Let me speak to you for a moment — seriously. Ever wonder where this code of lady conduct was created? Where these lady rules and regulations stemmed from? Let’s take it one step further and ponder this — could they have ever ‘come from’ women?
And yet, for some reason thousands of women worldwide strive to abide by them.
Now I do believe we have come a long way in the women’s movement of progressive movements, but we have a long way to go. I recently came across an article in Town & Country magazine. The article titled ‘How To Be A Lady’, took the reader through things to consider to ‘put your best foot forward’. The article contains 12 steps on what lady rules applied now, especially since social media has ‘ruined us all’.
At first I felt compelled to giggle a little.
And then, I wondered when the rage would set in when I realized this article was published in 2015. Yes, only a few short years ago — not a hundred or fifty years ago where maybe, I would have expected it to be.
Allow me to also clarify that last sentence. I don’t believe that then would have been right either, but I probably would have made more sense of the whole ideology given the timing. Curious to know what was in the article?
Modern Etiquette | Lady Rules
#1 Watch your cocktails!
‘It’s tough to be elegant after one too many cocktails. Always try to have water in between drinks if you can. And if you’ve had too much to drink, excuse yourself and leave.’
Forgive me, but I would like to believe this entails common sense more than anything. If you want to enjoy a few cocktails — by all means! We can agree that being conscious and mindful of how many drinks we’ve enjoyed is more common sense than a necessary lady rule, can’t we? Naturally you don’t want to find yourself a mess at a public function but shouldn’t this ‘rule’ also be extended to me?
#2 Get a manicure
‘Even if you don’t wear polish, keep your hands neat. Especially in this digital age when everyone is showing their social circles things on their mobile devices, the hands are a central focus. If you’re in desperate need of a manicure, take off your polish and buff your nails.’
I love a great manicure and suppose I never considered myself non-lady-like if I didn’t have one! Personal hygiene is necessary for all humans (men and women) but emphasizing this among the lady rules of etiquette is a bit of stretch, or is it?
‘When wearing a skirt or dress make sure it FULLY covers your posterior. Would Grandma be proud of this outfit?’
I am almost reluctant to comment on this one. Ladies, wear what you feel comfortable in. Your confidence matters so much more than a hemline. Town & Country Magazine may have gotten a little carried away here. So much so I was waiting for the flappers reference.
#4 Table Manners
‘Read a refresher course in table manners before a formal dinner party or wedding. It can never hurt.’
And ladies, in case you need that refresher course — Town & Country Magazine has one ready and available! While we’re at it, we should just make Finishing School a priority again for all young ladies! I should remind you, Finishing School was introduced in the 1800’s. Although yes, I do agree table manners are necessary but I’m not sure why they end up as part of modern etiquette and these so called, lady rules.
#5 To Post the Photo, or not to Post the Photo
‘When in doubt, think: If my grandmother saw this photo on Facebook/Instagram would she be proud of it? Would you want your children to see the photos you’re posting 30 years down the line? I’m sure you look amazing in your new polka dot bikini selfie, and last night at the club you looked stunning, but just think before you post.’
This rule, if any — is the closest that I can relate to (maybe). What I don’t agree with is the reference to your polk-a-dot bikini. Where looking fab in your bikini or your stunning dress is somehow how cautionary is exceptionally odd to be. Perhaps this is where I am a breaker of the said lady rules.
There are 7 other lady rules listed in their article, each as absurd as the next. Ones about chewing gum, remembering your please and thank you, being aware of ‘braggy’ and more.
What are your thoughts on these? Extreme or necessary?
I want to leave you with a spoken word piece I performed in 2017 —
I believe it will help summarize by thoughts on these …. lady rules.
A Lady Should Never Talk About Religion, Politics or Sex
Once upon a time they used to say that the lady should never talk about religion, politics or sex.
Well, I’m here to talk about religion, politics and sex because I’m here to break the rules. Because rules are made to be broken. Because the rule book was never made for us. It wasn’t even made by us. Because in the next 10, 100, 1000 years are going to look nothing like the last 10, 100, 1000 years and that could be a good thing.
Or it could be a bad thing.
It all depends what we do in this moment because talk about the things that make us uncomfortable like religion, politics or sex are the key to our collaborative success.
Because even the Dalai Lama said that the world will be saved by the western woman.
So, I’m going to ask you two questions. Just to think about two questions. The first question is why? Why are we so afraid to speak up? So afraid to speak power the truth? Why are we constantly hiding our light becoming dim and dark and hiding in the shadows and not being willing to be that lighthouse that brings other people into the light?
How is it that a famous movie executive uses the excuse that says, “Well, that was the way it was always done in my day.” Why is it that grabbing a woman by the … becomes a bragging right in our day and age?
Why is it that we’re not speaking up against this? Why is it that we’re not enraged that we’re not coming into our full caliber and not brave enough to speak up against this?
So my second question is why not?
Why not us?
And, not now?
Because the next 10, 100, 1000 years are going to look nothing like the last 10, 100, or 1000 years. That could be a good thing or that could be a bad thing. It all depends on what we do right in this moment.
My question to you? What are you going to do in this moment?