5 Conditions Of Chivalry (Other Than Dead)

In 2012 it’s often assumed that the creation of good mannered gentleman has come to a screeching halt. Apparently the making of chivalrous individuals was discontinued and the mass manufacturing of liars, cheaters and inconsiderate jerks skyrocketed. As a result, we constantly hear the phrase “CHIVALRY IS DEAD.” While it’s easy to mistake extraordinarily uncommon for nonexistent, we should consider some of the other possibilities.

1. Chivalry Isn’t Dead, It’s On Life Support: What does that even mean, you ask? Well a while back I saw a guy open a door for his girlfriend. As she entered he stuck his foot out and playfully tripped her. We’re in a generation where sarcasm, irony and somewhat rude humor are at an all time high. People deflect with cynicism and mockery so often that sometimes we display our affection through uncouth actions. That is chivalry on life support. Courtliness on a ventilator, with a feeding tube down its throat as it lives on, barely.

2. Chivalry Could Be Dead, But It Shows Up In Holograph Form Like Tupac:

The definition of “Holographic Chivalry:”Acts of chivalry committed with ulterior motives. Typically this occurs when a male creates the illusion of being a gentleman in the hopes that it results in some form of sex.

In simpler terms, Holographic Chivalry is a dude pretending to be nice so that he can get in a girl’s pants. It’s chivalry but in actuality it isn’t. At times it looks disturbingly real(much like the Tupac holograph at Coachella) but those with a good eye can distinguish the fraud from the authentic.

3. Chivalry Is Viciously Murdered By Certain Girls: The word “girls” is being used specifically because grown women don’t kill chivalry. A girl who refers to herself as “a bad bitch” and posts over-the-top, duckface-laden self-portraiture on Facebook attracts a specific type of dude, and he isn’t typically a courteous one. If posting gratuitous self-shots on the internet for 70 Facebook “likes” makes the girl feel confident, she can expect to receive multiple comments along the lines of, “Damn ma — u sexy as hell”, but she shouldn’t bank on that same fellow opening any doors or pulling out any chairs for her.

4. Chivalry Is Contemplating Suicide: Chivalry is debating ending itself, mainly because many times its appearance isn’t greeted pleasantly. Some in this era find the courteous types cheesy and refer to them as lame. In other words, when a guy tries being a gentleman multiple times and gets shot down or walked all over, he may try other methods – such as douchebag-ery. When this happens, chivalry is taking a handful of pills, washing it down with some whisky and potentially calling it a life.

5. Chivalry Is Alive If You Look In The Right Places: Clubs, bars and gyms may be the places where you’ll find the most aesthetically pleasing guys, but are those the best locations to seek out a companion? Often times, physical attraction takes precedence over ambition, brains and personality in general. Here’s the thing; in a lot (NOT ALL, but A LOT) of scenarios, good looking guys don’t necessarily feel the need to be the nicest people because when you’re attractive, you are generally able to draw in more attention from the opposite sex. I’m not saying this is right, but it is the sad truth in a large margin of cases. Guys who are less physically appealing but genuinely nice tend to get less attention. As a result, they appreciate and take care of the ladies who do give them the time of day. It’s unfortunate but spot on, getting to know people is the best way to find a true gentleman. Until then, many will adapt the Nelly Furtado mindset: Chivalry is dead but you’re still kinda cute.

Whatever state chivalry is currently in, I know it isn’t dead. If women refuse to accept anything less than a chivalrous gentleman, then eventually they’ll find him. It’s almost just a matter of having patience. Although it seems like time is of the essence and everyone is in a rush to find someone to be with before the impending zombie apocalypse goes down. Hmm, when this inevitably happens will we say that “Chivalry is Walking Dead?” TC mark

image – Shutterstock


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  • ATL

    “Disturbingly real.” Word.

  • Sweet D

    I loved this – everything I’ve been thinking put directly into words.  I often feel overlooked because I don’t take self pictures before going out with my girlfriend doing my best duck face impression.  This reminded me I wouldn’t like the people who gave that picture attention anyway. Thank you.

    • Sweet D

      side note:  I just realized this was written by a guy.  Makes me like it even more.

  • Samie Luc

    Chivalry was killed off by the overzealous feminists. Kidding, but sometimes it feels like because women demand equality in terms of respect, it’s not longer a nice thing to do if you hold the door open for someone. 

    But actually, I know plenty of chivalrous men who gracefully hold open doors, show up on time and pay respectful compliments. Always makes a girl feel good. :]

    • Guestropod

      whoever gets to the door first should hold the door for the other one, or the strangers coming immediately behind

      door holding is not something men should do for women, but something persons of all genders should do for everyone else, because politeness and consideration is awesome but benevolent sexism sucks

  • http://twitter.com/TheCloudsEssais Jeremy Sheeler

    Chivalry is “dead”/dying because a) the notion that “nice guys finish last” is now universally accepted; in turn, b) the “rebel without a cause” is now our standard model for hip/coolness; c) chivalry/gentleman are equated with Southern pre-Civil War Culture and Colonial-era England: a period in history that is now seen as wholly flawed and should be completely overcome; and d) what Samie said below. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VYDVROKY4PUBOKUHB3QF42FH2Y Paul S

    Women just don’t appreciate chivalry the way they used to. They think (sometimes not mistakenly) that it’s being done because the man wants something from them.  Basically, assholes ruined chivalry for the rest of us.

  • Danaynay

    Having moved to California from the South, I speculate that the status of chivalry is dependent on where one was raised. I say where rather than how because I find men born & bred in CA tend to be clueless when it comes to this matter (wide generalization, but based on experience). Possibly because CA women don’t want or expect it, so it just disappears. Or maybe because men and women are just so gosh darn equal these days (!) that no one can bother with extended courtesies based on gender. However, men from more traditional areas of the country will more often than not open doors, pay the check, sacrifice a seat on the bus, and act respectful (rather than this ‘I’m condescending in a “fun” way’ attitude). I can’t speak for men and women on the East Coast, but I imagine this applies in other liberal, progressive areas of the country.

    • Anonymous

      I’ve got the same problem. The Bay Area is a new world! 

      I moved here from the South at 18, and was terrified that men thought i was disgusting and terrible and not worth their time, just because they never walked me home from anything or opened doors for me. It is such a culture shock to have Southern standards out in CA!

      • Guestropod

        you’re being pretty OTT about this, the south has a little more “darlin'”-ism but it’s not THAT much of a change 

    • http://twitter.com/TheCloudsEssais Jeremy Sheeler

      “maybe because men and women are just so gosh darn equal these days (!)”

      That’s the crux of the matter: the terms Gentleman and Lady are reciprocal and imply differentiation and complementation. Now that Men and Women are seen and treated as radically equal (in theory, of course), the cultural practices that upheld these have been eradicated, and the death of chivalry its inevitable consequence. 

  • Asdf

    Number 4 is the crux of the matter. Well played.

  • Anonymous

    Chivalry isn’t dead. It lives in the friendzone.

    • Rachel

      says the redditor who use terms like “friendzone” to imply that women have an obligation to serve men sexually 

      • Anonymous

        You googled me? I’m flattered. ;)

        Did not imply that at all. Sorry to inform you you’ve built a strawman. But if you look hard enough I’m sure you’ll find someone to argue with. Good luck! :)

    • Guestropod

      friendship is not a consolation prize

      • Anonymous

        Friendship is a virtue in its own right. It’s a good fit with chivalry. True chivalry is selfless and does not carry ulterior motives. True friendship is the same.

      • Guestropod

         True chivalry is selfless and does not carry ulterior motives. True friendship is the same.”

        thus ruling out people who complain about being in the friendzone 

      • Anonymous

        Being in the friendzone and complaining about it are two different things.

      • Guestropod

        “For example, here you assumed that all people in the friendzone complain about it.”

        I absolutely did not.  I said ‘people *who complain about* being in the friendzone.’  Clearly, I am only referring to people who complain, not assuming that all people in the “friendzone” DO complain.  

    • http://twitter.com/pardimate Steph Carcieri

      You know what, maybe women not being into men that classify themselves as “chivalrous” or “the good guys” has nothing to do with women being ignorant slutty bitches who don’t know what is good for them.

      Maybe these “men” (using that word loosely here) need to stop projecting the reasons they’re alone / forced celibate onto women.  MAYBE they’re just not as goddamn amazing as they think they are.

      • Anonymous

        Perhaps you are right. I won’t venture an explanation to my observation, but it seems that you’ve observed the same thing that I have, but that you’ve attempted an explanation of it.
        Speaking of projection, perhaps you ought not to project your elaborate argument onto my simple observation, even if you’ve done it in a passive-aggressive, roundabout way. There’s no need for shaming here. No one’s being called “ignorant slutty bitch.” You’re free to impose your views on what men ought to be, since we are discussing chivalry, and clearly you do so by distinguishing between plain men and “men” in double apostrophes and using the term loosely. This article is, after all, about men, and not women.

      • http://twitter.com/pardimate Steph Carcieri

        Your original statement is one often used as a way of bemoaning their single status. My argument is pretty simple: I highly doubt the reason the people stating this are single because they’re a “nice guy” or chivalrous.  And I state this in a direct and actively, rather than passively, aggressive way.

      • Anonymous

        I understand that perhaps this simple observation may be used as a complaint. There will always be people who have an unrealistic picture of themselves and their situation. And people may resort to such statements to rationalise their situation. That mere act of rationalisation does not, in itself, render the statement less truthful.

        We have different conceptions of what constitutes active and direct. My idea of a direct approach would have been to point my finger at a specific person, instead of employing  loose terms like “men” in double apostrophes. I thank you for not being direct in that sense.

  • rz

    Um, since when does chivalry = nice? 
    There are plenty of well-intentioned, “nice” guys who don’t cling to antiquated practices. It doesn’t make them douchebags–it makes them modern. 
    Get with the times, bro. 

    • Chelsea Fagan


      • :D


  • bee

    Christopher Hudspeth, call me maybe?

  • http://twitter.com/pardimate Steph Carcieri

    Somehow I don’t think the writer of “19 Tips For Females In 2012” should be commenting on the status of good mannered gentlemen.

    • Kaitlin W

      Somehow I think you need to get over a joke tip list. Also, quit with the over the top “feminist” routine, that’s why people think most girls have no sense of humor.

      • http://twitter.com/pardimate Steph Carcieri

        Say something funny and I’ll make sure to laugh, sweetheart.

      • Chelsea Fagan


  • http://messed-up-hottness.tumblr.com/ Mac Allison

    Why does it have to be chivalry? I hold open doors for both girls and guys, but it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m interested in them. I don’t take offense of someone doesn’t hold open a door for me because I really don’t expect a lot out of strangers. Then if you look at equal rights one really shouldn’t open a door for a girl or guy because she/he is a girl/guy but rather because she/he us a human being. So anyone can still be chivalrous in this new age, but putting it simply it’s really just being a nice human being.

  • dN

    Chivalry is dead, and it very well should be. Common courtesy should be what stands in its place, but instead we get this. Chivalry is an outdated concept that I feel is also a little sexist and unfair to both parties. Why does a man have to carry all the bags and then sprint ahead of me to get the door also? I’d feel like a bit of a bitch for letting that go on, but according this I’m also a bitch for not accepting it? Please. It’s 2012, women can work, pick up the tab sometimes and quit assuming a relationship means you are suddenly unable to function like a normal human. If two people honestly care for each other, chivalry shouldn’t even factor in. You should be doing these things because you care enough for your partner to help out.

    • ab

      AGREE 100%
      I went on a date withthis guy who was so over-the-top with the chivalry (like pulling out my chair for me, or awkwardly stepping in front of me to open the door when I was the one next to it. Like… I can open a door by myself, thank you.) 

      That being said… if a guy wants to grab the check, I won’t refuse :)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C5FQP5T4G3QNKQYDHYXU22C2OQ CourtneyB

    We don’t need chivalry anyway. We need men and women to be kind, courteous, considerate human beings because it’s just the right thing to do. Open doors for anyone who is behind you or next to you if you get to the door first. Give up a seat to anyone who looks like they need it (pregnant, elderly, disabled, injured). Don’t only do it for people with the brand of genitals you’re interested in touching. Just be a nice person across the board, and everything will be fine. Women don’t need special treatment. We just need to be treated with the same respect that should be given to everyone.

    • Asdf

      I agree. But because I agree I feel compelled to ask, “genitals have a brand?”

      I will tell you that I will never hold the door for anyone with Nike brand genitals. Or that Wal-mart house brand, “Great Value.” My experience says that those with “Great Value” brand genitals are anything but.

  • Anonymous

    Chivalry is so freaking alive.  Today I dropped my cell phone in the subway tracks and a stranger dude, without hesitation, jumped in to retrieve it. He safely jumped back up to the platform, high fived me, and walked into the night.  

    • http://www.twitter.com/mexifrida Frida

      he should have just proposed to you too, to add to the movie scenario.

  • beatrice


  • Tim

    For those women who say chivalry is dead and has no place in today’s world, then next time you need a jar opened or a mouse caught its all on you.

  • http://kungfukungfu.com/chivalry-of-the-walking-dead/ www.kungfukungfu.com Chivalry Of The Walking Dead | www.kungfukungfu.com

    […] for the blog Thought Catalog, author Christopher Hudspeth offers some intriguing thoughts on the Five Conditions Of Chivalry (Other Than Dead) as a means of pointing out just where we might look for chivalry in the 21st […]

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