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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Jennifer's Gems > Real Men and Chivalry

by Jennifer Brown Banks

Will the Real Men Please Stand Up?

Though I’m relatively young in age, I tend to be an “old soul”. I’ve pretty much always been that way, even as a teen. I like old movies, 60s music, fashions from way back when, and clearly simpler times.

In fact, there are many things from previous decades that I hope will definitely return: respect for the elderly, village values, the Partridge Family, VHS movies, Jherri Curls, and most importantly, chivalry. I believe that many women miss it, despite all the gains that we have realized through the Women’s Movement.


I was thinking about this the other day, when boarding a bus, and a guy nearly knocked me down to get to the next available seat! 
Have we really gotten that far from where we should be?  Although I don’t think women should be regarded as 2nd-class citizens, I do think we should be held in special regard.


Because it’s in the Bible. 
Because we bear life.
Because we are the backbones of our family. 
Because we are help-mates. 
Because we face discrimination. 
And well… because we have to endure raging hormones and P.M.S.!

To put it in the words of James Brown, “This is a man’s world, but it ain’t nothin’ without a woman or a girl.

But… in all fairness to the fellas, we as women have to bear some of the blame for the changing attitudes and decline in gentlemanly behavior. Why? Some of us females take big stands on small issues, confuse being combative with being strong, make power moves in our relationships, and spout unladylike language.  This type of behavior typically doesn’t inspire smooth moves on men’s part, or foster respect.

Wouldn’t you agree?  Here are seven savvy ways to cultivate a climate of chivalry.

1) ACT LIKE A LADY----What you say says a lot about you!  
Stop using the “B’ WORD!  It erodes the respect factor for all of us. Additionally, never “clown” in public, or be combative when it’s uncalled for.  It’s much smarter to be clever!  As they say, “you can attract more bees with honey than vinegar.”

If you don’t, you’ll never know how it feels to be truly “courted”.  And take it from me…it’s a glorious thing! 

This generation has definitely lost something in the way of interpersonal relationships.  I’m not sure if it’s attributed to the hip-hop culture, declining values, or some of the poor role modeling they’ve received.  But the madness needs to stop.  Mothers, don’t lie to girls for your son’s sake, or support them in their wrongdoing.  And teach your daughters discernment, modesty, integrity, and self-respect.  Fathers---lead by example.

Men typically don’t value women who don’t value themselves.  And don’t be so quick to be intimate—have him to earn your trust, your heart, and your affections.

Have high principles and stand by them.  Don’t go along just to get along!  When a man does something that’s offensive to you, or simply in poor taste, say so.

When you complain and confide about being dogged out by former suitors to guys you are dating, it makes you look as bad as they do!  Give the impression that you are always treated like royalty.

Never express disappointment when a guy buys you something that is not of your liking.  Acknowledge it with grace and gratitude. Unless it’s an inappropriate gift for the length or nature of the relationship.

Keep these measures in mind, and you’re sure to receive the “Red Carpet Treatment” in no time.  Scout’s honor.


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Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.

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