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Dr. Helen

Should Men Open Doors for Women?

August 7th, 2012 - 5:36 am

I have been pondering this question lately as I have noticed that it is mostly older men that open doors for women anymore. Younger men tend to go in first and let the door hit you as you walk through. Though I am a woman, I tend to hold the door if I get to it first and will hold it for men or women. Reader TFR sent me the following email about his experience with door holding:

I work for a small software company in Austin, Texas. I am 58. We have a young intern, perhaps 25, from Germany. I was introduced to her once two weeks ago, but we have not worked together and so I have not really spoken with her since.

This morning we happened to be on the elevator together as we arrived at work. When arrived at our floor, I pushed the button to hold the elevator doors open as she walked out. She walked to the card reader that unlocks the entrance and swiped her card. I opened the door when I heard it unlock and held it for her as she stepped through. She actually laughed at me. And not in a good way. I had plenty to do and she is the darling of the CEO who is a woman, so I just got some coffee, went to my desk, and started my work. Elsewhere, I would have said something.

The funny thing is that because of incidents similar to this and worse, I’ve sworn off opening doors for unencumbered, able-bodied women that I don’t know. (I open doors for encumbered or infirm people regardless of gender or acquaintance or if it just makes physical sense.) In this case, I opened her door a) because she is a co-worker, and b) because she went to the card reader first and it would have been rude to just stand there.

On one hand, I want to ask all members of the XX crowd to get together and jot a note or two to tell the XY crowd how these things should work. Really, it can’t be that hard…..

I can understand why men no longer want to open doors or help women. I do feel sad, however, that it has come to a situation where society is at this level. In fact, in my forthcoming book on the war against men, I address how our society is breaking down because men no longer want to, or are even afraid to interact with women and girls.

Readers, what are your opinions on door holding?

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