Recovered from the Wayback Machine.
I never feel totally complete until I’ve written my first man/woman post of the new year. Thankfully, I’ve been given an opportunity tonight. Lauren from Feministe points to an article written by a Fox journalist about opening a door for a woman and her getting irritated by the act. Michelle of A Small Victory joined in on the discussion at her site, which can usually be counted on to be a good show.
Lauren and Roxanne debated the truth of the story, primarily because they have not seen a woman respond angrily for having the door held open for them.
Michele, though, thinks the story is accurate and puts on a pretty good rant about women such as this. The part I liked best follows:
Yet there are women who feel coddled and like lesser beings when someone – in particular a male someone – extends a courtesy to them. I can’t imagine the size of the stick that needs to be up one’s ass in order to feel slighted by an act of politeness. It must be painful to walk around like that all day. And I wonder what the same woman would think if a man walked into a store in front of her and let the door just close behind him – she would probably tell him that he’s insensitive to the needs of women and is therefore a misogynist.
You can’t win with people like that. You’re either making them feel like puny humans or you’re being condescending by trying to not make them feel like puny humans. If having a door held open for you makes you feel weak, then I suggest you have some deep-rooted problems in regards to male figures and your militant feminism is only going to exacerbate your already seething hatred towards the male species. Here’s their core belief:
Men are evil.
Men who are nice are even more evil because they are only being nice in order to subjugate you.
Personally, I like evil men. I like men with black hair, black eyes, and black hearts. When they have their way with you, they’re doing so because they really want to, not because they’re being polite. It’s a boost to one’s self-esteem.
Seriously, I have never seen a woman get mad at a man for him holding the door open for her. I have seen people a little frustrated when the person holding the door is 50 feet away, thereby forcing the recipient of the courtesy to sprint for the exit so as not to seem like they’re taking advantage of the kindness.
I hold doors open for anyone behind me when I deem letting it go would close it in their face. I also open doors for elderly people, people with lots of packages, lots of kids, or both. I have rarely seen anyone who doesn’t perform this simple act of courtesy.
But I think that Lauren, Roxanne, and Michele all missed something in Cavuto’s description. According to his writing, earlier he had stepped out of the way to let the woman off the elevator. I think readers assumed that he did so when he was getting on. However, if he also held the door open for the lady, he must have been getting off at the same floor as she, and was in the front of the elevator. When the doors opened, he would have probably stepped aside and gestured for her to leave first.
Now, I also do this in elevators – for old people or others who are infirm, or if the elevator is full and I have the best access to either the door or the open button. If this happened to me, and it was only the two of us, I would have felt uncomfortable with the gesture. Now, if he did this, and then sprinted ahead of me to hold the door open, and did so with a coy flourish, I might have made a comment to the effect that I am neither old nor infirm, but thank you all the same. Depending on how much flourish he used would determine the degree of crispness I imbued into my response.
That’s the devil in tales such as these: making a judgment of behavior based on one event and one perspective, when acts such as these usually follow on a sequence of intricate, interwoven events.
I would agree with Michele that the writer is most likely not lying, but I do think he has a biased perspective. Of course he has–all writers do. I would also say that the woman’s response could be accurate as portrayed, but when viewed from the perspective of the events I surmised from the writing, could also be quite understandable.
Additionally, and this to Mr. Cavuto: I don’t know about the door thing, but following a woman who obviously has no interest in your company and asking what got the bug up her butt will get you arrested here in Missouri, and most of the other 50 states. It’s called harassment.
My, that was a fun exercise. Now, where are the women of weblogging?