Here’s another unsolicited opinion: It’s strange because I was having the to open or not to open conversation with a friend the other day and I do think your specific description of the door incident is helpful, even though your piece obviously goes deeper than that.
If I understand it correctly the door here is just one metaphor for all the ways in which guys subtly invalidate women and view them as lesser, as not being capable beings in their own right? In the case of my friend, he was coming out of a building, glanced behind him and saw that someone (gender unknown) was following him out. He stopped and held the door. The response from the (as it turned out to be) woman was “Thanks but next time I can do that under my own strength”
What he wanted to say was that gender played no part in his decision to make a strangers life easier. It wasn’t a strength/capability judgement. Just an act of kindness. What he did was smile weakly and seethe for the rest of the day.
Now, on its own, the woman’s response smacks of rudeness, narcissism and a weird projection of what she thought my friends motivation was.
But if I step back for a minute and imagine that woman going about her day to day life and having guys hold the door open (both metaphorically and actually) for her in the egregious and coddling manner you describe then her reaction at least makes sense. If this happened to me daily it would irritate the mortal piss out of me. Therefore her behavior is perhaps understandable, if not excusable. And on reflection my friend agrees that perhaps his reaction was disproportionate to the situation.
I think kindness and politeness should remain guiding principles for us all and I feel that part of being kind and polite is to try to understand/empathize with the motivations and circumstances that lead people to behave as they do. TLDR: Basically, everyone needs to calm the fuck down.