This is a tough one as I have yet to personally encounter any members of the feminist movement, but then I do live in a rural area. So I begin with this one.
The only exposure I have had to members of the feminist movement has been through media outlets(internet, videos and television) and it appears that this is a “big city” occurrence. It is therefore highly unlikely that I will ever encounter the members of the feminist movement in their environment, as I have no plans to go to any big city. It is likely on the other hand that a member of the feminist movement will encounter me in my environment while on vacation or just passing through going to the next big city for a rally.
You may encounter me or someone like me and this is intended to lessen the shock, this is what you should look for. If I arrive at a door before you I will open the door and wait for you to enter. If in a store and we happen to arrive at an intersection in the aisle I will stop and let you pass. If I happen to pass you in opposite directions I will tip my hat and simply say Ma’am. If I am seated and you are standing I will get up and offer you the seat, whether you accept the seat or not I will remain standing, you may as well take the seat as it will remain vacant if you do not. I stand and expect you to take the seat, I do not demand you take the seat, the choice is yours. I only offer you the choice.
I was raised in the south where good manners and respect were and are a way of life. Good manners and respect are what I display, what I do I do for those reasons and no other. My actions are not a ploy to get in your pants, get over yourself. Accept what I do while you are in my environment, if for no other reason than as a show of respect for good manners. If for some unforeseen reason I encounter you in you environment I will accept your display of bad manners, respecting you wishes. With the exception of the chair thing I guess it will remain vacant.
If you as a member of the feminist movement were on a ship at sea that begins to sink, the order is given to abandon ship is given and the lifeboats are lowered and someone announces women and children first what will you do? Will you accept and take your place as a woman and board the lifeboat? Or will you stand with the men while the women and children are saved? This action leaves the men in a perilous situation. There are never enough lifeboats. Get in the damned boat, Ma’am.
When I do sit I sit comfortably I do not slouch or over exaggerate, nor will I be forced to sit in a position that causes pain.
So the question is can gentlemen and feminists coexist? The jury is still out on this question, but the answer will be no if one side makes demands of the other. I act the way I do because of good manners and respect, no one demanded that it of me. Do I have expectations?. Yes, I expect a man to act as man and as a gentleman when appropriate and I expect a woman, lady as it were, to act as a lady. Hence the phrase Ladies and Gentlemen. Even in that phrase the Lady is first, just like the lifeboat. You will notice that I only said I have expectations, I do not demand that a man act as a man or when appropriate as a gentleman, nor do I demand that a woman act like a woman or a lady for that matter. Making demands of others will never lead to a peaceful coexistence.
I and those like me are Men in the presence of Men, and we are Gentlemen in the presence of Women, Ladies as it were. A Gentleman will fight for the honor of a Lady.