Sometimes I wonder if chivalry is dead. My observations stem from how men treat women on public transit in Vancouver.
Just recently I was carrying a bulky box to an event. My dolly broke as soon as I got off the bus, so I had to carry the box on my own. A young man saw me struggling and right away offered to help. As he was carrying the box for me, he told me that he is from Brazil and just came to Canada 4 month ago. That right away answered my question why he offered his help right away. Vancouver boys keep their distance and rarely offer.
On another instance I had a big suitcase and I was trying to drag it off the stairs while wearing high heel stiletto shoes. Needless to say, I almost lost my balance. At that moment a Canadian man grabbed my suitcase and saved me from falling. But immediately I saw fear in his eyes and he even asked if it’s OK that he helped out, as if permission is required to do a good deed.
Hence my prediction for that sunny Brazilian guy is that for a few years of living in Vancouver he’ll encounter women who have their head full of some feminist nonsense and they will get upset at him for even thinking that they may be in need of some help. He may notice the person with a heavy bag and think to himself that maybe she doesn’t want to be helped.
A Russian man told me that one time he saw a woman with too many children and a baby stroller trying to get off the bus. One of her kids almost fell off the steps when mom was struggling with the baby carriage. That man quickly reacted and picked up the child, landing him safely on the ground. After that, instead of a thank you, he got yelled at for how he is not supposed to touch her kids.
At some point I was also in a habit of jumping up from my seat as soon as I would see an elderly person. It ended the day that one of those seniors physically pushed me back to sit down with such rage, insulted by the gesture to offer her a seat.
Well, I did get chased out of my seat this summer by quite a healthy-looking fellow who turns out just turned 65. He demanded to sit in the first row when the second row had a spare seat. Literally one step away! A gay guy sitting right next to me also in that priority seating row somehow didn’t get picked on and even started hissing at me to move faster. I had to get up, take my heavy suitcase, and move to the empty seat behind.
Karma sometimes gets those nasty people. On a non-crowded train a guy started picking up a confrontation with me because I put my purse on the seat next to me. Shortly after the ticket police came and turned out that he was riding without a proper fare. I was laughing at him as the officer escorted him out.