Common courtesy

The perfect gentleman: Don't snub him in the name of equality
The perfect gentleman: Don't snub him in the name of equality
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Independent? Tick.

Capable and strong? Tick and tick again.

On my own, I can manage perfectly well. I certainly don’t NEED men to open doors for me, to carry my shopping or to pay for my cinema ticket on a date.

But I love it when they do.

So what does that make me? Positively Victorian? An apology for a thoroughly modern woman?

Am I a naive fool, letting the side of sisterhood down because I fail to see beyond some small, gentlemanly act to the inherent chauvinism simmering beneath?

Seems so. For I am in the minority. Apparently the modern woman no longer wants nor expects chivalrous behaviour from men. And spurn it if it is offered to her.

A staggering 92 per cent of UK women would turn down a seat on public transport should a man get to his feet and proffer it. In London, just two per cent of women would take the offer.

If a man suggested carrying her heavy bag, 89 per cent of women would not take up the offer. And if any bloke had the temerity to give the loan of his coat on a cold day, 78 per cent of shivering females would turn it down.

A survey – carried out by socked.co.uk, an online men’s sock subscription service of all things – also found only 34 per cent of women said they want men to open doors for them.

Do the figures show how great the strides in sex equality and independence have been of late?

Do we now consider ourselves so securely on an equal footing, we do not want to be treated any differently to a man?

Many will no doubt say yes. But not me. Rather, I’d say our insecurity slip is showing and as a result, we are cutting off our noses to spite our faces.

In life, I want – and expect – to be given exactly the same opportunities as a man.

We ARE equal; but we are undeniably different – and what’s wrong with celebrating the differences between the sexes?

The courtesy-haters – they’re taking it all the wrong way. They see it as a show of weakness if they accept a man’s offer. Their perception is that they are being patronised.

But think on this; if you would take that seat, or a helping hand, from a woman, then you should also accept it from a man. Otherwise, it’s you who is being sexist.

Men don’t think we are such fragile, lily-livered creatures we will keel over if we stand on the tram, or carry two bags of shopping. They’re just showing a bit of the regard they were taught to have for their mothers.

I raised my son to see women as his equals. I also taught him that he should show kindness and courtesy to everyone. Including me. If that has translated into him lifting and carrying for his girlfriend should the need arise, I consider I’ve raised a decent lad, not a chauvinistic little pig.

We shouldn’t expect it or demand it, but if anyone, man or woman, decides to show courtesy and kindness towards us, we should accept – with good manners.