I am always amused by this, chivalry actually stems from the French word chivalia or horseman. As it turns out, chivalry was originally horsemanship, but as these first knights were rather beastly company, they were forced to undergo further training in "courtesy" or more pointedly, Manners befitting the Court. This is where we get the now recognized idea of chivalry (ref: Chivalry, Maurice Keen, a yale book). Chivalry isn't dead. It still resided in the hearts of those who will not accept less dignity than the meager offerings of true courtesy, of which Emily Post now becomes our lead champion.
I hope chivalry isn't dead, and certainly not at our house.
I like to open the car door for my wife and then, after she gets settled in her seat, I will arrange her seat belt for her, often stealing a kiss while snapping the buckle in place. While we both know she is a grown up lady and perfectly capable of doing this for herself, she doesn't walk around with a chip on her shoulder looking for situations to take offense to. Instead, we both view this as a gesture of kindness and affection, while showing that I care for her safekeeping.
Around 1972 I was talking to a Coast Guard Academy cadet who related the story that occurred while he attended a seminar at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
He held a door for a woman, who turned on him with full invective and said, apparently with a LOT of anger, "If you do that again, I'll KILL you!"
Remember - this was 1972!
In spite of that and what's going on today, as a Senior DeMolay I vow that chivalry is not dead but it is getting a lot of flak. I'll be chivalrous - not condescending, just courteous - as long as there is breath in my 61-year old still rockin' body.
After opening the car door for my wife recently, I could see one of the kind debutantes where we bank say," See, his OCD is so bad he can't even let his wife open a door for herself."
I was raised to be a gentleman.
Damn the torpedoes full speed ahead.
If the woman does not appreciate it, she may not be worth my time and energy.