Tuesday, February 19, 2008

City Civility

Strange thing happened on the downtown 6 train this morning: I was sitting by a gentleman who was about 40 or so, and an attractive 20-something woman boarded the train and stood in front of us, grasping the metal pole directly above our heads. A stop or so later, he jumped up and put his hand out, gesturing toward the seat, offering it to her. She shook her head no, and the gentleman returned to the seat and sat down. I figured she must be getting off at the next stop. But she didn't.

A couple of stops later, the 40-something gentleman got off the train, and the younger woman sat down in the seat he had offered her three stops ago.


Here's my thinking: I'm as much of a feminist as the next woman, but to keep chivalry from going totally dead, I think we ladies should take a seat if a gentleman offers it to us. Call it a respect thing. It's the equivalent of letting your date help you with your coat at the end of dinner: antiquated, maybe, but civilized and well-meaning, definitely.

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