Is Chivalry Dead?
By Gardner Davis, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Friday, May 11, 2012
Chivalry is a weird term. It conjures up images of knights who joust, quest and slay dragons to win over the girl of their dreams. Dartmouth, or any school, can’t really compete. Simply put, there isn’t much room for chivalry or a formal courtship process when you meet first with eyes, then with mouths, in a dark basement. Many see chivalry as firing off a morning-after blitz and later avoiding eye contact in the library.
Even in high school, it wasn’t uncommon to find more traditional acts of chivalry. I saw many aspiring sweet bros come up with grossly cutesy ways of asking girls to prom. Now, I know people that won’t send a formal invitation via blitz until they’re sure that they won’t see the person for at least six hour afterwards. While there are guys who love the idea of winning a girl over by taking her on dates, buying her shiny trinkets and sending her flowery texts in the mid-afternoon, these tactics have trouble existing within a hook-up culture.
Chivalry isn’t dead. Dartmouth just has its own code of “chivalry” different from that of medieval times, the real world or anything that anyone with much common sense would remotely interpret as chivalry.
Just like the other King Arthur decreed all acceptable acts of gallantry toward women around the round table, I now present the Dartmouth code of chivalry in its current, and hopefully not permanent, incarnation.
While this is by no means a comprehensive list, it captures the essence of what chivalry has unfortunately descended into at Dartmouth.
The Dartmouth Man’s Unfortunate Handbook of Chivalry
Even when it’s her serve, always pick up the pong ball if it is a) more than six feet away from her, b) under the table or c) in a puddle.
If one girl cuts you in line to be with her friend, you must be silent and accept it. If multiple girls try, you may tell them to go to the back of the line.
Never give her higher than fourth on table.
If you decide to take her on a date, DDS is acceptable. If she demands to be taken on a “real date,” go with DDS and pong.
You must at the very least act excited to dress up according to the theme when asked to a semi.
If you think a girl looks nice, you should tell your friends when you’re sure she can’t hear you.
Remember her name.
Give the door an extra push so that she can quickly slide through before it shuts.
You must listen and nod quietly when a girl discusses rush or other things that you deem “girl issues.” If the conversation continues for more than four minutes, you may suddenly check your phone and back away.
If you’re leaving a party with a girl and she looks cold, you must offer to steal a jacket off a nearby couch for her.
Of course, it’s tough to come up with a list of 10 rules that encompass the entire Dartmouth “dating” scene, as nowadays, it takes many different forms. Hopefully, like all rules, these ones will continue to evolve, or maybe devolve. After all, it doesn’t take that much more effort to hold open a door, except the front door of Baker Library. Then, you’re on your own.