I’m not quite clear about why we had to do that last one. One theory I read was that the woman would be shielded if a car passing in the street splashed through a puddle of water. Another was that, in the really olden days, people in the upper floor of buildings had a tendency to toss their garbage out the window and it would arc onto the heads of the person walking farther away from the building. That’s probably why so many men wore hats.
But the whole male-female courtesy thing took a U-turn in the ‘70s. I personally trace it to the day a co-worker and I were boarding an elevator.
“After you,” I said to her.
“Oh, no,” she replied, “after YOU.”
“Chivalry is not dead,” I declared.
“No,” she snapped, “but it’s mostly useless.”
Maybe she was right. But at least pregnant women didn’t need to wear signs to receive the consideration they deserved.