Are UK men no longer gentleman? A recent survey suggests many men no longer practise the basic etiquettes and manners a gentleman is expected to uphold.
In this day and age, women seem to have adapted to this lack of “gentlemanly treatment”, which can often be witnessed in public places. For instance, one has to simply use the train to notice just how many men offer their seats to women.
The study was conducted by Socked, a Leeds-based company offering the novel idea of a black sock subscription service and tips on being a gentleman. Their aim is “to rid the world of odd socks and teach manners”, according to their press release.
Of the men surveyed, a surprising 46 per cent admitted to spitting in public, and less than half held doors open for women on a regular basis. Only 4 per cent of men claimed they never swore in public.
Socked say a “perfect” gentleman in modern-day society is one who shows common courtesy in public places, speaks quietly and politely, dresses smartly, and acts appropriately, for example, not spitting and listening to others, in particular focusing and engaging in a conversation with a woman and listening to what she has to say without interruption.
“It’s shameful that as a society we have let our standards slip,” said Socked.co.uk Managing Director Mark Hall said in a statement.
“Visitors from overseas associate Great Britain as a place filled with discerning gents with impeccable manners, but unfortunately nothing could be further from the truth. We need to re-educate the men of Great Britain in how to act like gentlemen, and restore our reputation.”
Lisa Bruckner, CEO and founder of men’s style company Hendricks Park, thinks that men today are confused about how to behave like a gentleman, due to factors such as fear of patronising women.
In her blog Wasabi Nights she interviewed etiquette guru Mindy Lockard, who gave 14 tips on how men can revive chivalry.
Lockard’s advice mainly centred around good manners, respect and humility, and the way a man projects himself through his appearance, actions, and words.
Men’s style expert and writer Aydika James sums it up nicely in a blog post on HendricksPark.com: “Ultimately, being a gentleman is not about holding doors and chairs. It is an inner quality of integrity and a genuine desire to make others feel respected, comfortable and at ease – regardless of gender or station in life.”
Faatima Ahmed is a freelance journalist based in London.
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