I grew up — or, came into the work world, actually — in the late 70s and early 80s, which may have been a *very* different, yet somewhat similar time vs. men and their comments. Some men might have said certain things, or cat called, as a compliment. Then again, there were others that used those compliments (although not the getting door thing that’s different) as a way of softening a woman up for hitting on her. I had so many instances where bosses at various jobs hit on me — even to the point of physically touching me — to the point where I actually became afraid to look for work. Some men are indeed predatory, some see opportunities or what they assume are opportunities, and go for it. The thing is that they are more than likely *assuming falsely* that a young woman wants to be with them…
or they like having some sort of power advantage. I say that as I think of the first time I was hit on, by a 6 ft 5, 280 lb former football player who literally picked up all 5 ft 3 inch, 110lb me and sat me in his lap. When I was 19. And didn’t know shit from shineola about life. And he had a 17 yr old daughter. H knew what he was doing. He “liked” me. Yeah, sure…..like a fox likes chickens….
Maybe in the 60s men had to be m ore careful, or maybe it’s because we worked in different atmospheres. I worked in very blue-collar places in my early career, where men are more likely to “bust chops” or make lewd comments to women vs. making admiring comments. But, as I said, what might appear to be admiring on the one hand might actually be a way of softening a woman up for a hit (and what he thinks will be a home run.)
Respect for me, by getting the door or helping with a package, and those sorts of little courtesies are nice. I will extend those courtesies of women with babies in strollers and very senior citizens. That’s simple courtesy and acknowledging another’s humanity. And when I was single I still expected men to pay for dates. I made sure they knew it was because I’m old-fashioned and think a man should treat me if he asks (and also that he has to prove himself worthy) and not that it was a signal that he “bought and paid for” me — you know what I mean? But comments about my appearance, cat-calling and expecting a response (then calling me a “bitch”) or chops busting that crosses into gendered commentary, or remarks like “my daughter’s so beautiful I’d bang her” are giant NO NOs in my book. And the men who make those comments? Less than admirable and certainly not gentlemen.