Twenty-first Century man may have it pretty hard in a post-feminist world, and this is only amplified by the increasing number of accusations levied at the male population that chivalry is in fact dead in the water.
However, there is such a cacophony of conflicting messages in today’s communication labyrinth, that there’s no surprise that one-half of a burgeoning pairing runs the real risk of being disappointed by accident.
This is fresh in my mind after I was talking and texting with a relatively new lady friend (let’s call her Blondie, just for kicks) about her imminent and much-anticipated return from an overseas Easter break with her family.
I was toying with the idea of picking her up from the airport and asked when her flight was due to land back in London. It turned out the flight was arriving mid-afternoon, which was problematic as it was also a working day. As a result, I received the following text, politely absolving me from my offer: “...thank you so much for offering to collect me but [it] looks like I can make my own way.”
Now, if I wasn’t rather keen on this girl, and also a bit of a soppy type, I would have taken this at face value and not made every effort to:
- book half a day off work at late notice
- confirm that I actually really wanted to pick her up
- valet the car, and
- high tail it to Heathrow in a comedic mesh of Driving Miss Daisy meets Days of Thunder
So this begs the question: is chivalry really dead or has today’s man just managed to get himself mired in ‘safe’ indolence?
This is actually quite pertinent, relevant and topical as Rosamund Urwin from London’s Evening Standard pointed out recently that there are many who mourn the demise of gentlemanly behaviour, which is hilariously described as having been stamped on by 'the Doc Martens of dungaree-clad feminists'.
Yes, feminists might be partly to blame, but surely it’s down to us men to step up, be bold, and embrace the initiative which is inextricably linked with the romantic knights of old.
Doc Marten wearers and bra burners might cynically believe that chivalry is a way for men to remain contemptuous and condescending, but personally I think it’s more of a display of motivation and genuine respect, which men should be proud to indulge with gusto as often as they dare.