Scenario #1 Gas Station
Twenty year old religious girl pumping gas into her car. Man approaches, offers to help her. She says thanks but no. Younger dude approaches her, also offers, she says thanks but she can manage. She comes home and complains that guys don’t think gals know how to pump gas, how dare they be so chauvinistic?
Scenario #2 Busy Office Building Entrance
Thirty year old hot babe, high heels, business suit, loaded down with purse, laptop bag, and two armfuls of files. Needs to enter building – Man approaches, opens door, offers to help her shlepp. She thanks him graciously and gives up the files. At the end of the day she tells her husband that a really nice guy helped her out, and she really appreciated it.
OK, so both of these scenarios could be taken from either viewpoint. If I were the gal at the gas station I would like nothing better than to have someone pump my gas for me – I would so not see it as chauvinistic. I would think that the dude was brought up right, and I would thank him. Second scenario I would also look upon it as chivalry, or just plain decency. If I saw a guy struggling with packages and a door I would certainly rush to open the door for him. I certainly wouldn’t think he was judging me incompetent.
But are we raising our girls (yes I know I only have boys, but I am raising them to be gentlemen) to be too independent? Yes a girl needs to be able to pump her own gas and not rely on men for anything or everything, we need to be able to do things for ourselves, but when someone offers to help – why should that be seen as a judgement that she cannot perform that action for herself?
I like doors opened for me, I love when men are chivalrous – if I am dating a guy who opens the door for himself and leaves me behind, it shows me he has no manners. It doesn’t mean he is a bad guy, just needs some gentle lessons. Do I expect him to rush to put his coat over a puddle so I don’t get my tootsies wet? No, puhleeze, not with the price of dry cleaning today. A new pair of shoes is so much cheaper and oh so much more fun!! However, just because he holds the door open for me, and walks on the outside edge of the sidewalk does not make him a prince either. Just less of a potential frog.
Common courtesy seems to be a dead art these days, because so many women these days are afraid that allowing a gentleman to aid them in some way makes their personhood inferior. But if a fellow female offered the same help it would be seen in a totally different light. Men have become so used to being rebuffed that they don’t even try anymore – they don’t want to get their feelings stepped on either.
What do you think?