$ to get some. Now we have Tinder app, Hip Hop and a buffet of women to choose from. No door opening necessary. Your heart might hurt a little from the realization, but you will work it out.

  2. unfortunate weak males are part of the prollem, really thinkin chivalry has to do with financial outlook. it should be second nature, much like “motherly grace” should b inert on the female side…

    but becuz their favorite rappy dude holds low the value themselves and of women in general they follow suit. those the few we need to educate their offspring in hopes the idiocy stops there…

    ..if not imagine how the generation after them is going to act. smfh

    1. right on well stated, more power to you, but lets not let them keep us from practicing chivalry, I still practice it, to me it’s like second nature although some times I get my feelings hurt by those bitter hardline feminist types but over all most women appreciate it.

    2. I keep asking this but no one answers. What is it specifically about women that means they deserve a seat and their door opened? If you are elderly or pregnant, then it makes perfect sense, they are physically susceptible to pain.

      Who’s gonna sacrifice their seat to you when you are in pain? Not a damn person. Stop believing the hype.

      If you’re not pregnant or elderly or in crutches, your azz can stand up like the rest of us who missed a seat

  3. i agree, men don’t respect women anymore. it’s a shame. but a lot of women like it and still date men who treat them like crap, so some of us can’t be too mad about it. if you like thugs and jerks, you’re going to inspire more men to be thugs and jerks. give more attention to the nice guys and the jerks will go away. and as far as equal rights, i think women should be respected, but I reject feminism. we are not the same as men, and we should be treated differently in some ways, but it’s not logical to believe in feminist logic AND believe in chivalry at the same time.

    1. I agree with you. In many cases women don’t respect themselves anymore. Chivalrous behavior will get you “friend zoned” quick. “Oh… he’s just so sweet and so nice” and then go give it up to DMX.

      1. Thank you for weeding yourself out of the game. I wouldn’t sleep with DMX or you. I only sleep with men I am dating and I only date “nice guys.” Men who do nice things in order to get women into bed are not nice guys, they are usually just unattractive males with bad personalities who think pulling out a chair means a woman owes them sex. I don’t owe anyone sex. A gentleman opens a door for women, children, little old ladies, and other men. It’s genderless manners that make a man attractive to women.

    2. It’s very American of you to believe manners are sexist. I was raised in a family that taught that men AND women should have manners and respect for everyone in their lives, regardless of gender. Sorry you think opening a door for a woman (which costs NOTHING) is too much to ask for because of “feminism”. Feminism is why you are on the internet right now, it is why you get to style your hair any way you want to, it’s why you get to choose the men you give your time to, it’s why you don’t have a curfew, it’s why you get to wear lipstick, it’s why we have laws against rape. Sorry you think your life functions at all without feminism. It doesn’t.

      1. you have no way of proving that we would not be able to do those things if it weren’t for feminism. Equal rights and feminism is NOT the same thing. I think all people should have equal rights, but I also think that men and women have different roles in life, that’s why I am not a feminist, because it seems that feminists think that we are equal. We’re not equal necessarily. A woman is equally as important as a man, but men and women are built differently, think differently. This is something that feminists seem to forget or not consider, so that’s why i’m against feminism. As far as chivalry, I do think both men and women should be polite and have manners, I don’t see anywhere in my post where I said the contrary of that. But do I expect for a woman to pay on the first date? HECK NO, that is for the MAN to do! Am I pushing out a man’s chair for him? HECK NO! Idk where outside of america you have been where you have seen men and women acting even-steven and not having specific roles, but as far as I know, other countries have gender roles. It’s here in the states that feminists and lgbt have tried to blur these lines.

        1. have you been to Poland? there now…. old women , old , men kids…. nobody gets a door opened… and try to beat a guy to a train or bus seat… he will run over you and stare straight ahead

          1. that’s a european country, i wouldn’t be surprised that things are weird like that there. after all, the folks opening the door for dysfunction here are of european descent.

          1. I disagree with you. I am just as important as a man, but as a woman, i am better at some things than men are, and men are better at some things than I am. Men cannot birth a baby and have the same bond with it as a mother would, I cannot lift as much as a man. These are only a couple of the differences men and women have, there’s a long list of things. So we are not equal, but we should both be treated with respect. For instance, if a woman can do a job just as well as a man, she should most definitely get paid the same amount, that makes logical sense. But for instance (like I said above), I should not be expected to push a chair out for a man…that ain’t happening, but he should be expected to do that for me. But hey, I understand that people are trying to blur the gender lines/roles these days, so I understand if you don’t agree.

          2. the only thing that separate equalitiy issues that you’ve stated was having a baby. A man can have the same bond with a child as a woman, just because you haven’t seen it doesn’t mean it can’t happen. If you work hard, and work out, you can outlift your own man any time you want. ALL humans should treat one another with respect, not just women recrupricate it more than men. Why shouldn’t you be expected to push out a chair for a man. That’s equal right. AND it can be done, nothing is physically impairing you from doing so. It seems you would like to pick and choose your values kept. I HAVE seen women lift more than men, make more, stay with children less and carry their own groceries. You just sound like you want to keep tradition. Pick up those dumbbells sweetheart.

          3. There are men who never work out but still have far more strength than a woman who has never worked out. If you refuse to even admit that men are generally stronger than women, then this discussion is pointless. we can agree to disagree.

          4. you know a man knows that a chimpanzee is has 4 times the strength as a human male even though chimpanzees are smaller than the average man nature made him stronger, but what gets me is you have some women with a comical view of gender and think we are physically equal, mother nature gave both gender their strength in different area, women have strengths in certain area that men can not match, and men have strengths in area that women can not match that’s why we male and female were put here to complement each other not to compete with each other.

          5. very good and wise points but what’s going on here in this society now is those who don’t get the door open for them, those who have never had a man get up and let her have his seat on the bus or train etc. and the dysfunctional man and women they are the ones who want to blur the gender lines.

      2. that’s a bunch of left wing, feminist, lunatic bull and a big lie! But I will tell you what feminism did to this society it gave us dysfunctional families, broken homes with confused abused and unruly children boys and girls along with a bloated welfare system, bloated criminal and family court system and a huge prison industrial complex along with some rich politicians and a lot of confused, lonely, mentally and phyisically ill males and females young and old.

        1. this world need many more of you I hope you are reproducing yourself and not letting your genes go into the grave with you. LOL……….seriously we need more smart, well balance, critical thinking black people like you who have not been brain wash and confused by the new political theme of the day.

    3. What is it specifically about a woman that means their sex deserves privileges like seats and their doors opened? If you’re gonna say “because that’s how it should be” then women should stay in the kitchen because men for decades said the same reason.

      What if I had a long day and my legs hurt? No one seems to remember that us men aren’t robots, we can get pain from strenuous days too

      1. Mr. Hater, if your legs hurt, i would massage them for you (if I was your wife). I think since women are gentle and softer than men, the man should treat the woman accordingly and take good care of her, hence the pulling out chairs, paying for dates, etc. But women know that men work hard, so I think we should take care of them when necessary, hence massages, cooking, etc. But don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a man who can cook!

        1. Not every man is married. If I’m 25, for all you know I could be waiter who worked a double shift and go home to 2 friend roommates of mine (who are indeed not going to massage my legs). If I was on my feet 12 hours running and waiting tables and a woman walks on the train who just left the house after sleeping in and is going to the club, who deserves the seat more? And that is the point I am trying to make, all of these assumptions based on the mere sex is foolish. Only the ELDERLY and PREGNANT should the privilege by default. You have some men who are more gentle and soft than women today (and I’m sure you’d agree, a man’s man isnt’ as common as it was in the past), so should they get seated by a woman? This Rosy the Riveter persona flies out the window I see when it comes to wanting to get special privilege and when it’s time to check the weird noise downstairs.

          But to your second point, all of that is assuming they have significant others. Who is going to open my door when I get to work? Most likely not a woman. Who is going to jump in and protect me when I get mugged? No one. I’m always torn on when women are referred to as gentle and softer than men. One time I said it and then I’m called sexist, chauvinist, and that I am thinking women are inferior. Then when I agree with it to make points like you did I’m still referred to as those things…

          1. Right, some people will tear your head off for saying what i’m saying. Some women think everything should be even-steven when it comes to gender roles, but I just don’t. In fact, those women will SAY that everything should be even and fair between the sexes, but only when it’s convenient for them. They are the type of women who think women should be free to be sluts and not be labeled a slut, but at the same time, they don’t think men should hit women. I don’t think like that. Regarding your first paragraph, yes, I think that if you’ve been working 12 hrs, unless the woman knows you personally and knows you’ve been working long hours, then I think the man needs to give his seat up to her. If she knows that you’ve been working long hours, then i think that should be up to her whether she wants to stand and let you sit. And yes, there are manly women and womanly men out here nowadays. But they still need to be treated based on their sex. I just like gender roles, i think it gives society some kind of order. but this country is doing away with gender roles, so order and good sense is also lacking.

        1. why do they deserve it? respect is something that is earned, if a women or a man want`s respect they have to earn it.
          If something is recieved so easily,it lose it`s value.

          this is just my position:)

          1. i think everyone should be respected UNTIL they disrespect you. If everyone has to earn respect until they can be respected, then who goes first? who respects who first if you have to earn it first? I personally respect everyone, until they don’t treat me right.

          2. we can agree to disagree,my position is respect i earned. How someone earns it depends on that persons action.

  4. Men SHOULD do these things, and women SHOULD show some gratitude by saying thank you. Often – I have given up my seat to women who just hurriedly take the seat and don’t even acknowledge the kindness. Look how the last sentence of the article ends, and it makes you understand why SOME men could care less.

  5. Unfortunately, chivalry comes with women who believe men are superior to women. Any act of chivalry says that. But women are not subordinates to men, so therefore chivalry gives women an advantage…not equality. Women need to make up their minds as to what they want. It’s either equality or chivalry…..and if equality is what women want, they can equally stand on that bus. PERIOD!!!!

  6. You already said it, woman want equal rights, they got it. That means she also opens the door for the man, she ALSO opens her own door. SHE chases the man for once. It’s not equal rights if we follow your 1960s chivalry. BTW, chivalry was a concept created by immigrants from the UK, no blacks involved in that process at all. In many african tribes even today, there are TRUE equal standings. Men don’t always carry the basket for the women and men don’t clean out a woman’s bedpan. Get off your white horse and take off your armor and come back to reality. Stop trying to recreate catch 22s with your misguided femism.
    But I will agree, men AND women (don’t know where you from, but women in NYC are extremely guilty for this) should always help out, and let the elder person sit down or hold their groceries.

  7. I agree with this post whole heartedly, however thanks to radical feminist and left wing lunatic that horse have left the barn even though I think a good dos of chivalry in this society who bring back some balance and sanity in male female relationship, I don’t think it would every come back even though I still practice chivalry at the expense of getting my feelings hurt sometime by some of the feminist hardliners, but that in no way out weight the joy I get when I see the smile on a women face when I get up and give her my seat or open the door for her etc..

  8. What is it specifically about women that means they automatically deserve seats and their doors opened? The argument can be made for the elderly and pregnant but if youre 30 and a woman, you can stand your azz up like the rest of us.

    What If I had a long day at work and my legs hurt? What if my ankles are killing me from standing all day? Sounds like women want feminism but still want special treatment when convenient.

    Again, please tell me what makes having an XX chromosome pair yield automatically privilegs like seats?

  9. It used to be part of the social contract that men did for women because society wouldn’t let women do for themselves. Now women are doing everything except playing professional football. The old rules go out the window when there are two credible women candidates for President, women marrying each other, flying fighter jets, running corporations and smashing each others’ faces in on TV in MMA bouts. I’ll give up a seat for my wife, for my sister and for my mother. The rest of you can stand on your equal rights and strong hind legs that God gave you.

  10. In reality, manners and respect don’t actually have gender. I six year old girl held the door open for me and about 3 other people at the gym the other day. Does that make me less of a man? Letting the elderly sit down, does not really make you a gentleman. Taking care of your kids, respecting your wife, girlfriend, co-workers etc…Respect has no gender and either does being caring. It should be mutual. Thats like me paying for first dates all the time? Last time I checked there are way more faithful, honest women in the world than men. So if anyone should step their game up and go the extra mile, women should learn to respect themselves, show more class, show more independence than trying to land a rapper or athlete, and maybe men will show some reciprocity. Women want independence, and that means in every aspect. You can’t pick and choose. Women want fathers not partners. I paid 100 dollars for an elderly black woman’s luggage when she didn’t have any money left at the airport. It doesn’t make me a gentleman. I spent 2k partying in Dallas, and said well my girl friend is taking all day in the bathroom, so let me just throw 100 to help someone else. Character is far more important than manners but their tends to be a fucking correlation. Like uhh females sexually, verbally, and physically abuse under age children and or their significant others all the time and get way less severe penalties…please tell me the manners in that? #feminism is an oxymoron.

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