It is often said that Chivalry is dead, and if so the Middle East is the prime example of this. So should we be mourning the loss of an etiquette that many of the expats in Dubai never had instilled into their little book of manners? I realize that many responses to this article is going to be that I’m completely wasting my time but you know what, even if I can succeed if having one man hold the lift open for a lady or give up the seat on the metro then I have accomplished something their parents never did.
Any women who has lived in the Middle East at any point over the last few years has experienced the lack of chivalry on the part of many nationalities. I don’t believe that chivalry is linked the gender equality, whether a women is the CEO of a multinational company of an office clerk she deserves the right to be treated with respect and kindness.
So here are my top ten gentlemanly traits that each man should consider in his life.
- Elevator etiquette
No matter how big of a hurry you’re in, we all have to be in the office at a specific time, if there is a female or six on the elevator with you, you hold your arm in the door and let them off first. You do not, as I experienced this morning, barge your way through the elevator door, elbowing her out the way as if you are being chased by a raging rhino bull baying for your blood and even then you make sure she gets in that elevator first.
- R-E-S-P-E-C-T (sing it to the tune, you know you want to! 🙂 )
If a female walks past you, for God’s sake, do not turn your head and stare at her behind or her breasts or her legs! If she is talking to you, don’t stare down her shirt. If you’re driving down the road, don’t honk your hooter or yell “hey sexy!!!!” That is purely disgusting. Undressing a women with your eyes is one of the most disgusting and degrading things you could possibly do to her. Don’t worry about getting a date, you will be lucky if she doesn’t slap you silly!
- Give up your seat.
Whether she is old, young, pregnant, active, fat, skinny, whatever; if the bus, classroom, etc. is full, get up from your chair and offer your seat to a female who is standing. If you chose to stay in your seat and force ladies to remain standing, remember that that could have been your Mother or Grandmother who could have been in the situation. And I hope that the door doesn’t hit your in the head on your way out!
- Pay attention to the fact that the world is more threatening for females
We are automatic targets everywhere we go, especially at night. I don’t need to get into the subject of rape. Offer to walk your female coworkers to their cars at night. Just watch out for the women around you, they’ll definitely appreciate it.
- Be polite.
Compliment a lady today. They aren’t going to automatically assume that you want to have babies with them just because you said they look nice today. You would be surprised by what can make a woman smile. Sometimes it is the little things that matter the most.
- Hold the door.
If we are pretty far behind, we don’t expect you to hold the door open for us. It makes us feel like we need to hurry to the door. However, if there is a woman walking behind you or relatively close behind you, do not let a door shut on her.
- Driveway etiquette
My son will know that he will NOT drive up to a female’s house and toots the horn or shoot her a text that says “I’m here, come get in the car.” If a guy comes to pick my future daughter up for a date, and he toots the horn or texts her to pick her up, I’m going to walk outside and tell him to go home, probably with a shotgun in hand. Walk up to the door, knock on the door, and then walk her to your car. At the end of the night, walk her back to her door. I don’t care if you’re just friends or you’re married. It’s what you’re supposed to do.
Before the men jump on the bandwagon and harp on about the fact that women should not be treated different just by the virtue that they are women but should act as they want to be treated. There is a saying that states that Chivalry is not dead but its just followed wherever being lady like went. But I truly believe that there are men in this world to whom the above points are second nature and I hope that the women in their lives are grateful for that. They are not a dime a dozen any more. And ladies in return I hope that you are kind and thank the men if your lives who are gentlemanly towards you as a gesture of being a lady.
Remember gents, being a man is a matter of birth, being a man is a matter of age but being a gentleman is a matter of choice.