Elevators

There is something that annoys me and I haven’t mentioned it yet because it’s such a very small nuisance that I feel I should just ignore it. But it keeps happening over and over, and now I think I should mention it.

Every single time I’m in an elevator with a man he insists I get off first, no matter who is standing closer to the door. I’m sure men think they’re being nice or polite or accommodating or chivalrous or some other positive thing, but I find this uncomfortable. I use an elevator both at home and at work, and so almost every day I end up in an elevator with a man who says “after you” and waits for me to get off before he does.

I know this is totally a first world problem, but it bothers me because it’s unnecessarily drawing attention to the fact that I’m a woman, which I don’t think should matter at all in a situation where people are getting off an elevator. I feel like it’s treating me differently because of my sex. I know that if I was a guy, other guys would get out of the elevator in order of who is closest to the door first. However, since I am in possession of female reproductive organs, for some reason it’s necessary for me to leave first. Why? Who teaches this to men, and why? I don’t get it.

To me, whoever is closest to the elevator door should get out first regardless of sex, since there is absolutely nothing about anyone’s chromosomes or genitalia that determines the choreography for leaving elevators.

Every time a guy who is closer to the door than I am waits for me to get off first, I feel annoyed, because it’s like he’s saying You’re a woman, and I’m treating you like one!” I just want to be treated like a person, just a regular person, who is part of normal elevator-leaving choreography, and not part of some special category who has to get out first.

So far I’ve never tried to say anything like “No, after you,” or “You’re closer to the door, bro” because (a) I hate talking to people and I use as few words as possible in social situations and (b) he would be totally confused if I refused to get off first and have no idea what my problem was. And to be honest, I would have a hard time explaining why this tiny little thing bothers me so much.

The only way I can explain it is this: I want to be just a person, no more, no less.

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17 thoughts on “Elevators

  1. This elevator fiasco has its ups and downs……*silliness noted I hope.

    Seriously, I stand about 2 inches from the control panel when riding on an elevator. I need to control the movements, the mirrored ones offer their own challenges.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It used to bother me a bit when I was able-er-bodied, but then I figured, ‘meh, I got better things to do with my time, but now, with my cane, I just stomp right in there and get off when I need to. I guess it’s a case of choosing your battles.

    And when Mrs Widds and I get on an empty elevator, we kiss, just on principle! šŸ˜€

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I hear you. Micro aggressions suck! I went to the store today to buy some ice cream, hoping to avoid the social aspect of going to the ice cream parlor. I just wanted to be in and out, no fuss. But sure enough, some dude sees me practically sprinting from the frozen isle and says, “sweet tooth, huh? Me too!”

    It’s not wrong to want the freedom of being unnoticed, freedom from being objectified as some “sweet thing” or a fragile thing who needs to exit an elevator first so some dude can feel better about himself! F*** that!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You just hit the nail on the head. I don’t want to be noticed as a woman. I want to be just unremarkable like a guy would be. That guy in the store did the same sort of thing to you that the elevator guys do to me. Although it’s impossible to prove he did anything wrong, because he was just making small talk, he was talking to you in a way that he wouldn’t talk to a man. He wouldn’t go up to another guy and be like “I see you have a sweet tooth! Me too!” That’s something he’d only say to a woman. It’s a form of flirting, but it’s an unwanted flirting. I don’t know what men think they’re accomplishing by doing this, but what they’re doing is making women uncomfortable.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. What’s worse, and this has happened to me, is when some dude with an armload of junk flies ahead of me to clumsily open a door I’m getting ready to go through, struggling and dropping stuff because somehow it’s more important for males and females to enter doors in the proper order than for us to go on with our lives and not spill shit everywhere.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. My habit’s always been to wait for everyone else to leave the elevator first so that I’m not getting in the way or taking up too much space, and this has been happening to me a lot lately and it’s always super weird and awkward. I’m glad this is a known thing that people actually notice and not just me being paranoid!

    Also, men making weird small talk with you in elevators, in that same ice-cream aisle way but significantly creepier when you’re in a tiny inescapable box with them. (“Wow, you live on the fifteenth floor, must have a good view from up there huh”, etc…) I’ve never seen men do this with male strangers.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes, the elevator thing is a microaggresion, and no, it’s not weird or extreme for you to dislike it. I too dislike it. I dislike everything everyone in this thread has mentioned. The same thing applies to holding doors in a way that makes me go out of my way to accommodate his “being polite.” If I have to change my course, it’s not being nice, it’s him being controlling and dominating me. If I have to move around him to go through the door if he’s holding it from the inside, it’s not nice. When men do this I just say “Thanks, I’m okay” and continue on my path to open the damned door myself. When it comes to doors I think the person who it makes the most sense to hold the door for someone else is the person who should do it ā€” like to me it’s purely logistics.

    The test is always the same; would he do this to a man? If the answer is no it’s sexism.

    Liked by 1 person

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