Is it just good manners or am I being a sexist pig?

Dear Aunty,

I have just read an anonymous account of two weeks in the life of a major newspaper, written by a young female journalist who clearly hated the place. But one thing she mentioned has struck me with fear.

She said men were “continuously and unnecessarily sexist, waiting for me to walk through doors and leave the elevator before them”. I regularly do this, thinking it is good manners. But now I am worried I am being “continuously and unnecessarily sexist” rather than polite. Which one is it?




Dear Confused,

I was once a young female journalist. I was nutty, scatty and quite batty; mainly because, like all journalists at the time, I was half drunk with alcohol and power most of the time.

But never, ever did I confuse sexism with good manners. A fellow let me through the door first? He got a nice thank you and a smile. You, my friend, have been raised properly to stand aside and let a woman or the elderly walk through a door first. You probably vacate your chair for pregnant women and help a senior up the stairs. You are an all-round nice bloke and may you continue to open doors for the women of the world as long as you live.

As for that poor young woman? She is yet to be pregnant, trying to hold a strap and a baby, or old. So she is yet to fully appreciate your good gestures.

But she is being subject to the usual demeaning crap that a few insecure blokes dish out and, in her frustration, is lashing out at all around her. Forgive her, don’t be scared, and one day she will take the seat you offer and smile her thanks.

Be smart,

Your Aunty B

To read more Aunty B advice, click here.

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