Social Question

newbee's avatar

Why do some women take it as a personal insult when a man opens the door for them?

Asked by newbee (272points) January 11th, 2010

I have seen plenty of women get angry at a man for opening the door for her. I am a woman, and I do not understand this. I do not see it as sexist or rude. I like the fact that the man has manners. Can you help me to understand this?

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54 Answers

Likeradar's avatar

I think it might be because the manners part of it came from the idea that a lil’ delicate flower shouldn’t wear her pretty self out by doing things like opening doors, doesn’t it?

Personally, I think anyone opening a door for another human being is a nice gesture.

tinyfaery's avatar

Really? You actually see women get angry? Are you sure this is not your assuption? I know no women who get angry about this, and I am a feminist, gay girl.

Sarcasm's avatar

I’ve never heard of this happening.
But maybe it’s the independent woman attitude gone overboard.

newbee's avatar

@tinyfaery Yes I saw this happen. It was downtown for a doctor appt. and as I was about to go in the building the lady in front of me got very upset ant the man who opened the door for us. She said “I am perfectaly capable of opening my own door!” He sttod there with his chin on the ground. I looked at him sadi Thank You and went inside. I don’t know which way the other lady went I really didn’t look for her.

curosity_killed_the_cat's avatar

They must been listening to too much Destiny’s Child. I love when they open the door for me I feel like the Queen that I am….LOL

newbee's avatar

@Likeradar I like the manners too. Thanks

dutchbrossis's avatar

I think maybe some women who think of themselves as “tougher” or like really independent may not want someone else to do things for them. Especially something like opening a door, they want it to be known they can do everything themselves.

I personally don’t get mad, I like it. I think it is polite and nice. I am not much into the whole “gender” thing like Simone. So although I don’t mind the door being opened for me, I also like to open the door for my husband and other people without them thinking it is something that only “men” are supposed to do for “women”

john65pennington's avatar

I don’t know where you live, but in the south, women are most appreciative when a man opens the door for them.

DominicX's avatar

Look, I’m no fan of so-called “chivalry”. I’m a fan of politeness. I’m a fan of courtesy. And to me that means not opening the door for someone just because of their gender, but opening the door for someone because it’s a polite gesture. I had a woman open the door for me once while I was downtown. I was appreciative. To me, people who get angry are overreacting. I have a friend who loves to open the door for people: guys, girls, whatever the age; he just likes to do it.

bunnygrl's avatar

Can’t speak for anyone else but I always take a moment to thank any gentleman who holds a door open for me and to comment how lovely it is to be treated like a lady. I should add that its not just elderly gentlemen who do this, my younger male colleagues at work do it too (and help you carry bags etc if you have them too) and it always really brightens my day. For gentlemen everywhere who do hold doors for ladies, a huge thank you and to those women who do object, take some graditude lessions and stop shaming the rest of your gender.
hugs everyone xx

newbee's avatar

@john65pennington I live in the Birmingham area.

Austinlad's avatar

Pure foolishness, I say, because why would anyone, women or man, not appreciate a kind gesture? But if she doesn’t like it, for whatever reason, that’s cool with me

newbee's avatar

@DominicX That’s the way I see it too. I am just as likely to open a door for someone myself, be it man or be it woman.

mowens's avatar

Because just like any other demographic… there are dumb members. These are simply the dumb women. :)

mowens's avatar

And I will have you know I broke a pair of Oakley sunglasses holding the door open for someone, who did not thank me.

an expensive mistake.

holden's avatar

I have opened doors for others and had doors opened for me many, many times. I don’t see it as a throwback to the “age of chivalry,” I just see it as a courteous and polite gesture.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I was raised and taught to act as a gentleman. Gentlemen open doors for ladies. I know that I’m an obsolete dinosaur, so be it.

bunnygrl's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land <hugs> I think you’re lovely, and everyone above is too <hugs fellow jellies>. I really dislike that we live in a world where the possession of manners and common decency is seen to be a weakness.

At work a customer in the queue at my checkout, about 2 or 3 behind the lady I was serving, sneezed. I looked back and said “bless you” and smiled at the man who’d sneezed and went back to my customer. The man waited till it was his turn in my queue and gave me such a telling off for “presuming he was christian”. He then went and stood in the queue at the customer service desk to make a formal complaint about me. He even dictated to Lynsey (who was on the service desk) what to write. My manager brought his complaint along to my checkout to show it to me, and I asked if I’d get a disciplinary on my record, and she said not to be daft and scrunched it up and threw it into the bin (she’s a very cool manager). She also told me that he’d made a complaint about Lynsey’s “penmanship”. I mean. Honestly, I didn’t mean any offence, I’m not a religious person myself, and I’ve always said bless you because thats what my grandmother always did. Anyway, enough of my moaning,
love and hugs all xx

Likeradar's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land Nice humans open doors for nice humans. Nothing obsolete or outdated about it.

ubersiren's avatar

I can’t imagine someone being angry about this. Nowadays, it’s common for either gender to hold the door for either gender. I wouldn’t understand if I saw a woman actually become angry over it.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Hey, there may be hope for society. I try to hold the door for everyone. It’s just common courtesey and consideration. Where does it say manners have been declared obsolete? If more people would show consideration for their fellow members of society life would be that much nicer.

wilma's avatar

I like to have the door opened for me, and I like to open the door for other people.
I always say thank you and usually others do too.
I will hurry ahead to open it for someone who is elderly or has their hands full or is dealing with little children. Man or woman, why should it matter? Politeness is what matters.
Although, I have instructed my sons to ALWAYS try to open a door for a a woman or girl, and if someone opens for them, to say thank you.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Likeradar @bunnygrl ((hugs)) Nice to know that it’s appreciated. I was once in a “comedy of manners” in the Army. My driver was female. She opened car doors for me (her job) but I would open building doors for her.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I’ve seen this happen once and it confused the hell out of me. I hold the door open for anybody, male or female, it’s called common courtesy! I don’t know why the girl I saw was so offended by it though, maybe she thought he was implying that she wasn’t physically able to do it herself. I felt really sorry for the poor guy.

avvooooooo's avatar

1) It can be condescending.

2) It can be a creepy ploy to check out her ass.

3) Both of the above.


Siren's avatar

I like it/don’t mind it.

holden's avatar

@bunnygrl wow. I say “bless you” too whenever someone sneezes (unless I’m in class or something) and I’m not Christian. I can’t believe anyone would take offense at that. What a jerk.

Haleth's avatar

I’ve been seeing this debate about chivalry and opening doors for women come up a lot in online forums. Someone who is in favor of chivalry will often say, “Why do women get angry about men opening doors for them? I don’t get it. Everyone was nicer to each other when we had chivalry.” So this is being used as an argument for going back to the days of chivalry.

I’ve personally never seen a woman get angry at a door being opened for her. I’d rather see men and women opening doors for each other out of politeness, and not based on gender. Chivalrous behavior can still be a good thing, but it should change to reflect the times. When chivalry was still the norm, maybe people felt that women needed help with things like putting on a coat or getting into a chair. @avvooooooo is right that it can be condescending. I would appreciate something like being walked to my car, because that’s a legitimate safety issue- something I actually need help with.

bunnygrl's avatar

@holden <hugs> I don’t understand it either. It made me re-think things. I mean if he was really offended, does that mean I’ve been offending other people too without giving it a second thought? I hate to think that because I know what its like to get upset by something that someone says. I really didn’t think it was really religious though, I just thought it was a nice thing to say. Reading this back I can see, maybe.

@stranger_in_ a_ strange_land you just made me smile, I can just imagine that. It’s so sweet <hugs> xx
hugs all xx

Trillian's avatar

I’ve said this before, courtesy doesn’t cost anything. I’ve held doors open for people, and had them held open for me. I’ve walked out behind people who have just allowed the door to close in my face. I prefer having the door held unless I’m way behind and feel pressured to hurry up. The longer I live the more bewildered I get. I believe that there are lots of people out there who are just looking for something to be offended about and will jump on any little thing as an excuse. All you can do is ignore them and save your courtesy for someone else if you see them again.

sakura's avatar

I like it when a man opens a door for me, even better if I get a smile. To me there is nothing wrong with being a gentleman. Only today I was walking through town and there was a narrow strip of path with no snow on, a man looked up saw me and walked on the snow allowing me to pass him on the safe path, needless to say I smiled and said thanks. It made my day someone being so polite :)

jca's avatar

i can’t imagine being mad at someone for holding the door. i have never seen it happen. i think some people just are angry and militant and looking for an excuse to be mad.

BoBo1946's avatar

their problem, not mine!

janbb's avatar

I smile and graciously thank anyone who holds a door open for me.

BoBo1946's avatar

@janbb <opening the door>

BoBo1946's avatar

@DominicX exactly…if it is a man or woman behind me, hold the door for them! It is about respect!

janbb's avatar

@BoBo1946 Why, thank you!

MrsNash's avatar

Some folks kind of stay in a state of “waiting to be insulted.” If that’s the case, there’s always a reason.

BoBo1946's avatar

@janbb and you are very welcome!

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

If a man runs or sprints to get ahead of an unencumbered woman to open the door for her because she is a woman, he is acting condescending. That is rude not mannerly.

If, when approaching a door through which you plan to go and notice someone coming from the other side or coming from behind you, it is good manners to hold the door open for them whether they are female or, imagine it, male. It is not a sexist act. It is not some kind of “come-on.”

Most women know that and will not only not be insulted but will appreciate the courtesy.

I’ve had the door held for me by women and men when I was still able bodied and always appreciated it and never felt insulted.

I thought we were past that sort of hypersensitivity. Sexism still exists in pay inequity and access to promotion. Those are important issues, but not who hold the door for whom.

lonelydragon's avatar

These women are probably afraid that they’ll appear weak or helpless if they allow a man to hold the door for them. Obviously, that’s not true. I don’t mind if a man offers to hold the door for me. If someone wants to do me a small courtesy, I accept to show appreciation for their thoughtfulness. In turn, I’ll also open the door for anyone (male or female) if I get to the door first or the other person is carrying a heavy load.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I have never seen any woman get angry about this – but I believe you have…in some ways they are expressing rebellion against sexism but are not necessarily doing it in a constructive fashion – since there is no good way to identify WHY the man holds the door open for me (unless he adds ‘there ya go , lil’ lady’ at which point he’ll see a middle finger really up close), I am always appreciative…generally speaking, chivalry is not my thing when it’s all about gentlemen and ladies…but opening doors for anyone is. And my question to you is “why does it upset you when they get angry?”

sjmc1989's avatar

I have never seen this and I hope not to. Opening a door for someone is just being polite. I love opening the door for people! I always check to see if there is anyone I can open the door for I especially do this for elders though. I will wait at the door for a little while just until they get to the door they always have a look of suprise and appreciation, and that makes me happy. I also love having doors opened for me, and I always say thank you and give a really good smile!

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@sjmc1989 It seems those who raised you did a good job!

sjmc1989's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence My mother always made sure I was polite and respectful of others, and over the past couple years I have tried harder to remember this constantly.

filmfann's avatar

I open doors for pretty much anyone I am with.
I have known a few women that weren’t happy with it, until they saw that I do that for everyone.

Lorenita's avatar

mm I don’t know, I’ve never seen a woman get angry at this.. Whne a man opens the door for me, I feel very flattered actually, love it =)

Jeruba's avatar

Some people just love to take offense. Any excuse will do.

And some can’t tell a simple act of courtesy from a political statement.

This confusion never existed before the sixties. The advent of feminism did a lot of good, but it also left many well-intentioned men traumatized over performing a polite gesture and turned many otherwise civilized women into punishing harpies over small things such as opening doors, offering seats, and lighting cigarettes.

tinyfaery's avatar

Harpies? tsk tsk

BoBo1946's avatar

Have opened the door for many women who never say thank you! My response, “you are very welcome!” loll

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Jeruba I don’t think they’re so much harpies as they are women who have noted a pattern and don’t like it and express their dislike in a manner that can be seen as rude, especially if the man in question didn’t intend the action because he’s a ‘gentleman’ – back in the day, these actions were intended to be polite but also pointed out to the fragility and lack of skill in a woman.

Siren's avatar

@BoBo1946: Ah, don’t pay no mind to their rudeness.

BoBo1946's avatar

@Siren loll gotcha!

liza462's avatar

I don’t understand it myelf. I love it when men hold the door open for me. Actually I think its common curtesy to hold the door open for anyone, man or woman, who is directly behind you.

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