Feminism and Chivalry: Can They Actually Coexist in Dating?

Feminism and chivalry seem like opposites, and it feels like they are at war in today’s dating arena. “Chivalry is dead!”  – how many of us have heard women complaining that men are not taking the lead when it comes to dating and are becoming more and more passive?

At the same time, how many women actually refuse to have doors opened for them or bills paid during dates in the name of equality and feminism? It does feel like women are contradicting themselves as they don’t allow men to treat them with respect and care, but complain when men step back and let women take the lead.

So, can you be a feminist and still accept chivalry and men to treat you well during dates?

As someone who has been in the dating scene even before my 30s, and stretching through my early and soon mid-30s, I am here to share my thoughts (actually speaking my thoughts as I am so excited to have found the speech-to-text dictation Google Chrome extension that saves me 66% percent of my time typing – oh, and it is FREE, takes 5 seconds to install and only up to 10 MB of your computer memory! How cool!) on how I work through my emotions and what has worked for me in facing this situation, so that you can navigate through this phase gracefully and teach your mind to discern make better decisions in dating.

30th Birthday at KK

I’m Jasveena and I have been blogging since 2013, documenting my experience as well as helpful professional resources and tips I found online in seeking meaningful relationships and connections, and I am here to share them with you so that you are not alone in cruising through this journey called life that may seem like a lonely path.

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A modern woman enveloped by a blanket with a man hugging her from behind in a cozy room, overlooking the window, both with a cup of drink each, making us wonder if feminism and chivalry can exist together

Why Do Women Complain That Chivalry Is Dead

A lot of women complain that chivalry is dead in dating because men are not treating women well during dates – let’s look at the argument about who should pay for first dates –  men complain that women always have high expectations for first dates and the first dates should be something extravaganza.

Women feel that men should pursue women and show that in their actions. If a man is being calculated during the first date, he is seen as a poor provider for the woman. If a man does not travel to meet the woman for their first date, he is seen as someone who is not serious about pursuing women.

Men should be serious and invested in pursuing women and any man who is just doing the bare minimum is seen as someone who is not serious women nowadays are taught to ignore men who are not pursuing women wholeheartedly.

Men who do not text the women that they are dating are often compared to men who wrote love letters during wars –  if a man cannot text you back within a reasonable amount of time, he is labeled as someone not being courteous enough.

Women complain that chivalry is dead (signs of unmet expectations in dating) because it is a fact that women actually expect men to treat them well and show that they are a priority in their lives.

Modern Dating Needs

Let’s take a look at the dating scene somewhere 20 years ago where most women were homemakers and men were generally the breadwinners of the family. Men bring flowers to the women that they are interested in and they pay for bills without even asking the women to foot half of the bill.

However, as feminism and equality came into the picture after more and more women started entering the workforce and earning equally as men, the dating scene also changed in a similar manner where men have questioned the role of women in dating.

Women also have taken a strong stance when it comes to their lives and the role that they play in reinforcing feminism in every aspect of life. They no longer want to be seen as the weaker sex and therefore refuse to have the doors opened for them, or the bills paid during dates. A lot of women find it offensive when a man opens the door for them.

The defensiveness in some women who come across as hardcore feminists sends a strong message to men that women do not need to be taken care of. Therefore, men have taken the back seat and are more laid back when it comes to making an effort in dating.

Women no longer hesitate to travel halfway to meet men. All they need is someone willing to put in the effort to make the relationship work and they are more than happy to shoulder equal responsibilities, even in dating.

Feminism, Equality and Chivalry – Where The Issues Lie?

Feminism is the belief in social, economic, and political equality of the sexes. Feminism, as a movement, emerged in response to the systemic and long-standing inequalities, injustices, and prejudices faced by women in various spheres of life, because men have been at the forefront of power and the workforce, dominating the lives of women indirectly. 

Equality is a situation in which men and women, people of different races, religions, etc. are all treated fairly and have the same opportunities. Although it looks similar to the feminist movement, the concept of equality has roots in the basic human desire for fairness and justice. 

Across history and cultures, the pursuit of equality has been driven by various factors. One of the clear outcomes of equality lies in fighting for the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Chivalry is polite, kind, and unselfish behavior, especially by men towards women. In the context of dating, men usually take the lead by asking women out for dates, proposing the women and asking their hands for marriage. 

In general, expected to pursue women, and this act is known as chivalry –  depicting the level of respect and commitment that men have toward the women they date.

So, if more women are feminists in today’s world, why would men still be expected to open doors for women or even pay for dates? Women can propose to men and take the lead in dating as this would only be in line with the philosophy of feminism.

Although Bumble, the dating app, has a feature that requires women to initiate conversations first, it is men who are asking women out on dates, buying them flowers, and even paying for dates. A lot of women just initiate the conversation on Bumble for the sake of it and still expect men to follow through!

This is generally because women have the insecurity in them when they make the first move. They think that men pursuing them are more desirable in the eyes of men. On the other hand, this could also be because women pursuing men are seen as desperate and of low moral values. 

Women also fear being strung along by men for discreet dates who are not interested in pursuing a genuine relationship with them when they propose to men first.

Gender Roles In Dating

  1. The Feminine and Masculine Energy

Although women are more independent in today’s world, the feminine and masculine energy work differently and therefore women and men are built differently. The feminine energy is more receptive, and creative. It flows without restriction. The masculine energy, on the other hand, leans toward logical thinking and makes men more driven.

Men are the provider and women are the receiver, in general. The same is applied when it comes to dating and we should acknowledge the importance of courtship, where men are generally expected to take the lead and women would be led by the men.

  1. Women’s Need To Be Pursued

Women actually need to be pursued and this is deeply ingrained in the mind, body and soul. A woman who is fully taken care of by men often feels fulfilled as a woman. She feels safe with a man who makes her a priority.

This is especially seen among women who make the first move and many months or even years down the road would regret or even question their worth as women because the men did not make the first move.

  1. Men’s Need To Feel Like A Hero

Men have always been the provider and the protector in the community, and this trait has remained for as long as mankind has existed. Men go to war and conquer people and their lands. Men are also driven in the workforce and tie their sense of self with achievements. 

Therefore, their ability to provide for the women they love and their family is of Paramount importance to them in order to feel complete as men. In short, every man is a superhero in his head and would love the woman in his life to also feel the same.

Feminism and Chivalry in Dating: Can They Go Hand-In-Hand?

Should women pursue men? Yes! Women can open doors for men and even pay for dates, without a doubt!

However, if women expect men to treat them well, they should stop being the reason why they say that chivalry is dead.

Women can pay for bills but also accept for dates to be paid when offered by men. Women can open the doors by themselves but also accept the doors to be opened by men during dates without starting a gender war.

Let men pay for the first date. Pick a place that does not burn men’s wallet. Let them open the door for you and bring you flowers.

You can pay for dates next time if you want to and buy men gifts, but let the men take the lead, if you want the take the lead deep down in your heart!

If you want men to take the lead, you should accept the fact that there are gender roles involved in relationships and that you cannot have the need to win all the time as a feminist.

My Experience

It’s always nice to have men pay for dates and open the doors for me during the first date as it only shows that the men are interested and invested in me. I pick inexpensive places and let the men pay for the date, as I know that it should not be a burden for them, and it also makes me feel good to have the date paid by men.

You cannot always want to be a feminist in a relationship if you truly acknowledge the fact that men and women, the feminine and masculine energy different and we are built differently. It’s always good to put our guard down and be taken care of instead of always being in a state of heightened alarm to fend for ourselves.

Nurturing and embracing sexuality and feminine energy would only attract masculine energy as men and women complement each other. Men are thought to be a letdown by women (with crimes like rape and domestic abuse impacting women), and if only men can be true protectors and treat women with kindness, more women could embrace their femininity without a doubt without needing to first love themselves.

Tell me what you think about this post! Contact me via social media and share this post around if you find this helpful!

FAQs

What is the main theory of chivalry?

It is an honorable and polite way of behaving, especially by men toward women. This is because men are seen as protectors as they are physically stronger than women

What does it mean to chivalry a girl?

Men who behave with courteousness toward women, like holding the door for them, offering them their jackets when it’s cold.  this makes the women feel safe and protected by men and feel confident enough to trust the man when he proposes to her for marriage.

Can a woman be chivalrous?

Women and non-gender conforming individuals can be chivalrous too. This is generally seen as an act of kindness. However, in the romantic context, it is men who act in a courteous way that is identified as an act of chivalry.

What is chivalry in gender roles?

Men often display small acts of chivalry: keeping the door open followed by a “ladies first”, carrying a woman’s bags, and giving up their seat to a woman. Women, in the romantic context, carry lives and take care of the households. Therefore, acts of chivalry reinforce men’s ability as providers.

2 thoughts on “Feminism and Chivalry: Can They Actually Coexist in Dating?”

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