I live and work in New York City, so you can imagine the amount of elevator, office, subway and restaurant doors that I go through daily. But what's truly amazing is how it's the exception, rather than the rule, that guys like me hold the door for a woman to go through the door first.
There are women who say they don't care if a guy holds the door for them. I say that's crap. They care, and they like it -- a lot. I know this because every time I do it, no matter what the situation, or how old she is, she appreciates it, thanks me, and smiles.
When I was teaching my boys to hold doors, and they didn't do it instinctively, I would hook their belt loops so that if they started to walk before a woman did, they got yanked back, hard. Sure they were embarrassed. But they weren't as embarrassed as I was, as their father. It took about three good yanks on Seth, and three more on Isaac, before they got the "Hold the Door At All Costs Memo." But they got it, eventually.
There are those who believe that holding a door for a woman is sexist, that it sends a bad message about male/female equality. Here's the message that I think it delivers when you hold a cab door for her instead of sticking your manly butt in first: You are, first and foremost, a true gentleman.
I've heard many a woman say that they believe chivalry is dead. It's not dead. It just needs a lil resuscitation.
Ok, you say, but what should you do if she makes a point that she doesn't want you to hold the door for her? Fine. Don't. Let her go about her way. Here's my own personal experience about that, though -- it rarely, if ever happens --and when it does, shut your trap and don't make a big deal about it.
Look, I don't have a perfect track record here, either. I often forget to get the passenger door for her when I'm driving. Next time I do, I give my kids full permission to kick me in the pants, which I'm sure will give them great pleasure to do (hopefully, they aren't reading this).
One last thought. If you're a guy, you don't have to just hold the door for a woman, but you can do it for a guy as well, especially if he has a physical condition or is older. Being a gentleman, after all, is an equal opportunity business of life.