This was a mini-topic in the blogosphere a couple of weeks ago. A few blogs I read were having discussions about the practice of opening doors for women as it pertains to the larger topic of chivalry. (Sorry, I’m too lazy to research and link — just take my word)
I had nothing to add to the discussion — like most other men weighing in on the topic, I open the door for people, especially if I happen to be closest to the door.
And if I happen to take greater pains to the open the door for women (as opposed to men), then so be it. When doing that, it’s not a comment on their supposedly "weaker" sex. I’m not, as someone wrote tongue-in-cheek, expecting a blowjob for my minimal effort. And frankly, as "chivalry" goes, it’s a pretty meager display of it.
It’s just — I don’t know — something I do, reflexively. Deal with it.
So I was taken aback by this comment from George Will, in a post about manners in today’s society:
Furthermore, it is a brave, or foolhardy, man who shows traditional manners toward women. In today’s world of "hair-trigger sensitivity," to open a door for a woman is to play what Truss calls Gallantry Russian Roulette: You risk a high-decibel lecture on gender politics.
I’m "brave"? Or "foolhardy"? How?
I suppose that I have engaged opening doors for women literally thousands of times in my life, from Boston to New York City to rural North Carolina. And statistically, I probably have opened the door for many liberated women (the kind that Limbaugh calls "feminazis").
And not once — NOT ONCE — have I been subjected to a "high-decibel lecture on gender politics" for this minor traditional act. Furthermore, I have never seen anyone else subjected to such a lecture for the same thing. Not once.
Am I a fluke? What is Will talking about? Has anyone ever seen anyone be lectured at simply for opening a door for a woman, or is this (as I suspect) some sort of urban myth? I’d be interested in hearing anecdotal evidence of this, because I suspect this is — um — total bullshit from social conservatives.