Chivalry is dead.
Or so we’ve been told by various women over the years. Men no longer open doors, give up their seats on the bus, hold the umbrella (for rain or shine), or tie handkerchiefs to their lances before a big joust. (Apparently, these women have never been to Europe.)
Now, all this may be true, but times change and modern society has found new ways to give women preferential treatment. Free entry into nightclubs, for example, or complimentary drinks on Ladies’ Night. Or rather, Ladies’ Week, as it should be called in Shanghai, where women can drink to their hearts’ content from Monday to Saturday without spending a jiao.
Some may find this a little excessive, but that’s probably just bitter, jealous men talking. In fact, the whole ‘free-for-the-ladies’ trend has just been taken one step further: Xintiandi’s UME Cineplex is giving away free movie tickets for tonight’s premier of Transformers to any woman accompanying a man with a regular ticket.
Is this just smart marketing for a movie that probably doesn’t have tremendous initial appeal among Shanghai’s female population? Or is it a sign that tickets, popcorn and soft drinks will soon be on the house for China’s gentler sex?
If it’s the latter, expect cinemas to get a lot more crowded. Just remember: cellphones are to be switched off, and no shouting at the screen, please.