I've never thought of holding the door for someone as anything special but rather something one does because it's common courtesy to do so. It is plain rude to leave the door in someones face. What I've recently discovered, however, is that holding the door for someone may not be so common after all. As you may know, I'm on Twitter and to my surprise, hardly a day goes by without someone finding it worthwhile tweeting about someone having held the door for them. That said, the threshold for sending a tweet isn't particularly high but there are still a few aspects of this I find it interesting.
Firstly, the great majority of the people who tweet about this seem to be relatively young. Is this a sign that manners and gentlemanly behaviour is something that young people want but are missing in their lives? I'm not sure if this is the case, but I like to think so. A stronger emphasis on manners and good behaviour can only improve society.
Secondly, nearly all of the tweeters are women telling about a man having held a door for them. The few men tweeting about this are exclusively telling about how they hold doors for women or how men should hold doors for women. The consensus seems to be that the act of holding the door for someone is reserved for men when there's a woman to hold it for. This is, of course, absolutely correct behaviour but I really think this could be taken a step further. When there is someone right behind you and it is appropriate to hold the door for them instead of dropping the door in their face, it really shouldn't matter if it is a woman or a man. A proper gentleman will hold the door for anyone, regardless of the person's sex, or anything else.
Remember, a gentleman is a gentleman towards all, regardless of sex, age, colour, status etc. A selective gentleman is hardly a gentleman at all.