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A Lamentation

Where have all the gentlemen gone? *sad sigh*

I'm paraphrasing something Steve Harvey wrote in his book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man (or is that the other way around?). He wrote something like, the reason why there aren't gentlemen anymore is because women don't require men to open doors for them or give up seats when in a crowded bus or room. Did equality for women make men lax in their gentlemanly ways? Or is it because fathers don't teach their sons the value of valuing women anymore?

I don't have answers to these questions.

This post is a lament. One I've been experiencing for quite some time now.

Today, a paper bag I was carrying broke and spilled its contents all over the floor at the mall. No one stopped to help me pick anything up. I had to squat on the floor and gather everything I had spilled while able-bodied men passed me by without giving me a second thought. Even the security guard was content to watch me pick up my stuff.

In many occasions, I would reach a door and before I could open it, a guy would sneak past me, open the door, enter the room, and let go of the door as if I wasn't there attempting to enter.

Many times men would cut in front of a line, not even caring that there are several people waiting patiently for their turn.

Or in a crowded bus, where all you want is a seat, and all the men pretend like they can't see you. Like you deserve to be standing because you were late in getting a seat.

What happened to the days when men would open doors for women?

What happened to the days when men would give up their seat to a woman standing?

Can men still be called men if they treat women so callously?

I'm not so sure who's at fault anymore. Why do men have to be told to be gentlemen? And who should teach them to be gentlemen? Where has their sense of civility gone?

Like I said above, I don't have any answers to these questions that leave me sad when I should be happy with my life. I just can't ignore what is happening on a daily basis to so many women out there. I guess this is why romance novels are so popular. These books are one of the only places where you can see a gentleman in action--depending on the kind of male protagonist the writer has to offer, of course. But even a bad boy knows how to take care of his woman.

This is why, I leave you with this question: Where have all the gentlemen gone?

10 comments:

  1. Unfortunately, we are a dying breed. I almost always hold the door for someone if they are behind me. I helped an elderly woman find her car at the grocery store just this weekend. I don't honestly know where I learned the behavior as my father was not into treating women right.

    Thanks for the reminder tho. I'll have to make sure my two boys treat women right and are gentlemen.

    See, we aren't all gone. Just not as noticeable with all the d-bags out there hogging the spotlight.

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    1. It's good to know that there are still gentlemen out there. I just wish there were more in my immediate vicinity. *laughs*

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  2. They're in the south. Come on down.

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    1. Booking my ticket today! I'm in need of some southern comfort.

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  3. Interesting question. Honestly, I don't notice much anymore. I think it's also hard for guys because different women give mixed signals. I had one particularly interesting story one of my professors told when he was in Chicago:

    Being from the South, he's a southern gentlemen, so when he lived in Chicago, he opened the doors for ladies without really thinking. I mean, it's natural to him, but the lady snapped at him, saying "What? You don't think I can open doors by myself?"

    So with that said, some women aren't really appreciate of men treating them like they can't do anything. I know it's partly true for me. I don't want to be seen as helpless but sometimes I'd appreciate some help from a male when I'm carrying weighty things.

    I don't think it's anyone's fault. It's just that since girls and boys grow up pretty much "equally" it just doesn't occur to guys as much to help girls, and some girls don't appreciate it either.

    Ning @ Reading by Kindle Fire

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    1. You're right, we do give off mixed signals. Poor guys, they're not as complicated as we might think they are.

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  4. I still think it's a shame that it's dying out - after all there is nothing wrong with civility. I was taught to stand up for adults if there were not enough seats on the bus, to stand back for adults at doorways. None of that happens anymore either.

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    1. So true. There's nothing wrong with civility. We need more of it.

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  5. What an interesting post Kate. I think that as women, we complain that there aren't enough gentlemen in the world and yet you see a lot of mothers NOT teaching their sons good manners or how to treat women. The same with fathers, they should also step up and teach their sons to have manners and respect women. While I will never have children, I do see the way parents have their children these days. The way my mom raised me is almost non existent.

    Each scene is a case by case study. While I do hate it that men don't help if I drop my things, I also don't wait for a man to open my doors for me or anything. If I can do it myself I will but if they see me struggling with something it would be nice if they offered to help.

    So guys, if in doubt ask us if we need help!

    And parents, if it bugs you that guys aren't well mannered, remember that if/when you have sons and teach them NOT to be that way.

    Adria

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    1. Point well made, Adria! *waves* Thank you so much for stopping by!

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