Tuesday, June 09, 2009
In Marilyn Frye’s “Oppression,” even the very act of a man’s opening the door for a woman is considered part of oppressive structure. The argument is that it deems women too incapable of doing so, with the action turning into a ritual instead of being a circumstantial performance of good manners.
In the interest of gender fairness, I believe that women should be allowed to do the door opening on their own because despite men and women’s physiological differences, women are not so weak that they cannot open the door themselves. They should not be made to appear helpless, so they should freely enact the event instead of rendering them dependent on the physiologically stronger men to perform the act. As a symbol, the door opening is a way for women to crush oppression as well, since they get liberated by their stepping out from their dark, cage-like enclosure, by their mobility, and by their access into the unlocked world.