Category Archives: Society

and God created woman (part 1)

and god created woman

Prior to creating woman, there was only man. One man. He had no need for leadership, or competition, or ego. He was alone. With only nature to sustain and entertain him. So why then was woman created? Why not just hermaphrodites? Sometimes I ask myself this question. What were we, women, destined for? And what, you may ask, has etiquette got to do with it?

Well, I think that women have been designed to soften this world. It’s all in our physical make up. We are softer, we have curves, we are built to carry life within us, and even built to feed that life when it’s first born.

We are not the same, nor should try to be. And yet, yes, we are equal. We all know that women are pretty much capable of doing everything a man can do, and more. Biologically speaking that is.

The question of etiquette here is really about accepting our differences, and embracing them with elegance and respect, and consideration to our fellow man. Offering him up a warm shoulder to rest his head upon when he realises that for all his physical strength and bravado, we are here to share the joys and happiness of the great adventure in romance.

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Keep your top on

beachwear

 

I go to the beach. I go because I want a swim, or to lie down and get a bit of a tan, read a book, or to hang out with my friends or family.

What I don’t go for, is to watch topless women flaunt their breasts.

I wonder why women today feel that they have a free pass on topless sunbathing at public (family style) beaches.

I dare think any man really minds seeing bare chested women. But that’s really applies to any place, any time, right?

I understand that women don’t want to have strap marks on their shoulders. But makeup has come a long way, and if that’s such an issue, then wear the strapless suits.

I’m not going to rave on about the damage that our sun is doing to our skin. It’s one of the worst things to come out of our Lucky Country. I do think that most beaches do not tolerate topless bathing, at least in most major cities in Australia.

Make sure to find out what the local expectations are when traveling. It’s disrespectful, and sometimes illegal, to bare your body in some countries.

If you are going to dare to bare your breasts at beaches, then you will have to accept that men, and some women, will leer and jeer.

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Loss, and the etiquette of Loss

funeral

I am at a loss. Yesterday a friend lost her husband to cancer. I am close enough to her to want to show her how sad I am for her and her children, and that I am available for her to ask me to help her or her children with anything, but not close to her husband, and don’t know what is the right behaviour in the coming days and weeks.

I trusted my gut instinct and called her this morning, and thought I’d get her voice mail. To my surprise, she picked up the phone. She was, understandably very sad and emotional. I couldn’t hold back the tears. I was so moved that she even picked up my call. We shared the injustice of his illness, and how he was taken so quickly, and she shared with me how fortunate she was to have spent 30 years with this man.

But what happens next? It is such an uncommon occurrence, so I just don’t know what is the right protocol. Again, I lean on those who know, and find myself guided by their experience, and then want to apply my sensitivity and closeness to her and her family.

Yes, I have experienced loss before. Mostly when I was much younger as aging relatives died, and was mostly guided by my parents behaviour.

Now, I must firstly check their religious faith, as I don’t know what is customary; does one wear black, or should I send flowers, or do people select worthy causes for donations?

Secular ceremonies have various forms of honouring their family and friends, and this note by no means aims to standardise mourning and loss. But, after doing some research, it seems that there are changes to some of the past behaviour that I thought still in practice.

It seems that it is no longer expected to wear black to funerals. Tasteful attire, covering up shoulders (though bare arms seem acceptable), and skirt or dress length need be at least above the knee or longer. Pants are acceptable, though shorts are not.

Offering up condolences are acceptable, and it seems that as long as the message is sincere and thoughtful, then it can be by phone, by mail, in a condolence card or note, or even by email. It’s not wise to send a condolence by text.

It’s important to reach out to people you may know that are close to the family of the departed. They will let you know if there is a funeral, which is often kept for close family and friends, and if there is a memorial service for the extended friends, colleagues and other people who want to show their sympathy.

Gifts, such as wreaths and other flowers, are still thoughtful gifts, to add gaiety and colour to the ceremony. If a donation is preferred, the family will let you know in the lead up to the service.

It is however, considered most important to attend the service, whether at the funeral, the cemetary, memorial or the wake, and to offer a kind word to the family of the deceased. Though they will be wrought by sadness, they will still appreciate the kindness of those around them.

Rushing to catch up with friends you haven’t seen in a while after the service should be muted to a respectful murmur.

From the UK etiquette experts – Debrett’s – taken from http://www.debretts.com/etiquette/rites-of-passage/death/miss-debrett-on-funerals.aspx

Miss Debrett’s Top Tips

  • Take your lead from the chief mourners and never outdo them.
  • Switch off your mobile, don’t whisper during the service and maintain an air of dignified discretion.
  • Keep your behaviour sober and restrained at the post-funeral gathering; remember this is a wake, not a party.

Loss in death is the worst grief one experiences in life. Offering up any small gesture of kindness will aid the grieving process.

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Class and etiquette

class

Is class synonymous with etiquette?

I was invited to a terrific christmas lunch yesterday, where the host and I got into a heated discussion about class.

He defines class as someone who shows generosity beyond their means, or if fortune has found you, then you are classy if you make efforts to bridge the divide with those less fortunate. I shared with him that I didn’t agree with his definition, and said that class was irrelevant of wealth. That class is defined by many attributes, like humility, courtesy, consideration, and etiquette. Generosity is not about class. I know many people without means who have class, and many more with huge wealth that are class-less.

He was determined to contradict me, so I, being a guest in his home, agreed to disagree, and left it at that.

Obviously, it did get me thinking about the differences between etiquette and class.

Etiquette are the rules and guidelines to behaviour between two or more parties, or manners that one has in society.

Class is a state of being. In any given situation to act with class is to be humble and generous in nature, polite and somewhat refined in your behaviour.

I think it is natural to think that people with class live with etiquette.

But some people who use correct etiquette have little or no class.

So, maybe they’re not synonymous after all.

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