Friday, January 29, 2010

Does this make me sexist?

Yesterday I got to the outer doors of my building at about the same time as a guy.

We looked at each other, and he paused. So I reached for the handle, opened the door, and held it for him.

He said, "Thanks." and walked through to the next set of doors.

He opened one, walked through, and held it open from the other side long enough for me to catch it and go through.

Here's the thing. I totally judged him for not opening the door for me in the first place. And then I judged him again for walking through a door that was held, and not bothering to hold the next one.

I'd still find it annoying if a woman did that, but I'm sure I wouldn't judge a woman harshly.

I think this makes me sexist.


  1. He's probably from Boston. I mean no offense to the fine folks of this city but i've never had as many doors not held open or better, shut in my face, as i have since moving to beantown. I know it's cold up here but seriously!

    You're not sexist, but probably have a better appreciation for the finer manners out there. As long as you'd find it annoying if a woman did that as well. It's just common courtesy!

  2. I don't think it's necessarily sexist of you to think this way. I DO think the gentleman in question had no manners though!

  3. i don't think it's sexist at all to expect men to be GENTLEMEN.
    or maybe i'm sexist too because i think there are certain remnants of etiquette that i think we struggle to maintain as a society and men not treating women like LADIES really pisses me off

  4. Hmm. I would be severely annoyed with the other person in your scenario whether it was a man or a woman. He was just plain rude to you.

  5. Honestly, I DO judge women harshly if they drop a door in my face, just like a judge a man. He was rude, pure and simple. As for opening the first door, whoever gets there first should open it. If he got there at the same time, he should have. Jerk. Hope your weekend is fab to make up for it!

  6. Hm. I think I would think slightly less of a man who did not open the door for me under those circumstances, though he *could* have simply been a clueless dolt who thought he was being chivalrous by allowing you to get to the door first? Maybe he hadn't had coffee yet?

    I don't think it's sexist anyway, not exactly. I mean, it's not like you think he'd be BETTER at opening or holding the door, simply because he's a guy. Or that he'd be worse at it, or whatever. You're not judging his ability, just his manners.

    So maybe it's a little traditional/conventional of you, but I don't think it's sexist.

  7. Lisa - you know how I feel about this already. I don't think it's sexist - I don't care what day and age we live in, I plan to teach my son what it means to be a gentleman.

    My friend Shaune was 8 months pregnant and had to take the bus in to DC every day from Ashburn. She would get on the bus and men would sit there and not give up there seat for an obviously uncomfortable and miserably tired at this point woman. I just don't get it.

    Manners make living life a lot easier. and they make me less bitchy.

  8. Alisa - Almost all the guys in our building are like that. My assumption is it's because they're in their 20s and it's a generation that hasn't been taught manners.

    Here's what bugs me, though. I think less of him as a person for doing that. In fact, it makes me assume he would suck to date. And I wouldn't think less of a woman. I'd just be annoyed.

    P - I think that's true, for sure. No manners.

    notsojenny - It pisses me off too but that's what makes me wonder about the sexism.

    Hillary - Definitely rude. I gave him the stinkeye to his back.

    cla517 - But that's the thing! Since we got there at the same time and he's the guy, I thought HE should've opened the door. Why? Because he's a guy! Which isn't exactly fair.

    Dagny - No, I don't think he'd be better at it because he's a guy. But I still think he SHOULD have reached for it first, because he's a guy.

    Kiran - People, men and women both, are horrible on public transportation. They don't give seats to the elderly, and they practically shove pregnant women out of the way. Grrrr.

  9. i know i'm always hammering on this point, but there's an important distinction - imho - between "doing something sexist" and "being sexist." i know this seems tricky, but i think to truly *be* a sexist one has to a) believe in some truly sexist principles, eg "women are the weaker sex" etc AND 2) regularly engage in sexist behavior based on those beliefs.

    so, in other words, doing/thinking something a little sexist doesn't mean you ARE a sexist. just like doing something a little feminist doesn't mean you ARE a feminist. was it sexist behavior to judge a guy for not adhering to a pretty sexist custom? yeah probs. but believe me, you're gonna have to do a LOT worse than than, a LOT more regularly, to really achieve *being* a sexist.

    so don't sweat it - it happens to the best of us :)

  10. I would judge him, too. But I hold doors open for the elderly, and I don't think that makes me an ageist. It's just good, old-fashioned manners.

    Teach your child(ren) well, Mama.

  11. There is no circumstance under which a man in this scenario is even remotely right. And it certainly doesn't make you a sexist for judging him harshly. This guy needs a smack... at least a good smack of chivalry if not an actual pop to the head too.

  12. Rachel in Chicago2/05/2010 4:44 PM

    I totally thought of you and this post today! I was leaving the bank and there was a slightly younger guy walking out ahead of me, texting, who didn't really even kind of hold the door for me at all after he went thru, and I know he saw me cause he kind of half-smiled. And I wouldn't have been as annoyed by it if he didn't then almost run into an older lady because he was too busy texting and wasn't watching where he was going!


Tell me about it.