I Believe in Chivalry

Gretchen - Bridgewater, Virginia
Entered on March 1, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: respect
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe in chivalry. Chivalry consists of the most honorable, courteous, gallant acts of kindness and respect that can be shown towards a girl from a guy. These things could be things as simple as holding the door for the girl that is right behind you, to possibly paying for the meal of the girl that you are on a date with.

Throughout my years of dating, one particular boy stands out in my mind. When picking me up for the date, he took the time to turn his car off, come up to my front door and meet my parents. On the way out to the date, this guy made sure that the passenger side car door was opened for me and closed behind me. For this date, which was dinner, the guy opened the door to the restaurant for me, pulled my chair out for me, made sure that I was comfortable, and then I ordered my meal first. The conversation during the meal was very polite and modest, never crude or obscene. When we were finished with the meal, I did not look at the check and he paid for it with no complaints of how expensive I was. This specific date that I remember, it happened to be raining when my date and I left the restaurant. I did not have a coat with a hood or have an umbrella so, sacrificially, this particular boy took off his coat, let me hold it over my head and run to the car. Even though it was pouring down rain, he was still waiting at the passenger side of his car with the door open, so I could quickly get into the car without getting a drop of rain on me. This is the epitome of chivalry and I was overly appreciative of these unexpected acts of kindness. Thanks to this guy, I saw how I was supposed to be treated when on a date and just in general as a female.

Chivalry is a necessary, but unpracticed act that needs to be brought back into our culture. The guys that are chivalrous are few and far between, but very influential when around other guys. Good influence of manners needs to take precedence over the inconsiderate influence of lack of manners so that girls are shown the respect that they deserve. Girls can be very encouraging of chivalrous acts or very discouraging of them. When offered by a guy, the girl needs to accept and promote any respectful or kind actions that are shown towards her. She should by no means see this as a sign of weakness when a boy is allowed to show her courtesy and chivalry. I believe that chivalry still needs to happen and can be highly encouraged and soon accepted back into our culture as necessary. Call me old fashioned, but I believe in chivalry.