A young Atlanta woman named Ibi, posted a picture to her Twitter account showing a man and a woman walking down the road together.
Radio station 91-X San Diego picked up the tweet, commenting that the photo was picking up traction and asking the men in their audience if they noticed what was “wrong” with the photo as well.
“This pic is getting a lot of discussions going. Guys, do you know what is wrong here?” They ask on Facebook.
If the answer doesn’t jump out at you, look closely. On which side of the sidewalk are the man and woman walking?
According to a chapter from Emily Post written in 1922, gentlemen should always take the curbside while escorting a lady down the street. Modern Gentlemen Magazine agrees, that in order to protect a woman from “unpleasantness”, a gentleman should walk on the outside of the pavement regardless if it’s the left or right side.
The reasoning dates back to the era of horse-drawn carriages. Men walked on the side closest to the street to prevent ladies from being splashed by mud kicked up in the street.
However, ETQT cites an excerpt from Emily Post in their review of the subject that suggests either side is appropriate.
“[I]t used to be that a man escorting a woman on the street walked on the inside so that if waste were thrown out a window it would hit him and not her. Then when sanitation became recognized as important and people stopped tossing their waste into the street, custom changed and a man escorting a woman walked on the street side to keep her from being splashed by mud thrown up by carriage wheels or horses’ hooves.
Technology has paved our streets and replaced carriages as the primary source of travel, eliminating the danger of splashing on all but rainy, slushy days, so men once again might walk on the inside, particularly at night in dangerous neighborhoods…”
So, is this man simply unchivalrous, or do modern etiquette rules dictate a different approach?