It seems that both Anson and Calvinist have trouble differentiating between “chivalry” and “manners.”Here’s the difference:
Good manners are, well, good manners. Holding the door for someone, returning their wallet, escorting a fink’s children from the room before you take a mallet to the fink’s kneecaps. Being considerate and helpful because it’s right.
Chivalry is adopting the pretense of good manners to put women in an awkward position. That’s the shortest definition I could come up with. You can go in more detail, and read in-depth examples, here.
Through day to day life, it may not matter much whether someone is being chivalrous or polite, as long as the good deed gets done. But since chivalry isn’t rooted in good intentions, that’s not always the case.
Example: I had always been raised to believe that holding doors open was the polite thing to do, regardless of the sex of the participates. If I arrive at the door first, I’m going to hold it open for you. Most people gladly accept that act of politeness, including the vast majority of boys and men. But believe it or not, some guys raise a stink when I do this.
The most memorable incident was in college. I was walking to the cafeteria, there was a guy (a stranger) some distance behind me walking the same direction. So I held the door open, like I always did. Dude got to the door and assumed a face like a deer in headlights. Actually, it was more like a deer in headlights who was also indignant at the sheer audacity of those headlights, beaming on him like they were something. But there was delicious chicken parmesan waiting beyond the passage, so he went on through.
Not before glaring at me and muttering “bitch” under his breath, though.
He isn’t the only one. Usually the guy just glares. One time I was reaching a door, a guy broke into a run in a desperate attempt to get there before I did, and assumed a dirty look when I obliviously stole his thunder.
He was just a Nice Guy(tm)! Why did I have to be such a bitch, holding a door for him? Lucky me, he was such a Nice Guy(tm) that he merely glared at me instead of audibly saying what he was thinking!
These “gentlemen”, of course, aren’t. They only adopt the polite act to inflate their sense of self-worth. When thwarted by the target, even if it was unintentional (keep in mind, the vast majority of men are not bothered by my door-holding), their true colors show.
A chivalrous guy gets butthurt when confronted with a door-holding woman. A polite guy says “thank you” and walks on through. That’s the difference.