Manners have always been super important to me. I’ve tried to educate my children, in really top notch manners, but I have not been as successful as I had hoped. I place high value on excellent manners, but I’m not sure other people do. So I thought I would use my Perspective Group to see if I’m alone on this.
In the midst of the era of “The Woman”, I was particularly interested in one traditional action that would be classified as good manners, but in the time of post-women’s lib, I wonder, do women still like to have the door held for them.
So again, I’ve polled one representative from each age decade to see how they weighed in. Are we more alike or are we polar opposites? Come with me to find out.
“Yes, I like to have the door held for me. Thinking that the person holding the door could be off where they need to go, but instead they are holding the door for someone, is really kind of them to do.” ~ Caroline 10’s
“I consider holding the door for someone a kind gesture, so if someone holds it for me, man or woman, young or old, I am always appreciative of it. I don’t tend to look into these sorts of things like some would- you know those people who like to tie in gender roles with expectations or feminism, or talks of chivalry, respect… etc etc, yadda, yadda? Let’s just say, I’m not that type of person. For me, I treat any and all simple gestures as neutral acts of kindness that are reflective of individual people. So, do I expect a door to be held open for me? No. Do I appreciate when someone holds the door open for me? Yes, as I would equally if someone simply waves, or smiles, or says hello to me. Oh, and do I like to/try to hold the door for others? Absolutely.” ~ Cristina 20’s (https://www.spatialdwelling.com/)
“I feel that having the door held for me, and subsequently me holding the door for others, is basic human manners. It’s a simple gesture that says “I see you”. It doesn’t take much to break from your daily rush and pause to help another person.” ~ Jackie O. 30s
“How do I feel about someone holding the door for me? I think it’s great. I hold the door for everyone, every age or gender. I think it’s just a polite thing to do. In fact when someone doesn’t hold the door for me, I feel like it’s rude. Just like I feel as though it was strange “back in the day” when men would hold the door open for women but a woman wouldn’t necessarily hold the door for a man, I feel like it would be weird for a man to not hold the door for a woman now, because they might be concerned that it would offend them. Bottom line, everyone should hold the door for everyone! It just comes down to being kind.” ~Jen 40s
“My answer to whether I like to have the door held open for me is a resounding YES. The action is tops in good manners. It says to the person, “I see you. You are not invisible and I actually think you matter enough to help through a door.” I get super upset when my boys (particularly my boys) charge through a door and just let it fall into the person coming behind them. It is incredibly rude and selfish.
I think it’s particularly important for men to hold the door. I understand that this is sexist, but men are traditionally thought of as care takers or protectors. This belief might seem antiquated, especially to those strong women out there that feel it undermines them as women or adults, but I disagree that having the door held for you undermines you as a woman. I actually feel like it does the opposite. It honors you as a woman. It demonstrates, through a very small action that you are worth having the door held for you. You are worth consideration and thoughtfulness. And I challenge you, what better protection can you give than to insure that those near you get in to the building you are visiting safely?
Having said that, I also believe that it is my duty to hold the door for others, male or female. It is just common courtesy. ESPECIALLY for a parent trying to negotiate a stroller, which is NOT easy to do, or for someone who might outrank me in the age department. It’s about courtesy and respect for others.
I won’t give up on my boys. There is always potential for growth. But I stand firm in believing that it is an important tradition in our increasingly self centered society.” ~Jennifer 50s
“Do I like a door being held for me? Isn’t it strange that we would even need to think about this or question it?
I do like the door being held for me, if possible. I like making eye contact with people with a smile. I Like to hear please and thank you. Holding the door is not a feminist issue for me. It is kindness. It is looking at the world in an unselfish way. I will gladly hold the door for anyone who needs help with it, being male or female. I believe I should hold the door for the elderly.
I think this question addresses our social interaction in today’s world. Courtesy, manners, kindness, thoughtfulness, and selflessness are needed more than ever.
Being aware of others instead of just ourselves will promote peace.
So, look up from your phone. Smile at someone. And look for the kindness around you. I truly believe you get what you look for and expect.” ~ Barbara 60s
“How do I feel about someone holding the door open for me? I feel very grateful when that happens and I will thank the person who was kind enough to do that for me. I think this person was taught good manners. I, in turn, will do the same for other people. As you get older you appreciate these little things.” ~Peggy 70’s
“I definitely vote for holding the door. I like the feeling of respect. It doesn’t make me feel helpless because I hold the door for others as well. No gender preferences. My husband was a real gentleman and did it easily. It made me feel special.” ~Temple 80s
In reading the responses from each participant, IT WAS UNANIMOUS! Each of the women polled enjoy having the door held for them. In addition, each of the women polled would also voluntarily hold the door for someone else. There was repeated mention of kindness, manners, and respect. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic. And, should our paths cross in a doorway in the future, I hope I’m there to hold the door for you.