Why Do Men Open Doors for Women?
Chivalry, in its original context, referred to the rules of conduct that guided medieval knights. Since they were regarded as a superior class of soldiers, most knights belonged to royalty; they practiced a certain code of honor and courtesy amongst themselves as well as other people. Among the most notable of their practices was showing respect and courtesy to women; they opened doors for them.
This should explain where opening doors for women started but what about ordinary men practicing it? Certainly not everyone then was privy to the code of chivalry. And definitely not everyone belonged to royalty and had the chance to be schooled at proper manners.
There have been many theories offered where this gentlemanly act originated. Some make sense and others were really absurd like men did it to avoid assassination attempts so they let women through first.
The best and most logical explanation points to the medieval woman’s wardrobe. Back then, women’s dresses were long and heavy they often had to drag them wherever they went. And every time they had to enter a door they had to be assisted and during that time men were always around to act as escorts to them so the job of opening doors became theirs to fulfill.
This practice became common and since it was done in the heydays of knights it became associated with chivalry and became a trademark of gentlemen. And even as women’s clothing became shorter and lighter the custom continued but this time as a form of flattery and flirtation.
Opening doors for women has become a rare habit among men today which is saying a lot about how women’s status in the society has changed. They are trying to break the stereotype that has dogged them a long time; that they are the weaker sex. But this should not stop men from practicing a good habit.
September 7, 2012 12:16 pm
“ome make sense and others were really absurd like men did it to avoid assassination attempts so they let women through first.”
It was indeed to prevent assassinations.
Knights didn’t give a damn about women, they didn’t need to, as their king was choosing a wife for them for them to access land and the title of lord.
Also, they are in no way part of royalty, and were very far from being part of it.
November 22, 2014 6:30 pm
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