Scott Farrell comments:
What you tell your children is often not nearly as important as the example you set for them. When children see parents and family members treating each other — and the people in the communities around them — with respect, deference and courtesy, they get the message that those are the qualities that build life-long bonds of trust, admiration and affection. As insightful parent and blogger Heather Blair reminds us, teaching kids to both perform and appreciate acts of respect and courtesy is an important first step toward instilling a sense of chivalry in tomorrow’s leaders, teachers and role models.
“Jessica. For God’s sake,” he said. “Allow me to do at least one common courtesy for you. In spite of what ‘women’s lib’ teaches you, chivalry does not imply that women are powerless. On the contrary, chivalry is an admission of women’s superiority. An acknowledgment of your power over us.”
— Beth Fantaskey, Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
When I came to the above quote, I had to read it a couple of times because it is what every girl (and woman) should realize. Plus, it was being said by a vampire prince named Lucius. Yum. Good summer read. I recommend.
I had a friend once who told me that she hated it when men opened doors for her. She was under the impression that they must think she wasn’t capable of doing it on her own. She found it degrading.
Cue my jaw dropping to the floor.
I’ve never seen chivalry as an indication that a man thought me incapable. I’ve always seen it as a gesture of respect and quite honestly, I find it sexy as hell.
As a mother to four daughters, I am teaching them (yes, even the 4-year-olds) that they deserve to have doors held open for them. Not in a snooty I must have it sort of way, but in an I am worthy of it sort of way.
And mothers of sons, I implore you. Please teach them to be gentlemen. Please know that I am here, teaching my girls to appreciate it. I am teaching my girls to acknowledge your son’s respect and truly appreciate the gesture. I swell with pride when my four little girls, following me like ducks through a door held open by a gentleman, echo in their tiny little voices, “thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.”
I love that my husband still opens the car door for me. I love that he guides me into a room with his hand on the small of my back. I love that he lets me sit down first and that he doesn’t let the waitress take his plate until I’m all done. I love that he lets me order first and always holds the door open for me.
I always thank him and I never see it as degrading.
I know I sound preachy, but I really think that this is where we’ve all kind of crumbled. Do not let your girls wear the word ‘juicy’ on their butts and teach them that they are worth the effort. They are worth being treated like princesses. Teach them to be worthy of chivalry.
And then teach them to never berate a man in public. Please.
But that’s another soapbox for another day…
Read more of Heather Blair’s views and opinions on her blog, Mindless Junque.