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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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Is the age of chivalry dead?

Women in Cumbria say chivalry is alive and well and they welcome it.

Chivalry

Responding to the claims of a new survey that suggests men are less chivalrous in the 21st century because they are not expected to be, Karen Mattocks, 41, from Skelton says: “I think it’s nice for a man to open a door for you, it shows respect, doesn’t it?”

The survey, by socked.co.uk, found 82 per cent of women would prefer to pay their way on a first date, only 34 per cent said they expect men to open doors for them and just eight per cent said they would take up the offer of a seat from a man.

Caroline Jerram, 38, from Harraby, Carlisle says she is a single mum and values her independence but that doesn’t mean she thinks men should not be chivalrous.

“I try to teach my children to be well mannered,” adds Caroline.

“My youngest will offer his seat to someone on a crowded bus.

“If I’m in a relationship and my partner offers to carry my bags it feels strange but I like it. You see film stars being helped down steps by a man. I like that too”.

The survey reflects a view, nationally, that the more women and men have become equal, the more likely an attempt to be chivalrous can be taken as patronising.

Many men have, it seems, modified their behaviour and ceased trying to be “knights in shining armour” rather than appear outdated or old fashioned.

Mark Hall, gentleman creation officer for socked.co.uk, says: “Men’s standards have slipped so far over recent years that any offer of chivalry from a gentleman knocks a woman off her guard and is viewed with outright suspicion.

“Does an offer of goodwill have to be taken the wrong way?

“If men upped their game across the board, good manners would be back on the agenda once again.

“We’ve forgotten about good behaviour, and it’s high time gentlemen stood up to be counted – especially on a crowded bus.”

Ann Youngs, the vice chairman of Cumbria Cumberland Women’s Institute doesn’t think young people are taught to be chivalrous any more.

“You don’t really see it in the younger generation – I think it’s probably the parents.

“I’ve seen teachers trying to teach manners in schools but they seem to be fighting a losing battle”.

Ann says she doesn’t see anything wrong in a man offering their coat or carrying bags for her. “If it was someone close to me I’d expect it to happen, but from a stranger probably not. Now I’m just coming to accept it. I think it’s a shame things have changed.

“There’s a generation dying out who were more protective of ladies. I sometimes wonder whether it was because a lot of them were in the forces. I think many of them were taught to be protective”.

But Ann acknowledges manners change with the generations.”You mutter away about the rudeness of children and then think to yourself ‘I’m getting old!’”.

Wendy Le Huray, the principle of Wings of Eagles Performing Arts in Carlisle believes manners are an important part of a child’s education. “I’m not sure whether the message gets to all children about holding a door open or giving up a seat. It seems the romance has gone out of life.

“Since women got equality, and they had to fight for it, they’re not thought of as being the delicate creatures they were in Victorian times.

“It doesn’t matter who goes through the door first. I still think it extremely rude if a woman isn’t offered the menu first in a restaurant”.

And Wendy isn’t convinced the situation can be remedied.

“It would be wonderful. We have equality in the workplace but we need to recognise we are different species at home and in family life.

“We need to respect and value each other’s qualities and keep the romance going. Women want to feel like a female. There isn’t a woman who doesn’t want to be cared for, protected and loved”.

According to the survey there is one simple way for men to begin rebuilding their chivalry.

It turns out just about every woman asked said they like to receive flowers but in the past year only a third had actually done so.

Have your say

why should we help,they wanted equal rights,lady s in industry exspecially delivery drivers who deliver packages and expect the idiot men to lift it out of there vehicles. dont think so.

Posted by robert 3 on 21 January 2013 at 19:06

Well i would like to personaly thank all the gentlemen still out ther as i am a lady and like to be treated like one.a simple thankyou is all that is needed .

Posted by anna on 20 January 2013 at 19:27

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