Dare to Ask: Polite, old-fashioned men a rare
By Phillip Milano
The Florida Times-Union
Why is it so hard to find men between 22 and 33 who are old-fashioned?
Decently dressed, well-kept, good taste, open doors… — Cynthia, 25, Toronto,
Because respect for other people is being slowly bred out of our culture. — M.,
39, male, Hickory, N.C.
A lot of women (myself included) … feel men like this think we are fragile.
Apparently, men picked up on this. Good for them. — Ember, Phoenix
Asking a guy in his 20s to have good taste? They’re college sophomores — the
origin of the term “sophomoric humor.” — Chris, 51, male, Windsor, Conn.
If I’m at a party with the bad-boy player, I won’t get a second glance. You are
looking right through us. — Ralph, 34, New Jersey
My husband probably never sent a thank-you note before he met me but now writes
them immediately. We’re working on consistent napkin usage. — G.M., 25,
With equal rights, men questioned women’s desire for this treatment. — Charles,
If a boy’s father wasn’t like that, he won’t be. — Bethany, 17, Medford, Ore.
It’s usually the not-so-attractive guys who are the nicest, because they have to
make up for the lack of looks. Maybe you’re looking in the wrong places. — Nick,
23, Newburgh, Ind.
Men are not taught to respect women (with the amount of porn easily available)
[and] women 18-27 like to be treated like —— and pieces of meat. — Q., 25, male,
Everyone — man, woman or hermaphrodite — needs good manners. — Julie, 33,
About 30 percent of men practice it. Another 40 percent want it. The rest just
don’t get it.
Proper etiquette, that is.
So says Valerie Peterson, founder of Houston-based A Very Positive Outlook, a
fatherhood consultant that teaches men manners.
“It’s still pretty bad out there. It’s across the board,” she said. “Men who
wear suits, the etiquette piece goes out the door once they’re out of the
spotlight. And blue-collar guys? They’re like 'What the hell, I’m going to get
my TV tray, and I don’t give a rip what people say, I’m going to do my thing.’ ”
The main problem is men aren’t around enough, especially at dinner time, she
said. It’s one thing for Mom to talk about manners; it’s another to have a male
role model get the boys’ attention when giving instructions.
“No male is saying 'Stop all that burping, scratching and farting at the dinner
table’ or 'How would you like your daughter bringing that home?’ ”
The No. 1 thing not being taught boys: courting.
“No one’s telling a young man how to act or talk on a date, that a girl
shouldn’t be called a 'B’ or 'H’ or 'skank.’ It’s all about selfish tendencies
now,” Peterson said. “No 'ladies first.’ There’s no sacrifice.”
ADD OR READ MORE COMMENTS
This is your column. You can help it grow! If you like "Dare to Ask,"
please call or e-mail your favorite newspaper or web site and urge them to start
Phillip Milano, author of I Can't Believe You Asked That! (Perigee),
moderates cross-cultural dialogue at Y? The National Forum on People's
Differences. Keep the cross-cultural dialogue going at our
Jacksonville.com blog or at www.yforum.com,
or mail comments to Phillip Milano, Times-Union, P.O. Box 1949, Jacksonville, FL
32231. Send general
column comments to yforum (at) yforum.com. You can also hear his