Don’t get me wrong.

As a woman, I don’t mind having doors opened for me, those chairs pulled, and the hand on my back ushering me in; despite the fact that last I checked, my being a woman did nothing to hamper my ability to open the door or make sure my ass finds that chair without hitting the floor or, you know, just get through the damn door without being ushered in.

Then, there are times when I am left utterly confused as to whether I should be offended or flattered because the intent is sweet but the gesture is so utterly idiotic and patronizing.

For instance, this one time, a dear friend (not a misogynist to the best of my knowledge) insisted that he’d escort me down a hill slope during a hiking trip because “I shouldn’t be going alone.”

It was broad daylight. And the slope was less than 100 meters long. The jungle around was a parody of the idea of woods and I was in no evident danger of being eaten by wolves, animals, or humankind.

He was, however, convinced it was how a lady should be treated, and, also, he was actually concerned about me.

Both were a strange mixture of adorably sweet intent and annoyingly patronizing alpha male instinct. I settled for it being adorable but made it a point to tell him that it was kind of patronizing.

Because all things considered, all this “gentlemanly” stuff is kind of nice. It is also one of those rare instances where apologetic patriarchy is at play, whether the players are aware or not.

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