Is chivalry dead? Not in Spain, but it’s debatable whether or not it’s done by choice by the male population. I’m not referring to the actions of every woman I’ve encountered here, but I am speaking to the majority. Sure, women should be treated with respect, but they don’t deserve preferential treatment from strangers just because they are of the opposite sex.
I realize I’m walking on a slippery slope here, but I’ll keep walking…
I’ve lost count how many times I’ve been stopped in my tracks to accommodate a woman. The grocery store seems to be a very popular place for women to assert themselves. For example, a woman and I approached the checkout counter at the very same time. She had a shopping cart filled to the brim and I had a half-full basket. Without even thinking, I established myself as the next person. Since I committed to being next in line, I didn’t look back, but she let me know that she wasn’t particularly pleased. She would scoff and constantly nip my heels with her cart every time the line inched forward. Lastly, she gave me a disappointed look when it was time for her to load her items on the belt.
At the pool, I was lectured for failing to hold a door open for a woman I didn’t see. I didn’t catch much of what the woman said since she was talking so fast and my spanish comprehension isn’t that great, but I got the gist of it – I need to have eyes in the back of my head. Gotcha.
There was another comical encounter while I was out on a ride. I was doing hill repeats and the particular descent took me through a small town at speeds easily in excess of 40 mph. The road leading into town was relatively straight, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone to see me coming through. A group of women were waiting to cross and looked in my direction. I had the green light and at a glance, it appeared that they all decided to wait for me to pass. That was until one woman was too impatient and decided to take a step forward.
Seriously? I’m traveling over 40 mph (or roughly 64 kph). Thankfully, she realized her bad judgement and hurried out of my way, but not before venting her frustrations at me.
I don’t know that the last example could have be categorized as a “chivalrous action” if played out differently, but it may of been the simple fact that a man did not yield for a woman.
This apparent lack of chivalry thing is funny to me, because I’ve never thought of myself as someone who isn’t. After all, I can say with confidence that my girlfriend never opens doors in my presence. She doesn’t expect me to beat her to every handle, but I make it a point to – or maybe I’m subconsciously racing her to every door and I win. Often.