Chivalry need not be lost in equal rights

(U-WIRE) HONOLULU, Hawaii — Gender equality is a wonderful campaign. I believe that although we still have a ways to go, the United States is on its way to becoming a nation in which women and men can coexist equally.
I just have one small complaint. In having to make way for women, many men have chosen to drop chivalry.
“Hey,” says Joe, the stereotypical man off the street. “You women want eee-quality, then we men don’t gots to open dem doors fer you and pay fer yer food.”
Dammit.
I can’t remember how many times I have had the door slammed in my face by a man lately. When I go out for dinner, I notice that the server hands me the check and my date smiles at me and says, “If you insist.”
In many ways, these are good signs. I am a woman, and I can handle the door for myself. And I have my own money and can pay for my own food.
But whatever happened to chivalry? Or manners, for that matter?
Where, in the quest for equality, did women say that chivalry should die?
“Uhhhh,” says Joe, “I herd some women wearing fatigues say that it makes them madder than a cat with dynamite tied to its tail when us men make em feel like dey can’t take care of demselves.”
OK. Radical feminists aside, Joe, you’re confused, and I feel the need to explain exactly what it is some of my female friends and I would like from men.
Yes, I want the same job opportunities and the same salary. I want the same choices and respect men are given.
Yet, I don’t feel that chivalry needs to be sacrificed in this deal.
Chivalry, Joe. As in manners.
Holding the door for a person when they are fast approaching is simply polite. It really has nothing to do with being a man or a woman.
I hold the door for people all the time.
Now when it comes to picking up the tab, it becomes confusing.
When you ask me to dinner and the check comes, you have to attempt to pay the check. When at first I say no, you continue to try and pay the check.
I will then do either of two things: insist on paying my part of the check or let you pay.
When I ask you to dinner, you still have to make the motions to pay. However, once you make the attempt, I will probably either stop you and pay for the tab or at least give you my half.
Third, when you ask me to dinner at your place, don’t ask me to pay. And don’t fake like you’re the waiter and hand me the check.
Especially if you served corn flakes for the main course.
Lastly, when aliens ask you to dinner, do not call me and demand that I attend this dinner with you. I will, however, go with you to counseling sessions. Here are the only reasons you would be exempt from these provisions:
You’re declaring bankruptcy and decided to take me to dinner to tell me this.
You really left your wallet at home. Really.
You’re unemployed. If this is the case, you must possess the following traits: sweetness, caring, really good looking, impeccable table manners and motivation to eventually acquire a job.
You’re sick. You have the ebola virus. Advice: Dating is something you shouldn’t be worrying about at the moment.
You have amnesia. You’ve forgotten what money is and threw all yours out the window on the way to dinner, believing it to be some kind of confetti. This excuse must be accompanied with a doctor’s note.
See, Joe, it’s not bad to be chivalrous and to want to take care of your girlfriend. You just need to know how to do it.
Really.

Genevieve Ancog’s column originally appeared in Tuesday’s edition of the University of Hawaii’s Ka Leo O Hawaii.