Christy Krumm raises a controversial question sure to infuriate men in a recent blog post: "Do women have the right to expect chivalry from men?"
Don't feel bad if you aren't quite sure what chivary means. Chivalry is a quaint word dating back to the days of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, referring to gentlemanly behavior towards women. We think of Sir Walter Raleigh gallantly spreading his cape down on a street so Queen Elizabeth of England could walk across a puddle without getting her feet caked in mud. Over the centuries it manifested itself in such common courtesy as opening the door and letting a woman enter before you, pulling the chair out so the man's date could sit down, or helping a woman take off her coat.
It's hard to believe now, but in the early 1960s John and Jackie Kennedy era, chivalry was a huge part of our culture, along with men wearing suits and hats to baseball games and women wearing gloves, hats and mink stoles. Then the whirlwind of women's liberation swept over the land the next three decades. This resulted in American society expecting that women should be treated as equals to men in rights, in opportunity, in education, in business and even in sports, highlighted when women's tennis legend Billie Jean King defeated former mens tennis champ Bobby Riggs in the much ballyhooed "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match in 1973. With Title IX firmly in place, today's women have equal representation in high school and college sports and college admission is 56 percent female and 46 percent male. Professional schools reflect this parity in most fields. Americans expect a female president in the near future after Hillary Clinton's near-miss in 2008 and the glass ceiling is shattering.