Over the course of the last few years in China, I have been observing a disheartening trend. At the beginning it wasn't so prevalent among Shanghai's inhabitants but since the beginning of this year, it's been very clear that it's accepted as the norm.
What I'm talking about is that I have noticed that among foreign (mainly caucasian) men in Shanghai, it seems that men are not expected to be chivalrous anymore. Now there's a catch; when I am with Christoph, he always opens the door for me or any woman in our vicinity,or helps me and other ladies with our bags etc. And when we're together, the other caucasian man would open doors etc. However, when I'm not with Christoph, I'm just one among many Chinese women in the city. So with this appearance, I have been pushed aside by caucasian men while walking or lining up and when doors are open, the men go through first without a glance in my direction. Only when I open the door will they allow me to go first!
My thinking may seem very old fashioned and, yes, women have long demanded equality but that doesn't mean we want to be treated like the next bloke on the street. Chinese men have been gradually learning gentlemanly behaviour from their western counterparts to where I have seen an increase over the years of their chivalrous actions (well, they kind of go overboard with carrying handbags for their ladies though). On the other hand, instances of chivalry in western men has definitely declined!
The funny thing is that I only experience this in China :-( Is it a switch that men turn off the moment they land on Chinese soil? I know that the Chinese can be loud and chaotic, but most are trying to behave better. Even I have to push and shove sometimes but it's coming to a point where I'm more chivalrous than the white dudes around me!