GeorgiaMae readers, you fine folks know me pretty well by now. And you think I’m a pretty progressive guy, right?
Well, not everyone would agree. The wife informed me last night that one of her students thinks I’m a chauvinist pig.
If I would have heard it for myself I likely would have knocked that little girl out.
Ermm, but I guess that doesn’t help my case. Let me explain.
The wife’s class was discussing women’s rights and the conversation veered toward this question: “In what ways are women treated unfairly in this country?” The kids talked about unequal pay, perceptions of female athletes and double standards regarding sexuality (you know, how dudes who sleep around are considered heroes but women who sleep around are viewed as walking STDs).
One plucky young student brought up and interesting point – she believes that men who open doors for women are actually sexist. She said that even though the guy might think he’s being a gentleman, he has been brainwashed into thinking that women are the “weaker sex.”
Well, the wifey informed the class that her husband has no problem opening the door for her. She knows that I was raised to treat women with respect and my actions are a reflection of that. Her student was unfazed. She suggested that I might THINK I’m showing respect but deep down I’m just influenced by the archaic view that women are helpless.
Don’t get me wrong. She brings up a good point. True enough, chauvinistic beliefs are often ingrained and many times brothers don’t even realize when they’re being offensive. But this is one time I can confidently say that I’m not being prehistoric (even though my cell phone dates back to the Stone Age).
I’m fully aware that my wife has enough strength to open a door. I open doors for women as a sign of respect. It’s like how you would say “yes ma’am” to an elder or how you’d give up your seat to a standing pregnant woman.
It’s not about humbling my wife. It’s about honoring her.
Too bad little miss student will never experience my door-opening prowess.
What do y’all think? Should the practice of opening doors be shut down?