I was having lunch with my boyfriend. Suddenly he starts talking about gallantry.
“I was talking to a friend this morning and he was complaining about the British young men because he thinks they don’t know what “gallantry” is any more. But seriously, I think it’s just old-fashioned rubbish. I would never open a car door for a girl. It feels like as if I don’t think she is capable of opening the car door. It’s an insult to her as well, isn’t it? Men and women are equal nowadays. If men do those things for women then men are not respecting women’s ability to be independent.” He said, munching the food with delight.
“Ah, no.” I disagreed, like always, “I think it’s nice that you open doors for ladies.”
“Most of the girls I know wouldn’t be happy that I open car doors for them, and I know none of my friends would do that to a girl either.” He said, with the expression of telling a universal truth.
“Yeah, because you are Dutch. Where do you think the phrase ‘go Dutch’ come from?” I was smiling, teasing him.
“Ok, do Chinese men do that then? Opening car doors for girls?” He asked with a bit frustration.
“I don’t know, but I know that a Chinese girl would love that.” I said.
He was silent for a few seconds, looking at me.
“Ok.” He said, and then he went on keeping himself busy with his food. I smiled, let the topic drop.
After lunch I was still thinking about our talk. We had similar discussions before, and they were all about him believing that women are strong and independent. It’s a good point, of course, but sometimes it just goes too far. I guess the problem is that in China we didn’t make such a big fuss about Feminism like the Western world did, so we don’t really think about gender equality that much when it comes to men doing things for women. Actually many Chinese girlfriends quite enjoy it when boys do things for them, and sometimes the girls deliberately assume the weaker of the two sexes. We even have a phrase for these kind of girls, which is a good praise: 小鸟依人（xiao niao yi ren, as a little bird rests upon a man — a timid and lovable little woman）。
So, here’s one more secret for those western men out there who have their eyes on Chinese girls: we are not as obsessed with feminism as the western girls do. If you want to do something for us but fear that it might be disrespectful in terms of gender equality, don’t worry, just do it!