One of the issues that has caught my attention recently is gender equality, and all the paraphernalia that gravitates around it.
Feminism, or feminisms, the right to abortion, reproductive rights in general, and not only of women, but also of men, equality in wages and access to employment, new masculinities, new models of family and a huge etcetera are part of the fascinating whirlwind that surrounds these themes.
The more I inform myself, the more I am surprised, for better and for worse, of the complexity of these issues and the extremes to which we are capable of taking them, and as a sample today I bring you a simple and humble example: opening the door to someone, especially a woman, is it an act of chivalry or is it machismo?
Beyond the opinions that each of those who read this post may have, I will express my personal point of view on the matter, which is just as valid as any other, and I will try to do so as honestly as possible. And since we are talking about honesty, the truth is that although, opening the door to someone is in general an act of courtesy and kindness, when that someone is a girl we like, men tend to wear that act of gallantry, and therefore that is often considered a macho act.
Yes, it is true, the woman in question, and any woman in general, is capable of opening the door by herself, and does not need someone to open it for her, everyone knows that, and that is not why men open the door to a woman, we do it out of kindness, out of chivalry and as an act of coquetry at best, one that does not harm or denigrates anyone, as if it could be done by a compliment shouted in the street, for example.
However, for some women, this is a macho act, which I totally disagree with. A woman is no less because a man opens the door for her in any circumstance that she can imagine, unless it is a forced act, where, by the way we open the door, we could make her feel that, which in any case, more than a macho act, it would be an act of clumsiness and little tact.
When I was thinking about this, I started to check how much I open the door for someone, and I realized that I do it very frequently, and it is partly because, at least in the place where I live, it is something that everyone does, not just men, and it is a non-exclusive courtesy for women.
In the office where I work, I frequently open the door to whoever arrives or leaves it, as a simple courtesy, regardless of the visitor's gender. When I enter a public place with a hinged door, if someone comes behind me, I open the door for them to pass first, and if I pass first I hold it for them so they can pass later, and this is a common practice in my city, and not exclusive to men, it is also common to women.
Obviously these are local customs, and they can vary according to the context, the culture, and a wide number of factors, but I put it as one of many possible examples that we can find in daily life.
I think that for the sake of gender equality that is often misunderstood, we tend to load meanings into acts that don't really have such an ideological load, and are actually simple acts of kindness.
The truth is that I do not feel inferior if a colleague, or a man or woman, opens or holds the door for me, on the contrary I consider it a courtesy and I always thank it with a thank you and a smile. I understand that there are many acts of unconscious machismo that inhabit among us, and that both men and women practice, but I don't think this is one of them. Or at least not as much as some claim to present it.
So men, let's continue to be chivalrous, and let's continue opening the door to women and men alike, that chivalry does not have as exclusive recipients women, but all those around us, and it is a set of habits that more than be macho, they are synonymous with good education and good manners.
And women, if you want to be upset about it, go ahead, I understand that for many this type of behavior towards women can be considered positive discrimination, and everyone is free to be upset about whatever they want, but think about it a bit and you will see that accepting a Chivalrous gesture, such as opening the door, giving you a seat, or carrying your things, does not make you less in any way.
Your value is defined by much more than being the recipients of a courtesy, it is defined by your abilities, your values, your achievements, your ambitions and your dreams, not a simple door that someone opens for you.
Thank you very much for reading this post and dedicating a moment of your time. Until next time and remember to leave a comment.