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Silly question:

When an elevator is full and everyone is getting off, is it still appropriate to move out of the way to let the women get off first?

jwyckoff's picture

My opinion:

When convenient, yes. When not, no.

Don't do it when it's going to create a body juggling act of "you move out of the way, then let the one lady out, then the other guy moves out of the way, then lady #2 gets out"...

Mark's picture

It is always appropriate, but it is no longer required as a matter of etiquette. This applies much more directly in business situations, where gender lines are becoming blurred by the egalitarin meritocratic professional world. Remember that most etiquette rules were created in a time where women did not and COULD not work.

Mark

wendii's picture

I worked with someone a couple of weeks ago, who is so far above me in the organisation that I can barely see the soles of his feet. However, whilst working with him he was very encouraging, eager to hear my opinion and even changed a significant part of what we were doing on my advice.

However, when we went to get some water, he allowed me to get mine and some for the candidate and not his. I couldn't work out if this was
a) because he didn't want me to think he thought it was beneath him
b) because he didn't want to treat me like an underling
c) he thought I had cooties....

Instead I just thought, how strange. I was there, I was filling already, I was willing.. why not?

In general, if you're in front of me, feel free to open the door. If not, please don't run round in front of me, I can open doors for both of us. Unless we're on a date in which case, opening doors gets brownie points!

My female 2pennyworth!

Wendii

Mark's picture

For every one of you, Wendii, there are 1.1 women who would have responded negatively to a male executive allowing a female subordinate to do anything that would smack of servant behavior (food, cleaning, etc.) It's ... a caricature.

Unfortunately, this is driven by many male executives who actually think that very thing when they allow it, or that go to strip clubs, or that hire only attractive assistants. It's also driven, less so, by over-sensitized subordinate women who believe...the caricature (never having had significant experience to the humanity that does exist at the top of many orgs.)

I do think some of this is a first encounter behavior, perhaps.

The higher you are up the flagpole, the more your backside is exposed. I didn't really like the book, but Stanley Bing wrote "You Look Nice Today" about a male executive who was brought to ruin for that very statement. Caution is warranted.

Mark

wendii's picture

Mark,

as usual you bring sanity to my very confused little world.

Thank you.

Wendii

mptully's picture

[quote="wendii"]
In general, if you're in front of me, feel free to open the door. If not, please don't run round in front of me, I can open doors for both of us. Unless we're on a date in which case, opening doors gets brownie points!

My female 2pennyworth!

Wendii[/quote]

My sister in law and I were talking about whether she should teach her young son to open doors for women. I told her no - she should teach her two children (a boy and a girl) to open doors for whoever was coming behind them. Politeness is not a male perogative!

Start them young and maybe we can change the world!

Mary

Mark's picture

Lovely thought!

And I can assure you, the state of male behavior today is such that a young (or not) man who simply engages in basic etiquette and gentlemanly politleness, and shows concern for a young (or not) lady lays waste to his competition in 15 minutes. It is pleasant and disheartening at the same time.

Mark

PattiBarcroft's picture

In our fast paced PC world I find that fewer and fewer people take the time for basic helpfulness and manners. And I am saddened that one can get in trouble for being polite and helpful. I am also frustrated by the blatant disregard many individuals, especailly children have for these societal considerations. I agree totally with Mary on this one.

I prefer to err on the side of manners, politeness and gratitude and appreciate it greatly when others do the same. Please, thank you, yes ma'am, no sir, are all behaviors that I notice and appreciate.

Patti

WillDuke's picture

I'm reminded of an old story.

A young man is walking into town and comes across an old man by the side of the road. "Hey old man, how are the people in this town?"
"What town are you coming from son?"
The young man tells him, and adds that the people there are a bunch of miserable backbiting untrustoworthy ne'er do wells.
The old man grimaces. "I hate to tell you this son, but I'm afraid you're going to find the same thing here."
The young man curses and continues on.

Later another young man walks past the old man. "Hey old man, how are the people in this town?"
"What town are you coming from son?"
The young man tells him, and adds that the people there were kind and helpful; always willing to go out of their way to help each other out.
The old man smiles. "Well good news son, I think you'll find people are just like that here too."

Interestingly, both young men were from the same town.

kklogic's picture

Mary, that's exactly how I handle it. I look at opening a door for someone as a polite gesture that isn't restricted to men doing it.

Now there are male co-workers who will refuse me opening the door every time and insist I go through first. I don't take that as sexist, I take it as someone who was brought up to be polite. Likewise, if I open the door for a man and he accepts it, I think none the less of him (unless I don't receive a "thank you!").

Unfortunately, Mark is correct on women who over-react. I heard a story of a woman that worked here before me that reacted over the top negatively on a date when the man opened her car door. In my mind, that behavior smacks of insecurity about being a strong woman. Rather than projecting what she thought, in my opinion - it made her look more weak.