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Is being nice just another form of sexism?

I am a pretty strong activist for feminism which if you type “define: feminism” into the Google Search bar, you will get:

That means your mothers, your sisters, daughters, nieces and girl & women friends.
What I will say to anyone includes all and any of the following when I am encountered by people who refuse to check their language*, which if you think about it, matters greatly.
  • Do I look like your assistant? (I have stopped saying “slave” or “secretary” because they imply completely different, unintentional meanings)
  • Women experience the same things!!! It is no different for us!
  • So how come I am “hysterical” but you’re “assured & confident” when we are saying the same things?

*I say language matters because if you just think about it, the words you use, shape how you see the world.

What I really don’t like is hearing other women complain at how SEXIST men are because they hold open doors for them,┬álet them have a seat, and all these other myriad of behaviours I term societal politeness.

What’s the big deal?

I don’t think being polite to another person is a form of sexism.


I just say “thank you” when someone holds a door open for me (particularly if it is Baby Bun in a stroller and I’m struggling).

In fact, I am GRATEFUL that someone noticed me and my plight and wanted to help me out.



I have had other women help me, and not just hold open the door.

I have had them go all the way up the metro stairs, look back with a troubled look, and come all the way back down, asking me: Besoin d’aide? (Need help?) and carry my entire stroller singlehandedly up the stairs in heels while I am gripping onto Baby Bun’s hand and helping him walk up the stairs.

Then they go off on their day, saying: Bonne chance! (Good luck!) because THEY KNOW what it’s like to live in a child-unfriendly city (most cities, really.. I’d love it if they would install little mini toilets for children and mini sinks, in addition to changing tables and hooks to hold bags in stalls).


I see a guy struggling? I open the door and hold it.

Do you think he’s screaming “SEXIST PIG!” at me and getting angry?

I see a woman trying to get through and having a tough time? I help her carry her other bags across.

Is she getting mad, and saying: “STOP DOING THAT!”

This is called being polite to each other and showing that you care for others even if it does nothing for you personally.

So if someone helps you, smile and say thank you. Don’t get mad at them. They’re being a nice, fellow, human being.

1 Comment

  • SarahN

    I work with all men, and we often need to open three doors on our route to a meeting. I tend to work faster, happy to open them for them. Perhaps slack is sometimes I open it, walk through and hold it for them. So it’s not totally ‘watch them walk past me’ They open them for me too, and hold them. Just natural turns. With my work environment, I’m very quick to ask if I need help, and they are happy to leave me be until I do, and I don’t get annoyed about that either!

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