Monday, October 10, 2011

It's Self-Dependence Not Stubbornness

Recently I've been accused of being stubborn. Not that I will disagree with this statement because, in all honesty, when it comes to certain things I will openly admit that I am stubborn. Lately, however, it has been the manner of reference in which the term was applied that I tend to disagree.
My first example is in regard to letting someone do something for me. My best example was during Club Week. Our Brother Club was informed to practice their chivalry with activities like taking dishes to the wash and opening doors. Two things I have been doing on my own everyday for as long as I can remember.
Now I don't see any women objecting to this. But then why would they? It is nice to have someone open your doors and clean things up. It’s a nice change especially when it isn’t planned.
However, it would appear that some of my male friends would object to me taking my dishes and other things to the wash in the cafeteria. I understand that it is part of “the code” but to chastise me for taking my dishes is a bit (please insert your own word here). If they offer willingly, I have no objection but when I get up and take them back myself I'm considered stubborn for not waiting for someone to come around and retrieve them for me.
Sure, the squires of their clubs are required to do this for initiation week, but to call me stubborn because I wouldn't "let them" take my dishes is unfair. Did I say I wouldn't let them? No. Besides, I've just been doing things for myself for so long that remembering to wait for someone to offer is hard. And you know what they say, old habits die hard.
To be completely fair and honest, I’m not opposed to this idea. And it would be unfair to say chivalry is dead because it is not. In fact, I’ve had some recent experiences where all the events were completely acceptable.
My example of the chivalry they were trying to get across would be when I was standing out in the rain, holding the door open so they could load our choir equipment onto the bus. I’d already been standing there for some time and thankfully a good friend of mine loaned me her umbrella so I wasn’t completely soaked.
The bus driver, bless his soul, offered to hold open the door and requested that I go in and get dry. Graciously, I accepted. Later that night I was standing outside the bus procrastinating. It’s not uncommon as claustrophobic people tend to prolong being tucked into tight spaces with no immediate exits. I’m standing out there when the same bus driver asks if I would like his umbrella. I know I won't be out there much longer since everyone is almost on the bus, so I decline but he goes and retrieves it any way. Thank you, sir. I deeply appreciate it.
Now back to the matter of my so called stubbornness. Is this stubbornness? I suppose it is if they didn't know my back story.
But I disagree with this comment. I've been doing things on my own and for myself for so long that it's hard to let someone in. Especially if they're just trying to be helpful. Admittedly here in lies the stubbornness.
So this is me admitting publically that chivalry is not dead but this is me pointing out that chivalry is not chivalry if it's thrust upon someone. It's bondage.  And it's not stubbornness...It's self-dependence.


  1. Chivalry is not dead by any means, but if you take a women's gender study course, you'll learn that many feminists (and I do not use this in the negative sense of the word, necessarily) believe that chivalry from men only stands to maintain an oppressive structure of women--kind of in the similar fashion that laws maintain oppressive structures towards the LGBTQ community, and certain parts of the US still strongly maintain oppressive structures towards particular racial groups. However, that's another argument all the same. But I do agree. There is a difference between being helpful and being an ass.

  2. I am glad that chivalry is not dead, I really am. Somehow, for a reason I can't understand at the moment--I actually agree with you. Chivalry is really only truly chivalric if it is not forced. I understand the method behind it--teaching the squires to be gentlemen, but they don't do it outside of club week because they don't have to, so the point is lost. If they are only going to crack down on it during club week, and not even bother at other times, what is the point? the point is to teach them to be gentlemen, so its obviously not working. If they are going to get on you for stubbornly not letting them take your plates back, they should continue the chivalry beyond that week. Otherwise, they shouldn't be so stubborn about it. Just saying.