Thursday, 14 April 2011

Gentlemen...where for art thou?

Having watched quite a lot of Poirot episodes lately it made me think about how the roles of men and women have changed.   Poirot is set in and around the 1920s/30s and he himself is a very respectable and gentlemanly character, as most of Agatha Christie's characters are (even the ones that are the murderers LOL).

When I met my now husband, some 19 years ago, he always opened doors for me, offered to carry my shopping, made me walk on the inside of the pavement etc and he still does now.   At the time I was very independent and wasn't used to such chivalrous conduct so I fought against it.  Putting all my 'womens equal rights' into play.   But, I soon got used to it and now would not have it any other way. 

I love to be treated like a lady, I love a gentleman to open doors for me, to show respect.  Unfortunately these gentlemen seem to be few and far between.

Whilst I am very thankful for the womens movement that gained us the vote and the right to have our voices heard, I do worry that we may have gone just a tad too far.   Personally, and these are purely my own thoughts on the matter...I do believe that there are some jobs that a man does better than a woman (and a few that a woman does better than a man too!).  Also physically woman are never going to be as strong as men.  

For those that don't know me very well I am a strong and sometimes fiesty woman, who likes to get her own way (don't we all?), I don't think I would have lasted very long being 'the woman indoors' but, I do still like a man to ultimately be in charge...but don't tell my husband ;-)

I do lament that we seem to have lost 'manners' because of our fight for equality.  I am not suggesting for one minute that we head back to the days when a woman was not heard, or allowed to speak or have her own opnion.   What I do think we have lost is being treated as women.    It may sound very insignificant to have a door opened for you but to me it matters.

Whilst people no longer throw effluent out onto the streets there is no real need for a gentleman to walk on the outside of the pavement, protecting the lady from getting splashed, to me it is still a nice gesture.

A few years ago I was out to dinner with my company and some guests, when I got up from the table to visit the ladies room one of the older gentlemen there stood up too, it was an old fashioned gesture but I loved it nonetheless!

In a world that sees young women lying on the pavement outside nightclubs, too drunk to stand and young men after a night on the booze, trawling the streets looking for cars or property to damage I wonder if we have given up too much? 

I also have a bit of a bug bear about bad language.   My husband never swears in front of me, never has.  I am sure he does when he is out with the boys, but never in front of me.  And I am very grateful for that.   I don't think it is polite to swear in front of a woman, and I personally hate it. 

I also dislike women swearing, I think it is ugly and unnecessary.  Have we lost so much of the English language that the 'f' word now seems to be part of every day speak?  It is a shame if that is what it has come to.

In this ever fast moving world I just hanker a little after a few manners and small gestures that make the world seem like a nicer place.  Maybe I am a minority in that?


1 comment:

  1. I smiled when I read this post. I, too, am married to a courteous man who offers his protection without making me feel like a helpless, "I've-got-the-vapors" kind of girl. He will hold the door, take heavy bags, and look out for me, and yet he not only encourages me to be "me," but expects it of me. He sees that I am intelligent and open to learning new things, and he sees that I have made my way through life on my own, and so while he is more than willing to pull his weight (and occasionally, help with some of mine), he treats me like an equal in every way.

    Hubby and I very much love Sherlock Holmes, and have on DVD many episodes of a past television series about that character. While the Victorian Era was not known for its woman's rights, it certainly was a more polite and genteel culture. Yep, some of the practices of that time should be left in the past, but the courtesy to others certainly would be refreshing to see more often.

    Hugs and love!!


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