Is Chivalry Dead?

‘Chivalry’ – noun “the medieval knightly system with its religious, moral, and social code.” According to the Cambridge dictionary, chivalry is “very polite, honest, and kind behaviour, especially by men towards women”. This definition hits closer to the question, is chivalry dead? Is it? Did it ever exist?

I recently met up with, somebody that I used to know, a male homosapien adult. We caught up over some drinks for myself and a meal for him as I was not hungry, come bill time the waitress places the bill in front of him and I just finish my drink. Five minutes later, the waitress comes back to ask if everything is ok and I swear that man looked me dead in the eye when I asked why he wasn’t paying and he said “I thought it’s on you”. Heh bathong? So in the midst of my dizziness I whip out my black card, tip generously and settle the bill. Hahahahahhaha WHAT? In the history of my life, I have never had this happen. When I say this gent did not hesitate when he asked me to settle the bill, I am not exaggerating.

I have brought this up with several people as I am still quite dizzy about it all. Have we (as women) come to expect too much by having a man pay for our shared meal? I have observed over the years how rare it is for men to pull out chairs for women, open car doors, pick them up to take them out – things I perceive to be bare minimums in courting or at least getting to know each other.

Have we taken the whole notion of 50-50 too far? Or do I, as a modern woman, expect too much from a gentleman that fancies me? Perhaps being fancied in my books means something totally different to the gents of today. I often ask myself, and my friends if women have become so accepting of the mediocrity that comes with the “dating game” because we hold on to the notion of “at least”? Regardless of how self-assured and comfortable one is with themselves, there’s always that little demon called societal pressure that has you questioning what is wrong with you if you are still single after a certain age… whether it be happily single or not!

With all that being said, what is chivalry? What is game? I have observed that money has become a bargaining chip, a tool of sorts that has allowed the most average of men who genuinely have nothing to offer other than the money. The same money has blinded some women and they happily overlook important things in the dating or courting phase and then settle for “bare minimum”, all because the brother has some money he indulges her with…ripple effect because many, many men think that all they need to do is send a WhatsApp and an e-wallet and he’s in. Stressful times.

I genuinely believe that there is no more game out there, men are seriously letting women pay for meals, they no longer call or sms, some have taken it as far as direct messaging on social media – convenience or laziness? It feels like a lifetime ago when guys would send flowers as a request for your company, guys would pick you up from home (yes I know there’s Uber now), and they would stand up to greet you when you walk into a room then help you take your seat. I remember a time when gents actually took us out to nice restaurants instead of sending a WhatsApp ya “come over” or “when are you visiting” me.

I genuinely can’t figure out why the status quo is like this, I have several theories and hypotheses around the dating game and why I sincerely believe chivalry is dead, mara still why are the gents the way they are? Have women become easily accessible and therefore men feel effort is not necessary because women accept bare minimum and will buy into whatever half-baked effort they put forward? Things are real bad waitsi. As for me, please don’t request the pleasure of my company and then ask me to take care of the bill – I’d rather spend that money on my friends or donate it to those in need. Hopefully chivalry will be back in our next lifetime…

Writer: Palesa Motau                    Photo by Quentin Dr on Unsplash