Few women are going to complain if you hold the door open or offer to help them with heavy bags.When taxi drivers have lent a hand with my luggage but left male friends to their own devices, I’ve never considered it a personal slight. Equal pay for equal work, regardless of what you've got in your underwear, is surely a no-brainer.But we'd also like to think of ourselves as gentlemen.Usually, it’s obvious to anyone with eyes which one of us is struggling most.The stereotypical ‘feminazi’ who’ll bite your head off for acts of common courtesy is largely a figment of the imagination – and the world would be a worse place if men shied away from assisting women in need for fear of being labelled sexist.Accordingly, the way they behave often feels like a historical reenactment.They’ve cast themselves as the star in some black-and-white Hollywood romance and you’re there, as female leads tended to be, largely as a prop.
And a major problem with chivalry seems to be that it’s based on those outdated norms.Isn't it old fashioned (if not downright offensive) to treat every woman as a damsel in need of your assistance? Abi Wilkinson is a freelance writer whose work appears on the Guardian, Telegraph, Vice and elsewhere.To help us navigate the murky waters of modern gender politics, we asked two prominent female writers to argue on our behalf. Follow her on Twitter First of all I want to make on thing clear: there’s nothing wrong with being considerate and polite.They’d see a man’s desire to ‘protect’ a woman by having her walk a bit further away from the traffic as an implicit assumption of weakness, on her part. I must insert my manly frame between her and the dangers of this world." In the immortal words of world famous feminist Snoop Dog, bitch please.As with all the other acts of chivalry: opening doors, giving up seats on the train, offering jackets when we’re cold, offering to pay for dinner the first time we go out on a date – to assume that they are sexist is to seriously underestimate the men in our lives.