Opening Doors for the Dominant Side of Myself
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Love in the Third Degree.
I have to admit that I’m still power-tripping a bit after this weekend and more in-depth exploration of my dominant side. I grew up in the era of the ERA. Haven’t heard that one in a while, have you? The Equal Rights Amendment.
As a fledgling feminist in my early teens, I very much wanted to be “equal” to men, especially in the professional world and in fulfillment outside the home (as in, I wanted to be something other than a diaper-changing mommy). I wanted the equal opportunity to fulfill my dreams because I knew that all things being equal, I definitely had the drive to succeed. I needed only for the passageway to be unblocked or have the same number of blocks as any male rival.
At the same time, there were men who were staunch supporters of ERA, men who had or wanted full custody of their kids when their ex-wives flitting around the country, on drugs, or abandoning their kids. Not that that was always the case, but regarding the men of whom I speak, it certainly was. They weren’t interested in equal pay for a day’s work. They just wanted an equal chance to raise their kids.
There were so many silly arguments that came from that era. I saw men use the ERA against women in many ways—to get out of having to pay alimony to career housewives/moms, whether women went into war zones, who paid for dinner, all the way down to who opened the door for whom.
I saw men slam doors in women’s faces, I saw women berate men for insulting them with an open door, I saw men drop heavy doors on women with their arms loaded with 40-pounds of boxes. Why? Well, if men and women are equal, who opens the door?
That was the stupid one. To me, the answer was always simple: he/she who does not have his/hers arms full opens the door for the other.
Seemed practical to me! Otherwise? The bigger person. And even when I was a 95-pound teenager, five-foot-two-with-eyes-of-blue, there were still smaller people, pregnant women, men with toddlers in their arms, older people, disabled people who saw me open the door for them.
I was never one to expect a door to be opened for me. After all, I saw myself as an equal.
The message from my teen years was that an equal opens her own doors.
And most of the time, I still do. But….
The “dominant female” mindset is bringing up some new thoughts, defying a past based in my teen years and feminist revolution. Like how a man’s opening a door for me doesn’t make me submissive or lesser. It does, now, suddenly, remind me of being unequal, but it’s unequal in a different way.
And not as “less than equal.”