Is chivalry dead? That's what Dockers wanted to know when they marched out into five U.S. cities with a camera and young woman or mature man pulling a teetering stack of files. The company, best known for its khaki pants, discovered that there are still people out there willing to help out a damsel in distress.
- Atlanta proved to be the most chivalrous with only eight people passing by before someone stopped to help.
- Second place went to San Francisco with up to 17 people passing before someone helped.
- In Chicago up to 20 people would pass before help was offered
- Los Angeles came in fourth with 35 people passing.
- And bottom of the list was NYC with a whopping 40 people passing.
As it so happens, RedEye's in-house man of style, Ernest Wilkins, has been a resident of both Atlanta and Chicago. "Atlanta is still a very old-fashioned city when it comes to customs," he said. "That extends to the courtship process too. There are a lot of 'I'm going to meet her dad for a drink' kind of stuff with my buds."
Now, back to Chicago. Ernest says "here, there's a bit more of the midwestern 'family is important, so prove your intentions are legit, bud' stuff. It's a lot of 'proper custom' disguised as ball-busting."
Is chivalry alive and kicking or just a remnant of dated customs? Well, getting offered a seat on a crowded L is about as rare as a double rainbow, and I can't tell you how many times I've been cut off by some dude while trying to get on the darn thing. You should not be racing me!
Before anyone tries to tell me that I can't have it both ways (the same guy who gets mad when I say I like it when a guy opens doors and pays for dates), I'd hope that being polite and courteous isn't totally out of the game. And if I'm ever trotting along with my big stack of file boxes and everything flies away, I hope at least one (preferably a very handsome and single man) will stop and help me.
The man who throws his jacket on a puddle is long gone and I think we prefer it that way. We're not the fainting flowers of ages past. We vote, we drink, we climb the corporate ladder AND Mt. Everest. We've become masters of our own destiny, leaders and power sources. As our culture and species evolve, so do the guidelines of custom. The man who lets you stand inside while he hails a cab, picks you up at your apartment, holds your hand when you're nervous, however, that man is alive and well.
As Ernest says, "chivalry, as we commonly think of it, is pretty dead. I think the move for 2011 and beyond is having a quality partnership. Respect is everything."
I completely agree. I'm not a princess that needs to be coddled and sheltered. I'm a queen that wants to rule this world with her king. A man who steps up and sees the value of what we could create together. We'd be unstoppable.