Way back in my college days, I took a Women’s Studies course and, as a result, I went through an Anti-Man phase like you would not believe. Back then, I would have told you that porn objectifies women, that advertisers were conspiring to make us all feel fat, and that men who opened doors for women were chauvinist pigs.
I wasn’t about to let a guy make me feel weak or inadequate by carrying my books, offering me his jacket, or fixing my flat tire.
Oh, the poor men who performed such chivalrous acts were met with a virulent string of icy wit—the kind of verbal language that could cause a tiger to fold back his ears and skulk away.
For some odd reason, a few guys actually still wanted to date me during this stage of my life. I attribute that to the fact that I never stopped shaving my armpits. And, it must be said, braless women are hot.
Anyway, I, at some point, grew out of most of it.
Of course, there are some feminist topics I still believe. Women still have to work twice as hard in corporate America to earn the same money and promotions as men who are less qualified and less talented. That’s why so many women like me are leaving corporate America and starting our own businesses.
As for the opening doors part? All I can say is this: I’m quite smitten with my husband whenever he does anything manly. For instance, on Christmas Day, I found myself locked in the bathroom. The door handle, not so conveniently, had decided to stop working after I’d stepped inside to do my thing. When I tried to get out, it would not unlock. I jiggled it for a good five minutes before I resorted to banging on the door and screaming, “Help! I’m locked in the bathroom!”
Of the five adults and three children in my house at that given moment, only my husband heard my cries.
“What’s wrong?” I heard his calm voice from the other side of the door.
“The handle is busted. I can’t get out!”
He tinkled with the door from his side. I found some tweezers and tried to pop the lock from my side.
After about 10 minutes, one thing was clear: I’d done something to offend the bathroom door. It was not about to let me out.
“You need to come out through the window,” my husband said.
And I thought, “The window! Of course! Why didn’t I think of the window?”
As I started to climb out, I heard him say, “Wait. Don’t jump down. I’ll help you.”
And just like that, he was there, under the window, ready to catch me. I climbed onto his back. He did groan a little and I did apologize for jumping on his back at my heaviest time of the year. Still, he didn’t put me down. He carried me back into the house, so my bare feet would not have to touch the icy walkway.
Then he got a screwdriver and crawled through the window and into the bathroom.
When he opened the bathroom door, I looked at him standing there with the door handle in one hand and the screwdriver in the other and I thought, “Can everyone please go home right now? I want to have some serious sex with my manly husband.”
Could I have gotten out of the bathroom without my husband’s help? It’s debatable. I suppose I might have come up with the idea of climbing out the window before I died of starvation.
I could definitely have gotten from the bathroom window to the back door without his help, but it was so much more fun and satisfying to be his damsel in distress for a few short moments.
I don’t get to be a damsel in distress very often. In our relationship, I’m the primary breadwinner. I handle the budgeting and investing. I occasionally shovel the snow.
Truth be told, I even own my own screwdriver.
I don’t give him the chance to be a man very often. Yet, I have to say, when I need a man and he volunteers for the job, I just love every bit of the experience. I love when:
- I’m cold and he offers me his jacket.
- I buy four bottles of wine, and he carries all of them rather than asking me to take two.
- He opens my car door for me.
- I arrive home from the grocery store and he’s at the trunk before I’m out of the driver’s seat, telling me to go inside and relax while he lugs in the groceries.
- He does anything with a screwdriver, hammer, or “man toy.”
I do like him in an apron, too. That’s true. Yet, in this world, there are some jobs that are better left to the men, and rescuing a 38-year-old mom from the bathroom is one of them.
Are some sex roles better left unchanged? Should chivalry never die? Do you prefer your man to act like a man? Leave a comment.
Tomorrow: Why all feminists should wear lingerie, get waxed, and check out all things XXX.
A professional journalist, Alisa Bowman is the author of Project: Happily Ever After, a memoir of how she saved her marriage, and coauthor of Pitch Perfect, a must-read if you've ever had a sense of dread tie up your insides before a speech, presentation, or conversation. If you enjoyed this post, you will no doubt love her updates on Facebook and Twitter.