I have observed that men tend to behave differently when women are around -- even if the woman is more of a tom-boy than a "lady". They can't seem to help themselves; they get going in their wild and raunchy way, and then suddenly, inevitably, one of them will seem to remember that I am there, and although I am often the provoceur of the greatest buffoonery of all, the one who remembers that I am in fact not "one of the guys" suddenly seems a little bit, well, uncomfortable, for lack of a better word. It's kind of cute.
The other day on the way down the escalator, one of them grabbed my laptop bag and carried it all the way to the classroom. He wouldn't have done that for one of the other men. I found this intriguing. And... I kind of appreciated it! It made me feel special.
Some will no doubt call me anti-feminist when they read this, but I think I like chivalry. You know, the old fashioned, door opening, "ladies first" kind of nonsense. I like it! I think when a man behaves that way, my response immediately mirrors it. I become more polite, and find myself behaving in a more "lady-like" fashion, rather than acting like the hoodlum I typically engender.
I think feminine wit and intelligence can still flourish in a such a world.