Someone should help him, I thought.
Before I could turn back, the man was almost down on the platform. He stretched out both arms in an obvious gesture. For a half second as well as occurred another passenger out of thin air. He took the old man under the arm and escorted him into the train.
Doors slammed. The train left the station.
then I stood in a packed metrovagn, right by the door, next to a skinny little lady. When the train slowed down, she took a firm hold of my arm and looked up at me. She was so small that she barely reached me to the shoulder.
" You may escort me out of the metro, she announced.
Her tone was obvious. She knew she had no right to ask me about this, and I knew that my duty was to do what she asked me.
When my children were small and I step into a bus with the child in his arms was the other passenger's reaction as self-evident. They stood and gave us his place. It was the end of it.
To fix men who want to be polite to women is to start in the wrong all the way
to people who either have reached a certain age or moving with small children simplifies a lot of communication in Russia. What it's about is, of course, hierarchies. Older people should have priority. Children should have the priority. For russians is the fact of the matter as self-evident as it is natural for swedes to queue.
That women should also have the priority in many situations in Russia is trickier for those who believe in gender equality. I am a convinced feminist, and why should I say no when male friends carry my backpack or pull out the chair for me in the restaurant. But I do not. They are my friends, and they want to show me respect, within the framework of their own culture. To correct the men who want to be polite to women, is according to me to start in the wrong end.
A female colleague of mine nagged frequently get carry the tripod for our common cameraman. It was for him a source of irritation and stress, because he faced all of the others had seemed like a swine if he had let her do it.
of course, not hierarchies, are not problematic. Above all, the hierarchies between man and woman.
In Russia, there are between women and men is an unwritten contract that men can do what they want as long as the family breadwinner, while women have the right to be supplied only to meet his part of the contract. Partly, they shall be responsible for the home, and secondly, make the effort to please the man.
Many russians think that the system is fair and good. In practice, it often leads to conflicts, because Russia is not saudi Arabia but a country where it constantly from liguria, skriks, debated, divided, sloughs and wet. I meet sometimes Swedish and nordic men love Russian women because they ”dare to be women”. The poor men have no idea about the Russian housewife the dream is not to be trifled with.
In Sweden, ask the older ones not for help and no one gives them a seat
get priority I perceive, however, that is very unproblematic. It is a total egalitarian and not tied to class, ethnicity or gender. When you become mature, it will also apply to you. If you have children, it will also apply to them. Perhaps that's why it so rarely leads to debate in Russia.
Sweden is an egalitarian, individualistic country with much greater social equality than in Russia. But in Sweden, asking older people do not for help and no one gives them any space on the bus. And if someone against all odds made it would he most likely consider that the hen has done a good deed.
Strictly speaking, it is certainly a good deed. But above all, it should be a normal one. Something you do without thinking.