"I sighed and chipped in with: "This is the post-feminist backlash. Men don't want to help women because we're scared of appearing patronising. You might offer to help change a tyre and get a slap for being sexist." Oh gosh, it's a real laugh because otherwise you'll cry sitch Martin.
But seriously though: "Yet, as the laughter subsided, every single man - and most of the women - said they agreed with me. For the sad truth is: chivalry has suffered death by a thousand (Guardian) paper cuts."
If we are going to crack out the anecdata here I have never witnessed anybody being shot down for being polite. I'm a feminist and a commuter. Because I take Southern and First Capital Connect trains I am often on delayed and very overcrowded trains. Various men have, very generously, offered me their seat. There's no mistaking me for a pregnant woman, usually they are just getting off at the next stop and I probably look tired and overburdened with a bag and a chunky laptop. I say thank you and I take the damn seat. I am thanking them for their consideration and politeness.
I do not immediately tweet #chivalrysnotdead or slap them for sexism because it wasn't an act of chivalry or sexism. Just as it wouldn't be an act of ableism (please correct me if I am wrong) to offer the seat to someone with a disability. It isn't a question of chivalry, it's a question of train companies not providing enough carriages or regular services.
The pink bib emblazoned with the words "born to shop" is not a "child's bib", it is a girl's bib and that is the problem
Speaking patronisingly of how the Everyday Sexism Project had been a guilty pleasure, Daubney says: "I am 100 per cent with them when they publicly shame idiots who shout threats of rape or sexually intimidate women in gangs. There is an abundance of male behaviour that is deserving of fierce criticism. But I lose the will to live when feminist bloggers find sexism in places where it doesn't exist, and draw a line from something trivial and stupid (say, a pink child's bib with the logo "born to shop" on it) to something serious and frightening (eg rape culture)."
This is a great show of how often some people miss the point entirely. The pink bib emblazoned with the words "born to shop" is not a "child's bib", it is a girl's bib and that is the problem. Our sexist and impolite society condemns girls to be victims of capitalism and consumerism before they can eat politely, let alone have an income of any kind to immediately spaff on products that make them more acceptable to society. Which thrives upon their insecurities, which HI! is sexism. Which extends into rape culture.
Chivalry was designed as part of the formation of a brotherhood in arms. According to a recent In Our Time the original chivalrous knight was "chaste, virtuous, humble and willing to shed his blood as Christ shed his blood" perhaps doors hadn't been invented then but if they had you can bet the truly chivalrous would not open and hold a door purely for the expected profuse thanks.
Feminism and the fight for equal rights is not some campaign for mutual rudeness but mutual politeness and consideration. Is that too much to ask?