I'd like to think of myself as a gentleman and I often end up acting more like a male, but at the same time I'm very happy/comfortable being a female.
In your opinion, can a woman consider herself a gentleman? Can she follow the guidelines of what it is to be a gentleman?
What exactly do you think? Yay or nay for the lady-gentlemen, and why exactly?
By 'gentleman' I'm referring to the behavior, as in being polite and your mannerisms and such. Not so much what's in your pants, even though gentlemen happens to be a male pronoun.
And typically women who call themselves ladies are usually preppy and girly, I wouldn't say I'm extremely masculine but I'm certainly not girly.
This isn't about whatever gender I identify as, more so the general idea of women behaving as gentlemen.
I'm merely a player.
I wonder if Dallas is lonesome tonight?
You know someone said that the world's a stage,
And each must play a part.
Fate had him playing in love with Shane as his sweetheart.
Rebekah: there isn't actually a female equivalent for "gentlemanly."
Yes there is: gentlewoman. Well, at least as a noun, though I suppose you can describe a woman as gentlewomanly.
It depends on lots of things likely too subtle to be discussed well on AoM. Connotations on such words are very regional, even into a particular school or family. Certainly she's right when "ladylike" is used in discussions of fashion.
The problem with words like gentleman or lady is that they have such an antiquated feel to them. We just quite simply are not that formal of a society any more.
When I was a kid I remember all the public bathrooms used to be labeled either Gentlemen or Ladies. Then years later they were marked as Men or Ladies, and then later marked either Men or Women. Now it's just:
But "gentlewomanly" is not recognized yet. And "woman" in any form has connotations older than a teenager.
They have antique connotations. They have some classist, and then racist, connotations. I wonder if in some circles "lady" gets confusing because it's still used in the original, titular sense.
And, yes, I do think they have some wrongly sexist connotations in many of the sub-cultures I alluded to. "Lady" was a rare in my world growing up. One of the only times I heard it in casual conversation was after a mother chided her daughter, about age 8, for running in an outdoor hallway. The mother said, "We do try to raise our girls to be ladylike." Had a boy been running, I don't think she'd have said "to be gentlemanly," maybe "to have manners." But maybe a boy running wouldn't have been chided at all. There are lots of studies suggesting as much.
Although there are still people who believe that girls should be chided for running in the halls when boys aren't.
But "gentlewomanly" is not recognized yet.
Nor do I think it ever will be.
And "woman" in any form has connotations older than a teenager.
And yes, undeniably are the expectations different for boys and girls.
"But "gentlewomanly" is not recognized yet.
Nor do I think it ever will be."
You're right about that. It's got way too many syllables. And it's hard to pronounce, too.
Lady-like; or just Lady as in "Ladies and Gentlemen".
A Lady is a woman of culture and refinement (my def).
I think the bathroom signage move may relate to multiculturalism (not everyone uses the same nouns for male/female). All the same, I wonder if they use the last one in Scotland? :)
When I hear the term gentlewoman what comes to mind is a woman who can take care of herself and business, is firm, fair, and acts honorably. She takes no nonsense and gives none. Kind of like how I think the Queen Mother acts. So yeah, I think this term may fit.
Caroline, I was wondering what you mean by "acting more the male". Curious as to what your opinion of that is.
We seem to be "skirting" around references to masculinity and femininity.
The assertion has been made here that sex and gender identity are not inherently linked.
Question: by being biologically male, do we have traits that are inherently masculine? If so, what are they?
And do do women inherently have traits that are feminine?
Caroline claims that, in her perception, modern "ladies" are preppy and girly, but are those the summation of feminine qualities? (boys go to prep schools, and now anyone can dress "preppy", so this becomes a fashion reference, at best)
This may come down to a question of hormones: give a man or a woman a strong dose of testosterone, and certain behavioral traits will probably ensue.
As for gentlemanly customs, many of these have probably come down to us for outdated reasons: men would open doors or pull out chairs for women in Victorian times, because women's dresses were so long and wide, they had difficulty doing these things on their own.
If we are feeling more manly, or more gentlemanly, in our behaviors, is that because we are adapting and identifying with social customs associated with men, or is it because there is something biological that is kicking in?
The game of rugby may be a social construct associated with men, but when on the field or even watching a game, and a surge of testosterone ensues, I would call that a manly experience.
And, the way we handle these surges may be the distinction between a gentleman and a hooligan.