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  • Uebelhor
June 20, 2012
Why do guys open doors for gals?

It's the polite thing to do, you say. It's what a "gentleman" would do.

Because a woman is equal in all things to a man, at least on a psychological basis, she deserves to have the door opened for her, so as to get rid of the old-fashioned belief that men are superior to the opposite sex.

Is this really why a man opens doors or pulls out chairs for a woman? Is this exercise even practiced anymore? Nowadays, a woman can open doors for herself; she doesn't need someone else to do work for her. A woman is tough, intelligent and can stand up for herself. As such, longstanding traditions like common courtesy simply must be gotten rid of. It is another separation of the sexes that needs to be abolished if a woman is to truly be equal to a man.

Tradition used to be that whenever a man encountered a situation where he might actually have to place someone else's convenience before his own, he would do so. And not just anyone's convenience, a woman's! God forbid a woman be placed first, what with her character being so disrespected and degraded before the rise of the feminist movement. It is very true that women's rights have come a long way from what they once were, but "what they once were" is not actually as horribly debasing as the gloomy picture many see it as. Women were cherished as a precious piece of the family puzzle, who gave birth to and raised their children with a sharp, though tender, eye. She always had a place set at the table for her family and anyone else who graced her door. She was loyal and helpful to her husband, kind and considerate to all others. And while no woman was perfect, she endeavored to be honorable and respectful to her husband and their family and to God. Gestures like opening doors, pulling out chairs and standing when a woman entered the room were respectful acts of courtesy for all that a woman was.

But that was long ago and far away, and today tradition is not what should be driving our lives. Women must be modern, independent, allowed to do whatever they wish without the bindings of outdated perception of what a woman could or could not accomplish to hinder them. Which is great — there are many things women can now do that they have long been capable of yet restrained from.

But at what price? A woman's loyalty and virtue is questioned even at the altar, and her married life, however short it may be, is a constant struggle for control, instead of a trusting partnership. Her children are taught who-knows-what and are treated who-knows-how by strangers in rainbow-colored classrooms, and the few times they see their mother, she may be intoxicated or too busy for them, especially in homes torn apart by divorce. While she is able to vote and work and provide for her family along with her mate — if she has one — her family is dysfunctional, her marriage in disrepair and her life is unstable.

Yet, some teeny, tiny tradition still holds true. Some old-fashioned "gentlemen" still try to show women the respect they still believe she deserves. As a woman, I appreciate it when a door is opened for me or a chair is pulled out for me. As a woman who is being put before the immediate convenience of a man, it makes me feel special, respected, if not appreciated for being a woman. It also makes me respect and appreciate the man who, faced with a situation where his own convenience might overstep mine in importance, does me the flattering and humble courtesy of allowing me to enter or exit first.

God forbid we show a little common courtesy to appreciate who and what a woman is.

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Schuler Bauer
Barbara Shaw
Friday
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