Gendered Gestures: Outdated Or Chivalrous?

Oct 14, 2019

door knob apartment

File: An open apartment door. ; Credit: Photo by Dominick via Flickr Creative Commons


Curtsies and hat tipping may have gone the way of the dinosaur, but there are still gendered gestures that some consider the norm for polite society. 

Namely, men opening doors for women, pulling out chairs or opening car doors. For some men, it’s the way they were raised. For some women, it’s the way they expect to be treated by a gentleman. 

But there are plenty of people who find these gestures unnecessary at best and insulting at worst — actions rooted in outdated ideas of women’s weakness and even examples of benevolent sexism. 

If you’re a woman, what’s your take on these gendered gestures? If you’re a man, how do you approach these situations? If you’re a feminist, do you think these gestures conflict with the goal of gender equality? If you’re queer, how do you negotiate these traditional norms? Call 866-893-5722 to share your thoughts.

This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at

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