The lift races down. We stand in the polite silence.
We reach the ground floor.
Suddenly the Chivalry Tango begins.
The three men try to press themselves to one side of the lift to let me out first.
I have tried standing in the furtherest corner of the lift, behind someone, and still they do the Tango.
Everytime I feel like yelling ‘but will you just stop now’
Back in the days of yore, when women were considered delicate creatures with inexplicable female problems, a code seems to have been defined on how to treat women. This included opening doors for them and laying out coats in puddles so they did not wet their flowing dresses or their expensive shoes.
In today’s day and age is it still relevant?
I think not.
Women have come a long way. We work in equal opportunity jobs, we have incomes, we plan vacations, buy properties, open bank accounts and do pretty much everything that men can do.
So why this pretence at treating us like China dolls?
It is not logical and if anything, a bit presumptuous and sometimes, patronizing.
I can open my car door myself thank you. Infact since I may be driving, I would rather that you were belted up in the passenger seat.
I don’t know if this persists because of some sort of age old code that men pass on to each other about treating women well. I do know that it also persists because sometimes women themselves like to be ‘treated like a lady’
I just hope they remember that once upon a time being ‘treated like a lady’ meant not having the vote.
Taking away the chivalry code is bound to leave a vacuum in appropriate social behavior. Why not replace it with a new rule, one in which we agree to treat everyone with some kindness and a little bit of understanding?
Can we all open doors for arthritic, old men who suffer the indignity of fiddling with tricky knobs?
Can we let a young father managing a toddler and carry-on bags ahead in the airplane boarding queue?
Can we give up our bus seat for a college going boy with a plaster cast?
In all the above situations, substitute a woman, and it is still kindness and understanding, not chivalry.
So, can we kill chivalry now?