I recently read a column about door-opening protocol. By this, I mean men opening the door for women. The writer was offended that a man assumed she would appreciate having a door opened for her. She didn’t. She thought it offensive because, to her, it signaled the man’s belief that he was somehow stronger and more capable than the woman.

Here’s what I think: I would much rather a man open a door for me than drop it in my face. In fact, I love having a door opened for me. A man who opens a door for another is gallant, polite and doing the hard part. All I have to do is walk through it.

Some women may not care for courtesy. Personally I don’t see it as a ploy to hold male dominance over my head. I see it as a way to honor me and pay deference to my age. It would never occur to most men that they are chauvinistic jerks who only want to crush feminism via acting like gentlemen.

Think about that premise, if you will. “I hate you so much I’m going to belittle you with polite behavior.” Isn’t that kind of ridiculous?

Women are strong and resilient and capable. Always have been. And while our past history cast us into the role of property for centuries, we have fought that battle and won it in our country and most parts of the world. The ones who’ve had their rights to determine their own futures snatched from them, will get there. Because people seek independence and parity. We can’t help it. It’s the nature of human beings. Human “property” has always struggled to escape, whether the bindings are philosophical or real. It’s just the way we are. And it’s why no one is opening cans of cat food for us.

That’s not to deny many others don’t have the freedoms we have in this wonderful country. There are still way too many who are enslaved, who have no rights except those bestowed upon them by their captors or oppressors or, in some cases, husbands. That never lasts. Humans never stop craving self-determination.

But when someone does something nice for me, something respectful, I don’t see it as a blemish upon my freedom to determine my future. And when you act rude and insulting because a man (horrors) opens the door for you, then let me suggest that you wait until there is no one around to besmirch your smug female holiness. Wait until all male traffic has cleared the door, then go for it. That way you don’t run the risk of encountering courtesy, although some careless woman may hold it for you as she also enters that building.

I know, I know. How ironic to be well-treated by a creature with the same naughty bits as yours. The irony is so, so bittersweet. After all, your feminine foremothers fought so hard for your right to be insulted whenever a man is polite to you! Oh, the humanity!

Here is what that columnist missed: opening a door for someone is a commentary on him, not you. That’s it. It’s not an insult or attempt to suppress one’s gender or an implication that you can’t do it yourself. That’s on you and whatever weird sense of self you’ve developed. When other people do nice things for me, I don’t assume they really want to rob me in a stairwell or make a social commentary about older people or women in general. I take it at face value. It’s exactly what it looks like—a nice thing to do.

So here’s some advice for that columnist: Don’t mess it up for the rest of us. Those of us female-types who like it will gang up on you. And, well, since you’re a woman, you already know what we’re capable of doing.

Carole Moore welcomes email at carolemoore_biz@ec.rr.com.