August 3, 2010 | relationships

How to Be a Gentleman

A couple of weeks ago, I did a post on How to be A Lady, which caused more than a few people to blow a gasket. ‘Twas a teeny bit controversial. Many people asked why I didn’t do a set of rules for men. Well, you ask, you get – that’s just how much I love my readers. You wanna make out now or later?

Fellas, realistically, I know you didn’t think I was going to let you off the hook. For many of you, your gentlemanly ways and just good old manners have fallen by the wayside and it’s time for you to check yo’self before you wreck yo’self.

The Handshake

When on earth did sweaty-palmed limp handshakes become the ‘in’ thing? Shake my hand with purpose. Like a MAN. Take charge. Assert your alpha maleness. I want you to leave my knuckles barely intact. They should surely teach you this in ‘how to be a man’ school.

Get Your Metrosexuality Under Control

It’s good that you want to take care of yourself, but if you’re spending more time primping yourself in the bathroom than I do, we have a problem. Shower, shave and if you have a hairy back, wax it – other than that, what the hell else have you got to do?

Give Chivalry Some Mouth to Mouth and Bring it Back to Life ASAP

You should be ashamed of yourselves how you’ve just completely given up on basic manners and respect. I’ve heard every excuse in the book as to why you don’t make an effort anymore and frankly, it’s pathetic. Are you seriously not going to give your seat up to a woman or elderly person on the bus? You better stand your ass up! Hold doors open, offer to carry something that we’re clearly struggling with – these are no-brainers. And I really don’t want to hear you say women don’t appreciate it. I don’t know a woman alive who doesn’t appreciate a chivalrous man and if there are women who would curse you out for holding a door open, well, they’re idiots, plain and simple.

If You Say You’re Going to do Something, Do It

So many of your problems with women could be avoided if you just showed a little common courtesy and did what you said you were going to do. Saying you’re going to call us? Just do it. Saying you’re going to meet us at a certain time and can’t? How about a phone call to let us know. I think you’ll find that we respond much better when you just act right.

Stop Lying

You all lie about the most inconsequential bullshit that doesn’t even warrant being lied about in the first place. Stop it. It’s really very tiresome. It breeds contempt and mistrust. Then when the proverbial you know what hits the fan, you have the nerve to call us crazy? No dice.

And While We’re Talking About Crazy…

Stop bandying that word around. We’re not. A lot of how we act is reactive. You have no clue what it’s like to be a woman and have to try to keep the emotional rollercoaster we deal with on a daily basis on an even keel, just like we have no idea what it’s like to have a raging boner. A little understanding of where we’re coming from goes a long way.

Defend Women

Casual sexism has become so common that many of you don’t even bat an eyelid when your brethren speak negatively about us, berate us, degrade us and show us utter contempt. Anyone would think you don’t have mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers the way you just allow it to happen. Any time you feel like growing a set and calling one of your friends out on this nonsense, womankind would appreciate it.

There are more, but this is in danger of becoming a seminar I have to sell tickets to. So ladies, what else would you like to see the fellas make more of an effort with? Fellas, what say ye? What’s your defense?

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Smarty P. Jones

*slow clap, stands to start the ovation*
You’ve pretty much hit the nail on the head. Chivalry has been dead so long, a lot of women don’t know how to receive it. Born and bred in the Southern U.S., we’re raised to expect certain things of men. When men weren’t holding doors for me or offering to carry things and the like when I became an adult, I didn’t know how to react. I mean, my father, stepfather and brothers all do these things for me my whole life. I thought all men were taught these things.

If I had to add anything it would be for them to be mindful of the way they speak in the presence of elders, ladies and children. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for you to lay off the colorful, four-letter words for a few minutes.

Great post!!!


Good post, Bangs. It’s sad that people need reminding that doing these things are Good Things – surely (apart from the over-grooming one) they’re just basic manners? You should do a “How to be a functioning human who has evolved above multicellularity” post too.


*Joins Ovation* Excellent! Now can you PLEASE come to Egypt and teach some (well 99.9%) of these Cairo roughians how to be a level above NEANDERTHAL much less Gentlemen?! PLEASEEEEE!!!


It’s a true field of dreams moment, ask for the gentleman guide and you shall receive it. Great article

China Blue

Re: crazy. Funny how men are often quick to call us that when we display an emotion or facial expression outside of ‘neutral’. Being called ‘moody’, ‘unreasonable’ and ‘irrational’ is a sure way to start a fight, not end one.

Oh, and guys? If you don’t like ‘nagging’, reframe it as ‘being asked to do something’ and realise that if you’re ‘asked to do something’ 20 times and haven’t done it yet, YOU’RE the one who’s failing here. If you’re living with a woman and she has to do everything herself, what does she need you for? Think about it.

If my tone’s a little narky, I’d like to point out that the above shortcomings (from an otherwise nice man) contributed to the end of my last serious relationship.

As for opening the door… there are more than a few fellow ‘ladies’ whose faces I’d quite happily let a door slam into. If we want men – and other women, and the next generation of men and women – to show some common courtesy, why don’t we display some in return? Last time I checked, you didn’t have to pay a royalty every time you say ‘thank you’. Sorry for the brief tangent, but I had to mention it.


Good post. Wandered examples of men out there you feel are good examples of your points as you did for your ‘how to be a lady post’ using Lindsey Lohan etc- or were there too many? I think the umbrella term of being a gentleman or lady could also cover ‘men who are don’t take their responsibilities seriously as husbands/fathers etc’, alcoholics, gamblers etc etc.


From a male perspective. I agree with everything except for the handshake. That is kind of old and played out. I’m not impressed by firm handshakes nor do I squeeze a ladies hand with a handshake. But most of the time for ladies I give them a hug.

I have all the respect in the world for women. Never refer to them as the bword. If I do you’ve done something terribly wrong to me.

Always give up my seat, but I have to here on this one.
Today. A lady comes on the metro train. One just walking toddler. One infant in her arms. The seats were filled with women and it too TWO STOPS before one of them gave up their seat for her.

I say that to say this. Ladies, I was brought up that to get respect you have to give it. Now if you are not receiving it you have to ask yourself and be honest. Are you giving respect and I mean to yourself.

I could write a blog on this as well because many do not understand what self respect is.

Could you write an article defining this for BOTH MEN AND WOMEN???
I think it would be just as nice as this.
Define it for them and see if they agree, I guarantee a lot of controversy. 😉


Bravo, especially like the last one. Stick up for women. So much casual and not-so casual sexism around now, it is seen as the norm AND actually seen as cool.

Ha Ha Sound

Good post and you made a lot of valid points, though I would agree with fellow commenter Greg about the handshake. I’m always conscious of the fact that while it’s cool to give another man a firm handshake, I don’t want to give some poor woman Carpal Tunnel syndrome from squeezing too hard. Am I maybe being overly cautious about that? I’ve always assumed I was just being courteous.

Although I’m always completely appalled when somebody doesn’t give up their seat on the subway to a pregnant woman. That’s completely inexcusable.

Claire Nelson

NIIIIICE!! I am loathe to stereotype or generalise men, yet most of the points here are completely spot on.

While I don’t expect a man to give up his seat to me on the Tube, (I’m not elderly or pregnant), I have actually witnessed on MANY occasions, a man almost pushing me OUT OF THE WAY to get the last seat. If those fellas had given me the seat on those occasions, I’d have thought they were the coolest dudes around. They were NOT.

I LOVE it when a man holds a door open for me. One thing I DO miss is men pulling out a chair for me. This might have happened to me once, and it SCREAMED respect, and shows that a fella really cares. Seriously dudes, it’s not that hard to make a woman think you’re the cat’s pyjamas. And considering chivalry is so rare nowadays, any gentlemanly actions you make will seem even more classy than they used to.

Over to you, boys!

PS = Great points from Greg, and yes, women should also respect other women more. Otherwise we’re just hypocrites!


This is excellent. But I’m with the others on the handshake. I have had my little paw so abused that I no longer put it out for the handshake. A shame really. So, perhaps something like strong but no squeezing. Please.

more give and take is needed, perhaps if said ladies behaved more like Grace Kelly more men would behave more like Carey Grant.Its ironic that when chivalry was rife fiminism was just starting…odd correlation. :S

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