Back in the sixties, the term "lady" was reviled as sexist and elitist. Instead, we all became "women." Never mind that our mothers had raised us to be ladies or that every restroom door with aspirations so called us. We were all um-galla-galla, muscle-pumping, equal-rights, bra-less WOMEN!
Then our bodies sagged and our spirits flagged. Maybe there was something nice about having a door opened for you, especially when you were pushing a grocery cart full of rapidly-defrosting food and rambunctious children. Maybe it made us feel special to have waiters take our orders before our escort's. Maybe the word "lady" wasn't so demeaning after all.
"Lady" made a comeback, but instead of being an upscale alternative to "woman," "lady" seems have replaced it. Thus one hear embezzlers, hookers, even murderesses, referred to on news broadcast as "ladies."
Maybe it's time to revive "woman" again.