Chivalry In The Age of Gender Equality

Where has chivalry gone?  It has been shoved off a cliff by equality.

Equality is a good thing, but chivalry was invented in a tilted society.  Chivalry was intended to be an attempt at compensation for lowered station.  Insufficient compensation to be sure, but compensation none the less.  If we are to reach a truly equal society, women must cease searching for these old benefits.

Let us examine the tradition of the man always pays.  In the past, women could hold very few jobs and those they could hold paid little.  It would have been uncouth for a man to have made any demands upon such a pittance when he had presumably greater resources.  It’s like going to dinner with a wealthy friend, and then they stick you with the check.

When I was in high school, I witnessed many women use men as a wallet.  If there was an event that they wished to attend, some girls would ask a guy out to the event and then ditch him in the crowd after he bought the tickets.  Not all women do this, but it can only perpetuate in a society where men are expected to pay for all dates.

The most common solution is to go dutch, but I have an alternative.  Whoever asks pays.  Usually the asker chooses the activity, thereby exercising first control on cost.  The asker sets the potential cost range.  The askee still exercises second control, choosing items from a menu or other such selection.  This way the financial burden is laid upon the one who undertakes the initiative to create the situation.  The beauty is that this works for all dating relationships from traditional hetero arrangements to homosexual or even plural arrangements.

Nowadays, women have access to as many jobs as men and the glass ceiling is nowhere near as low as it once was.  If we are to shatter the glass ceiling once and for all, women must be willing to share the responsibility that comes with greater income.  They will have to share the financial burdens of dating and courtship.

There are other such traditions ingrained into our society over the course of centuries and I may very well examine those in the future.  The point is, etiquette must evolve to fit the modern reality.  Equal power must bear equal responsibility.

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