Are You A Benevolent Sexist?
If you open the door for me -- you are a sexist!
I was born in Texas. Texas (and Oklahoma) are not the Deep South (a.k.a. Alabama, Georgia) but we have a high standard when it comes to 'acting like a gentleman or lady.' Little boys are taught to hold doors open for people. My son is taught to hold doors open for people.
But, according to a new study published by Northeastern University, if you partake in this act of generosity, you are a Benevolent Sexist.
First, let's define the term: a benevolent sexist isn't going to make you stay and home and cook while barefoot and pregnant. A benevolent sexist (as defined in this and other studies) is someone who, through their very act of kindness, is treating you as subservient.
Here's my problem: when I open the door for an elderly person, am I being a Benevolent Ageist? If I open the door for a Hispanic mom and her kids, am I being a Benevolent Racist? I don't think so. I think I'm just being kind and doing something nice for someone.
When does kindness have to have an ulterior motive? And, now that we're talking about it, why do we insist men and women must be equal in all areas? Equal pay for equal work: YES. Equal opportunity and Equal treatment: YES! But I don't want to pretend to have boy parts and I'm pretty sure he doesn't want girl parts, either.
When we, as a society, finally realize that different does NOT equal good and different does NOT equal bad. . . that different JUST equals different, we'll all be better for it.
So, ladies, feel free to open doors for men. Men, go ahead and open doors for ladies. Humans, go ahead and open doors for other humans. Let's all open doors until every door is open and we're more focused on the nice gesture instead of who is making the gesture.
Are there sexist problems in our society? You bet there are. Is this one of them? Nope. pretty sure it ain't.