Thursday, October 4, 2012

Ladies, There is a Gentleman Present

Perhaps this is a consequence of growing up in a small town. Or perhaps I am not as progressive as I think I am. Perhaps I am just old fashioned. However you slice it, the world is not what I thought it was.

There is a saying in this country: "There is a lady present." It means watch your language, no swearing or vulgarity. The stereotype being that males are more crude and offensive than females. That stereotype might no longer be valid.

I was with a couple of women recently, and both swore several times. Each one apologized immediately afterward and someone else would make a joke about it. When a man swears, someone can respond, "there is a lady present," and that quiets the swearing. Finally after each of the women had sworn I said, "there is a gentleman present." That kind of killed the conversation. I have never heard anyone say that. It signaled a paradigm shift. No longer is it the man who has to demonstrate good manners around the woman, it is the woman who has to demonstrate good manners around the man.

This is part of a larger theme about relationships. It is easier to silently accept the offenses of another than to be assertive about quality standards. In our desire to be part of the group we will do and say things to get a laugh or gain what we perceive is respect. Put another way, the things with the most value are usually the hardest to do. If they were easy, everyone would do them and they would have little value.


  1. You little buggger.... I know who this is about!!! :)

    1. You know what, I've gotten more response in person to this article than just about anything else I have put out there.


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