What do men feel about about being a man in 2014? We asked two writers, Andrew Don and Anthony Hett, to share their views. Anthony thinks we've lost the art of being gentleman, while Andrew thinks men have become society's underdogs. This is what Anthony has to say...
-- This is article #11 in our series of #100Voices4Men and boys
I am all for gender equality. I think that men and women should be paid the same wage for doing the same job and I think that the best person should get the top job not the best man. However, I do think that there is at least one way in which us men should treat women differently. I am of course talking about the lost art of being a gentleman.
I see it everywhere. Men don't appear to know how to be a gentleman anymore. Men getting onto the tube first and sitting down, taking the only free seat so that their partner has to stand. Men letting their girlfriends carry heavy shopping bags or drag heavy suitcases when they have none.
Men making their partners feel uncomfortable with things that they say or do. Grabbing them inappropriately when it is clearly not ok to do so (know your girlfriend, know her boundaries). Men being inconsiderate and constantly putting their own needs first. Men attempting to do nice things but not knowing the woman they love well enough to know how to do it properly for her.
I know I sound very judgmental and things aren't always so simplistic. I don't know the individuals or possible mitigating circumstances involved, like a terrible upbringing or a chronic bad back. It's just that I see it everywhere these days and I don't like it one bit. Yes we need to make sure that woman are truly treated as our equals in society but let's not use that as an excuse to stop being gentlemen.
The man I want to be
If I had a girlfriend I would no doubt be far from the perfect boyfriend. However, there are certain things that I would always do. I would always open doors for her (but walk into a room before her if walking in first makes her feel uncomfortable). I would carry her shopping bags and I would buy her flowers even on days when we haven't had an argument (probably when they are reduced but still it's the thought that counts) and I would stand between her and the traffic as we walk down the road.
I would let her sit down on the tube if there is only one seat and by the window on the bus so she can look out at the world flashing by. I would let her go to the toilet first if we both needed to go, I would give her foot massages at the end of each long day and I would sleep nearest the bedroom door (unless she tells me otherwise). I would give her all the white jelly beans (even though they are my favourites) and I would of course give her my last Rolo.
So men, how about we reach for the pickaxes and help women to smash that glass ceiling? Not because they are weak and need our help but because we are gentlemen and that's what we do.
---Picture credit: Flickr/Martin SoulStealer
You can find all of the #100Voices4Men articles that will be published in the run up to International Men's Day 2014 by clicking on this link---#100Voices4Men---and follow the discussion on twitter by searching for #100Voices4Men.
The views expressed in these articles are not the views of insideMAN editorial team. Whether you agree with the views expressed in this article or not we invite you to take take part in this important discussion, our only request is that you express yourself in a way that ensures everyone’s voice can be heard.