Monday, April 11, 2011

I'm A Gentleman...Most of the Time

Prior to creating the Just GQ blog, I posted “Daily Acts of Chivalry” on Facebook and Twitter to gauge the initial response to my ideas. The DAOC were practices as simple as “if you see a lady struggling with full and/or heavy bags, then offer a helping hand to ease her load” to things more uncommon such as “though, you may be tired, if there is a shortage of chairs, offer yours to the lady instead of making her stand”. These tips proved to be well received by my readers, and just as people, now, say “check in the game” frequently when they see me due to reading the blog and/or following me on Twitter (@GQ50, by the way), conversations often opened with verbal high-fives for the initializing #TheGentlemansMovement with the aforementioned tips.

As more people read the DAOC and identified the suggestions with me, the comments began to change slightly. For instance, at my college institution, like many, students congregated at the student center around lunchtime. Whereas before I could rush from class, grab something to eat, and hug some people just in time to be 5 minutes late to my next class, at the later time, numerous readers, particularly female, bombarded me with requests for special treatment.

Those close to me know this angered me on multiple levels, particularly because I absolutely hate being told what to do, especially when it is in NO way something that I need to do. I mean, I would be a football field ahead of someone and have the open door passed to me, continuing to pass it along, and ladies would be upset that I did not wait the extra minute and a half to personally welcome them with an open door. Now, needless to say these comments were dismissed pretty quickly, as I had more pressing things to do, like eat, but it got me thinking.

Did this warped perception of chivalry hold merit? Does the perception of being a gentleman actually determine one’s status as such? Further thought brought me to the conclusion that if being a gentleman was defined by the incorrect idea held by people who knew nothing of the practice, then they could have it! And that’s real! Acting as a gentleman means having and/or displaying a courteous nature. Nowhere in its definition does it state that the man must function as a contortionist, constantly bending over backwards for some random broad! (Takes deep breath) Please excuse me; I got a little excited.

Basically, I located a fallacy, a misconception in the perception of chivalry. All people deserve a certain degree of respect, however not every female is deserving of special treatment, at least in my opinion. I believe that this feeling of entitlement generates the annoyance associated with men displaying chivalrous behavior, and the acceptance of these female rants leads to men getting taken advantage of in many cases.

Chivalry is not meant to destroy the flow of one’s day, it is meant to display common courtesy to enhance the quality of another person’s day and/or mood. That’s it! If a female fails to conduct herself as a lady, then I would not hold my breath while waiting for the royal treatment she perceives to be a male obligation.

At the end of the day, males can either do it or not in regards to exhibiting chivalrous behavior, but before getting upset over the special treatment you do not receive, I would adjust or definition or accept that, by those standards, I’m a gentleman…most of the time.

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