Friday, 29 November 2013

The History of Men Opening Doors for Women

Have you ever sat to think: why do men open doors for women? You sit outside your house for long enough, and you are sure to find a schmuck park his car, waddle to the other side, and open the door for a woman to step out. Go to the mall, and some dude is carrying all her shopping bags, but still manages to find an extra limb for opening the doors for her.

My question is: how (and when) did men decide “we are the ones appointed Door Openers for Women in the Milky Way”? Was there, like, a meeting to that effect? This is the N2, 500,000 question.
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Since I have been unable to find credible facts showing the historical trend for this phenomenon, I have decided to supply my thoughts on the issue. A lot of us will say “it is chivalry, it is being courteous, and it is being a gentleman.” It earns you points with the lady, and it gets you girlfriends. I don’t dispute. But maybe if we look at this issue a lot more closely, we may find an underlying issue, eh?

So, when and where did it first begin? What man opened the first door for a woman? Adam, perchance? I wonder if there was a door in the Garden of Eden. But, really, who opened the first door for a woman? Your dad? Mine? Or your grandfather? I think this chain is way older than can be seen on any family tree.

I think the first door was opened during the Neanderthal era. In the days of the cavemen. Aha, I can almost hear you scream. Aha, caves had no doors! And you are right. But read for a minute, will you? Imagine with me for a minute.
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"Wait", asks the caveman. "How did you take a pic of us? Cameras haven't been invented yet!"


Imagine there was a caveman. Let us call him Akpos. Akpos was a huge, scary caveman with tribal marks. He was boss of the cave. He ruled everything within the cave and all the people of the cave feared and respected him.

Now, let us assume Akpos had a wife (or whatever it is they called them back in the day) and they went out to pluck mushrooms while Akpos tried to stone a rhinoceros to death [he failed of course, and made excuses to his wife later on that the stones were not ‘the right shape’ for killing a rhinoceros].

So, Akpos comes home with his wife, tired from all that stoning, so he leaves his wife outside to make some mushroom soup and wanders into the cave to sleep (on the rock-couch?). Unfortunately for the burly Akpos, earlier, while he and his wife were out, a bear had wandered into the cave, and the bear kills Akpos.

Now Akpos’ neighbor, Obi, hears of the story, and being a shrewd man, decides on a failsafe mechanism to prevent his own demise by bear-chewing.

The next day, after returning from his own hunt with his wife, they get to the entrance of the cave and Obi bows grandly and with a sweep of his hand, motions for his wife to enter before him. She is surprised by this gesture (as no caveman has ever asked his wife to enter the cave before him), blushes and sashays in. Obi, meanwhile, waits outside for a few minutes, listening for the sound of a bear mauling his wife. Hearing nothing but the sounds of his wife humming some cave music and preparing their mushroom soup, he enters the cave and makes himself at home.

This act not only saves Obi’s life, but earns him some nice bed sheet-squeezing time with his wife. The other cavemen hear of Obi’s technique when they meet at the beer parlor (or something), and they adopt the technique as well, thus beginning the tradition of opening doors for ladies.

Interesting, isn’t it? Changes the implied meaning of opening doors for women, doesn’t it?

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