Is Chivalry Dead?


Atticus Picardo

In a common symbol of chivalry, sophomore Jakson Combs holds the door open for junior Gretchen Prifogle.

According to, “Chivalry is polite, kind, and unselfish behavior, especially by men toward women.” Now, this appears the most when it comes to romance. Many people have come to the conclusion that chivalry is dead, but is it dead, or has it just evolved?

Carrying his girlfriend bridal style, junior Vasan Nomany holds junior Gretchen Prifogle in traditional carry derived from many cultures, and one which can be traced to Roman times. This ritual was carried out to protect the bride from hostile demons which might be lurking about the new home. (Atticus Picardo)

Chivalry began as a code for knights during the Middle Ages. It wasn’t always the system we have now. It’s evolved before already. It was instilled as a way to keep the knights in check as a whole. When it came to knights, they were the most inappropriately behaved, so they made a set of rules for them. Knights would often participate in violent acts, so they were told they needed to take action to make sure that people who couldn’t protect themselves were protected.

Being chivalrous then turned into a way to woo women after knights became less and less common. Now, it is used as a way for men to seem polite and attractive in order to get an award. It was once used as a way to train men to be better knights as the award, and now it’s used to train men to be better boyfriends as the award.

When it comes down to it, chivalry is chocked full of sexism. Often, you think of being chivalrous when a man opens a door for a woman, or a man pays for dinner, etc. This is a harmful way of thinking. It puts an expectation on men that they aren’t required to do. As soon as a male fails to do something chivalrous, he is immediately viewed as having a “red flag.”

Going on one knee is a tradition that also goes back to medieval times when knights dropped to one knee out of respect for royalty. Like many other things, it’s also rooted in sexism because men apparently had more to lose. (Atticus Picardo)

In reality, women can do anything a man can do, but chivalry paints them as a damsel in distress. Therefore, it leaves women subject to misogynistic idealisms. A lot of men immediately assume that a girl can’t do something simply because she’s a girl.

All these factors paint a picture that people struggle to get away from. It’s a problem we face every day, especially from older people. The generations before now have the idea that women shouldn’t be carrying heavy things or opening a door. This poses a problem for absolutely everyone involved, especially when it comes to relationships that don’t fall into the male and female stereotype.

Not every relationship is black and white. Recently, it’s become more common for relationships to be between all different combinations of people. Therefore, people can’t all fall into the same routines, misogyny, and sexism. As the world evolves with different kinds of relationships and different definitions of normal, there should be less sexism in chivalry. Why can’t chivalry just be a kind act of love toward someone you care for?    

Chivalry isn’t dead, but it needs to evolve. Many women go out of their way to do something kind. That kindness can be seen as chivalry. Everyone should split the bill. Open the door regardless of gender. Let her pick him up for dinner. She can buy him a gift. Let her ask him out, and so on. Society could improve greatly if we recognize our weaknesses and address them. As a whole, if we take strides to make everyone feel equal in their own right, we can make a difference.