A Plea to (Some) Modern Women…

Please don’t condemn me for being courteous.

When I open the door for you or have you pass through first, it isn’t because I think you’re incapable of opening the door for yourself or that I think you’re any kind of “weaker” gender.  The same thing goes for whenever I pull a chair out for you and gently push it in as you settle in your seat.  I’m not trying to be chivalrous, or to live in the past — I’m just being gracious.

I happen to think that being a gentleman is not a bad thing.  I get annoyed when I see some men — especially the youth — with little to no manners toward women.  I cringe whenever a man goes through a door and allows it to swing shut toward a woman who walks in after him. I consider that discourteous and tacky.

But, I wonder, if this is because they’ve been told by some women not to open doors for them or make them go through first…

I should clarify that it’s not about respect.  I respect you without opening the door for you or pulling out your chair or closing the car door after allowing you to sit first or carrying that heavy bag for you.  And, if you refuse what you may interpret as “help” from me, I will gladly yield.

Yes, I realize that times change, and that people change, but I also believe some things should never change.


10 Responses to “A Plea to (Some) Modern Women…”

  1. 1 megan November 14, 2008 at 6:25 am

    I don’t expect men to do anything that I wouldn’t do for them, and that includes holding a door. That said, I wish more men would behave like gentlemen, and that more women would behave like ladies. I think there is a sense of common courtesy and politeness that has evaporated from our society. It’s sad, really. Good for you for keeping a good habit alive and well. After all, being a gentleman is extremely attractive to some women!

  2. 2 norikostale November 14, 2008 at 6:49 am

    Hi: Nice post. It is an odd thing when one’s attempt to be courteous is interpreted somehow as something to be angry about. I think that this is much less prominent than it was 20 years ago, fortunately. I recall being attacked in a meeting because I innocently used the word “ladies”, not yet knowing that this word had arbitrarily been outlawed.

    In short, though the women’s movement may indeed have been socially progressive, it certainly brought with it a lot of unfortunate baggage which is still in the process of resolving itself.

    For myself, I have resolved the courtesy thing by generally holding door’s for EVERYONE. It seems to work, as I have encountered so far no untoward responses (from men or woman).

    Regarding the related subject of men, women, and power, I have treated this subject with humor, presenting it from the perspective of my Japanese wife, whose worldview certainly doesn’t square up with the old school American “women’s liberation” mentality. If interested, check it out at: http://www.norikostale.wordpress.com

    Thanks for the nice post, Jim

  3. 3 DAVE ID November 14, 2008 at 9:00 am

    I tend to frequent women that are fiercely independent and strong because I don’t want dependents, clear enough huh? But yet I was raised to be a gentleman like you and I can’t help it. For me it’s simple protocol. And I just keep doing it even if my lady friend dislikes it. It’s mechanical for me. I don’t feel women are helpless, but I feel right to treat them with respect and dignity and let them know that they are appreciated.

  4. 4 waimomona November 14, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Right on! Right on! Thank you for such a beautiful and well stated post….I really agree with you 100%. Thank you, sir…Waimomona

  5. 5 DC November 14, 2008 at 10:03 am

    I don’t mind a door being opened for me except when it’s being held open while I’m still a ways away from the door. Then I feel like I have to hurry so that person isn’t standing there holding the door. And I sometimes don’t want to walk faster or jog to the door but then I feel I have to…sigh

  6. 6 John Masters November 14, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    Amen… I was brought up to hold the door for a woman, and I do this for any woman whether it is my wife or stranger. But you forgot to mention the strange phenomenon that happens these days. Scenario A: your significant other and you go to enter a restaurant and you hold open the door for her as you enter, before you go in you notice another one right behind you so you continue to hold the door as 10,000 people men and women proceed to go through the door as you hold it. Scenario B: You approach said door with significant other to leave an establishment. On the other side of the door is another couple you hold the door for your significant other and you keep it open for the other woman as well. Now I am no etiquitte master but I think the rule goes that the other man then should let you pass and then he enters. But this is not how scenario B plays out. It goes like this. Your wife et al goes out other woman comes in (sometimes proceeded by the other man who feels you were holding it open for him) as he passes he says thank you then 30,000 people proceed to run in and let you stand there as if you were the door man. This happens a lot and I dont understand it.
    ok Done venting ha – excellent post – John

  7. 7 jonsquared November 15, 2008 at 6:38 am

    @ megan – yes, ‘common courtesies’ have definitely done a disappearing act.

    @ norikostale – thanks for stopping by! i love japanese culture so i’ll be checking out your blog 🙂

    @ DAVE – it’s ‘mechanical’ for me as well; i can’t help it. this is why i’m taken aback when i’m called on it.

    @ waimomona – thanks for your comment 🙂

    @ DC – i definitely can see how that can be annoying, and make it a point that i don’t do that

    @ John Masters – those clown car door moments irk me as well. glad you could vent 🙂

  8. 8 curlywurlygurly November 17, 2008 at 5:20 am

    i’m an independent woman who does NOT mind if a man holds a door for me, pulls out or pushes in my chair, et al. i’m thankful and consider it an act of kindness.

    now…if i could just find a man to throw his cape over muddy puddles for me, then life would be grand! 🙂

  9. 9 nectarfizz December 3, 2008 at 10:08 am

    Jon..sometimes I could just kiss your gentlemanly face..you are amazing..hold the door for me ANYTIME!!!

  10. 10 BigLittleWolf September 23, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    Good manners are always in fashion. But what constitutes “manners” will vary. As for me, I’ll leap the muddy puddles (or wade through barefoot – that’s sort of fun) – but open my door anytime! And I’ll even say thank you.

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