I have always considered myself to be a strong, independent woman, a feminist of sorts. Rarely do I ever hesitate in voicing my opinions amongst friends/family or in a classroom setting, no matter how controversial. However, I strongly hesitate to violate what I consider to be the laws of femininity when it comes to heterosexual dyadic interactions. For instance, I would never initiate a romantic interaction with a man. Society has implanted in my mind the idea that the man must approach the woman. He must ask her on a date, pick her up in his car, open the door for her, drop her off at the curbside when it’s raining, pull the chair out for her, offer her his coat when she’s cold, etc. And he must pay for (at least) the first few dates, otherwise said social interactions cannot be construed as “dates.”
Obviously my expectations of gender romantic roles and responsibilities are rooted in American culture and society. Since, however, these expectations are incompatible with my otherwise feminist-leaning tendencies, must they be reconsidered? If, indeed, chivalry is alive and well, are my only two options to contribute to its demise, or risk living as a self-proclaimed hypocrite?