Encounter with a machista

It’s a man’s world, but times are changing.  Women around the world are demanding change in the things as they are in a male-dominated society.  We have power and have to own it.

I had an interesting situation today while walking to the bank.  Buenos Aires is a walking city.  It’s normal for men to move aside for women, young to change their path for seniors.  There is courtesy on the street.

I was walking next to the buildings on a wide sidewalk when I was suddenly confronted by a man from the other direction.  He decided that I should move for him because he wanted to enter an apartment building a few feet away.  In all of my twenty years in Buenos Aires, this was the first time I met someone who didn’t behave as a gentleman.

We were standing there for a few minutes.  I smiled and asked if he knows how to dance.  It felt like I was meeting someone on the dance floor.  No, I don’t dance, he said.  I was speaking in a normal tone of voice while smiling at him.  I said, gentlemen move for ladies.  You’re aggressive, he said, and I’m no gentleman.

If I had to deal with this situation regularly, I might have left the country years ago.  The milongueros viejos I’ve known over the years are gentlemen.

When I entered and left the bank, gentlemen held the door for me.  That’s the way it is.  Courtesy hasn’t gone out of style.

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6 Responses to “Encounter with a machista”

  1. douglasjrhodes Says:

    In my opinion, being rude is never in style, no matter what country you’re in, especially in public places. Sorry you had to experience that. Hopefully, he was just having a bad day? If not, he has to live in is own misery everyday.

  2. jantango Says:

    He was old enough to know better. Gentlemen step aside for ladies, always.

  3. Felicity Graham Says:

    The courtesy I found in the Buenos Aires milongas does exist in European milongas and it feels quite special, different to the outside world, or, notched up a little.

    But the courtesy in Buenos Aires was up another level yet – both on public transport and in the milonga. And it was more than that. You would walk past guys and they would all move aside. You would appreciate that from them and most certainly know that while they did so, they were also appreciating you. That bit doesn’t happen so much in Europe.

  4. HB Says:

    These two statements are inconsistent:

    1: “Women around the world are demanding change in the things as they are in a male-dominated society. We have power and have to own it.”

    2: “It’s normal for men to move aside for women”

    Here are two examples of consistency:

    a.1) Women around the world demand to remain feminine and be admired just for that.
    a.2) “It’s normal for men to move aside for women”

    or

    b.1) “Women around the world are demanding change in the things as they are in a male-dominated society. We have power and have to own it.”
    b.2) Women find it offensive that men move aside for women, as it may suggest that women are inferior to men.

  5. jantango Says:

    I find your comments interesting. Is common courtesy no longer acceptable?

  6. HB Says:

    Common courtesy is fine and very welcome. It is a demand for a courtesy from others that may not be very courteous. In my view, courtesy towards the elders is mandatory. General courtesy towards the peers is very desirable. But, I do not see why women who want more power and equality still insist on special treatment courtesy-wise.

    One more detail caught my attention:

    > We were standing there for a few minutes.

    When I have a similar encounter, it lasts only few seconds. When it takes “a few minutes”, I am wondering what was really going on. Someone was trying to teach someone else “a lesson” by blocking the other’s person way? Perhaps not, but if so, the man might have had a point: “You’re aggressive, he said”

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