Traditionally, when a gentleman and a lady walk together down a street, the gentleman walks on the outside or curb side of the sidewalk.
When a couple is walking somewhere other than on a sidewalk, the gentleman always walks on the lady’s left side. This is the same position a wedding couple will exit the church after the ceremony.
In times past, it was not uncommon for a married man to have an escort for an evening. In this situation, the man walked on the escort’s right side. By doing so, it was very easy for others to identify the woman as his mistress or his wife.
Okay, I’m walking with my wife (or other female) when it become necessary due to oncoming people traffic to go single file. Do I rush ahead to forge a path (the woman could then take offense to being left behind or in being treated as a second class subordinate) or do I drop back and force her to face the oncoming assault of traffic (she could also take offense with this or view it as rude)?