I know this post might get me in trouble with some of my friends but I'm going to do it anyway.
I think chivalry has a place in this world. It's not a man or woman thing. It's a manners thing.
The other day I was walking into a building where I was scheduled to work. I was several steps behind three people - two women and a man. They didn't acknowledge me at all; they were just walking and chattering away with each other. We got to the door and the two women went in ahead of me while the man held the door open. He waited for me - which I appreciated. We all get through security and the same thing happened at the next set of doors. Then we got to the elevator and he did it again. He didn't say anything to me but I made sure to say thank you to him and quietly said have a great day! as he exited the elevator. He was polite and I was appreciative.
It makes me bonkers when people don't hold the door open for the person behind them. If there's only one key panel in an elevator, if you're standing near it ask what floors the others need to have selected. It's not hard. If a man holds the door open for me, I don't think what an ass! He thinks I can't open the door myself! He must think I'm inferior to him! On the contrary, I think He has nice manners. I'm not really fond of being called ma'am but it beat bitch. By the same token, I hold the door for others - especially my elders. It's nothing more than manners.
I have a friend (male) who will walk through the door first and my kids and I follow. Most of the time I accept it but rarely does it happen where my kids don't give me a WTH look. I've instructed them to do as I've taught them - hold the door open for others (including him). Maybe he will figure it out.
This little hissy fit came to mind when I watched the state of the union address. I don't give a rat's ass what your political affiliation is. You can be a democrat, republican, socialist, freak - I don't care. However, when the President of your country introduces a 102 (!!!) year old woman, you stand. Period. The Speaker of the House - second in line to the Presidency after the vice president - didn't stand. I don't necessarily thing he needed to stand because she's a woman (though in all honesty, my mother might disagree there). I absolutely think he should have stood because she has lived 102 years, making her his elder.
I remember a facebook discussion not too long ago where several of my (female) friends found it condescending that a man will open a door for them. Personally, I disagree. I don't find it condescending. But then again, I hold doors open for women and men - I don't discriminate. I do get audibly pissy, though, when a man doesn't hold the door open. Maybe I do it for women. The fact is I rarely walk behind a woman who isn't polite.
My hissy fit is done now.