I can’t help but love this retro etiquette missive which instructs boys to only shake hands with a girl if she offers her hand and to otherwise BOW. When did this go out of style? [via Planet Mabel] Keep reading »
Last week, I had the pleasure of sipping Earl Grey at the Russian Tea Room while listening to Anna Post (Emily’s great-great-granddaughter) and anthropologist Genevieve Bell discuss etiquette as it pertains to technology. The event was hosted by Intel, which just completed a study on tech etiquette that shows that people believe there are unspoken rules when it comes to technology use, but we haven’t been able to agree on what those are.
Anna and Genevieve spoke to these differences in opinion, agreeing that we’re in a transitional period. There’s no clear-cut answer to the question, “Can I use my phone in the bathroom? just yet. Mobile devices and programs, like Facebook and Twitter, are still relatively new, and society needs a little more time to figure out how to be polite about using them. But Anna did share some advice. … Keep reading »
One summer during college when I worked at coffee shop, a man with special needs—I think he had Down’s Syndrome—used to come up by the cash register and chat with me all the time. We were shooting the breeze one day and I was standing with my pelvis leaning against the counter, sort of slumped forward. He looked down at my stomach and asked me, “Jessica, are you pregnant?” My eyes widened and I stood ramrod straight, sucking in my belly. “Nooo! I’m not pregnant!” I shrieked. His face flushed with embarrassment and he apologized profusely. And I, of course, felt like an ass for making him feel bad.
Flash forward to Sunday afternoon on a shopping trip to Sephora, when the cashier ringing up my Bliss Spa Best Of Skintentions moisturizer looked down at my stomach and exclaimed, “Awww, are you pregnant?”
Cringe. Keep reading »
A few months ago, I accidentally shoved my foot in my mouth on a listserv I participate in. I got a bunch of irritated emails and issued numerous apologies. What did I do? I addressed the women as “ladies.”
Some women hate to be called “ladies,” I came to find out. It’s an outdated word, they said, which brings to mind white gloves, tea sandwiches, and balancing a book atop one’s head for good posture. (Betty Draper on Mad Men, for example.) The directive to “be a lady” or “act like a lady” usually encourages women or girls to become more like a retro gender construct—polite, smiling, quiet, compliant, modest, presentable—and they want nothing to do with it. I just assumed that because the word was so outdated, it meant nothing—and I was wrong.
So now I’m wondering, of course, about a lady’s counterpart. If “being a lady” has a stigma attached to it, does “being a gentleman” have a stigma, too? And what does “being a gentleman” even mean these days, anyway? Keep reading »
A male blogger named Anthony Michael Rojas posted a little list entitled “How To Treat A Woman On A Date: The Basics” on his Tumbler blog this week and it got quite a few angry reblogs from women who felt like his suggestions were sexist. Rojas clearly believe his suggestions to be basic “chivalry,” while his detractors seemed to suggest that there is a difference between chivalry and manners, because chivalry is rooted in sexism. I found many of the responses to not only be silly, but also bordering on unintentionally satirical of “feminist” anger. It was clear to me that the original poster wasn’t being a jerk, so why did the responses treat him like one? Still, the back-and-forth did bring up the issue of whether these eight seemingly harmless gestures are actually offensive because they supposedly treat women as the weaker sex. Let’s go through them one by one, shall we? Keep reading »
‘Tis the season to shower the people you love – and, of course, get a little soaked yourself — with pretty wrapped packages. While giving and receiving can be oh so joyful, it can also create a serious amount of stress and anxiety. Puzzled about who on your list actually deserves a present – and who’s better left off? Concerned about whether you should be honest with your Mom about the horrendous handbag she gave you? Unsure as to what kind of gift is appropriate to give your brand-new girlfriend of six weeks? As you prepare to play Santa or Hanukkah Harry this holiday season, consider the advice of Dallas Teague Snider, founder of Make Your Best Impression, a business protocol and etiquette consulting firm, and Diane Gottsman, Director of The Protocol School of Texas. After the jump, find their guidelines for grateful holiday gift-giving – and receiving…
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