Friday, April 8, 2011
Men, Stop Holding Doors for Women!
Lately, I've noticed that a very old trend persists: men holding doors for women, while these same men stop short to extend such kindness to other men who lag only a step or two behind. Come on, guys.
Simply put, it’s 2011 and it’s time for our society to evolve and to stop chauvanistic behavior toward women. In the past, when a woman’s role was relegated to the domestic sphere – the home and children in it – men were taught to treat women differently from men. Such differences included holding doors, walking next to a woman on the street on her side closest to the curb, and a bevy of other chivalrous behaviors that were arguably intended to indicate respect in years past. News flash for anyone who still practices such behaviors: this isn’t really respect at all.
My point is far from misogynistic, but rather is universal: I believe we should all hold doors for each other independent of gender. In other words, a man should hold a door for a woman not because she is a woman, but because she is a fellow human being who is worth extending kindness to.
If men extend certain niceties to women but not to men, they reinforce this silly idea that men and women are entirely different species. Regardless of why John Gray (of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus fame) says, I disagree that men and women are inherently vastly different. Sure, there are differences, but it’s not good for men or women to focus on those. After all, if men and women are going to make romantic relationships work, don’t they need to focus on the similarities?
The more we, as a society, continue to engage in such rigid gender-bound behaviors, the more fixed and rigid sex roles will be, and romantic relationships will suffer as a result. The next time you find yourself at the threshold of a doorway and someone walks in front of or behind you, make an effort to hold the door for them – but be careful about why you tell yourself you’re doing it.
PLUS: In Dr. Seth's new book, Dr. Seth's Love Prescription: Find the Love You Deserve (available at Amazon.com or in stores at Borders and Barnes and Noble), he shows you how to stop repeating bad patterns in your romantic relationships. If you or someone you know keeps going for the wrong types of people and seems stuck on this awful hamster wheel, pick up a copy of Dr. Seth's Love Prescription today.