Chris Evans helps Regina King up the stairs to the stage after her Oscars win
Okay listen up, all you dudes out there! It’s time for some life lessons from Chris Evans.
Wonder why women are fine with this when he does it, but they find you opening a car door or offering to carry stuff for them annoying? Well, wonder no more! It works like this:
A large number of women have had to learn how to dodge and swerve and sometimes even slap away men’s hands from the time they hit puberty - and sometimes before. Ladies, cis and trans both, are unfortunately experienced at being groped, poked, prodded, “helped”, and otherwise humiliated and threatened by men. Then also there’s the condescending attitude that of course we need a man’s help, and we should be grateful he offered it.
Chris is doing something very different here, and you’ll see it in similar video clips of him at other events. You can read his mental process in his body language. He starts with just clapping and congratulating. He offers nothing until there is a need, which doesn’t happen here until Regina’s shoe gets caught on her dress. Since women have literally tripped up the stairs at this ceremony several times over the years (because the shoe and clothing requirements are ridiculous), it is reasonable at this stage to think that my-shoe-caught-on-my-dress is a problem that actually needs to be addressed. This is when Chris offers.
How he offers matters. He starts with an open hand toward her, but this is a big no-no. Open hands are a red flag. Open hands grope and grab and shove. He quickly corrects by flipping his arm over and offering his forearm instead. This makes it her choice whether to grab on or ignore him. She doesn’t have to contend with a potentially threatening hand while she’s also contending with her dress.
He also bends down a bit to do this. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Chris is kind of a tall, beefy guy. Guys like that can be a bit intimidating without meaning to be, at least when they’re up close. Also, his arm is a bit too high to be useful to her if he stays at his full height. So he bends down. This is even more visible in the video from him doing this for Betty White at the 2015 Oscars, because she’s shorter than Regina, I guess.
He offers his arm for exactly as long as she leans on it. When she lets go, he steps back. This is a guy who isn’t interested in showing off how much she needs his help. He’s just interested in helping, and when he’s not needed, he’s done. He goes back to sit down. He doesn’t hover.
Also, Regina King knows who Chris Evans is. His behavior at work thus far has certainly made it into the rumor mill, thus factoring into whether she accepts help from him. Is he a dudebro or jerk to women at work? That doesn’t appear to be the case.
Women are not helpless. Compared to men, our clothes are more often obstacles to getting where we need to go safely and with our dignity intact, but conversely, we’ve also learned to deal with that better than most men have. It’s not that we never need or want help; like all people, we do sometimes need a hand. It’s just that “some kinds of help are the kinds of help we all could do without.”
If you are offering help to a woman, first make sure she actually appears to be struggling. Second, make yourself as unthreatening as possible and let her do any touching, not the other way around. Third, make sure she can refuse without any consequences. And fourth, back off as soon as she doesn’t need you anymore and let the moment go.
I hadn’t even registered why exactly it was that he was so unthreatening in this and the Betty White assistance incidents, but you’re right. It’s all in the way he helps. It’s not that this is unthreatening behaviour “because he’s Chris Evans” – its because his body language is genuinely unthreatening and merely helpful.
A+ analysis – I hadn’t even registered the details of why and how this behaviour was 100% ok, while from another man (who probably would have gone about it differentky) it might not have been