The Search for America's Top Gentleman


"For so long radical feminists have questioned if there is there even a place for men in society, even in plays like the Vagina Monologues, there are no strong men in the play and men are constantly degraded as they are presented as creepy jerks," said Agness.

A degradation that Agness, like Post, said she believes is rooted in radical feminism that began during the women's liberation movement.

Stephanie Coontz, a professor of history and family studies at The Evergreen State College in Olympia and author of A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960's, said she believes blaming the feminist movement for the lack of gentlemanly behavior in today's society is inaccurate.

"The notion of behaving in a gentlemanly way towards women is associated with the late 18th century movement to get women to stay home while men supported them. A movement where a man's politeness to a woman had the expectation that in return they would receive all of these extra privileges," Coontz told

"I'm all for more politeness in society, but not if you're referring to that kind," Coontz added.

Jeff Herman, a senior at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., also blames radical feminists for the loss of chivalry and the endangered species of the gentlemen.

"Some women see chivalry as a sign of weakness. They take it that when you act as a gentleman, it's a sign that they can't do it themselves" said Herman.

But Coontz said her research shows women who identify as feminists are no less appreciative of kind acts, as long as they are treated with respect.

"Women who became feminists were happy for people to be polite to them. It was the politeness from men that was used in a demeaning manner, like the way you are polite to your cat, but then push them when they're in your way, that women objected too," said Coontz.

Regardless of why chivalry has taken a backseat in today's culture, Gentleman's Showcase contender Condrey says being a gentleman isn't all that complicated. It's about "constantly putting others before yourself, taking on things other people wouldn't want to do or couldn't do in effort to make others more comfortable."

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