Up until that moment, I had never had a woman talk to me like that. Sure, I’d been yelled at or called names before but nothing like this. And to make matters even more confusing, I thought I was doing a good thing.
I was going into a large store and an older woman who I did not know was behind me. When I reached the door I opened it, stepped to the side and let the woman in before me, just like my mom taught me.
Instead of just saying “Thank you” and walking in, this woman scowled. She didn’t yell. She didn’t cuss. She just preached.
Her sermon was short and to the point.
“I can open a door.”
I got the point.
Apparently the Lilith Fair Festival or something like that was going on inside the store. I don’t know. All I knew was I meant no ill will. The world had changed and I wasn’t expecting it. I was only a teenager at the time but I suddenly felt like an old man.
Now, a couple of decades later, I still hold the door open. And I teach my kids to do the same. I don’t do it in hopes of angering some already angered feminist. I do it as a sign of respect. I want my sons to respect women. Teaching them and showing them to hold the door open for ladies is just one step in that process.
So to any feminists who my sons and I might offend in the future when we hold the door open for you, please know that we mean no harm. Also, can I offer a quick word of advice or would that be considered mansplaining? I’ll do it anyway. Here goes.
Please lighten up.
When a man opens the door for you, he’s not saying that you’re not allowed inside without his permission. He’s not thinking that you’re too weak or dumb to do it. And no, he’s not flirting with you.
Most likely, he’s doing it because his parents—yes, even his mother—taught him that holding the door open for the ladies is a great way to show respect. My mom has been dead for over ten years and I still think about what she would say if I didn't open the door for the lady behind me. I'd rather endure a feminist's scowl than my mother's.
I know, I know. Times have changed. There are different ways for men to show women respect. Today, they can do this in a variety of ways. Here are a few feminist-approved examples.
- Always agreeing with them
- Never acting manly
- Constantly apologizing
- Listening to Alanis Morrissette records
But here’s the thing with that. Not everyone has jumped on that train. Some of us are still stuck in the days when men showed women respect by holding doors, giving up their chairs, and opening car doors.
There is no doubt that times have changed. But can we really say that they have changed for the better for women? Has the blurring of gender roles really led to a decrease in violence, discrimination, and harassment against women? Hardly.
I’m not the only one teaching my sons to hold the door open for ladies. My wife is right there with me. She will stand at a door and wait for one of my sons to hold it open for her. No, she’s not waiting for them to give her permission to enter. And no, she’s not weak. What she is doing is training her young sons to respect women. And she knows that those boys are more likely to respect and honor their wives if they respect and honor their mother.
Modern feminists want it both ways. They want to live in a Ladies First world without ever having a man tell them, “Ladies first.”
Sooner or later, they’ll get their way.
In some setting not too long from now and not too far away, trouble will arise. Real trouble. Violent trouble. And men of conviction and courage will be needed to do brave and sacrificial work for the good of others.
But few will be found.
Rather, there will be a much larger supply of those who have traded in their manhood for the acceptance of the politically correct.
And when their names are called to step out into the cold night to engage what threatens all that they love and cherish, they will look at the danger and then back at the women and say, “Ladies first.”
My wife and I aren’t teaching our sons that they are better than the women for whom they hold doors.
We are teaching them that true manhood means service and respect.
Their training ground just happens to be the door they hold open and the seat they give up.