Whatever happened to "Ladies First"?

How come it seems that men no longer show the common courtesies to women that we used to? How often do men open car doors for women anymore, or run their bath water for them, or pull their chair out and allow the woman to sit first at the dinner table, etc?/? Why do men feel they're "soft" if they're seen doing these things in public? Every date I've ever been on, I've extended this respect to the woman I was with, but the women seem almost surprised by this hospitality. Do women not expect these things out of men anymore? I view it as respect. And every man should have respect for his woman. Anyone else have input?


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Most Helpful Girl

  • I like it most of the time when guys are somewhat chivalrous. It's not the chivalry itself that I like though, it's the manners and politeness. And I appreciate that from anyone, not just men. I would never EXPECT a man to act this way -just- because I'm a woman, especially at a time when gender roles are nearing obsolete. I would hope that the reasoning would have more to do with the importance of being kind and courteous to people in general. But I don't EXPECT anything from anyone. I feel like it would be rude to presume that every man should open doors for every woman who crosses his path. I'm always pleasantly surprised though when it does happen, and I always say thank you. Gender roles are going out of style, but politeness never does, however you'd like to look at it. I might be kind of socially retarded at times, but politeness and good manners [more lax around close friends, obviously] are important to me, and therefore a quality I admire in others. I'm always opening or holding doors for people, including men, saying my pleases and thank yous, smiling, offering my assistance to those in need, etc.

    One thing my dad does that I think is really cute, is that he always opens the passenger side door for me first if I go anywhere with him in his car. My grandparents probably beat that kind of behavior into him when he was young though, haha. They're big on manners as well.

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What Girls Said 19

  • Women have stopped demanding to be treated as ladies, therefore men have stopped going out of their way for us. When we first meet a man that shows interest, it is the time to let him know that you must have respect from him and must be treated as the ladies we are (some). Men only give us what we admit to settle for therefore causing "some" men to lack the manly duties of taking care of their woman. I blame us for accepting it, I have been places and seen men enter into a building first then holding the door for her afterwards, a man allowing his date to pay for dinner, allowing her to carry the bags while he text or email on the way back to the car, etc . Very tacky, but men can only do what we allow them to. We feel like we lucked up when we get a guy that is genuine about taking care of us, but if we get a man that does non of this we just sit back and envy the lady across the room who's man is taking very good care of her. We need to speak up and demand what we want and we will have it without a fuss.

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  • I love a man with good manners. My boyfriend doesn't really have these social graces and he says when he was at boarding school the female teachers pounded it into the boys' heads that women were equals and could take care of themselves and you should not do any of this. I told him that was a shame, but that doing things like this make a woman feel feminine, they cost him nothing, and it is just overall the way to go. He's stepping up to the plate but it is not instinctual. Oh, and by the way, I did not tell him he had to, I just told him I like it and he likes me so he sees no problem in making the change.

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  • i agree, it's all about today's society. of course there are still some guys like you who know how to treat a woman with respect but "chivalry is dead" isn't a popular saying for no reason. on one hand, women today are more independent & have the attitude that they don't need a man to do certain things for them. but that doesn't mean she wouldn't think it was a sweet gesture.

    one the other hand, these days women let guys in their pants too easily, so why waste time opening a door or pulling out a chair when you know you're gonna get laid at the end of the night.

    it's a failure on both parts.

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    • It's not a sweet gesture it shows the man thinks of women as inferior and believes in the old order of male supremacy .

  • When I first start dating a guy I like to feel independent ie. not have him pay or do too much for me because then I feel like I owe him something or it can feel overwhelming. In a relationship though I think its important for guys to do things like this because it shows respect for the woman.

    My current boyfriend sometimes does nice things for me but doesn't go out of his way either.. especially in front of his friends because he doesn't want them to think he s sprung...it makes me like him a little less because it shows he is immature.

    Although such common courtesies are mostly forgotten now a days the upside is that I notice men are more concerned than ever before with pleasing women sexually. This is a good and a bad trend: Just listen to the popular songs playing on the radio right now...all the rappers talk about pleasing women in bed but then afterwards they treat them like crap. So that is the example they set...I think guys my age focus more on that and have forgotten the importance of everyday politeness.

    p.s. To me the true definition of a man is a guy who knows how to take care of the woman he's with both when they are together and in public.

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    • This stuff was done because of the idea that men were womens caretakers. Women were seen as invalids and child like incapable of standing on their own two feet. Chivalry was disgusting I can't believe any one would still advocate such a vile thing.

  • Geez, where do you live? I'm coming over! LOL I'm an old fashioned girl and watch all the classic movies (from the 30's) and at awe at all the things men used to do for the ladies from that era. And DREAM about how I wish men were that way today! I think its WONDERFUL that you are like this to women. It truly shows what a GENTLEMAN you really are. God Bless you for being like this.

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    • Thank you for the compliment, but this behavior comes natural to me. Actually, I've been on my own since I was 12, so never really had any guidance on treating women. I saw my mother get abused a lot when I was litte, so maybe that's why I intend to treat women with respect. Actually, I'm originally from South Carolina and live in GA now. I would say it's natural southern hospitality, but I'd be lying because I don't witness many men being respectful to their women here. Nevertheless, thx.

  • It's not just about men, some women don't like it when guys do those things.

    I appreciate stuff like that (although, some of it seems over-the-top; running bath water?), but I don't expect it. I don't think I'm entitled to special treatment just because I'm a girl. Respect goes both ways, after all.

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  • Well, it's a changing world and changing times... women aren't just at home all day popping out babies and taking care of the household... women are in charge, successful and almost equal to a man or more in the work world... Some men feel intimidated or they're just too afraid of what their "Boy" is going to say... It could also be that they weren't taught how to treat a women by their father... Libral times have come and certain values just don't exist anymore...

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    • Exactly!!! Men seem like they're embarrassed what their friends will say...isn't that the dumbest thing you've ever heard? I think that learning how to properly treat a woman is one of the prime ingredients that makes a true man. Unfortunately, most men think it's simply "gettin some" that makes them cool and a man. what idiots they are, huh?

    • Well, leave it up to the media that's what these guys are following nowadays, the hip hop rap image persona... Back in the day of our fathers or grandpas religion and values existed now they are almost non existent...

  • I think a lot of females stopped acting like ladies, and therefore a lot of men stopped treating them as such. I think each person controls the amount of respect they receive and that is true in the case of chivalry.

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    • This is how I feel a lot of girls act like sluts not ladies. Either way I still open the doors for girls

  • When a guy does this for me I'm automatically surprised and flattered. Guys really, just plain, don't do that anymore. And that's sad. From my point of view, that's one of the most thoughtful and nicest things a guy could do for me. Whether it be opening the car door to help me out, or opening the door to a building, or carrying me over a puddle. Although I don't like it when they ask me to serve myself food first, I don't know why. :P I think it's absolutely great and awesome that you do that. Keep doing that!

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  • i still want guys to open doors and walk on the danger side for me... it's just chivalrous and I liiiike that. it should never even fade because it's just a gentleman's thing... come omn ladies its good to be independent but how can you resist a gentleman?

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    • I want equality 100% I won't have any thing to do with a woman that wants to push a role on me because of my sex.

  • I think its polite if someone helps me with a door, some doors are heavy and I have trouble opening them. But I've held doors open for men...I want to be respected as a lady, just like men want to be respected as a gentleman, I'm all for equal rights

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  • Because apparently we think they're creeps who just wanna sleep with us.

    My pop taught me that all my life.

    "if he opens a door for you, make sure you still have your panties on"

    hahaha dad!

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  • easy. their idiots. no but seriously I'm glad someone is still doing it. Back in the days men used to say lovely things to women. Now everything is all slang and stuff... words are getting smaller and smaller. So it doesn't surprise me that this behaviorism is slowly being forgotten. I mean don't get me wrong I can pull up my own chair and open my own door. But I think its kinda flattering and sexy when a guy does it :)

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    • To suggest a person has to do something because of their sex is what's idiotic. Bigoted to.

  • it's always a good thing to show chivalry and for the guys who do do it, I Do notice. so guys take note, ladies do notice.

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  • Those were the days...

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  • SO TRUE ! . But some girls feel helpless when guys do every little thing for them

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  • I don't mind it, but I don't need it.

    If he thinks it is a polite thing to do he can go ahead. ^^

    I have no problem with being helped with anything. =P

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  • Honestly, I appeciate any man who's willing to do that. IMO, it means he has the courage to do so.

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  • In today's society it is just not expected for men to act that way. It is surprising to see a man act chivalrous because it's no longer expected, but women do enjoy when they find a man like this. It is rare to find a guy who will put their girl first, but those few men usually make the best husbands/boyfriends. Each generation is getting more and more selfish (not everyone but the majority) and older habits are dying out. Most people don't know what hard work is anymore either. With the changes in society, chivalry appears dead. I just have to say it is good to know that there are still out there who are kind of traditional.

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What Guys Said 16

  • I would say that the main reason the chivalry has stopped is because we don't have as clearly defined gender roles as we used to. Women go to work, some ask guys out. Men can stay at home and raise kids. There isn't a clearly defined "men do this, women do that" anymore, so saying that men should do all of these things for women is upholding gender roles that really aren't prevalent today. As such, many parents don't raise their children with these behaviors, so the people who aren't raised with such an attitude can't really be expected to do what they were never taught.

    Also, on the more extreme end, we have the feminists. Yes, those feminists. I hold open a door, and they make a huge sexist issue out of it. First of all, I hold doors for people of both genders, so there's no sexism in the situation at all. Second, if you complain about showing respect, then you are a bitch, plain and simple. Feminists who complain about such actions are the small percentage that are ruining it for everyone.

    As for the courtesies you listed:

    -I open the car door for the ladies

    -Baths are not nearly as common as they used to be, and there's no reason or need to run the shower water for them

    -I do pull out her chair at the table, provided that there is one. If it's a booth, then I let her get in first.

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    • I agree with everything you just said, Killfest400. That's great insight, too, about gender roles being blurred in today's world. :)

  • I'll open the door for my girlfriend but running her bath water, what? How hard is it to turn on a faucet, and pulling her chair out at a restaurant, most of the time the waiter does that. Women don't expect guys to do those things, because they know he won't.

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  • Ok I know this answer will cause a stir. But to bad. Here's the deal in the process of women wanting to be equals and society going to hell in a hand basket this is one of the many things that has gone by the way side. I myself have seen both responses in person one lady was quite taken back by it and impressed and the other got all huffy about it. I'm sure many of guys have seen the same. So as a whole we stop doing it to avoid the problem.

    Do I like it no but I can't help the ladies today just don't take it as a complement and just go on their way. For us old school guys who were taught to hold the door at a young age by parents and grand parents were just going to keep doing it the ladies will just have to deal with it.

    Another thing is with sexual harassment being the big deal that it is today not that it's not an issue. But as guys we have to walk this ultra fine line and not cross in fear we get slapped and labeled as some sort of predator.

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    • So, since you have to choose to ignore either the women who complain for you opening the door for them, or the women who love having you open the door for them, why not ignore the ones that don't fit into your definition of how you want to be? I get what you are saying, but don't let someone's mixed up ideas keep you from having good manners and doing what feels right to you.

    • Oh it's hasn't stopped me from doing it. I'm just ready now when they get all fussy.

  • It's a simple matter really.

    They wanted equality and they got it. Can't have your cake and eat it too.

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  • I'll answer in one word. What happened to "Chivalry"? Femenism. That's what happened. Women these days want to have their cake and eat it, it seems. Either they're equal, and should be treated as such, or they're not, and require special attention. It's funny how they only want to be treated as an equal when it suits them...

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    • We are equals. I have always known that. I don't need a guy to not hold a door for me to prove to me that we are equals. Shame some women don't get that.

  • to be quiet blunt about the entire situation...I don't think a lot of girls expect the common courtesies out of a guy anymore. As soon as they see anything chivalrous...alot of them are not used to it, and perceive it as strange. I know from experience. In today's society, acting all chivalrous and respectful...is out of the ordinary to most girls. They clearly don't expect it. Just remember that there are girls out there who will respect you for it...while other girls will see it as a weakness (eventually trying to take advantage of your respect). Other's may just see you as a push over...which is why they might not have any interest.

    My parents are from the old school...I was brought up on respect, values, morality, manners etc. but as it seems...I'm in the minority. Most people do not act like this anymore...it seems to be more of a selfish society full of "What have you done for me today" atmosphere.

    Seeing that I am still single into my early 20's with a lot to offer a girl...Sometimes I think that my parents raised me the wrong way. Other times, I stop and think...maybe the majority of people are just F**ked up in the head. However, until I start meeting girls that will respect the fact that I've got a big heart with a lot to offer...only then will I start believing that the common courtesies aren't dead.

    It's clear that girls don't like gentleman...they may, but they are not initially interested in a guy who is of that caliber. Girls only realize this, once they get screwd over by some self centered jerk who only cares about himself...his image and ego.

    I want to believe that it's still alive, but the way a lot of girls act today...I don't think a lot of them deserve respect, because many of them don't respect themselves...

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  • because people in society are selfish, they put themselves first a lot of times and don't sacrifice their things for the benefit of the ones they love. I don't think I'm soft when I do those kinds of things for girls, which I do, do all the time. but the times have changed dude and guys aren't like that anymore...most guys anyway. I think women should expect these things from men I think it would make people do a lot more for other people rather than themselves, for women and men alike. but I never really ran bath water for anyone before...just my nephew but he's 1

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  • i cannot speak for all men, but for me, I CHOOSE "not to be a gentleman"

    try being given the cold sholder of rejection for 3 decades, when women act like a bitch when I am around, you think I am gonna do sh*t for them?

    only women I ever hold the door open for now, are the ladies in my family, mon, sis, aunts...not my cousin, she treats me like sh*t.

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  • That's easy. Because society evolved and women are now seen as what they are, grown adults with adult responsibilities and capabilities in stead of helpless children in need of men's care. To do these things for women simply because they are women, is insulting to women and degrades them. I show respect for women by treating them as equals and respecting their capacity to act as responsible adults.

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    • Thank you! You're absolutely right. I'm glad there are some people on here with any sense at all.

  • It's not respectful, in fact it's sexist to give women such special treatment. Real women do not like to be treated like delicate little flowers and have their man do everything for them. Real women don't want to be treated like 'ladies', they want to be treated like people. I show women more respect by treating them as I would a man than you do by perpetuating these sexist stereotypes. I'm glad chivalry is dead. Any woman who actually enjoys this treatment is either really weak minded, delusional or both.

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  • Come live in the midwest...or better yet small more rural towns. These courtesys are still somewhat commonplace. The only problem is most women don't expect it from their man nor do they really give them the opportunity to even extend those small common courtesies. You do still see it on formal outings and such, but on just a regular date with somebody you are pretty comfortable with -- forget it for the most part.

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    • Yeah like in order to undo your seatbeltopen your door and run around the car and open hers without breaking your knee caps on the steering wheel.. all before she opens hers, you pretty much have to be Usain Bolt.

  • Treating women like children is morally wrong. Women will call you on it sooner or later.

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  • girls want it both ways

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  • My pwewrsonal belief is to extend such curtosies as opening doors to anyone regardless of gender or age, however especially to females, small children, and elders. However, in many cases actions such as opening doors for women and standing when a women enters a room are so uncommon they are often misinterpruted gestures or as I've witnessed with numerous women and men of my generation (weird) I've gotten looks simply for trying to be studious to others.

    I think cultural changes have altered perceptions of what should be done for others, in a more individually driven society and with a rise of "gender equality" the perception has become "if they're equal then they can open a door for themselves," because in many cases men feel as though gender equality takes away from our roles as men and pushes us to be more begrudging toward women who seek self-reliance, which again comes up when a women feels as though you're not appreciating her as a "feminist" when you grab a door for them. To sum it up with social and cultural changes and varying perspectives I think that in general things are distorted from what they use to be and society has yet to adapt to changes such as dual-income earning families.

    Chivalry is difficult when you're getting odd looks and your motives are being questioned simply, because you want to be a curtious gentleman.

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  • Man is a knot into which relationships are tied.

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  • I don't really care whether or not girls like it, it's polite. If I see a women walking out a door, I open it or hold it for her. If my girlfriend is sitting down, I will offer to push in her chair, etc... If girls give me the whole "wtf are you doing?" routine, I'll tell you to stop being rude.

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