Don't mourn chivalry

By The Beacon | November 11, 2010 9:00pm

By Ben Gadbois, Guest Commentary

In the Beacon's previous issue, Laura Frazier's article entitled ‘Where has all the Chivalry Gone?' caught plenty of attention due to its aggressive attacking of UP men for a lack of chivalry. However, the article is misdirected, for pointing the finger at the male population is an unfair accusation. True, men are part of the reason chivalry is dead, but women are equally guilty accomplices. And chivalry's extinction isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Women want men to show chivalry, says Frazier. This sets up a double standard with many of the other messages they send. Women tell men all the time that they can be independent and should be treated equally. However, when a guy plans the date, picks up the girl, holds doors, pays for her meal and generally takes care of her, this breaks down notions of equality or independence. So what some people see as a lack of chivalry may just be a guy trying not to make the girl feel helpless and in need of him to do everything.

Frazier says "guys think that a date is paralleled with commitment," but why do men think so? It's because many have found themselves with the stage-5 clingy type or the oh-my-god-our-first-date-went-so-well-just-think-how-beautiful-our-wedding-will-be type. It's no surprise guys are hesitant with those girls out there.

Perhaps he is only mildly interested in a girl and wants to keep it light and casual, not giving off the wrong signals for her to misinterpret. And experts say the strongest romantic relationships are with one that you also see as a friend, so why not treat them as friends too, just simply hanging out without all the theatrics of a date?

For all the girls who are waiting for their Prince Charming, you may want to check for your expectations. Chances are, you're not going to come across that perfect guy who's strong yet sensitive, messes around with the boys but cleans up for you, wants to be classy for you on a date, and has the body of a god.

In the real world, guys are just people who have their own agendas and experiences who would probably rather be playing videogames rather than trying to come up with things to talk about throughout an overpriced meal.

And while chivalry may be dead, it doesn't have to be a bad thing for women. Ke$ha doesn't get attached to guys and she's always having a good time. While not the best example, there's something to be said for taking things lightly. It takes a lot of pressure off the girl to be all ready for an elegant night out and she can focus on what's more important — the other person, not all the superfluous materialistic parts of the date.

Ben Gadbois, sophomore, computer science