It’s kind of difficult to answer the question, because really I believe that there is no such thing as a lady or a gentlemen. These are obsolete, condescending, insulting concepts and I never model my behaviour based on them. They are based on the assumption that women are inferior to men – physically, intellectually and emotionally – and thus deserve special consideration, like children do.
We are all people, period. Some of us are men and some of us are women. Some of us are stronger, some of us are weaker. Some of us require special treatment because of our physical circumstances, some of us don’t. None of these categories are intrinsically related to each other.
Whatever I am willing to do for a woman, I am willing to do for a man. When I pass through a door, I hold it open for whoever is behind me, regardless of whether they are men or women. When I am introduced to people, if I offer my hand to the men, I also offer my hand to the women. We are all human beings, we are all of equal dignity, and we all deserve equal consideration.
Riding the train, if I am sitting, I remain seated. If there are others standing and they are all of good health, then I keep my seat. It’s first-come, first-serve and I am just as needing of and deserving of comfort as anyone else. However, if there is someone who is particuarly infirm – whether because of illness, infirmity, pregnancy, or age (very young or very old) – then I may give up my seat, regardless of whether it is a man or a woman. If a woman would never consider giving up her seat for me, then I would never consider doing it for her either.
If I am dining with strangers, as each person enters, I will rise and offer my hand to introduce myself, regardless of sex and regardless of whether the situation is formal or casual. If it is people I know, then I may merely greet them without rising. Either way, I treat people without regard to their sex.