Opening doors into the future |

Opening doors into the future

American men — at least in this readership area — tend to be chivalrous and we ladies appreciate it. Recalling what Baxter Black says, “I’ll treat her like a lady until she can prove otherwise,” keeps us on track.

I’ve always appreciated that my husband opens doors for me, even though I am perfectly capable of doing it myself. Sometimes it gets a little awkward with other gentlemen. Yesterday as I was entering a store, a 40-year-ish man was right behind me. I started to open the door and he reached around me and pulled it open. It was actually surprising that he did it. I’ve learned when with my husband to pause at the door for just a second and he opens it. It’s our habit.

Our young grandsons have started opening and holding doors too because children learn by example. Of course I also reciprocate such as when someone — no matter the gender — is carrying armloads of anything or is on crutches or for any other reason needs help with the door. It’s a matter of etiquette and common sense. Chivalry is well accepted in most areas of the U.S., although I understand in some venues a man would risk being insulted — at the least — if he tried to be chivalrous.

Women are called the “weaker sex” and we know that is an exaggeration. The old joke is if men birthed babies the population of the world would likely be vastly lower than it is. Women run combines and drive trucks and other historically masculine endeavors. Just in my high school class the female valedictorian in her adult years had her own Harley-Davidson motorcycle and gals who drive trucks over the road are now not unusual. One of our female high school classmates used to drive those giant trucks in Wyoming mines.

Differences in men and women are no jokes though, particularly in the area of the military. In recent years women have completed U.S. Army Ranger school. I’m not sure they did it under the same standards as the men, although the politically correct military says they did. I can accept that there are women who can pass such rigorous schedules but it’s not combat.

When my husband was in the U.S. Army he was an infantry officer, Ranger and Airborne. Our younger son was an officer first in armor then infantry (and he was also Airborne). One of the best things about combat arms is those units did not include women at the time. My concern is that with chivalry so ingrained in our American men, having women fighting beside them could be a major distraction. I wonder if a man would treat a woman in combat differently and would defer to her, putting himself more in harm’s way? War is bad enough, but if soldiers think they have to protect the “ladies” in their unit, things might get even more complicated. Since women are now in these units, I guess we’ll see.

A lady can still get all muddy and dirty, then after spending a bit of time in the house, it’s not demeaning to have your husband say, “You clean up really well.” In fact, it’s pretty nice to hear.


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