The other day, I was walking down the sidewalk to my favorite coffee shop when two guys were walking toward me, taking up the entire sidewalk. Neither of them stepped aside to let me pass and I couldn't even stop to let them by first without getting walked over. So my only choice was to step into a puddle.
Douchebaggery aside (though that is what that obviously was), what the hell ever happened to chivalry?
Which raises all sorts of feminist conundrums.
I've battled with myself over this topic for years. Where do we we lose manners in the name of feminism? And where do we lose equality in the name of old fashioned patriarchal views on manners? I just don't know. The line is thin really.
What I do know is thus:
We train women to be pathetic when they never have to do anything for themselves. I like doing "guy" things for myself. Why? Because I can. I carry boxes. I climb up to fix things. I learn how to use power tools. I change the jug on the water cooler.
Fuck, I've worked on building houses! I love the rush of being up in the rafters with the guys, hammering in nails and beams. I love using the chop saw. Why? Because it's fun! Why should guys get all the fun when I'm perfectly capable of learning the same things.
So that's the same view I've always had with traditionally chivalric behavior. I'm not going to stand by a door waiting for someone to open it. I don't need a man to give up his seat because I'm healthy and don't mind standing. I'm not going to wait for someone to pull out my chair. I don't need someone to carry my luggage (Though if I've got several bags, the help is nice regardless of gender. Though I'm unlikely to pack several bags. Because that's just stupid.).
Why? Because I'm perfectly capable of doing all those things for myself. I have two hands. Two legs. With muscles in them. I can reach up on a shelf. I can use a ladder. I don't need someone to do it for me. Though, to be honest, sharing the work is nice.
But I'll hold a door for a friend. And it's nice when a friend holds the door for me too. I don't need them to, but it's polite. Though not expected.
So maybe it comes down to basic manners.
Maybe we've just thrown basic manners out in the name of progress. If we throw gender roles out, what things would we do just to be nice? Would we step aside so someone doesn't have to walk through a puddle? Would we give up a seat for someone in poor health? Would we hold the door for the person behind us?
I would hope so. Though I have my serious doubts.
Would it be lame to issue a challenge right now? Eh, too bad. It's my blog! I will do what I want!
I want to challenge everyone to be more polite. To hold the door for the person behind them regardless of gender. To compliment a stranger once a day on something, anything. To step aside for a passing pedestrian.
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