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opening doors

March 18, 2010

Looking for advice here. A lot of guys have been raised that it’s polite to hold doors open for women. I don’t happen to agree with that. I also, though, don’t want to make a fuss out of it all the time. While I’m totally willing to go into indepth discussions of my feminist theories here, I’d really rather not do it randomly in public. It’s time consuming, and I don’t want to bother the nice guy opening the door for me. Really, I understand that he’s doing it to be polite. I respect that.
I just don’t want him to do it for me. I have a lot of problems with that. I respect his right to do it, and I respect the right of other women to be pleased and accept that action. It’s not for me, though, and I want my ability to decide what happens in my life to be respected.
So here’s my question. How can I decline an open door politely, without being a bitch or having to give a soliloquy each time? How can I make it clear that I understand why a guy is opening the door for me, and I appreciate it, I just don’t want him to do it for me? Is there even a way?

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. ashley permalink
    March 19, 2010 8:25 pm

    Do you hold the door open for people? Why is it any different? Why does it have to be a gender issue?

  2. March 20, 2010 6:35 am

    I do hold doors open for people sometimes, but that is different. Men are raised that the chivalrous thing to do is to hold doors open for women. In fact, I knew a guy who refused to walk through a door I held open for him because he felt so strongly that he was supposed to be doing that for me. I’m not the one who has made it a gender issue; our culture has decided it’s a gender thing. Yeah, some people just hold doors. But some men make a fuss that makes it pretty clear why their holding the door for me, and it makes me uncomfortable.

  3. Amanda permalink
    March 20, 2010 10:10 am

    I think if someone makes a fuss about it being a guy thing to do as opposed to a polite human to human thing to do making a joke out of it is probably the best plan. If you do a “soliloquy” you will be labeled as a “raging feminist”. Maybe instead doing something like walking through, doing an exaggerated curtsy and saying “now I must run off to the kitchen where I shall cook dinner while barefoot and pregnant like I belong” in a super proper lady voice (annoying word I agree), laugh and keep walking. It makes your point with humor rather than a serious discussion that no one wants to have.

    I do think at a nice place like a restaurant, ball ect… it has to be accepted. And honestly I expect it. If we go through the extra effort of looking nice than they can go through the extra effort of opening a door. Then its not a chivalry thing, everyone knows we can open our own doors its a sign of respect and thanks for allowing them to share your company.

  4. March 21, 2010 3:44 pm

    I open doors for everybody because it is nice. Also, it reminds me that I do not need to be first or in a hurry. I see two things you could do if you do not want men opening doors for you. The first is to make a t-shirt with something on it to show you don’t like door openers. The other would be to change direction and walk somewhere else when you see a man opening a door for you. :) Maybe you could act as though you forgot something in your car?

  5. Erik permalink
    March 24, 2010 5:05 pm

    Honestly, as a man, I’m a bit offended when men hold doors open for women and not me… It should just be something people do for other people, regardless of gender.

    But I think making a big deal of it (just as Amanda says) doesn’t really help the situation unless it’s with someone you’re willing to have a lengthy conversation about it. Better to just walk ahead and then open the next door for them (or wait for the next time). If it’s some random person, for all you know they do it for everyone just like I do… I know a number of people who take that stance (presumably just like zebulonthered)

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