Equal Rights and Chivalry

Here's a post to stir up some thought.  As women wanting equal rights with men in the workforce, does that automatically make us have to give up chivalry? 

My position in life as to whether or not I consider myself a feminist is very much up for debate.  Certainly I feel that a woman in a corporate position should be paid equal to her male counterpart for the same work.  However, at the end of the day I think being an entrepreneur can eliminate that worry since you create your own paycheck.  But that's another story for another post.  I feel that women have just as much talent, potential, and capacity as men do.  So, even though I feel that equality in this sense should certainly be mandatory, I also feel a yearning to feel special as a "lady" and to feel the support of gentlemanly gestures because, I also feel that our strengths are different and that there are many ways to make this world go 'round.

Therefore:  just because I want to be equal in the sight of society when it comes to daily tasks, does that mean I am also giving up the right to have my door held open or help with my coat, etc.?

One couple my husband and I are acquainted with are very successful.  They own their own business and are leaders in their community.  Both husband and wife in the partnership are seen as the head of their organization and they both are equally accountable for mentoring and coaching.  In essence, everything you want to see in the image of equality.   The husband, though, still puts gas in the car for his wife, holds the door open for her when entering cars or buildings, and holds her chair out for her at restaurants.  I've seen this with my very own eyes.

So it got me thinking.  Is it really possible to want to be equal in a business and social manner, but still relish in the endearing qualities of the masculine caretaker?  I'd like to say it's more possible than not, however, I think this couple was the exception and definitely not the rule.  What are your thoughts?


  1. Hi Eneida! Great post! I think you can have it both ways. It is all about our wanting/needing to be valued and respected....both in business and in our personal relationships. We all need to feel accepted and respected in our various roles. I like to think that my husband plays the role of caretaker not because he thinks that I need him to do those things for me but because he honors, loves and respects me. It is probably not the norm for relationships these days; but it does happen. Thanks for the thought provoking post! Enjoy your day! Candace~♥

  2. I think it's very possible to have equality while maintaining chivalry. A generation ago, however, we found a lot of women who, when struggling to feel 'equal,' simply became hostile to men, and were affronted if a man held the door for her, for example. Recognizing that men and women are equal but different is helpful. I think respect on both sides is the key to success. So when that door is held open for her, that woman had better say 'thank you.'!

  3. I agree with what you and everyone has said. I also feel that women should be nice to men. If a man needs a door held open, a woman should do it. Once I opened a door for a cowboy in Kansas and it was the highlight of my life when he said,"Thank you Maam."

  4. Thanks so much for your comment over at my blog! I don't see too many earwigs around so I never really have that problem but unfortunately you can't just pick up all the fleas and put them outside. Haha
    as for your post it's quite the dillemma I think that women can have both but only by making men think that they're in charge. I don't see how we can have that chivalry if we get all cocky and high and mighty thinking were just as big and strong as you! Because who's going to want to be chivalrous to a girl that acts like a man, in other words a bitch. Because that's what people automatically think of women who act like men! No offence to the guys! But we are different and we have to face that! However he'll yeah we deserve equal pay! Right to vote and all that!
    I think though the feminists did us justice by getting us the vote and the like they have also given us the short stick in a way because now not many can afford to be stay at home mums so we go to work AND do most of the house/mum stuff too! We are better at it though! Hahaha :D

  5. I am all for equal rights in the workplace too but have never really thought about chivalry. I think we can still enjoy these gestures from males because it shows respect.

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and leaving a sweet comment. Very cool that our dads taught us similar things. Looking forward to reading more of your blog.

  6. I don't think equality has to eliminate good manners and that is what you are talking about. Showing respect to someone does not mean that you don't think they are equal.

  7. Thought provoking!

    No, you don't have to give up equality to be cared for. If my beloved wants to be nurtured and soothed [massages or stroking his hair while we talk about our day or even doing his laundry...which makes BOTH of us happier ;-)] then I don't see why I can't still be his equal and have him kill bugs, carry the heavier bag sometimes or letting me nag him every once in a while (sunscreen, vitamins and drinking water...I never thought I would nag but I find myself nagging about those things!).

    But here's the real shocker. I don't really think we are equals in some sense. He has strengths and I have strengths. They sometimes overlap (both very empathetic, both honest and intelligent) but oftentimes not - he reads a map well, I have a better sense of direction - I clean better, he is a better dancer, I can do the paperwork and make the telephone calls, he does a better job at telling salespeople to buzz off...or just NOT feeling compelled to answer the door altogether. He's better at math and can multiply numbers in his head like magic, I'm better at calculating tips, he hates driving and traffic and I love driving. Mean drivers make him panic, centipedes make me panic. You get the picture! So, are we equals, nope, not really. But our strengths compliment each other and my strengths are equally valuable to him as his strengths are to me. Not in an "accounting" type of way but because we love each other. ;-) Job equality is not relationship equality.