GQ Magazine (@GQMagazine) February 24, 2015
I stumbled upon an interesting tweet yesterday.
The title was an attention grabber. Something about the Men’s Rights movement. Nothing new, I know, but intriguing nonetheless. Here is the tweet I’m referring to. You might want to read it. It gave me ammunition and inspiration for this post.
Life is ever changing.
What worked for us last year, last month or even last week may not be as effective today. We must continuously adapt and learn new skills. The best example can be seen with technology.
Interpersonal relations do not escape this adaptation principle. More specifically, relationships between men and women. Social developments are affecting gender roles; changing them, redefining them. So rapidly that some of us are left confused. Actions we could once take for granted now merit some consideration and so the dating advice our dads gave us when we were younger doesn’t always apply today.
Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.
When it comes to change, I don’t think the conventional (or cognitive) definition of intelligence is the be all end all. More specifically, in matters of love and relationships, emotional intelligence or social intelligence are a far better facilitators for change. Let’s just look at some actions that could have once been taken for granted, but now merit more consideration:
- Do I carry her luggage? Some woman call this being gallant, others will take slight offense to it and tell you they can do it themselves.
- Should I hold the door open for her? Same issue as above.
- Should I pick up the tab after dinner? A huge question in the dating scene.
I’d like to examine the last question, as it’s something I’ve debated over time and time again. How do you Ace this issue? You will see that the issue goes beyond a simple financial transaction. It’s scope is much broader.
Let’s take a look.
I just want to clarify something: for all intents and purposes, I am not going to examine the actual transaction of picking up the tab. What interests me is the expectation for a man to pay on the first, second, third date. The expectation for him to be the provider. The expectation for him to be gallant, chivalrous, Prince Charming.
Old School Mentality
I think we can all agree that men were more gallant back in the day. At least that’s what it seems like. Indeed men would open doors to women, lay their coats over puddles to help them traverse and tip their hats to them. But then they would act condescending towards them. Paradoxically, sexism was much worse when gallantry was was “in”. Women were very poorly treated then. Perhaps there is no paradox here. Perhaps gallantry was an attempt to balance things out… I’d love to ask an expert on the subject.
In matters of dating, the old school mentality dictates that the man pick up the tab. The rules are clear. A man was expected to be chivalrous. Being a Gentleman wasn’t out of style then, it was THE style. It was the norm.
The old school mentality really ties into Disney fantasies however. Where a man is Prince Charming and does all the heavy lifting. He is in peak physical shape, has money to pick up the tab on every date and is emotionally stoic, never needing to lean on his woman’s shoulder.
Many men are turned off by this mentality. They don’t find it appropriate in this day and age. That brings me to my next point.
New School Mentality
Nowadays the idea of picking up the tab after dinner is met with trepidation by men. At least for some. At first, outsiders may think of practioners of this as uncouth, raised by wolves. Let’s, for a second, try and understand the possible reasoning behind it.
Times have changed. Society has changed. It goes without saying that relationships between men and women have changed as well. Sexism is still a big problem in our society, but most will agree (at least publicly, which is a far cry from a few years ago) that men and women are equals.
On that basis it then stands to reason that women can pick up the tab as well. They too have jobs and we’re seeing more and more cases of women earning more than men. If your date is earning double your salary perhaps it makes sense SHE picks up the tab.
Furthermore, some women will even deny help from a man offering to carry her luggage/groceries. The way they see it, they can do it themselves. The New School Mentality is adopted by both men and women alike.
Let’s look at two angles from which we can study this issue.
The Manosphere- a social perspective
I’ve scoured the internet time and time again when I was younger looking, like many young guys, for answers to questions regarding the dating game. I’ve seen the rapid evolution of this “science” (yes, dating or relationships are a combination of psychology, evolutionnary psychology, sociology and such). At first, most tips were what I call outer game related. They focused on skills, tactics, routines and such. Then, a new approach, one I firmly believe in focused on outer game: Becoming more attractive by bettering yourself as a man. Focusing on character rather than skills. I recently stumbled upon another aspect of the game. Let’s call it a social view of the game in wich the focus is on cultural norms between men and women. Red Pill Theory.
I haven’t yet examined this theory in it’s entirety, so I have to refrain from commenting. Anyways, my thoughts on this theory go beyong the scope of this post.
For those of you who have not been introduced to Red Pill theory, here is an article of it’s Constitution. It will help you better understand the position taken by the Manosphere (I know, I talk about it as if it were a person). Again, I haven’t yet examined the theory in it’s entirety, but what I do understand so far is that it applies to North American reality.
01.) – Feminists claim they want equality but their actions and reactions indicate it is power without responsibility that they strive for. They desire both male and female privileges consolidated to form a perverse type of “feminist privilege,” thus upsetting the balance of power and social dynamic between the sexes. Feminists want the privileges of being women (privilege such as being economically provided for by a man, getting opportunities based on their beauty and men protecting them from physical harm regardless of their actions) as well as male privilege (authority/perceived dominance, respect for having a career, to not be judged so harshly on physical appearance etc.) These desires are neither pragmatic nor realistic, it ignores the biological basis for how the genders perceive each other in the ignorance that “everything is a social construct!” and that the sexes are “the same” when even from a cursory glance it is evident this is not the case.
My views on that statement go beyond the scope of this post. It just allows the unitiated to be put into context.
The Red Pill movement is a division, if you will of the Manosphere described in the Twitter embed I left at the beginning of this post. Before critiquing it I strongly suggest you get a firm grasp on its content.
The take away here is that social tensions are affecting chivalry and gallantry in subtle, yet powerfull ways.
The Power struggle- a relationship perspective
The other tenet of New School Mentality is more of a micro approach. An approach based on relationships, not society. It is based on power struggles.
If, not too long ago, men were superior to women, chivalry/gallantry could be figuratively described as a man extending his hand to a woman in need.
Viewed from this angle, I can see why some women may dislike gallantry.
The argument here is that if men and women are equals, the man bends the knee (gives away his power) when being chivalrous or gallant. Men certainly give away power sparingly to other men (trhoughout history, seen as equals). In a world where men and women are equals, it is understandable that those who adopt this mentality fall victim th “chivalry aversion”.
I guess the argument here is that gallantry, chivalry sweeps a lady off her feet and places her in Prince Charming’s arms. Women nowadays don’t need to be swept off their feet. They don’t NEED men. Not like they used to. We are equals. Our roles have changed. But just how far reaching are these changes? Should women be gallant towards men? Should THEY occasionnaly carry a man’s luggage and pick up the tab on a first date or does that just create gender confusion?
Whether or not we should treat one another with respect is not the question I am addressing in this post. OF COURSE WE SHOULD. I don’t think I need to elaborate on this. The question and the posts’s Headline are: Are chivalry and gallantry outdated? Not respect, politeness or romance. Should men still be gallant, chivalrous with women in this day in age considering we are equals? What model should we adopt going forward?
Ace Digest is about bettering yourself (for more on that, click here). Bettering your life, bettering your relationships (which are a huge part of your life). The topic of gallantry, as we have seen in this post, has many layers. It goes beyond the realm of romance and affects our everyday lives. At work and at home. How can we improve our relationships between men and women without reverting back to the blatant sexism of yesteryear?
Stay tuned for part two, where I’ll give you my humble opinion on the subject.
Till then, you can always give me yours in the comment section below.