Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Last To Know—Again.

Between working full-time and trying to write (in between living), I frequently feel I’m the last to know so many things.

While listening to the radio recently, I learned that chivalry is definitely dead and that modern women are fine with that. They--we are? The program even hinted that some women (at least in the twenty-some and below age range) don't mind having their lover’s call them bitch. Ouch.

Even though I don't necessarily expect it, I'm not adverse to men showing a certain amount of deference and consideration to women in general and to me in particular. And I certainly don't expect any man with romance on his mind to even think about calling me a bitch. I’m not sure how I feel about it in romances. I think in fiction, context is everything.

Generally, in my books the heroes still open doors for heroines while recognizing that they are falling for women just as capable of professional achievements as they are.

The hero from my latest release, The Dare (published by Loose-id), treats the heroine like a very modern woman. He fully expects her to be just as sexually active as he is. On the other hand, the heroine in my upcoming Ellora's Cave release, Night of Sin, while excelling in an occupation still denominated by men, takes exception to a lover using the b word—most of the time. There’s one male from whom she happily tolerates it.

I’m not so sure I agree with her, but then I readily admit I'm old-fashioned and often find myself playing catch up. Why? Because, I’m the last to know.

The discussion of the death of chivalry left me wondering how other women feel. What do modern women want or expect in their personal relationships? What do they want when they read a romance? Is the hero still expected to treat the heroine in a chivalrous manner?

Help me out and tell me your take. What type of hero do you enjoy reading about most? What do you want or expect from a man in a relationship? Do you want your significant other to be chivalrous? Do you want him holding or opening doors for you? Do you expect him to pull out your chair? Do you want him to stand when you walk into a room? When dating, do you expect him to pay or do you want to go Dutch? Do you sometimes pay?

Do you feel comfortable calling him or making the first move in a relationship? Or do you wait for him to call you? Do you expect or want him to pick you up for a date and drive you/walk you home? Or do you drive yourself and meet him there?

Is chivalry dead? If it is, do you miss it and long to revive it? Is bitch the new honey or baby?

Marilyn Lee


Yolanda said...

I don't think chilvary is dead and if it's dying, then we, as women, need to resuscitate it! While I'm all for exerting my indepence, there's is nothing wrong with a man opening doors and pulling out my chair for me. As far as women being called bitch, as if it was our name, that's a definite no-no. Even if I'm acting like a royal bitch, that doesn't give you the right to disrespect me by calling me a bitch. "Bitch" is not a term of endearment. It never has been and should never become one!

Marilyn Lee said...

Hey Yolanda

Just when I think it is dead, some teenage boy with his pants hanging nearly to his knees, offers me his seat on the bus or the train and changes my mind.

So I don't think it's dead yet either. Hopefully we (with the help of a few discerning males) can keep it alive.

As for bitch, I feel you there, but surprisingly some of my heroines disagree.

Women. Huh?


Phyllis said...

I am not a dog. That said, I know I've been called the b-word behind my back as I've always been a very assertive woman who takes nothing from no one. I have always had to do for myself and I demand respect. If you can't do that, then you are gone. It sound harsh, but it works. When you show respect, you get it. If a man has been taught to be a GENTLE MAN then it will stick with him in life. If he has grown up with violence, then that will stick with him. Parents have to teach their children, and show them, there is nothing wrong with being kind both verbally and in actions.

It's according to the generations about Chivalry, I think. I love to have my car door opened for me and even for the man to drive. I can only recall one instance where I paid for dinner over the years, and that was a birthday treat.

I don't like the b-word, don't use it, and will not tolerate being called it. If you call me that, you will never hear from me again. Men don't like being called out of their name. Try calling him "little *ick." lol

Julia said...

I agree Phyllis. Unfortunately, too many young men even call their mothers bitch. If a man calls me a bitch. I just call them a limp dick MF! Boy do they get upset, especially if you say it around other men. Then you get called a dyke, to which I say "If you're all that's out there then yes I am!"

Marilyn Lee said...

Well said, Phyllis.

Marilyn Lee said...

Just the thought of a man calling his mother bitch is incredible. But I suppose we have to realize that times are changing and what was once unacceptable is not fine.

Oh, for the good old days.


Dimples said...

Yet another reason radio of today gets little play in my ride or crib or what have you. If I'm not being subjected to what counts as music, I'm bombarded with the uninformed and ignorant opinions. Everyone's entitled to speak their minds, but at what costs. And such a grand forum. I'm just glad I can turn it off or change the station.

Chilvary's dead??? Women answer to bitch??? And us modern women accept this? Now I'll admit that beneath it all, I do expect some chivalrous tendencies from a man, at least. I am independent, strong in will and spirit and I still find it endearing when a man allows you to proceed through a door or doorway before him, pulls out a chair, walks on the outside (near the street), opens the car door for you, helps you on with your coat or starts your car for you on a cold morning. That speaks to his character as well as his feelings. Those little things, when genuine, mean a whole lot.

And as for being called a bitch or being refered to as a bitch, please. I can't do anything if it's not said directly in front of me, but I'll be d@mned if I allow or accept it. I WISH!!!

In real life, I find that I do like a man that's dominant, even aggressive, but I still expect those chilvarous tendencies, if not chivalry. And I think my favorite romances, even the BDSM themed ones, have heroes who are dominant/alpha and still act in chilvalrous manners. It is fiction so of course it seems simpler, but the thoughts and ideas come from non-fiction minds. So, my man needs to have at least some chilvarous tendencies if he wants me to take him seriously. In formal settings, I must admit (again) that I do expect men to stand. In relationships, helping carry items, even if I'm not struggling goes a looooooooooooooong way.

I know the saying goes, it don't cost much to go Dutch or doesn't cost anything to go Dutch; but for me, I try to stay away from the "D" word. I haven't paid for dates, but I buy little treats and things.

I don't have a probem calling him, if he gives me the digits for that purpose. But I can't make the first-first move; maybe the first move later in the relationship. Like after we've established intimacy. When I first started dating, they had to pick me up as I was unlicensed, now I prefer being picked up, but I operate with caution and meet him.

I don't know if I've been lucky, but I don't see chilvary totally dead in my generation, but I would love to see more of it in media, amongst some younger men and as an expected interaction. It definitely has to start from youth and in the home.

Let's bring it back full force and leave the bitch in the backyard, pound or kennel.

Marilyn Lee said...

Hi Dimples

I think you've said it all and very well too.

It's good to know I'm not the only one who likes a man to show a little deference.


N.J.Walters said...

I don't think chivalry is dead...and if it is, it needs to be revived. Manners never go out of style. My husband still holds doors for me after twenty-plus years together. I think it's sexy when a man does those little things for a woman.

Yes, my husband is well aware that I can open my own door, but he does it anyway. It's no demeaning. It's his way of showing he cares for me.

My hero can be rough around the edges, but he has to treat the heroine with respect. And that does not include calling her a bitch. That is never a term of endearment in my book.

Marilyn Lee said...

Sounds like you have a winner as s hubby, N.J.

Thanks for the input, N.J.


TJ Michaels said...

Mary, this is a subject that just frosts my cookies. Basically, makes me mad, pisses me off, etc. Is chivalry dead? It depends on the guy. I happen to like polite, courteous men. To me, that's chivalrous. I've had men tell me that they like opening doors for women, but stopped doing it when the woman bit their heads off for being nice. Which in my opinion, is simply stupid.

As a matter of fact, my ex-husband was very much the gentleman and I like that. I like having my door opened for me. I like being treated as if I am the most special and precious thing in the universe.

I am an accomplished woman with a career and can make my own way in the world. I've been a single mom for ten years - so yes, I can deal with being both the man and the woman at home. However, if a man is there, I'd rather he step up and be 'the man' - I don't want to make all the decisions. I don't want to take care of everything. I want my son to see how to be an alpha, yet caring to the woman he loves. Alpha doesn't mean jerk.

I like and want to be spoiled. And on the same point, I spoil right back. That man gets massages when he gets home. Has a bath ready for him. Gets his favorite meals as much and often as he can stand to eat them (I'm an awesome cook, ya'll!). And the more he spoils me, the more I spoil him back.

Marilyn Lee said...

I hear you, T. J. :-)


Emma Petersen said...

Le sigh. I worry about the upcoming generation. A friend and I were just talking about this. About a boy going to his prom and he was calling all the young ladies in the limo, "breezies" which I take to be the equivalent to a woman of loose morals? Either way, my friend said all the little girls thought that was cute.

I don't allow anyone to disrespect me. I've watched as women allowed behavior that was beyond unacceptable. *shrugs* If it's good for them that's fine with me but I was raised a lady, I conduct myself as such and I expect to be treated as such.

Marilyn Lee said...

I agree, Emma. The thought of some of the things women allow and accept from lovers and would be lovers today amazes me.


Mechele Armstrong said...

I don't think it's dead. And I think like someone else said, it's what parents teach their kids that ensures whether it goes away.

Marilyn Lee said...

Hopefully so.