Opening the door to a lady and letting her go first is a well-known gallantry rule but did you know there are some exceptions to it? In some cases, the man is actually supposed to go first! Here are 3 of these cases.

Ladies FirstCredit: sixninepixels

Image courtesy of Sixninepixels /

1. Entering a Restaurant

Even though it is quite common to let a lady go first when entering a restaurant, this is not theoretically correct in the gallantry world. Normally, the man should go first in this case.

Why? Because it is expected that people inside the restaurant may check who is entering and by going first the man is "protecting" the lady from too much unwanted attention.

Of course, this was at a time when ladies were shy and were embarrassed with too much attention. Nowadays, it seems, on the contrary, that some ladies would do anything for some attention (Miley Cyrus for example).

2. In Stairs

When going up the stairs, the lady should go first but when going down the stairs, it is the opposite.

Sounds complicated? It is not. Think about it this way: if the woman was to fell in the stairs, the man would be able to catch her and prevent her from falling further down.

You may wonder then why it wouldn't be the lady catching the man falling down? Well, men are supposed to be stronger. Also many women choose shoes on their look (elegant, stylish, fit with the dress, ...) at the expense of comfort and of how nice it is to walk with those shoes.

Badgley Mischka Women's Dulce Pump,Gold Glitter,11 M US
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The kind of shoes which look nice but aren't so good for stairs.

3. Eating Meat in Africa

In some African tribes, it is a custom for men to eat first and have women and children eat after that. This may sound rude to Westerners but the reason behind it is actually to protect the latter!

If the meat is not good and lead to food poisoning, it is better that men experience it first. They are supposedly stronger and, well, more "expendable".


There are other small exceptions to the Ladies First rule but these were the 3 main ones. In the future, if someone does let you first, wonder first if this is one of the exceptions before you get angry with him...