An argument that those who pine for the days of unrepentant misogyny are fond of repeating is the idea that gender equality has eroded traditional ideas of chivalry that actually benefit women, e.g. holding the door and letting women go first, etcetera. I don't expect that any readers of this blog will harbor sympathy for that argument, so I won't spend time pointing out the flaws.
I do want to make an observation, though, in regards to the way the lack of gender symmetry in these traditional "chivalrous" ideals can wind up making people just plain rude. Now, I have to be careful here, because I'm making a little bit of a generalization based on anecdotal observation, so just keep in mind that I don't mean this as absolute, and it's quite possible I'm just wrong on this one. With that in mind, here we go...
If someone is five steps in front of me, it is their call if they want to hold the door. I usually will hold the door for people in that circumstance, but if I'm in a hurry I might just pretend I don't see them. When someone is that far behind, it requires one to stop and wait, and while it's certainly courteous to do so, I don't think it's compulsory. But if somebody is just one or two steps behind you, it just seems like basic common decency to, if not actually hold the door for the next person, at least give it a little shove so they can catch it as they reach the doorway, rather than making them lean in to open it again after you just opened it a second and a half ago.
And yet, every now and then, someone who clearly knew I was there (this morning I even made eye contact with the person as we were approaching the door from different directions) just lets the door close immediately behind their ass -- something I find pretty rude. It's a dis. An unnecessary door-in-the-face, that the person could have prevented with a little push.
And here comes the dangerous generalization: It seems to me, in my experience, that the people most likely to do this are older women. Sometimes a younger woman will do it, and I've even had a man do it to me on a few occasions. But I suspect this has something to do with this outdated notion of "chivalry". I suspect that, to some women, men hold the door for them, but they do not hold the door for men.
Like I say, that's fine if the person is five steps behind you. But to not even give the door a "push" so someone a step behind you can catch it? Please. That's so fucking rude. And I blame chivalry for it. Screw that.
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