We're happy to present this excerpt from one of our favorite sites, The Good Men Project. Alyssa Royse believes that teaching children the tradition of "ladies first" only serves to reinforce sexism on many different levels.
There's an article on Today Moms, an offshoot of NBC's Today show, that asks if teaching little boys the cardinal rule of "Ladies First," is teaching future generations some sort of sexism. Why is this even a question? Of course it is. Totally. And that's not nearly as problematic as what it isn't teaching them.
Obviously, good manners are not only important, but an increasingly rare commodity. Personally, I want them back. I want doors held open for people, I want people to help each other carry their heavy loads, offer a hand up when someone trips and, please, pretty please, can we have some more "please" and "thank you"s in the world?
But I want that as part of a civilized social intercourse in the world, not a gender-based entitlement. I routinely hold the door open for my man. He does the same for me. Whoever gets there first holds the door open. Simple as that.
So, why is "Ladies First" sexism? Simple. "Ladies First" implies that women are entitled to "better" treatment simply because of they're women? No different than implying that men are entitled to "better" treatment because of their genitals. Or white people because of their skin color. And that is the wrong lesson to treat future generations if what we want is a world of equality.
Read the rest of "Ladies First"? How About "Manners First"? over at The Good Men Project.