When Being Polite Goes A Long Way
You see it all the time in the movies. Men holding doors for women, ordering their favorite bottle of wine at dinner, and having flowers delivered to them at work for no reason except “just because.” I know, I know, life is not like the movies. I am also aware that chivalry is, in most cases, dead, and feminism’s powerful wings have lifted women to a social position (hopefully) a little higher than where we were a few decades ago. I’m not asking for a knight in shining armor to come whisk me away on his great white steed. You don’t even have to push my chair in for me when I sit down or anything, actually, please don’t try that, because it always leads to such an awkward little dance of “how much of my butt can I plop onto my seat while he tries to shove me forward and still maintain my grace and dignity?” All I’m asking for is a little politeness.
One of the easiest ways for a man to show support for his lady friends is to simply be nice to them. Wow, who’d have thought! I notice it sometimes in crowded shopping centers, when a man walks through a door ahead of me and then lets it slam closed behind him, right in my face. I also notice it when I’m carrying what is obviously a very heavy pile of something, and any men around me simply keep walking on by instead of offering to assist me. Now, let’s get one thing straight: I am an empowered woman, and I do not need a man to do everything for me. However, I do think it would be nice, once in a while, to have men step up and help out. Now that the seed of feminism is growing steadily in the hearts and minds of women worldwide, that doesn’t mean that any sense of manners that men ever knew immediately fly out the window.
Many men hear terms like “empowered women,” and “feminism,” and their first instinct is to run for cover from whichever straight-shooting females happen to be in their vicinity. They think they’re going to have to sign up for things, or maybe even attend a performance of *gasp* The Vagina Monologues (which happens to be an amazing play that all men AND women should see). In fact, I know a lot of men who actually enjoy supporting women in these ways. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions about what it means to be supportive in empowering women, and for me, one of the simplest ways to do it is just to be polite. Saying “thank you,” or “No, really, after you,” does not take that long and can give women, or people in general, for that matter, the feeling that someone acknowledges or appreciates them.
My point is that while I’m out and about all day conquering the world like an amazon warrior, it would be nice for the men alongside me to simply be polite.
Image from http://manolaw.blogspot.com/2010/03/exceedingly-polite-car-jacker.html