Generation lacks chivalrous behavior

The Southerner

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story


High School is a jungle; filled with young adolescent teenagers struggling to fight for scraps of popularity and dominance. It is somewhat disconcerting to see how mean people can treat one another. I cringe at the ways students abandon their morals and integrity to fend for themselves without any concern to those around them. One instance that comes to mind is the hallways at Grady High School. The halls are filled with students on a mad dash to classes all around the school. In their hurry, elbows are nudged, feet are stepped on, and shoulders bumped. On occasion, I am delighted to see a young man open the door for someone, or better yet, help someone with his or her bags. Chivalry at Grady High School is a precious quality rarely seen but when shown, equals to the bright dab of paint on a dreary background.

Now many people reading this will automatically get on the defensive and assume I am this aggressive man-hating feminist. Funny notion, but untrue. To give teenage boys some credit, I don’t believe their lack of etiquette is entirely their fault. High school can be a sink or swim ordeal. For boys, it is harder to stay afloat. They are faced with the option to be polite and mocked, or be rude, nonchalant and get dap from his friends. It is considered “weak” and “un-cool” to be a genuinely nice guy. This is seen all the time in movies where the girl chooses the cool jerk over the nice guy and it turns out the nice guy was the right one for her all along. When faced with the daunting decision to either be polite and humiliated or accepted, many young men choose the latter: thus begins chivalry’s gradual extinction.

To fully develop my theory on the decreasing amount of chivalry, it would only be right to see things equally; gender-wise. There has been the plausible argument that the reason young men have been lacking in the politeness department is because females are too independent. And by independent I don’t mean owning your own car and having a job but the I-can-get-my-own-door independent. It’s true. I am guilty of giving the death stare at someone who holds the door open for me because surely they must have ulterior motives. Is it wrong? Yes- but men are creatures of persistency. I have witnessed countless times where a guy is not only more attracted when they are rejected, but tries harder. Why can’t this same determination be applied when it comes to being courteous?

Maybe it’s not simply males or females but a generational issue. Could it be?  The countless vulgar rump-gyrating music has finally taken a toll on our young impressionable souls? Have our young men been brainwashed to believe that chivalry is a dead language? Do we, as young ladies think it is okay to accept something less than what we deserve. Decades ago, (our parents generation) it was taboo to even mention sex. In today’s music, that type of foul degrading language is the norm.  Is our generation so hypnotized that we have no manners? What makes our boys not pull out chairs and our women not expect to be treated like queens?

Chivalry is what makes girls dream of a “prince charming”. It is what puts the “gentle” in gentlemen. What used to be a vibrant feature in men of all ages has slowly faded into a dull scarcity. Who is to blame for this vanishing act?  Is it the females, males, or this generation as a whole?  Throughout all of the depressing signs of disrespect, there are times I catch a glimpse of politeness and cherish the moment. It is instances like those that make it all worthwhile. So when people tell me chivalry is dead I simply explain that chivalry is not dead; merely sleeping.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email