Has chivalry been lost to ‘chavalry’?

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I found myself saddened, though not in the least bit surprised, to read an article in today’s Daily Mail that the age of chivalry is dead.

At 30, I am hardly from a bygone era, yet my opinions on the subject seem to be matched by few and far between, and frankly, I fear as a nation we are the worse for it.

You only have to turn on the television or walk down the street to see a multitude of examples of men, particularly young men, who give little thought to what is basically just good manners.

As a child, I was taught to treat the women in my life with respect. There was no debate about that, and as an adult, I believe that still stands. I think I benefitted greatly from a grandfather who put his family (9 girls and counting) first. And if a precedent is set at home, it naturally flows into other areas.

In work, the benefits of good manners and a little bit of chivalry should be obvious. PR consultants – both male and female of course – can benefit greatly from exercising a slightly more ‘chivalrous’ attitude, not only with clients, but with journalists too.

It’s not only polite, but just plain sensible to check if ‘now’s a good time to sell-in a story?’ and whether this is in fact ‘a topic (they) would be interested in?’.

What never ceases to amaze me is the reaction you get from people when you make an effort to hold open a door, help with heavy bags or take the time to ask if now’s a good time to pitch an idea. People either seemed shocked, bemused or embarrassed – and isn’t that sad?