Blaise Tapp: Time to stand up for old fashioned chivalry

Commuters should think of others.
Commuters should think of others.
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A great deal of fuss has been made about the death of chivalry, with some even claiming that feminists are the executioners-in-chief.

While I have never taken a Swan Vesta to a 34C Playtex, to suggest that a significant proportion of men have stopped treating women with courtesy because they fear a kick in the unmentionables is as ridiculous as Nigel Farage’s yellow cord trousers.

It seems to me, stuck here in my Life on My Mars-style parallel universe, that nobody gives two hoots about anyone else.

I was brought up with three golden rules ringing in my ears: don’t cheek the teacher; never eat more than two Wagon Wheels in a sitting, and always stand up for old people and pregnant women while travelling on the 192.

It was, and still is the law in our house. Of course times have changed and while there are a few po-faced feminists who would rather watch me do the Lambada in the altogether than accept my warm seat, most people will do one of two things – accept or decline.

That’s it. You are not going to get beaten to death with a well-thumbed copy of Cosmopolitan just for offering to be a gentleman, so enough of the excuses.

These useless types are the sort who happily let the pregnant Mrs Tapp stand up for part of her hour-long commute into work, pretending to be asleep rather than make way for make someone who clearly needs the seat more than them.

Even the dirty great big ‘Baby on Board’ badge handed out by London Transport doesn’t always do the trick, with some clearly suffering from temporary blindness on top of permanent pig ignorance.

If I am being honest this is not necessarily all about today’s lack of old fashioned chivalry in society as there is nothing to stop a fit young woman from making way for somebody her senior. It seems to me, stuck here in my Life on My Mars-style parallel universe, that nobody gives two hoots about anyone else, so wrapped up are we in our insular little lives.

We would rather sit comfortably in our seat and compose a witty tweet than inconvenience ourselves by standing up for an 86-year-old with six Aldi bags and a limp which has plagued her ever she tripped over her Schnauzer.

The boneheads will argue that travelling on public transport is a dear do and that it is not their fault that there are not enough places to sit. It is this survival of the fittest attitude which mean that seeing a cub scout, or anybody else for that matter, walk an old lady across the road is as rare as rocking horse dung.

We can learn a lot from older generations, with my own grandfather being a shining example. At 93 he is recovering from pneumonia and recently hopped on the bus to save him the short walk home. A woman, young enough to be his daughter, offered up her seat but he declined. Why? “I would be too embarrassed to accept.”

Chivalry is not quite dead but it is in terminal decline unless today’s generation takes a huge step back in time rather than keep on making feeble excuses.

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