On the subject of good manners - and bad
A comment from someone on another thread about a woman resenting a common courtesy shown to her by a male companion, rather got my dander up! I may be showing my wrinkles, but I'm one who really appreciates the small courtesies! I not only accept them graciously, but I expect them! and yes, demand them in my men! I'm not a simpering, useless, helpless piece of female fluff, but I do like being feminine. Furthermore, it's my experience that men would much prefer women to be feminine over hulking, forceful, abrasive Amazons! Guys, tell me if I'm wrong.
Years ago, when the Feminist Movement was just becoming fashionable, I was the unwilling participant in a rather unpleasant incident which made me ashamed for the first time in my life to be a woman. Three people, myself included, were approaching the door of our university library. The others were a young woman, heavily laden with books, who was trying to push open the heavy entrance doors, and a young man who sprang ahead to push them and hold them open for her. To my outrage, the young woman turned on the young man and roundly abused him for his action, really blasting him. Poor fellow was stunned, and so was I! but not for long. In a very quiet voice I turned to her and gave her my opinion of her breeding, her upbringing and her appalling lack of manners and gratitude for a small, kind service, and she walked away in silence ? hopefully having learned a lesson.
I have no problem with being given right of way through doorways, being guided gently through crowds or leading the way to the restaurant table. It's a very old-fashioned courtesy that many men still insist on walking at the kerb edge of a footpath when accompanying a lady. Far be it from me to argue the point - if he chooses to risk being jostled by the crowd over the edge of the gutter, or walking slap bang into a garbage bin or telegraph pole, that's just fine by me since he's protecting me from such disasters!
A lot of these little courtesies are simply consideration for the other person. I would be deeply offended if my hostess grabbed a slice of cake from the plate before offering it around to her guests. Like allowing a lady to go through the door first, it's just a matter of looking after the other person before looking after oneself.
To me, criticising another person's good manners, or rejecting the courtesies, is about as rude as you get! I look for good manners in a man - I certainly don't have a problem with being treated with respect and courtesy. I've been subjected to the insult of having a man open a door, barge through and let the door slam in my face, just before he bounded up the stairs 2 or 3 steps at a time, then shouting from the top to me to 'hurry up'. I don't take kindly to that sort of cavalier treatment, and would choose a man with manners every time over someone like that!
It goes without saying, that I also show courtesy to my companions, even those who haven't earned it! I remember one man I met for lunch. He spent the entire meal talking on his mobile phone, and at the end of the meal he had the gall to invite me to the nearest motel for 'dessert'. I smiled sweetly at him and thanked him for going to the trouble to meet me, and for the delicious meal, declined the 'dessert' saying that since he was having such a lurid love-affair with his phone I couldn't possibly participate in a threesome since I didn't believe in cheating of any kind. He got the message, and although I never saw him again, he pursued me assiduously for quite some time afterwards. via telephone of course! He also learned a lesson in manners that day.
I'll go one step further. If women reject the courtesies, it's small wonder so many men treat them with discourtesy, both while dating, and later in marriage. If women want to be treated with disrepect, you can bet the men will be only too happy to oblige them!