Should Men Hold the Door? (Or Lift the Suitcase?)

Should Men Hold the Door? (Or Lift the Suitcase?) February 28, 2023

Remember my suitcase saga from last year? This is the promised follow-up, based on your many responses to my request for input.

Last year I was on an airplane, struggling to lift my heavy suitcase into the overhead bin – and noticed some deep conflict in a few men near me. They seemed torn between wanting to help but feeling like they “should” hold themselves back. One man was actually gripping the armrests of his seat, as if to keep himself from jumping up to offer help. (You can read the full tale here.)

As a mom who is trying to raise a son to be polite and helpful, I was sad that men today may feel like they have to stop a natural instinct to help (or hold the door, or…), out of concern that they might offend. Yet, as I noted, I also totally understand the caution – especially in the post-#MeToo era. After all, I consider myself a pretty strong, capable person, and would never want someone to make me feel otherwise.

So what’s a man to do? I asked blog readers that question and was flooded with thoughtful responses – from both men and women – that provide encouragement and a practical road map for navigating this era.

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