I’ve never seen a man holding a door open for a woman as a sexist issue and I’ve never seen it as a thing men do exclusively for women. I always have and always will hold doors open for people and say thank you when it’s done for me because holding a door open for somebody is just manners, not some big misogynistic problem.
NOPE. NOPE. nope. I don’t have the spoons to fully support what I want to say about this issue right now but maybe I’ll come back to it later. To be fair, musclesbetter can have that opinion/thought, I just don’t agree with it and feel like it is shortsighted not to view a man holding a door open for a woman as a sexist issue.
TO BE CLEAR: what I am focusing on is “the trend of [or the expectation of] men opening doors for women” NOT “anyone opening a door for anyone else who happens to be walking behind them / who is carrying a big thing in their arms and can’t open the door by themselves”. This specific subset of door-opening actions taking place by one group of people (men) for another group of people (women) CAN be thought of as sexist and misogynist because those actions ARE gendered. The feeling behind ~men opening doors for women~ stems from the general idea that women are lesser than men, that women need to be taken care of by men, and that women aren’t capable of doing things on their own (misogyny!). This does not mean that every time a man opens the door for a woman, he is thinking to himself “A lesser human! I must save her from the terrible door!!!” Usually opening a door for someone else is a nice gesture. It is important to think about the culture/society/atmosphere/situation in which that tradition started and continues in though.
If this were a completely innocent, non-sexist thing, everyone would be able to open doors for everyone. It wouldn’t be a ~thing~ for men to open doors for women, right? Everyone would just open doors for everyone else and there wouldn’t really be a need to gender that specific activity. This is NOT how it is right now — have any women ever tried to open doors for men? In my experience, there is usually a moment of hesitation on the man’s part and then they will wait for me to go through the door first, stand there awkwardly for too-long-a-moment and then walk through, or refuse to walk through the door. What the fuck, I’m opening the door for you! I’m trying to be polite! Oh wait, it probably carries a different meaning since I’m often perceived as a woman.
Maybe more on this later?
EDIT: http://www.gaelick.com/2011/11/attn-glinner-and-pals-do-not-confuse-manners-with-misogyny/18913/ This looks like a good article. I haven’t read it all the way through but they point out the history behind chivalry and what it means and such.