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Chivalry is what

Chivalry is what

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 15:51 by Ananth in response to chivalry i guess

I always offer to carry things for Yuko, but if she wants to carry it on her own, I don't argue! I think a part of chivalry ought to be that you actually listen to a lady. But it's gotten me no end of advice on how to treat a lady from the guys on the block and in the neighborhood, and so I'm trapped between Yuko and street wisdom. Actually, I was surprised - some of the things these guys have said has been remarkably old-fashioned, which in its own way is a little charming. One day I'm going to sit down with one of these guys so I can get the the full chivalry manual.

It's again a busy week! I've been designing t-shirts for Applegeeks and doing a lot of research and prep for the Johnny Wander book (lots of organizing etc. to do), and Yuko's chugging away on thumbnails for the graphic novel we're working on with Oni Press. It goes! See you Thursday, guys!


The inside of the street?? I

Comment by Chelsea (not verified) Tue, 02/23/2010 - 18:08

The inside of the street?? I don't even... what? XD;

This comic is stupidly cute. Yuko, I especially love your "Don't you dare" glare in the last panel!

It's old

Comment by Jingseng (not verified) Thu, 02/25/2010 - 14:17

it's an old custom that's no longer meaningful - it comes from medieval times when the custom for people living above shops, etc. was to dump their garbage, etc, out the window.

Consequently, you were a lot more likely to get dumped on (and this seems to differ) if you walked on the outside of the street (some say inside, which just goes to show, when it comes to chivalry... well anyway).

So the Chivalrous man would opt to walk on the side more likely to be hit with offal and spare the lady.

Chivalry sometimes makes

Comment by Mouse (not verified) Tue, 02/23/2010 - 18:10

Chivalry sometimes makes angry, because even though I am a woman, I can in fact lift incredibly heavy things, and I can in fact open a door.

However, I would rather a man be overly-kind to me rather than beat and abuse me.

Girls like guys that

Comment by Taryn (not verified) Tue, 02/23/2010 - 18:42

Girls like guys that offer/try to be chivalrous, but we don't REQUIRE them to be this way all the time. Honestly, if she doesn't want you to, it's better that you listen to your lady than to force chivalry on her.

It's kinda sweet that the guys in your neighborhood are like that, though. It seems to be a rare thing sometimes.


Comment by Anonymous (not verified) Tue, 02/23/2010 - 18:47

I'm a girl, and I really think it's a question of thoughtfulness and manners. Yes, I can open my own doors but i think it's thoughtful if a guy puts in the extra effort to do it.

The bright side!

Comment by Matt (not verified) Tue, 02/23/2010 - 19:21

At least all the guys recognized Yuko as a girl! It would be really terrible if panel 3 was "Yo, why are you making that 12-year-old boy carry that bag?"

Well, if there's a good part

Comment by Samm Neiland (not verified) Tue, 02/23/2010 - 19:21

Well, if there's a good part in all of this... at least no one mistakes Yuko for a boy (as seen in previous tales).

Chapter 1

Comment by Andrew (not verified) Tue, 02/23/2010 - 19:29

Ch 1 of the chivalry manual: Rule 1: Listen to your Lady.
*in the voice of Captain Barbossa* The rest are more like guidelines anyway. :D

Sorry to hear about your roof leak. I hope its not too much of a problem and gets patched soon!

Chivalry is dead

Comment by Denis Laplante (not verified) Tue, 02/23/2010 - 19:40

None can complain at the lack of chivalry in society today, for it is the price to pay for feminism. The argument that all should be treated equally regardless of sex is now so ingrained in society that basic chivalry has been lost, or should be discarded for the sake of equality. I know I sound like an positively hateful person saying this, but then, so did Socrates when pointing out simple logic that people failed to grasp. I am not saying be rude to a girl for no reason, simply treat her as an equal, neutralizing advantage and disadvantage. ... yes I know im going to get flamed for this

I think it's funny that

Comment by Zaffles (not verified) Tue, 02/23/2010 - 20:12

I think it's funny that people mistake Yuko for a boy until it's time to think Ananth's a jerk.

Chivalrous cult!

Comment by Skie (not verified) Tue, 02/23/2010 - 20:18

Color me slightly disturbed. Where on earth is this chivalrous little cult located? In all my time of traversing the streets of NYC, i've never heard a story such as this.

... I blame you both; Yuko and Ananth. You clearly attracted all the chivalrous individuals to the neighborhood. That's why they talk to you! You've created a chivalrous utopia that will never reach perfection until Ananth takes their advice!


Comment by Aubrey (not verified) Tue, 02/23/2010 - 21:31

That's so cute! Shouting chivalry tips instead of insults! I love it. But I totally agree with you Ananth, you're doin' it right. :)

I would seriously buy that

Comment by Wulfen (not verified) Tue, 02/23/2010 - 22:15

Seriously if you and Yuko did a Manual of Chivalry i would buy it it'd be awesome i can see it now a picture of you draping your jacket over a puddle while getting yelled at for making your jacket dirty lol

I see this all the time

Comment by Emily (not verified) Tue, 02/23/2010 - 22:18

The people from NYC always act this way towards me. Im not sure why, but I certainly enjoy it! I was raised all over the country, but by southern parents so I grew up with an appreciation for a gentleman. I don't require the door to be held for me, or a bag to be carried so I dont have to, but I certainly won't complain about it either. I don't really find it demeaning or offensive in anyway, as some other posters said, I view it as a sign of appreciation and respect towards me. That makes me feel special and can even make my day sometimes.

Chivalry vs. Courtesy

Comment by A person! (not verified) Tue, 02/23/2010 - 22:23

I believe it was Mother Jones (+co) who once stated that chivalry was the largest obstacle to women's rights and equality. As someone from the middle east, I can say that it's not just treating people nicely, but **why** you do so that makes all the difference.

Being courteous and offering to help someone because you want to do them a favor is not Chivalry. The word stuck because of an ideal, the same way we look back at Knights in armor and think they're "cool", when really they were often corrupt and inconsiderate (+murderous~!) bureaucrats.

It'd be great if that word would be recognized as a proper pair with chauvinism, but it's going to take a while.

Still, if a guy offers to hold a bag just because he wants to be nice, it's not intrinsically demeaning. ;)

Miss Manners

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) Tue, 02/23/2010 - 22:47

I recently read Miss Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior. It's actually pretty fun to read (she's a funny writer, a little snarky when people who write in deserve it and never sounds stogy). I would recommend picking it up at the library and flipping through it. Not only can you learn good old-fashioned chivalric courtesy but also the proper way to eat corn-on-the-cob ("left to right").

In the meantime, I think you're doing the right thing :D

i do the same thing to my

Comment by green-knickers (not verified) Tue, 02/23/2010 - 23:13

i do the same thing to my boyfriend XD except people then assume i'm the 'man' in the relationship T_T

I just adore Yuko's angry

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) Tue, 02/23/2010 - 23:40

I just adore Yuko's angry face. <3

Graphic novel? Oni Press?

Comment by Claire (not verified) Wed, 02/24/2010 - 00:07

Graphic novel? Oni Press? OMG! I'm gonna buy the hell out of that, thanks for the heads up! :D

I agree with previous commenters that the chivalry/courtesy distinction is important ... if someone gives me special treatment because I am female, it would tick me off, but if it is just because I am a fellow person, (presumably) deserving of respect, that's different. I hold doors open, for girls and guys, all the time, just to be courteous. And if folks try to exclude me from carrying stuff, I make no bones about interposing myself, because I am good at carrying heavy things and I like to feel useful.

Meanest look ever!

Comment by King_Bahamut (not verified) Wed, 02/24/2010 - 00:34

The subject pretty much says it all, that was the meanest drawn look ever. Also I have not heard the let the lady walk on the inside of the street though when you think about it, it does make sense. Sadly because I have a disability people seem to think I should be the one helped and such. I try not being too stubborn about it these days but I would usually look irritated though certainly not on the same level as you Aido.(^^)

Eh, I'd do it anyway

Comment by Joe Fox (not verified) Wed, 02/24/2010 - 00:38

I've been raised to do stuff like that, so it comes naturally and I feel bad when I don't do it. But at the same time, it's not like I really go too far out of my way to do so - if the chick's got it, then she's got it.

But if it's my girlfriend, I do it to tease her sometimes. I always get a laugh out of how she gets mad about how I do stuff like that (she doesn't really get mad, but you get the idea). Plus, grumpy girls can be adorable.

Although Yuko looks more like the "scary when mad" type (no offense, Yuko). But tiny Asian women make Cthulhu look like a box of puppies when they get riled up. Freaking scary shit there, man.

I'd really like a look at this Chivalry Manual too

Comment by Eagle (not verified) Wed, 02/24/2010 - 01:11

Heya Ananth and Yuko. First time commenter here. I'm very curious about what kind of things the guys in your neighbourhood have been saying. So if you do end up getting the chivalry manual, it'd be really awesome if you could email it to me ^^

Just on a side note, some people see chivalry as a negative thing. (in one case a friend of mine finds it incredibly annoying when I stand to the side and let her walk through doorways first, but I do it out of my own personal sense of courtesy and also just to annoy her =p) I personally think, what makes chivalry a positive or negative thing is its intention.

You could offer to carry a heavy bag out of consideration if they actually need help or perhaps you might offer out of just wanting to be helpful. When at a door instead of stepping infront of someone (gender doesn't matter) and seeming rude, it's usually more courteous to wait, plus why need to rush unless you absolutely have to. Chivalry is in the intention, and I agree with Ananth, you should listen. If they refuse your offer then just respect their decision (unless you know said person and enjoy harmlessly teasing them with it =p)

Chivalry is chauvinism!? Poppycock!

Comment by Rick (not verified) Wed, 02/24/2010 - 01:36

In a previous post someone wished that eventually chivalry would permanently linked to chauvinism, I think that's rather silly.

Perhaps we're battling semantics, but I do 'chivalrous' things out of common decency, not out of obligation to ancient patriarchal laws.

If you're walking in front of someone wouldn't holding the door be the decent thing to do? If someone is struggling to carry several bags wouldn't it be decent to assist.

Furthermore, I believe that these practices should be exercised by all people, not only by men (perhaps this is where the difficulties have risen).
I would be more than happy to hold the door for a man, just as I would for a woman.

now now, young poppycock

Comment by Denis (not verified) Thu, 02/25/2010 - 00:45

youre confounding chivalry and common courtesy, both of which are products of cultural values, and yet apart nonetheless. would it be that you are arguing against chivalry, instead vying for the addition of the values contained therein to those of common courtesy? if so, bravo, bravo.
sorry man, but the title of your post simply made me want to post something with... classical flair :P

I say go talk to those guys

Comment by Yubi Shines (not verified) Wed, 02/24/2010 - 02:45

I say go talk to those guys so they can continue teaching you the Code, and then ordain you as a knight. Swordfighting! Horseback riding! Quests! Dragon sl- wait, no, no killing dragons. But all the rest!

Walking on the right side of the walkside...

Comment by Nina (not verified) Wed, 02/24/2010 - 02:50

OH WOW, really? Hahah I never thought of it as that.

Over here letting a girl walk on that side of the street means you are selling/showing/boasting about her.

Sooo uh, yuko please walk on the other side of the street unless you want to be sold.

If not, that's okay! Can I offer fifty bucks?

I was going to say that as

Comment by Chuck (not verified) Thu, 02/25/2010 - 04:22

I was going to say that as well (not the offering money part!), but I guess it's not as common an idea as I thought if only one person has mentioned it so far.

Perhaps it depends in where

Comment by Nina (not verified) Sat, 02/27/2010 - 01:11

Perhaps it depends in where you are in the world costums are different.

This is pretty much common over here in Mexico so if they ever see a girl walking on that side you won't get to hear the end of it.


Comment by DisposablePal (not verified) Wed, 02/24/2010 - 08:12

chivalry can be confusing, if you dont pull out her chair or open her door people around you think you're a jerk, but if you do then she might not think you treat her as an equal. If a bag looks heavy i'll offer to carry it, if i'm in front or have longer arms i'll open the door.

It's okay to do things for a lady...

Comment by Drezz (not verified) Wed, 02/24/2010 - 08:23

Call me old fashioned, but I always open doors for my wife and carry her bags, etc. It doesn't mean I'm a doormat, and it doesn't mean she is incapable of doing things. I offer because I want to.

Every morning I grab her bags and place them in her car before we leave for work. I also prep and serve dinner when I get home from work, then pick up the dishes and put them away - every single night. I do these things because I can and want to, not because I expect my woman to be reliant on me doing everything.

Doing things in the hopes of receiving something in return defeats the purpose of a kind gesture. Also, doing things for a lady because its 'proper' or based on antiquated rules of etiquette is silly. Part of being a good man/husband is listening to your wife/girlfriend, but it also means being proactive and doing things without being asked.

Kind gestures are a good thing. The next time a guy offers to open a door for you or carry your bags and there's no strings attached or expectations, let him.

Chivalry is nice....sometimes

Comment by Kristin (not verified) Wed, 02/24/2010 - 08:56

I worked in downtown Memphis, TN for a while. For maybe two weeks, there was one guy at the office would do my walking errands with me. And he insisted on walking on the side closest to traffic and trying to hold my bags, etc.

It was nice for a couple of days, but honestly in the long run he started to slow me down. And before the month was up he ended up leaving the company for another job. So it never became an issue.

I think you're right. Listen to the lady- don't assume you know what's best. That's like ordering a meal for her at a restaurant- the paramount of BS.

I'm sure it's nice to know on her side that you'd be willing to help do those things for her, but listening is key!


Comment by Novarri (not verified) Wed, 02/24/2010 - 10:33

Personally, I believe in courtesy with friends - whoever's first to the door has the door, and I'm always down with carrying bags or helping with other stuff (especially cooking!).

Chivalry is, for me, a nagging feeling in the back of your head that says, "pay! open the door! bleh!" that I usually ignore. I'm only really tempted to pay attention when I'm going on a date with someone that's not-yet-my-girlfriend-but-I'm-kinda-hoping-yeah. I guess I go to the movies and out to eat with friends more than I go on dates, so to me paying for the meal/show (for example) are things that separate a "friend-date" from a "date-date" in my mind. And, as a guy that gets pushed to the friend-zone a lot, it's nice to me to create that distinction.

But that's only how I THINK. I haven't paid for dinner/movie in forever, just because I refuse to do it without asking first, and I'm terrified of asking - since I'd only offer with someone I was trying to date, I can't fathom asking and risking offense (because really, it's hard enough already).

On Chivalry

Comment by Staggerpuss (not verified) Wed, 02/24/2010 - 11:26

So where does chivalry come into it when my bf gives me his wallet, keys and phone just because i have a handbag?

I always find it strange

Comment by Mousey (not verified) Wed, 02/24/2010 - 11:32

I always find it strange when women don't accept help when they need it. Sure, you don't need your door opened for you all the time, but it is a sweet gesture showing they care. And helping with bags? Help is always appreciated! Of course, if a guy has his hands full, I'm not going to make his hands more full. That's not the guy being chilvarious (unless he just accepts it), but it is mostly the woman being an arse/lazy. ...In my opinion. I always feel flattered/appreciative if a guy (or girl) hold open the door for me. I've never seen people so publicly demand "chivalry" from someone before.

I think it's funny, that

Comment by Naghan (not verified) Wed, 02/24/2010 - 15:39

I think it's funny, that Ananth ist holding a bag with both hands and the people expect him to also hold Yuko's bag.
Poor Ananth can't make it right for others.
As for chivalry, I'd probably fail in every chivalry-test. For most part I don't treat women any different. (At least I hope so, I might be lying to myself)
But now I'm curious: How do you (Ananth and Yuko) manage it, to work full time, make a comic, manage mutagenics and ... and ...
I work full time now and I don't find time to finish my private projects.

in any event

Comment by jingseng (not verified) Wed, 02/24/2010 - 16:35

it's no longer chivalrous if someone else tells you to do it.


Comment by Cherry (not verified) Wed, 02/24/2010 - 17:18

Good lord, so many people went crazy on this one. I think it's nice for a guy to hold a door open or carry things for a girl, but it's certainly not necessary. If I get to it first then oh well. It's just people doing what they thing is polite.

just for the record

Comment by Fraoch (not verified) Wed, 02/24/2010 - 17:36

'I always offer to carry things for Yuko, but if she wants to carry it on her own, I don't argue!' THAT, my good sir, is chivalry and ur doin it rite.
All of the guys who rag on you for it are jerks; though it's refreshing to hear strangers yelling at each other to be nicer for a change.

My boyfriend has the same

Comment by Stella Sanguina (not verified) Wed, 02/24/2010 - 18:44

My boyfriend has the same trouble as Ananth. I'm a very liberated girl and always tend to carry more than my share of the groceries (because I get a deep satisfaction from feeling helpful), which ends up getting him disapproving deathglares from our neighbors. It's gotten to the point that he'll BEG me to let him carry the groceries in, and I let him because I feel a little bad. D:

Growing up in the southern

Comment by johnnytag (not verified) Wed, 02/24/2010 - 23:59

Growing up in the southern end of Brooklyn, I've learned "Brooklynite chivalry" also, and it takes some getting used to from an outside perspective. Generally, men that grow up around here used to be taught that the men should take a more dominant approach to decisions. If you're shopping and you get the bag before your significant other does, then you called dibs, with no backsies. If you're a step quicker than they are, you're getting the door because you were there first, and it's just polite to not have your arm swung back behind you holding the door open for whoever is behind you, so you let them go first. (Whether you let that apply to crowds or not is up to you.) The first time I held a door open for a Phillipino friend's family, they were in awe! They stood there, confused as to why I wasn't walking into the building for about 4 minutes before realizing that, no, I wasn't waving down the low-flying 747 bound for JFK. I'm sure there's all sorts of ancient reasons linking the manners of it all to the "weakness of women", but now it's really just about putting your best foot forward, sticking with a choice, and being polite while doing it.

Wow. Are any of them single?

Comment by Cass (not verified) Thu, 02/25/2010 - 02:15

Wow. Are any of them single?

To elaborate...

Comment by Cass (not verified) Thu, 02/25/2010 - 02:23

After browsing the previous comments I realized this was a hot subject. I agree with the other girls who dislike guys to assume they can't do things for themselves but I have a medical condition. I actually can't carry things around and I deeply appreciate it when someone offers me a hand doing anything, even opening the door. It's wrong to assume that girls can't do things for themselves but it's still nice to offer. And yes, it is the sort of thing you should do for everyone regardless of age or sex. Even though I'm not the most capable of people, I hold doors open for people all the time and help them when I feel well enough.

But yeah, as a girl that often needs help, I would love to date a chivalrous guy!


Comment by Silver C. (not verified) Thu, 02/25/2010 - 03:49

I prefer calling it being "thoughtful" or "considerate." Guy or girl, when they do something considerate to other people whether it's opening the door for other people, or offering to carry their stuff, those are acts to be celebrated.

I don't expect every man should open doors for me, offer to carry my bags 24/7, or pay for my meals, but at the same time I don't have to rag on them when they do offer. A good gesture is a good gesture. It's just so depressing that people, make such an issue out of it, that is it surprising that acts of thoughtfulness and or consideration are so rare nowadays. :(

Or maybe it's a culture thing. Girls in my country don't seem to raise a fuss when a guy's being "chivalrous" or just being thoughtful or considerate. In fact, that's considered a good thing!

As a young male raised by

Comment by N/A (not verified) Thu, 02/25/2010 - 08:08

As a young male raised by parents who were in on the ground floor of second-wave feminism, I find the idea of chivalry very insulting. Whatever its origin, it's always seemed like a form of subtle sexism; the idea that women are weak, frail creatures that must be treated like glass.

That's not respect, that's being patronizing.

However, it's important to keep in mind the distinction between the outdated ideals of chivalry, and the courtesy and politeness which should, although sadly often isn't, be common to all.

So, I hold doors open for women. I hold doors open for everybody. I'll carry my mothers shopping- she's sixty years old and slightly disabled! It would be outright malice if I didn't carry the shopping.

The distinction, to me, is that I don't do these things because the other person is a woman. I do it out of courtsy and politeness towards humanity in general, or because I see that somebody is struggling with something heavy. For me, gender doesn't enter into it.

I am considerate to the needs of others.

Comment by Gnave (not verified) Thu, 02/25/2010 - 10:50

I hold the door open enough for the next person to keep the door open. If I am with friends I will occasionally hold the door open for them and the next reasonably sized group of people. My friend who walks slower than everyone else because of crutches(now a cane and walking faster, go modern medicine!) will get better treatment with doors and such as he has greater need. Especially when he is having trouble getting his tricycle in a door I will do it for him. So I think it is nice of someone to hold the door long enough for the next person to get it ect, but none of this is based on gender. Oh wow that was a long, blathering, pointlessly large paragraph. >_<

Does anyone wonder what

Comment by Chelsea (not verified) Thu, 02/25/2010 - 11:15

Does anyone wonder what Ananth's hat smells like. No, really! Like...he wears it all the time! Does it get washed?

Another fun chivalry fact

Comment by Eleanor (not verified) Thu, 02/25/2010 - 11:32

I have a book on 19th-century English customs, and one of my favorite facts is, if a gentleman and a lady walk towards each other on the street, and the gentleman wants to speak to the lady, HE must TURN AROUND and walk with her. When their conversation is finished, he may continue in the direction he was going, but to stop a lady in the street to talk to her is simply not done.

Also, when going up the stairs, the gentleman follows. When going down the stairs, the gentleman leads. (Perhaps to catch her if she falls?)

Yeah, a lot of us are

Comment by Caitlin (not verified) Thu, 02/25/2010 - 14:09

Yeah, a lot of us are discussing our style of "chivalry" when we mean common courtesy, but I think that's our way of indicating that we prefer the latter to the former. At least that's my feeling about it.

And as a person who prefers common courtesy, I still find it astonishing that people would actually be mad at a guy for trying to be chivalrous! Maybe it's old-fashioned, but it seems rude to assume the worst possible motivations. I doubt that the majority of guys actually open a door to indicate disbelief that the woman could do it herself. It seems like a pretty harmless indication that he's trying to be on his best behavior, so to speak.

Bright Side

Comment by Diomedes (not verified) Thu, 02/25/2010 - 21:06

On the bright side, no one is mistaking Yuko for a dude.

So there's that.

Chivalry Lives

Comment by Istra (not verified) Fri, 02/26/2010 - 01:27

And it is my brother.

I've thought about this debate a lot. I have deep issues with women being treated as less-than-equals, or differently-equaled, and I have seen some really ugly things.

What has made me desire to be treated with chivalry, is my brother, Peter. Although he is my younger brother by 7 years, he has somehow grown up (WAY up to 6' 6"!), and has naturally grown into treating me with chivalry. I love it.

Peter opens all doors for me, car or otherwise. He's very subtle in getting there first and opening it without me realizing what he's doing. He always walks between me and the road or other hazards. I usually find my hands mysteriously empty when we walk together, unless he's already hauling more than his fair share. He has never laughed at my phobia of bees, or teased me when I asked him to kill a spider or other creepy-crawly. (I can kill those myself, although if I can get out of it, I will!)

But when other people would do those kind of things for me, sometimes the way they offered or undertook the task would make me angry. I finally realized the difference: honor. Peter isn't doing those things for me because I "need" him too, or am "weaker" than him. Instead, he delights to serve me in these ways because I am so valuable to him.

I struggle with my self-image, but when I'm with my brother I know that I am valuable and wonderful because of the way he treats me. Not only with acts of chivalry, but the way we'll stand in a hallway and just talk for an hour, or whistle Zelda tunes in harmony until somebody comes and says "WHAT are you whistling?" (One of our many epic adventures.)

I think "honor" is what chivalry - TRUE chivalry - ought to come down to. Not a set of condescending rules, but acts of service that come from a heart of honor and respect. <3

P.S. Yes, I do have the best brother in the world. :p