My bosses sister told me never to date a man that doesn't tell me I'm beautiful everyday. While that sounds lovely, I find it somewhat antiquated advice. If some guy seriously told me I was beautiful everyday, I would probably think he was covering something up or only in it for my looks. My natural inclination would be to be skeptical, which made me wonder if skepticism is the reason that chivalry is dead.
In people's version of Prince Charming, the guy is supposed to do all sorts of nice things when they court a lady, and I have realized that when guys actually do those things for me, I respond in all sorts of bizarre ways. For example, when I was climbing out of a high bus, the guy reached his hand back to me to help me down and I decided to grab onto the door handle and let myself down clumsily without touching his hand. Why? Because in my head it seemed less weird and showed that I can climb out of the bus on my own.
This need to prove that I don't need a male hand isn't just an isolated occurrence, I do it somewhat subconsciously all the time. I was carrying in boxes to be mailed and refused the help of a guy who was going to get me a dolly so that I wouldn't have to lug in four boxes weighing approximately 30 pounds each. Nope, I just scurried back and forth before he had time to help.
When a guy offers to pay for my meal, I have a weird internal complex about what it all means and what is expected from me. I lose my sense of self and typically waste the rest of the day trying to figure out their intentions rather than enjoying it.
Don't even get me started on the car door issue. Getting into a car makes sense to let the guy open the door, but a guy once asked me why I rushed out of the car before he could open it. Maybe because I am fully capable of opening my own car door and don't want to wait for you to stroll over to my side to let me out like a child? What am I supposed to do while I'm waiting? The radio is already off. I'll just end up sitting there wondering why I still haven't opened my own door yet.
My hang ups on chivalrous acts are never hidden well either. I make it so awkward that I am positive they will never try it again, which is somewhat nice but a bit disappointing. Even though I can open my own door and pay my own way, maybe it would be nice to let a guy do it for me without creating a scene.
So maybe it's my self-empowerment that killed chivalry and not males failing to reach societal expectations. Or maybe males have failed so many of the previous expectations that chivalry is literally a foreign concept to my generation, and I have no comprehension of what's supposed to happen, so I treat it all with a just amount of skepticism.
Chivalry might be dead, but we still don't know who killed it.