You can open the door for me. You can pay for my dinner. You can walk me home at night. You can carry me over puddles (do people still do that?). And anyone who won’t let you is off her rocker.
Every human being on the planet wants independence, even those who think they don’t. Grownups don’t ask people to pick out their clothes every day, live with them at all times, enslave them, etc etc. Once you’re past the age of 16, you don’t want people helping you with every little thing you have to do. But there is a line I draw between independence and self-righteousness. Why in the name of Gandalf’s burning bra would I get mad at you for being nice to me? Yeah, I bloody well will walk through the door before you, because the people inside probably want to see my pretty face, not your balding head.
Just kidding. But really…
As a woman, I want to make my own living, have my own ideas, and be independent of men (and other women…and my family). But I also want to be taken care of. Opening doors and walking me home at night is how you (men) show me that you care.
I want to write my way to the top, but it doesn’t mean I want people to let me get there simply because I’m a woman. I will make no excuses for my frailties…because I do have frailties, but it doesn’t mean that as a whole I am frail. I can do things on my own. I will not ask you (men) to help me out if I don’t need it. But when I do, I’ll expect you to be there (smiling and looking handsome) to give me a hand.
I want to wear short skirts. I want to look beautiful, and I want people to tell me so. I understand that wearing short skirts and being attractive have certain benefits and drawbacks. I understand that I am more likely to get whistled at by creepy men on the street when I wear short skirts than when I wear a potato sack and a bag over my head. However, I also expect men to keep it in their pants and contain themselves when I walk by and don’t look completely ugly. If I can walk by an attractive man without calling out and/or whistling, you (men) can too. At the same time, I am completely aware that I have no right to complain if I get called out for looking like a total tramp.
In a time when I have more rights than any of my female ancestors, I’m thankful for the sacrifices feminists made for me. I’m thankful that women were risking everything to call for women’s rights. I’m proud of what those women did for our society, and I’m glad that women are still working hard for my rights as an individual. But I’d like to stop being put into the category of “first woman to do this” and “second woman to do that.” As someone once said (but I forget who they were), it’s time for people to stop counting how many women have achieved things.
I am not a feminist. I am also not a child or an idiot. It’s time that extreme feminists realize that allowing people to do things for me does not mean I am weak, controllable, or unable to do those things for myself.
So men, I am a person first and foremost. I am not strictly a woman. With that in mind, I expect to be treated as your equal. I also expect you to tell me to shut up if I get angry when you treat me nicely. There is nothing wrong with you holding a door open for me; I promise I will not slap you if you do. But promise me that if I want to open the door for you sometime, you’ll let me.