I think the biggest part of the Rebelution is redefining.
We redefine what people are capable of. Teens especially.
We redefine what we need to be interested in.
We redefine how we spend our time.
We redefine our acceptable standards.
On that note, I’ve spent two posts trying to redefine what it is to be lady and a gentleman. But I know if enough people read those posts, someone is going to read it who has questions.
Like: what exactly do I mean when I say that ladies demonstrate kindness and gentleness, or gentlemen demonstrate chivalry.
Let’s talk about it:
Like I said in Ladylike, I think any girl can be lady, no matter what her personality or tastes happen to be. Likewise, any man can be a gentleman.
Often when I watch a movie and say “Now there’s a real man.” I’ll be saying it at a different moment than my dad will. My dad likes it when guys actually act like real guys. That is, they drink, and have contests of strength, and act like flawed human beings, who still have good hearts. He says that’s how guys are around each other. I wouldn’t know. But personally, I watch how these men treat the female characters of the movie.
It’s not just that I’m a romantic, it’s that I know that a lot of boys really don’t talk about girls like they’re even human beings; not just when they’re talking bout who’s hottest or whatever, I mean even when they talk about how girls act with other girls, or with guys, or what girls like, etc. (To be fair, girls do the same thing.)
What impresses me about a man? He doesn’t have to be soft spoken or really gentle outwardly, (though that is always nice) it’s his attitude. When a man, off screen or on, actually treats a woman, even if it’s his mother, like he cares about how she feels and thinks, and like she’s something to be protected and not taken advantage of, that makes an impression.
Whether this is romantic relationship, a platonic one, or a family one, it really makes no difference. A man who really cares and shows it by being there, and being there in the right way, that’s the real deal. I like how Gianna Jessen defines men, either as weasels (men who don’t come through) or as uncommon. Which is self explanatory.
Now, I have no hate or anger toward guys who simply don’t come through. I’ve known a lot of them. I’m used to them. But that’s just it, the Uncommon man is uncommon.
I don’t want the girls to think I’m neglecting us, so here’s the straight scoop. The man who comes through may be uncommon, but so it the girl or woman who will let him. Ouch. I don’t intend to come down on us ladies, often there’s a lot of reasons we are the way we are.
To be honest, the Uncommon man and woman are uncommon really because we aren’t training them anymore. We aren’t encouraging them to come out of hiding and astonish us.
What does it look like to do that? It depends.
There’s an example I wanted to use here. On the show Kim Possible, there’s a really stupid episode (The Cupid Effect) that I watched with some amazement the first time. I won’t go into the whole plot, but there is one memorable line that Ron Stoppable utters to Junior, who had used an evil device to cause girls to rave over him. Junior has just laughed at Ron for being in disguise as a girl. (In order to get close enough to stop him.) Ron retorts “Well, you are no gentlemen.”
As stupid as the situation was, and I don’t recommend the episode, I think Ron made a good point. In his usual, unintentional way. It’s not the clothes, it’s why you wear them. Cross dressing really has nothing to do with the plot here, but if someone were to object, I’d point out that Ron was doing it in order to rescue a lot of girls, including his own girlfriend; whilst Junior, who is a muscular sort of man-boy, was using a hypnotic device to control all these girls. Ron may not look the part, but at least he’s acting it.
That sums it up,( in a weird way.) Anything a guy does, if it’s in an effort to respect a girl, or even his own father, can be honorable. Do I think they get it right every time? No. But I do think they get it right more when they are trying to.
As for us girls, well, we have our share of respect issues. I’ve listened to other girls diss guys while I’m around, and I always get really uncomfortable listening. Look, I know it’s frustrating when guys don’t know how to be manly about things like break ups, or dates, or whatever; but can I just level with you and say: “If you don’t want to deal with that, stop agreeing to date guys who aren’t ready for relationship.”
It’s not always the guy’s fault. We need to have their backs as much as they need to have ours. I don’t want to have to spell this out, but girls, set standards.
Back to what I mentioned earlier. Guys and girls alike need to understand this, we are all human.
There’s actually a pretty good movie for this subject, called “The Swap.” It shows how, though we express it in different ways, guys and girls are having the same feelings of loss, and anxiety.
It’s actually not that hard to empathize with each other if we’re willing to try. In the end, we all want a lot of the same things. We want people to be considerate of us; to treat us like equals; not to make fun of us; and so on. It’s just our definitions of those things happen to be different. But that’s good. It varies from person to person anyway.
To at bottom, being a lady or gentleman really is about treating everyone with respect.