By Praise Kezia
Every girl has dreamt of meeting the perfect man. Flashbacks to the girl talks my friends and I held in primary (yes, that early) and high school, make me smile. Our discussions went something like; insert little girl voice, “He will be tall, dark and handsome.
And he has to be a gentleman and pull my chair, hold the door…” and everyone would nod in agreement.
Basically, Mr. Right was a romantic, compassionate, caring, generous, understanding, a good listener and brilliant billionaire.
I did say it is a day dream, didn’t I? Not that that man does not exist, he is only rare. Adult life comes with many demands and little girls’ priorities in terms of companionship change, but some expectations remain constant.
One such expectation is that their Mr. Right be a chivalrous and well-mannered gentleman.
Although culture may erode by the decade, but from the day he is born, a man is groomed by his parents, grandparents and teachers to be a gentleman.
He is taught not to hit women and be courteous to the fairer sex.
In a study carried out on a United Kingdom campus to establish whether courteous behavior leads to further acts of politeness, it was observed that between males and females, “Males are more likely to carry out the continued behaviour of door holding.”
However, such a courteous gentleman is not as commonplace. Perhaps this is also because the woman who deserves that kind of treatment is becoming extinct in the face of the “independent woman”. It is okay for a woman to be financially successful, except when that makes her disrespectful to the traditional breadwinner; the man. Independent women can have courtesy and manners too; in fact, it serves them better.
How? In addition to acts of kindness, the simple use of the three magic words; please, thank You and sorry, is plenty. Saying sorry can be hard, but your life will be made simpler!
Even that closet male chauvinist who seems to think women cannot do anything right will be caught off-guard. In the UK based courteous behavioural study above, it was observed that,
“Regardless of gender, if the door was held for an individual, that individual is more likely to reciprocate the act.”
Restart the cycle of common courtesy and maybe we will all get along.
The writer was Miss Rising Woman at the Miss Uganda pageant 2013