The Blame Game: Who Murdered Chivalry?

I’m not sorry for agreeing with Dave Chappelle, since, well, he’s sort of a genius.

“Chivalry is dead…and women killed it.”

Yes yes, you killed it. Murdered it. Took its life only to have regrets later as you sat around in shackles with your initials carved in them.

It is 93.7% your fault. I can’t give you complete blame since it leaves me no wiggle room to talk myself out of it later. But honestly, the percentage is that high or higher and this is why.

The expectations regarding the behaviors of men are set by the woman. It is you and you alone that determine the actions of men and how we treat you. And due to this fact, when something changes in the dynamic between the two sexes, it is largely due to the actions of women.

Us men, we’re reactionary creatures. When something happens, we retaliate the way we see fit. When we come across a woman who demands respect, we either mouth off like childish, immature brats when she turns away our advances (I loathe that dude) or we approach her with the respect she presents herself to expect. When we come across women who present themselves in a manner that invites a lack of caring on our parts, well, we stop caring.

And therein lies the problem. Too many women have resorted to presenting themselves in manners that don’t elicit respect, so in turn, the natural reflexes of many men is to be disrespectful. Since so many women have surrendered their God-given rights to respect, the few that have not made that deal suffer the consequences of their fellow women’s actions.

I’m not saying this is right. It isn’t. But it is true. There was once a time when chivalrous behavior was not only expected but demanded of men. The opening of a door, the jacket over water, the paying of a check, the handy work around the house, was all part of being a man. As a man, this was expected of you from both women and your peers. If you were not doing this, you were the odd man out.

Sadly nowadays, you’re just part of the crowd.

A crowd filled with rap lyrics and films that disparage the image of how we once viewed women, distorting the beauty and perfection of God’s finest feat.

But in the background of these songs and movies are women engaging in the perpetuation of these thoughts. Further destroying the glimmer of hope women have of regaining their standing as the mothers of children, the givers of life, of beauty personified.

Us men are known for doing the bare minimum, just enough to get exactly what we want. In the words of Mr. Chappelle, ‘if men could have sex in a cardboard box, he wouldn’t buy a house.’ But because women love comfortable surroundings, you have brothas coughing up the cash to have presentable living arrangements for when that lady friend comes by.

The expectation is there. He expects her to look in his bathroom, to his kitchen, in his shower, to see how this man lives and how much he cares to impress her. She watches to see if he takes her coat and puts it up. She watches to see if he pulls out her chair before dinner begins. She watches to see if he pours her glass for her.

And he obliges, but simply out of expectation. Out of recognizing that she’s earned that respect, demands that respect and expects that respect.

But too often, that expectation isn’t there. She looks at him with an awkward expression, downgrading his gentleman qualities into flaws he never wished to attain. Maiming his manhood with a power only a woman can bestow.

Only she’s ruining it for the next woman to come along. The woman who enters the home expecting her coat to be taken only to be met with a hesitation on his part, a hesitation built from past failures at attempting to be the kind of man he thought women of today would want.

This man is confused. This man no longer operates in a reactionary society that breeds respect for women. The expectation is no longer there.

And its death was ruled a suicide.

By: Ronald Clark

(Not original Edge Photography used for post)


  1. im not sure i agree with this article here i would say that the the percentage is 50/50… i mean come on it apperars that men are just followers and that it is the woman that has led him astray…BIG COME ON when men have been leading since the test of time (and not all had a strong woman behind him). I believe a mans reaction to a woman or better yet treatment of a woman is a test of his true character and if ignorance is his first reaction than ignorant is who he is. I mean if a woman wants to be a HOE let her but treat her as u would want to be treated doesnt mean you have to wife her and if a guy was to be a DOG give that dog a bone lol j/k ;)

    Posted by Anonymous on 09 February 11 at 9:52am
  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Edge Magazine, LLC, rprestonclark, elaina simon, Ashley B Nguyen, Edge Magazine, LLC and others. Edge Magazine, LLC said: And @rprestonclark keeps it real as he forces women to own up to their part in the death of chivalry [...]

  3. Well written. However, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. I agree with the first comment. If women don’t demand chivalry, it is still the mans responsibility to show her what a gentleman is. We have to be strong enough as men to LEAD. Part of what that means is to rise above whatever the circumstance is. At the end of the day, if you are a man of gentlemanly stature than you should not be with a woman who doesn’t treat herself as if she deserves that sort of treatment, she obviously isn’t on the same level.

    Posted by Jeremy on 09 February 11 at 11:21am
  4. I disagree, but not wholly. I don’t think chivalry is dead at all, but I do think that women are fully responsible for its decline in prevalence.

    Posted by Autumn on 09 February 11 at 12:58pm
  5. Ron,

    You know I LOOOOOVE your brain right? Good. I will say that I agree with you 99.9% LOL

    I absolutely feel that a sickeningly large amount of women do not demand the respect from men by mere presentation alone. I mean, shorty, why SHOULD he show you any EXTRA respect outside of common courtesy? Do you think that your behavior, conversation or presentation demand that ANYONE let alone a GOOD man calls for the utmost respect, especially the respect a GOOD man would give to a GOOD woman?

    The remaining 00.1%, I call for the men to step up. You may have been burned (in a non STD type of way) by someone in the past, but maybe she was. If you start with respect chances are you’ll receive it. But if ‘homegirls’ repsonse is disrespectful, remain respectful and BOUNCE. Let her know why and she if she changes her tune, this is of course if you even care to see where it’ll lead thereafter. All I will say is the initiating party should be prepared to be the bigger person if a situation doesn’t go as planned. Largely, it depends on the person(s) involved. But isn’t it funny how close the words RESPECT AND RECIPROCATE are? Hmmm

    Posted by Angelica bka Jelli on 09 February 11 at 1:01pm
  6. I’m gonna have to disagree here. The fallacy of speaking of men and women in monoliths aside, where do you think the particular set of women who don’t appreciate chivalry comes from? They’re not born this way. You say men are reactionary, but all humans are learned creatures. So if she never learned from her Daddy that a car door should be opened, because he wasn’t there, whose fault is that? And if she learned from popular culture that her entire value would be placed in a man’s degraded perception of her, whose fault is that? I’m not attempting to shift the blame back to men, because I feel the blame game is a futile exercise. People need to be personally accountable for their own actions and expectations. I don’t give two cents that the last women you dated allowed you to let doors slam in her face. She has nothing to do with my life. I am a lady and will be treated as such. As long as chivalry as practiced it is not “dead.” I will marry a man who practices it, and we will teach it to our children.

    Posted by Andi on 09 February 11 at 2:42pm
  7. Great story bro! Chivalry ain’t dead around these parts, but you definitely have to read a woman correctly to find out if she expects and/or deserves it. Kudos.

    Posted by Donovan McSlab on 09 February 11 at 2:52pm
  8. greetings, outstanding post, and an amazing understand! definitely one for my favorites.

    Posted by Filiz on 10 February 11 at 11:50am
  9. Is it a failure of parents, society or both that a child is not taught to take risks or have respect for themselves? To many single parent households where girls are taught to act a certain way begging for there wayward fathers attention and boys are taught women are replaceable. “McDonald’s dads” and stressed out moms, it does not bode well for a society raised on TV and the solitude of text and E-mail. We as humans mostly learn by example. We as individuals can teach the next generation about self respect and chivalry. It takes but one powerful loud voice to drown out the scared sheep. After all, is it not just fear that put society where it is? fear of abandonment, fear of rejection, fear of not measuring up? Fear is not just the death of chivalry or self respect, it is the death of life. Life is a five star restaurant it is a choice we make to live it like a school lunch.

    Posted by Anita on 10 February 11 at 12:13pm
  10. Is it really the woman’s fault, Ron? I get what you are saying, but women can say the same thing. When does it come down to accepting responsibility for our own actions? We choose who we are everyday. It is a weakness of character to let another human being decide who you are. No matter how much you think you like someone Stand up for who you are at your core. At the end of the day you have to be happy with who you see in the mirror. If that boy had said “this is who I am”. and stood up for what he believes, the woman would have had more respect for him. If she did not, she really isn’t the one for him. His failure was not in offering, but in not realizing that it was not all women, but this one that did not fit him.

    Posted by Lynn on 10 February 11 at 12:33pm
  11. Andi, Love and agree 100% with what you had to say.

    Posted by Lynn on 10 February 11 at 12:36pm
  12. I love and appreciate all of your comments. I knew that this post would be the most disagreed upon of the ones I’ve written. But I don’t write for agreement, I write for discussion so that is a good thing.

    One thing I will say is that what I see from women doesn’t prevent me from being chivalrous because that’s how I was raised to be. But it can make me hesitant. Even on my college campus, with a lot of beautiful, intelligent women, there were chivalrous moments that were given the side-eye. As a male, it’ s just nice to know that you’re appreciated. Not doing it just for appreciation, but to know. Sort of like how telling your mom every once in a while that you appreciate everything she does. She’s going to do it anyway because she’s your mom but her hearing it from her child makes it that much more worthwhile.

    No one can act like the ‘he’s too nice’ or ‘too soft’ phenomenon isn’t real and wasn’t created by females. So of course, many inherently good guys, who watch assholes continuously get girls have to wonder what’s the difference. The difference is the approach. A man wants a woman so he adjusts, hence, the hesitation for chilvarous behavior. You want to, just don’t know how it is going to be received.

    It happens.

    Thank you all again for reading and I hope that conversations like this can breed some change. I got sisters, so I’m rooting for a return to the good ol’ days.

    Be blessed….

    Posted by Ronald on 11 February 11 at 11:41am
  13. Just know. A child reacts.
    And adult responds.
    And until males grow up, you will always be reactionary, because you need maturity to do otherwise.

    Posted by Lynn on 22 November 13 at 3:18pm
  14. “Is it really the woman’s fault, Ron? I get what you are saying, but women can say the same thing. When does it come down to accepting responsibility for our own actions? ”

    Children are rarely held accountable for their actions and society made it so that males didn’t have to be accountable, they just blamed women for their ill choices.

    THE FIRST MAN EVER blamed eve when god confronted him about the apple. “she made me eat it.” No she offer it to you. YOU CHOSE to eat it. If the FIRST MAN can even hold himself accountable, what makes you think modern day men will be any different.

    Posted by Lynn on 22 November 13 at 3:21pm

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