It never fails that when someone brings up about how chivalry is dead, it all comes back to men holding doors open for women. As if that’s the most that a man can possibly do for a female. After all, women don’t need equal pay, they don’t need to live in a society where rape isn’t approved of or blamed on them, and they don’t need to be seen as equals rather than vaginas. What women really need is someone told hold a door open for them!
Personally, I don’t give a shit if you hold a door open. I really don’t care. I hold doors open for people all the time because it’s a polite thing to do. I don’t spend the next four hours patting myself on the back for what an amazing person I am because I expended the effort to hold a door. If you believe that being a gentleman equates to holding a door open for someone then you need to reevaulate your standards.
There are a lot of people who want to bemoan the loss of the gentleman and the rise of men who will text a woman for a date instead of calling her exactly four days in advance. As per The Rules. But really, the superficial gestures of a gentleman is not what women, or society in general, need.
I find a lot of this push for “gentlemanly” behavior comes from the same camp that defends “nice guys“. I was nice to you by holding a door, therefore you owe me sex. When you don’t give it to me, you’re a bitch, and I just can’t get ahead because life is so unfair. Being nice or holding a door does not mean that women should have sex with you or that you are an amazing human being worthy of sex.
On my criteria for being a decent human being, holding doors open rates about the same as not kicking a puppy. It’s the very least you could do for your fellow human beings. There should be no argument about gender when it comes to basic politeness. Be nice to other people because they’re other people worthy of your respect, not because you want to tell yourself what a good person you are or brag to others.
If someone wants to be a gentleman then they can tell someone making a rape joke that that’s not cool. They can use their privilege to include women in important matters. They can do something that will actually make a real tangible difference for women and their experiences. But don’t hold up a fucking door and want someone to throw you a parade.