Love this and loved reading the responses, but oh my. How can we fight sexism if even the most well-intentioned of readers missed your obvious point? It’s not about the door, people! (That said, I recommend a little humor or excessive politeness in …
[Raises hand] Here, present and accounted for.
When Kel published her next post with the news item (about the man who attacked a pregnant woman for not being thanked when he opened the door) and said she had been assaulted, I finally understood the fear she feels all the time and that her submission was a rational self defense mechanism.
I finally understood how my threat assessments in daily life are completely different, and that my innocent question made me just as guilty of mansplaining as the idiot from the famous article who tried to explain a very important book to a woman who happen to have been the author.
But then you still said “don’t give in” and suggested a different verbal response in the hopes the guy wouldn’t react negatively. And if you were a guy, you would be just as guilty as me.
This stuff is so incredibly confusing.
As you write later, it’s so hard to understand that in a public setting meeting strangers, a certain part of the female population will want one thing and another part of the female population will want the opposite (if we stick with the door symbol).
When you suggest that each individual woman could send differing or even mixed signals in the course of her day, it’s beyond all comprehension.