National Affairs: Social Code: Let Her Pay

Feminine awareness has not killed chivalry, but it has subtly changed the rituals of social encounter between the sexes. Chivalry as an explicitly male-to-female practice has always implied a world of condescension—weaker women deferred to, cosseted, on the implicit theory that they were physically handicapped. Some women mourn its decline.

"I feel ambivalent about change in the small ways, like a man standing up or holding the door," says Enid Slack, community affairs director of the United Bank of Denver. "There is now a fear syndrome in men. They are afraid women might...

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