I work on the fifth floor of a five story building. I live on the second floor of a three story building with a toddler and tons of gear. I spend a lot of time in elevators.
My new building is predominantly occupied by various entertainment companies. A documentary film production house, a casting agency and an event management organization. The ratio of men to women at these companies swings wildly in favor of the guys.
So several times a day I find myself in a metallic box, either making small talk or not making eye contact waiting to move on to my destination. It’s prompted me, however, to find myself thinking a lot about feminism.
I wouldn’t classify myself as your traditional feminist. I like wearing dresses, heels and makeup. On formal occasions or even date night, I like it when someone opens the car door for me. Still, I want equal pay for equal work and I want the opportunity to do whatever job I so desire.
It’s recently become prevalent in my day-to-date life to be on the receiving end of one of the last bastions of chivalry. I’m astounded by the number of men that wait for me to enter or exit the elevator on a daily basis. All kinds of men too…men in suits, UPS men, hipster dudes in t-shirts with handlebar mustaches. If I’m being honest, I find it a little annoying.
Sometimes I’m not paying attention and I don’t realize they’re waiting for me. Sometimes I have to hurry up to the elevator because someone saw me coming and felt obligated to wait. Sometimes I don’t want to be acknowledged for having a vagina.
Recently I was in a crowded elevator in a hotel. There were 6 women and a man, who got on last. Instead of stepping off the elevator, he moved like a Tetris piece around us all waiting for every lady to step off prior to exiting himself.
I feel a little bratty admitting it but I just don’t understand it. In many instances, particularly compared to an older man, I’m stronger and more agile. And, of all the things to have withheld the sexual revolution, what is it about the elevator that has caused it to hold on.
Now, I’m not about to suggest we burn our bras in protest of an act of good manners but I am putting it out there to find out…am I the only one whose noticed this? If I’m not, am I the only one annoyed by it? And, what do you do?