I’ve never been one for chivalry. I prefer to do things my way, and take pride in my own ability to lift things that are heavy, open doors on my own and find my coat in a sea of bodies and sad down jackets at a crowded bar. I’ve been with men who are completely unchivalrous, men who I’ve had to kick in the shins to lift a finger to help me carry an air conditioner up the stairs, and I’ve been with men who have fallen over themselves to get the door for me, even though I was already in the process of opening it. There’s a finesse to the art, a way of doing things that falls in between a fawning obsequiousness and a genuine gesture, bred of genteel manners and a different way of living.
There’s a fine line between chivalry and common courtesy. Holding a door open for someone who’s hands are full is good home training. Giving your seat up for a pregnant woman on the bus is good home training. Helping me into my coat at a restaurant is unnecessary, awkward and assumes that deep down, you are unconfident in my ability to put on my own outerwear when the fact of the matter is I have been dressing myself for longer than we’ve been acquainted. I understand that this is a gesture of kindness, but I view it as a harbinger of times past — and quite frankly, the past is where it should stay. Keep reading »
Hey bros, you know what’s not cool? When you invade the personal space of women you don’t know by “sweeping them off their feet.” It is really, really not okay, Andrew Hales and Stuart Edge, to surprise a woman by grabbing her physically and immobilizing her. And yet, for some reason, so many of the women in this video seem totally okay with it. I wonder how many women didn’t make the edit — how many times women actually got defensive, maybe even violent, back. Keep reading »
The majority of both men and women believe that men should be opening their wallets on dates, according to a new study. Most men and women presume that men should pay for most expenses, even after multiple dates, and in fact, a surprising number of guys feel guilty when a woman pays. Keep reading »
Okay, I’m pretty sure that the UK’s Daily Mail just makes shit up. But I am fairly sure that chivalry died one morning a month ago, when a man shoved me out of the way at the subway station to run up the stairs ahead of me. So even if this Daily Mail piece claiming “research” suggests women are suspicious of chivalrous men because our manners have coarsened so much is bullshit, I’m included to believe there’s an element of truth to it. Keep reading »
One afternoon this week, I was putzing around on Twitter, procrastinating on work, when a tweet from Patti Stanger, the star of “Millionaire Matchmaker,” caught my eye. “Part of acting like a lady involves allowing him to be a gentleman,” she tweeted.
Hmmm, I thought. That’s just good advice. Then I thought about it for a second. Wait. What does that even mean? It sounds like a riddle. The more I thought about it, the less it made sense and the more it seemed to be zen koan-like thought farts.
Patti Stanger’s Twitter feed is filled with these thought farts. Like her Bravo show ”Millionaire Matchmaker,” she offers a melange of useful observations on dating and relationships, mixed with some truly reactionary, fucked-up advice that seeks to corral both men and women into normative gender role behavior. (In fact, we’ve debunked some of this fucked up-edness before.) Let me be clear: if people want to choose that normative gender role behavior himself or herself, that’s great. I choose it a lot of the time myself, in fact. But it’s not ethical to teach people their most successful strategy for finding love is to squeeze yourself into a box and follow the sexist script.
After the jump, let’s debunk some of Patti Stanger’s advice over Twitter … the good, the bad, and the truly WTF. Keep reading »
Doing my time online dating, I’ve developed strong opinions about a lot of things. Handlebar mustaches? NO. Ayn Rand followers? Next. Men who tell girls not to contact them if you’re “crazy”? I hope you die alone! (Also, does any woman actually self-diagnose as “crazy”?)
My strongest opinion when it comes to dating — which has become the subject of many an impassioned Frisky office debate — is the ideal location for a first date. I’ve noticed that lots of guys have the best intentions when it comes to picking a first date spot but oftentimes fail. Maybe this is not a problem for people who live in the ‘burbs or small cities; perhaps there is a “town center” where all the restaurants and bars are located. But in larger cities with complicated public transit systems — Los Angeles, Boston, Washington, D.C., my home turf of New York City — a lady could end up traveling an hour-plus getting to a date. And then have to sell her firstborn child to pay for it.
So I thought I’d offer a few thoughts — for dudes and girls alike, it’s 2012 people! — on how to pick a place for a first date. Keep reading »
Draw your weapons ladies and gents: for we are about to revisit the controversial topic of chivalry. A while back, we got into a very heated debate about so-called chivalrous moves that creep us out. While some of the Friskyverse disagreed, most of us felt that having a man walk us to the bathroom (ala Blake Lively and Penn Badgley pre-breakup) was creepy. I would most certainly feel weird about this if it happened. Luckily no man has ever tried that move on me. I know we all come from different backgrounds, have different views on feminism and were taught different dating customs, so we’re bound to disagree about this. But my personal opinion is that when it comes to chivalry, it’s all about confidence. It’s how you execute the chivalrous move rather than what it is. The moments I feel most awkward are when a man does something chivalrous because he thinks he’s supposed to rather than he authentically feels like he wants to.
I went on a recent-ish date where a guy tried to pull out my chair for me at dinner. I almost fell when I went to sit down because he swooped in at the last minute when I was already mid-crouch and I didn’t see him coming. Ugh. It was such an uncomfie scenario. For starters, I don’t need any assistance sitting down. I just don’t. And his uncertainty only made it worse. Either go for it or don’t. Maybe I won’t be a fan of your move, but I’ll appreciate you for committing. And then I’ll say something like, “That was sweet, but no need for you to pull out my chair.” You can’t ever fault a guy for having manners or trying to impress you. You also can’t fault a guy from abstaining from chivalry altogether. That shit is confusing.
Guys, if you are going to incorporate chivalry into your romantic repertoire, there are some moves that are safer than others. After the jump, I’ve compiled a few that don’t creep the ladies at The Frisky out, when executed with confidence and sincerity of course. Feel free to add to the list or completely disagree with me. Let’s keep trying figure this chivalry stuff out. Keep reading »
For reasons unbeknownst to me, Business Insider has published a piece about a young woman in New York City who did something unethical, tempting and all-too-easy: she used the online dating site Match.com to score around $1,200 in free dinners paid for by dates. Keep reading »
I came late to appreciating chivalry, which I have written about on The Frisky before. For most of my life, chivalry made me uncomfortable. I’ve always identified as a feminist and Third Wave feminism generally is pretty frosty towards traditional gender roles. But moreso than being a feminist, I felt the same way a lot of modern women (who may or may not identify as feminists) do in that I felt pride of my ability to take care of myself better than my mother can take care of herself. I pay my own bills, I know how to change a tire on a car, I buy my own technology, etc. etc.
However, as I grew older and had more life experiences and more serious relationships, I realized that I liked being treated chivalrously. Some of it is that I like the outward displays of both respect and affection; as a person whose job entails the reading of many nasty Internet comments about my beliefs/life choices/appearance, those little loving moments are golden.
Keep reading »