The Discourse

The sapphics are asking: is it wrong to expect your girlfriend to hold the door open?

On TikTok, the girls are discoursing. This is nothing new, of course: there’s always some aspect of comp het to be examined, and the sapphics are not shy about asking the big questions. For the past few weeks, one question has been on everyone’s mind. Namely: is it comp het to expect your girlfriend to hold the door open for you?

Now before we get into, let’s take a moment to appreciate the full complexity and context of this query. In late April, a prominent lesbian podcaster made a comment on her podcast about her ex, who hadn’t had a lot of experience dating women. She told a story about how her ex expected her to hold the door for her when they were out in public, which led to the ex in question getting a rash of hate comments and call-outs on the app.

So she—the ex, aka Becky from the Becky’s So Hot moment of 2022—went on TikTok to set a few things straight. First off, no, she didn’t expect her girlfriend to hold the door open for her. What actually happened was that she caught herself in a moment of falling back into cis-het expectations, and reflected thoughtfully on that moment.

@beckymissal

A long rant from me and my comfort pillow #wlw

♬ original sound – Becks Missal

As she explains in her TikTok, there was no expectation around it: it was simply a moment of her realizing that certain comp het ideas about dating were still showing up for her even in a gay relationship. Which is totally normal and natural in a comp het soaked society, especially for someone who’s just starting to explore their bisexuality.

Somehow that moment became, in the retelling, an accusation: “you never hold the door open for me.” Which started a whole conversation online: is chivalry inherently a comp het construct? And if so, how do we start to dismantle it?

“I hold the door regardless for anyone,” one commenter posted. “Isn’t that normal?”

“My moms open the door for each other,” another wrote. “They take turns being of service to each other. I don’t think it’s inappropriate that you asked her about it.”

“To be fair,” someone else said, “I think holding to door open for your partner or anyone, is just a nice thing to do. However, anytime we have expectations w/out communication, it can lead to unhappiness.”

For some folks, holding the door open for someone else is simply a mark of consideration, regardless of gender. Others related to Becky’s moment of reflection and related to it.

“As someone who is also bi and not dated many women,” one commenter wrote, “i understand this completely. may not of meant it that way but you definitely don’t deserve to feel guilty for learning.”

Certainly not: we’re all learning, all the time, and even though Becky didn’t do anything wrong here simply by checking herself in an unsure moment, it would be okay even if she had expected something more from her partner.

“I was just saying, oh wow, that’s something that me, and they guys I’ve dated before—because the patriarchy has deemed that as a ‘male behavior’—those are roles that we were both put into,” Becky explained in her video, while breaking down the moment in question.

In essence, Becky is displaying some real maturity in recognizing that she’s trying to unlearn certain habits that comp het has burned deep into all our brains. That’s an admirable move, and it’s even cooler that she went on TikTok to share her experience with others who might be new to dating girls.

So in essence, let’s try not to judge anyone for asking questions. We’re all unlearning comp het and trying to evict patriarchal ideas from our minds together—let’s cheer each other on in the meantime.

As David Bowie once said, when it comes to love, we’re all absolute beginners.

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Tags: Sapphic
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