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A while ago, I was going out to grab dinner with a male friend.

Really, I promise; he was just a friend. I was in a long-distance relationship with a man in the military — no one messed with me.

“Brad” (name changed to protect the innocent) drove. As he got in the driver’s seat, I naively waited on the passenger’s side for him to open my door.

“Brad,” I joked, “Aren’t you going to open my door?”

I will admit that I am spoiled. Many of the men in my life go out of their way to open my door and walk on the side of the sidewalk closest to the street. I have learned to wait for doors in certain circumstances; otherwise, it just creates an awkward situation.

But back to the story.

Brad looked at me incredulously. “Andrea, we’re not on a date.”

And that right there, ladies and gents, is a prime example of why we are so confused about chivalry.

When chivalry is reduced to actions and its inner meaning is lost, both parties wonder about the proper place of such courtesies.

For example, a woman may question the sincerity of a man’s actions on a first date. Is this all a show?

Likewise, a man might worry that a woman will read more into his actions than he actually means. After all, he opens the door for everyone he encounters.

Or a man may refrain from opening doors for fear of being reprimanded: “I can open the door myself!”

When did being a gentleman get reduced just to opening doors, anyway?

I propose to you that a true gentleman’s outward actions flow from an inner reality. A gentleman’s respect and honor for the dignity of the women in his life is made manifest by his actions.

He is courteous, humble, responsible, capable and courageous.

A true gentleman wants to serve and honor women because of their dignity, not because he thinks they aren’t capable or because he wants to get something from them.

What woman could object to that?

Let’s help a guy out, women. Let the men in your life know that you appreciate their gentlemanly ways.

Even if he accidently forearms you while trying to open your door, tell him you appreciate his chivalrous intention, even if his execution needs work.

If chivalry dies out completely, we as women will be equally responsible for its demise.

One women’s group is hoping to save a seemingly endangered species at ASU.

The Network of Enlightened Women (NeW) is hosting a “Gentlemen’s Showcase” on Hayden Lawn this evening to honor the top 10 most-nominated gentlemen on ASU’s campus during their contest this semester.

President Blayne Bennett said, “[NeW] firmly believes that there are tons of great men at ASU who do not always get the credit they deserve.”

If you question the existence of gentlemen on ASU’s campus, come check it out and become a believer.

Andrea is starting a “Save the Men!” campaign. Donate at

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