What do we think about the idea of going on a date with someone* who makes a good point of bringing up within his first few e-mails that he "believes in" opening doors for women? Now, I'm not against the actual action. I think holding doors is polite. (I generally think whoever is at the door first should hold it, regardless of gender, actually.) But what seems weird to me is making a big point of it. What is that supposed to convey, exactly? That he's very proud of his manners? That he thinks women need (or want) to be taken care of? That he thinks women should stay in their place? Is it a test to see if I'm one of those crazy feminists who will object to such actions? Hmm. (Honestly, I'm not as fixated on this one statement as it might seem; it just got me thinking and I thought it could be an interesting discussion.)
Sort of related: The other day I was walking with a male friend and he was carrying something slightly heavy that we had purchased for joint use. (Okay, I guess technically he had purchased it. It was a $4 thing of cat litter for use in getting our cars unstuck on my icy driveway.) Part of the way home I offered to carry it for a while, and he said it was fine, and then we both laughed as we realized that we both knew that I felt like I should offer but actually would rather he carry the heavy thing, and I think we were both okay with that.
I'm not sure exactly what my point is with the second story - I guess that it seemed like a more okay version of the "chivalry" thing without making a big point of it.
* This is a theoretical question at this point, because I've pretty much decided not to go out with the person, for other reasons. But I'm still curious as to thoughts on this issue.