When I started writing this post, I was about halfway through Terry Fallis’ The Best Laid Plans; I finished Sunday. There’s a short passage about misogyny, equality, and common courtesy. The protagonist describes an encounter where he holds a door open for a woman and is accused, loudly, of being a misogynist. His response, while retelling the story:
I’ve never considered good manners and equality mutually exclusive. Good manners may regrettably be an anachronism, but its roots are in common courtesy, not patriarchy.
I would hope that most women would appreciate a door being held for them, and would consider doing the same thing themselves in the future. I think the same can be said for paying for dinner, asking someone out on a date, or any other activity traditionally done by men. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. It’s not about being a man helping a fragile, innocent woman, it’s about not being an asshole.