Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Stand for the lady

Menfolk, do you politely hold a door open for a lady? I don't, I just slam the door back in their face.

Of course I don't. The Hoopla is quite a good site for stimulating a ponder about things. Do you teach, or have you taught your son to be polite to women, just because they are women? You did a wrong, if you did.

Holding a door open for someone just because she is of the female sex is absurd. Holding a door open after you have gone through a door for anyone is right, as is holding a door open in advance for someone who has their hands full.  If they are old or infirm, or are struggling in some way, of course you hold the door open. If they are visibly pregnant, you go that extra mile with doors and offering a seat on pubic transport.

But don't play the door attendant. If there is a line of people coming through a door, hold it open for the next person and pass it on.

Having been a victim of being offered a seat on a tram by a woman in her mid thirties, it really is a nice thing to do. While I did not accept her offer, we subsequently had a nice chat. So yes, younger people offering their seat to an older person is a good thing to do. Tip: Don't sit near the front of a tram or near the train door and you won't see anyone who needs a seat. I can never understand why old people want to sit at the front, when down the back, you can view all the happenings of humankind on a train, tram or bus.

So, no, you don't teach your son to hold open a door for a a woman because she is a woman. Surprisingly to some, women seem to be able to open doors well enough on their own. What you do teach your son, and daughter, is consideration for others without being over the top about it.

28 comments:

  1. Agreed 100%. Making women into passive recipients of constant concern for their physical welfare makes women dependent and underachieving. Old age yes, pregnancy yes, infirmity yes but gender? NO.

    I had an experience in Portugal in 2012 that was interesting. In a very crowded bus, 2 young hoons were comfortably seated while dozens of older people stood squashed like sardines. I gestured and spoke (in French) increasingly loudly to one hoon, to stand for a very old lady. He glared and muttered, and eventually stood up for her. The whole bus clapped :)

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    1. I would have enjoyed seeing you paying out on the passengers Hels, in French no less. I am surprised to hear that though, as I thought in most Euro countries young would stand of older.

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  2. My guess is there are at least two reasons why older people sit near the front of transport.

    One is that they want to reach the safety of a seat before the bus etc lurches off. If they are still on their feet when it does they risk being knocked off their feet.

    The other is that they are near to an exit. If they feel too far away from an exit they fear being unable to get to it in time when they need to disembark.

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    1. Victor, that certainly applies to buses but not to trams where you can board by any door. They choose the narrow front door to get in instead of the wide centre doors. I assume even pre paid Sydney buses still load at the front?

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  3. I love it when someone opens the door for me, and always make a point of thanking them. There's so little kindness and care in this world, and I celebrate any morsel thrown my way. :0)

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    1. Bliss, you just don't care whether it is because you a woman, basic politeness or you not being 30. I'm much the same, for whatever reason.

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  4. What Victor said is true. Also the back of the bus does tend to bump and lurch more so is uncomfortable for oldies like me who have bad backs etc, plus the front of the bus often has a pair of seats that are positioned slightly lower so the we can properly reach the floor. Older people do shrink a bit after about seventy or so, and many of us are short already. All of my kids were taught to be considerate of others no matter who they were. The guiding line was "would you want this type of behaviour to happen to you?"

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    1. River, quite so about the back of the bus. Is it not an odd thing that with all the advances in the world, buses still ride very very roughly. I know tourist coaches don't.

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  5. Yes what Victor said.
    I hold doors for any sex coming through after me, or coming toward a shop door that I am about to exit.
    What I just love is those sad ones who sail through without even a glance at me.

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    1. Ann, to not acknowledge politeness is very rude. Mind, there used to be feminists or took great offence at having a door held open for them, which is quite different to opening a door for a woman.

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  6. Hello Andrew:
    We concur absolutely with the point which you are making here. Treat everyone, men and women alike, as individuals and respond to individual needs.

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    1. JayLa, I imagine people in Budapest are relatively polite?

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    2. Normally so. But there is still a great distrust of foreigners which can make them seem somewhat aloof.

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    3. Thought provoking JayLa. Even through Soviet occupation, Hungary kept something of its own identity. Perhaps Hungary has some right to feel some pride and some distrust of the west as they managed under the Soviet Union and still are doing well enough on their own.

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  7. I agree Andrew, I love it when people are kind and polite to their fellowmen/women in general not based on gender. Like BH said, it's a lovely feeling when someone holds the door for you, so to pass that on to another is equally enjoyable.

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    1. Grace, always nice to be the recipient of a kindness.

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  8. Well said. Exactly right.

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  9. Absolutely. I 'accosted' an old bloke a few minutes ago. He looked the wrong side of ninety and was barely able to carry a dozen bottles of water from his car to the lift well.

    He had no English and I had no French but a few smiles and me playfully grabbing it out of his arms settled the matter. It was heavy enough for *me* to carry, let alone Le Ripvanwinkle!

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    1. That's nice Grace, although I am little troubled about a man 90 years old and driving and what is wrong with Geneva's public water supply?

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    2. Well, 'Keith,' he's one of the many deluded folk who buy bottled water when it's perfect from the tap. In fact, the Evian factory is a short drive away as it takes the alps water that flows directly into the lake, so in effect we're drinking, showering and flushing our loos with Evian water!

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    3. Wow Kath. Evian flowing through your taps. Actually, I have found Evian tastes like.....water. Keith may be an anti chlorine person.

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  10. I wait for someone else to open the door for me, sometimes it takes hours :|

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    1. Fen, you need to hobble a bit and look less confident.

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  11. I totally agree with you about the door-opening thing. I think men, who go out of their way to do this, feel they're being polite; but I think they usually just end up looking sexist.

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    1. Dina, I suppose if they are 65 plus, that is how they grew up, but yes, for younger people, ignore the sex and look at the need.

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  12. There's also an art to being a recipient of such attentions. If someone holds the door for me, I'm going to say 'thank you', and walk through. That way they are much more inclined to treat the next person with respect than if I had asked for a dissertation on their reasons for doing it.

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    1. Red, it is also a time to use your most charming smile as you say thank you so they think they just done the best act in the world, and given you great pleasure. As you say, an art.

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