Chivalry is a scary word so I’m going to try to mention it sparsely; it's dead. Now when you hear that word, you are almost repulsed, it’s like one of those stories your grandfather used to tell you about his glory days; you listen but you cannot possibly understand it the way he does. Chivalry, to our generation, is a myth, supposedly some type of code of conduct expected when courting a woman.
But you know why we don’t believe in it? Because we haven’t seen it. Yes, there are a handful of respectful gentlemen and self-respecting women still breathing, but on a daily basis, can we expect it? No. Chivalry is dead and the media killed it.
On average, we see about 250 ads per day; images that we think nothing about, delivering messages that are too plentiful for our eyes to notice let alone our brains to even absorb. But there’s strength in repetition and what we see repeatedly is that sex sells. I’m not here to argue the immorality of marketing campaigns, I’m about to explain how the result of such has left all of us romantically numb.
Day in and day out, we are constantly reminded of the media-instilled ideology that sex is what works, from Axe body commercials to the younger Skittles advertisements. We see its success; which guy hasn’t gotten the girl at the end of the film or which woman hasn’t attracted the flock of drooling men? I truly believe we all have now fallen victim to translating what sells in ads to what we see in everyday life.
Since we see real men and women in the same light, essentially we are all walking billboards. That girl I see in the club is no different than the half-naked woman I see on television. Ultimately, whether we realize it or not, we have been demoralized, which changes the perception of the people around us. Unknowingly, we are becoming the unlikely situations that sell these products.
Ultimately, the gender roles that media outlets continue to radiate become self-reflecting. I, myself, carry some stereotypical traits of any 21-year-old male. My outlook on love and relationships seems to teeter on the line between realistic and hopelessly romantic, but when it comes to matters of the heart, consistency is key.
Although, I do have hope for this generation, females specifically. Then that same optimism is stepped on as I scroll down my Instagram, looking over my shoulder in the classroom because the app has turned into a soft porn site. But the stream of everyday Instagram models are often interrupted by the same interjecting post from males believing that snapbacks and tattoos have taken the place of good jobs and nice suits.
Although, to play devil’s advocate, if we see ourselves that way, we can’t blame others for looking through that same lens -- and that goes for both sexes. All I ask is that we reassign our values and watch how we portray ourselves because there is a chance we can regain some type of romantic moral code. Or am I just asking for too much?
Photo via We Heart It