by Tyne O’Connell ©
“A gentleman is never unintentionally rude.” Oscar Wilde
I’ve yet to meet a woman who doesn’t appreciate gentlemanly ways. I have two husbands – one is my ex, but he is still very much part of my life as the father of my two sons, and as a wife and mother it’s saddening that a man behaving like a gentleman could be viewed as “sexist” or worse, old fashioned.
Good manners like a good view never go out of style. Good manners show good grace which is the pre-requisite to good will. The world needs more good will, not less.
The idea of the gentleman encapsulates all the most attractive qualities of masculinity. Manners exist to make everyone comfortable. The reason one never uses ones fork as a spoon or eats with one’s mouth agape is because it’s revolting to one’s fellow dinners. Watching a grown man grappling with his cutlery evokes horror in the most tolerant diner.
Opening doors for a woman or standing up when a women enters or leaves the room or table, are the actions of a man aware of others around him.
Everyone needs to feel significant and good manners ensure everyone does. It is sickening to imagine that a man could be abused for making a gesture of good will towards a woman.
When my mother championed feminism it was not because she felt patronised by men opening doors for her. It was because she took umbrage that as a lady – and she was always very much the embodiment of a spirited Lady – she should be constrained by her gender. Good manners do not constrain, they celebrate both gentleness and the difference in genders.
The argument for etiquette is not about sexuality, it is about gender and while the genders may occasionally do battle we should never be at war.
As a post suffragette Edwardian my mother saw feminism as the next step in the liberation of one half of the world from their status as second-class citizens. Ladies, like my mother wanted equal academic and career opportunities and commensurate pay for their toil. She wanted choice not equality.
We are all individuals and most of us are not prepared to sacrifice our individuality for equality. Like all who seek liberty my mother wanted more respect not less – she certainly didn’t conceive that her right to dignity should come at the expense of good manners in men.
The linking of bad manners to the liberation of women from stereotypes, not only undermines a serious flaw in the feminist argument, but it has heaped more misery onto the lot of women whilst belittling and emasculating both men and women in the process. More importantly, the world is less charming without ladies and gentlemen.
Every man who has held his baby daughter in his arms, fiercely wants to love and protect her, yet it is often those same men that objectify and sexualise other men’s daughters. This conflict needs to be pointed out to men by their mothers, their wives and their sisters.
As women we need to address the pressing issue of manners and put an end to dressing men down men for being gentle and celebrate the gentleman.
To find out more about Manners, why not grab yourself a digital copy of Manners for Millionaires. A must read for all those looking to top up their manners tank.
Full of hilarious one-liners and outrageous axioms this book is intended to gently nudge readers up the grand staircase to Prosperity without stepping on the finer feelings and toes of the rest of us humble folk below.
“The Completed Capitalist will appreciate the advisability of keeping a paternal eye upon the selection of the Lady-Housmaids and the Scullion-Wenches.”
“As the French say, if you wish to be riche you must start de nouveau.”
Etiquette and Good Manners in a handy ebook form. Click Here