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January 23, 2011

Being a gentleman...

I’m sorry I’m not blonde and petite. I’m fat, and I'm not beautiful. I don’t wear short skirts or tight pants and I don’t wear stiletto heels. I don’t chew my gum like a cow with a cud, or twist a lock of hair around a finger.
However, the last time I checked, I still have breasts, I’m still classified as a female, and when I’m walking toward a building with a manual door, I still like the door opened for me, or even held open for me.
Especially when the same door is being opened and a man is exiting the building.

What kind of idiocy prevails today when a man, seeing me as I approach the door, could not remain there for more than two seconds, to hold the door for me, so I could enter? He wasn’t rushing anywhere and he wasn’t wearing any form of uniform that could excuse him for being in any hurry.

What’s even worse, I’ve seen people blow off the elderly in passing. Maybe the grandmotherly, even great-grandmotherly aged woman was walking a bit slow and people rush past them to get to the door, but don’t hold the door, and this poor elderly woman either has to make a last moment dash and grab for the door, or wait until it’s closed to open it for themselves. At this point, I’ve tried to reach past them to beat them to grabbing the door with a polite, “Let me get the door for you,” and I open the door.

Because it’s polite, it’s the right thing to do.

While we’re at it, let’s run through a list of things a man should know and practice.

1.      Show some pride in your appearance. Be clean. Keep your facial hair to a minimum, or at the very least, neatly trimmed. Please, please, PLEASE don’t drown yourself in scented deodorant, cologne, or body lotion. Wear clothes that fit you. I don’t need to see your underwear (There IS a reason why they’re called underwear). If your pants are THAT big, wear a belt. It’s why they exist – to keep your pants up. Your baseball cap is not worn sideways or backwards…and PLEASE remove your hats when you enter a building or sit down at a table, or when being introduced to a woman or older people.
2.      Be polite. TO EVERYONE. Always be aware of how you can help people, like holding the door for someone, even if takes you two seconds longer to get to where you’re going. Open a door for someone. If you don’t know if that someone is going to be offended, then be prepared to ask, “Would you like some help?” or “May I get the door for you?” It makes you look all the better for the offer.
3.      No one wants to hear you cursing in public, or cussing someone out, or throwing a fit because someone didn’t use their turn signals on the free way. Occasional swearing in private, or amongst your cronies are one thing, but it’s just better if you don’t. Especially when you’re in mixed company or when you could be overheard.
4.      Unless the woman is an attention grabbing lady of the night, and even then you shouldn’t…don’t stare, ogle, or say anything that degrades them, to them or about them. This goes back to #2 where you’re being polite and respectful. Be the better person.
5.      It was funny in grade school, or with your drinking buddies in college, but not anymore. Don’t belch or fart in public. No one wants to play “Sniff and guess what I had for lunch”. Keep your voice to a polite volume, don’t be demanding, and don’t get drunk in public. Keep control of yourself, mind and body.
6.      Be a gentleman when it comes to women. Offer to open our doors, or offer to give up your seat on a crowded bus. No one said to throw your coat over a mud puddle so we can avoid getting our feet wet, but holding an umbrella over our heads while we get into a car would be nice.
7.      The world does not revolve around you, so please don’t talk about yourself too much. Women like a bit of mystery. It gives us something to work for. Try to have some topics to discuss in conversation that isn’t all about you.
8.      Until you know the people around you, avoid discussing politics and religion. Friendships and potential friendships have been ended because of those two topics and not everyone is comfortable with those topics.
9.      Stand up tall and straight. Don’t slouch. You don’t carry the weight of the world on your shoulders and you aren’t being horsewhipped. It makes you look more confidant. However, there’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance. Don’t swagger. You aren’t better than anyone else, even when you are.
10.  Teasing a woman you know is one thing, but outright rudeness and cruelty is another. Even if you think you’re joking, it’s offensive, insulting, and hurtful when a man refers to a woman with a vulgar word or tone.
11.  It’s one thing if you’re challenged to stand up for yourself and your values, but it’s another to go off half cocked and start throwing punches at the slightest of provocations. It makes you no better than the person picking the fight. Walk away. If you do end up having to defend yourself, never use weapons other than your fists, and when your opponent is down, end the fight.
12.  Be sincere. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Care to add anything?

6 comments:

JadedSidhe said...

Maybe I should print this and hand it out to the guys at work. There's three women that work on night shift and we're all treated like idiots.

Lost Chicken said...

I think this should be open to everyone in general. I have 5 people whose work I am editing/assisting and the only one who uses manners is the male of the group. Go figure.

At the very least, this should be printed out to all new fathers as a guideline to raising their sons. Respect, manners, courtesy, honesty, mowing the lawns and putting out the rubbish should be the minimum.

Isobael Liu said...

I have one for being a lady that I'm working on...

Emma Charlesbeth said...

I love this. Well said.

Mokkelke said...

this is so true. maybe i am lucky and where i live you do find the odd one. flip side is, here the elderly seem to think that being older is a free ticket to being rather abusing. elderly deserve respect, BUT it works both ways. here they would cut you off and curse at you because if the would go one parking space further, it would mean walking three paces more. they rather risk an accident and cutting you off, taking in the space you have been waiting patiently and politely for....

Anonymous said...

I realize this is an old post, but I read it and just had to comment.
A few years ago, when I was 7 months pregnant with my first son, and I was walking out of a Mini-Mart toting a gallon of milk, a gallon of tea, my rather large purse, and a bag of a few little odds and ends that I had bought. A man just in front of me, looked at me, walked out the door and quite literally dropped it in my face before I had the chance to catch it. I decided that day that chivalry was dead.

I don't NEED anyone to do anything for me, but what ever happenned to just being nice?