Yes Ma'am, No Sir, Yeah, Whatever - Are you raising polite children? - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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#121 of 145 Old 06-09-2011, 01:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Viola View Post

 

I dunno, I think the days of men being expected to give up their seats to women went the way of women being expected to freshen their make-up, bring them an evening cocktail when they walk through the door, and actually serve them their food.  Even today, though, women who work outside the home still seem to be expected to do the cooking for the family or do the families laundry.  I mean I know a lot who don't, and I grew up with a father who cooked, but I'm amazed at the number of people I talk to where there is still the expectation that women will do all the childcare related tasks.
 

And I thought the days of opening doors for women, waiting for women to go through a door first, walking closest to the road, had gone the way of the dodo. I also thought that people could understand the difference between "etiquette" and "unequal division of labour in the home"... But apparently, neither of those things are true.
 

 


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#122 of 145 Old 06-09-2011, 01:11 AM
 
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I don't see most of these as having anything to do with etiquette, as such. The only one that really falls under the etiquette umbrella, imo, is number four. Mind you, I've also never seen that, so it's hard for me to imagine. Numbers one and two simply aren't the reality of anyone I know (the cooking in a few cases, but not quite the way you describe it - and absolutely NOT the "stay standing until the men and boys have eaten" - that sounds like something out of a bad novel). Number three...not even sure why you included that. I'm a SAHM. While dh does more than his share (and, yes - I mean that - he earns all our money, then comes home and works here all evening and on the weekend), I do tend to do a lot of the laundry, simply because I'm here. It's not about etiquette. It's about the division of labour in our home.

 


Thank you for getting it.

 


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#123 of 145 Old 06-09-2011, 03:41 AM
 
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Hmm.

 

I think that etiquette (politeness) means behavior that follows accepted social norms in a society, culture, or sub-culture,  which is why I think the 4 examples I outlined fall into the area of etqiquette. If I refused (for example) to join the women in the kitchen and insisted on trying to stay with the men in the dining room, I would have been (in the eyes of that social group) very rude.

 

So, unfair division of labor in a household can be very much a part of etiquette in many cultures, including some that I encountered in the USA.  How people divide labor is very much a part of etiqutee, whether the division is based on gender, or age, or social status.

 

It doesn't just have to be household labor. One time an Aussie told me that in Oz (at least when she was growing up) that if you got into a taxi alone and sat in the back seat, that would be rude, because it would be treating the taxi driver like some sort of servant. If you were traveling alone, you joined the driver in the front seat, not acting "like a snob".

 

Who takes the first bite of food at a table? When I was a girl, I was taught "Wait for your hostess to take the first bite before you start."   Now I live in a place where in a formal or semi-formal setting I need to wait for the "most senior" (usually age) or based on who is the "guest", or "senior guest".

 

In my eyes, "door opening", "walk on the traffic side of the street"  "Yes Ma'am" "Yes Sir" etiquette is part-and-parcel of gender-based  & age-based theories of what men, women, and children are like and what sort of work they do, and should do. 

 

To me, etiquette (normative, acceptable social behavior) it is a reflection of people and their cultures' beliefs about power & social personhood.  That's why in this thread we see so many disagreements about what constitutes polite behavior.

 

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I don't see most of these as having anything to do with etiquette, as such. The only one that really falls under the etiquette umbrella, imo, is number four. Mind you, I've also never seen that, so it's hard for me to imagine. Numbers one and two simply aren't the reality of anyone I know (the cooking in a few cases, but not quite the way you describe it - and absolutely NOT the "stay standing until the men and boys have eaten" - that sounds like something out of a bad novel). Number three...not even sure why you included that. I'm a SAHM. While dh does more than his share (and, yes - I mean that - he earns all our money, then comes home and works here all evening and on the weekend), I do tend to do a lot of the laundry, simply because I'm here. It's not about etiquette. It's about the division of labour in our home.

 

 

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Thank you for getting it.

 



 

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#124 of 145 Old 06-09-2011, 04:08 AM
 
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arent manners and etiquette kinda two different things. close but different. 

 

like pp pointed out manners is about respect for others while etiquette is a code of behaviour.  isnt it etiquette that is culturally different. so what might be seen as good etiquette in one culture might not be in another. 

 

i guess simply put we are talking about teaching our kids about being polite and having respect for others, yet exactly how we do it - for instance the etiquette of refering to adults as  sirs and madams might differ culturally. 

 

so while everyone has some form of manners, each will show it differently according to the norms of their society. 

 

cultural groups also live within a culture. so the way a white family might address strangers in georgia might be different than we do in california. 


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#125 of 145 Old 06-09-2011, 11:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by skreader View Post

Hmm.

 

I think that etiquette (politeness) means behavior that follows accepted social norms in a society, culture, or sub-culture,  which is why I think the 4 examples I outlined fall into the area of etqiquette. If I refused (for example) to join the women in the kitchen and insisted on trying to stay with the men in the dining room, I would have been (in the eyes of that social group) very rude.

 

Fair enough. This is where my concept of manners doesn't mesh with a lot of people. I don't actually care how rude people think I'm being, if their concept of rudeness is based on accepting my role as a second class human being. Mind you, on the few occasions where I've seen the gender split after meals, it seems to be the preference of the women, as much as the men. The fact that the women frequently end up in the kitchen doing the work in this scenario is another whole issue.

 

So, unfair division of labor in a household can be very much a part of etiquette in many cultures, including some that I encountered in the USA.  How people divide labor is very much a part of etiqutee, whether the division is based on gender, or age, or social status.

 

I get what you're saying, and I probably used the wrong word. These things may have something to do with etiquette, but they're not about manners or courtesy. Manners and courtesy are jumbled together with etiquette, but they're very different things, imo. Courtesy is what etiquette, and manners, to some degree, want to be, and often claim that they are...but they aren't. The behaviours you  described are also very rare, ime, and becoming more so all the time. (Scenario number four that you outlined sounds like something from a hundred years ago.) They're definitely not any kind of common cultural expectation, and they're a whole different ballgame than the whole "you poor women are too feeble to open a door, so we big strong men will do that for you, whether you like it or not, because we're soooo polite". stuff that MD was originally discussing.

 

It doesn't just have to be household labor. One time an Aussie told me that in Oz (at least when she was growing up) that if you got into a taxi alone and sat in the back seat, that would be rude, because it would be treating the taxi driver like some sort of servant. If you were traveling alone, you joined the driver in the front seat, not acting "like a snob".

 

This is not, imo, about how people divide labour. The taxi driver is still driving you around, and you're still sitting in his taxi, whether you sit in the back or not. It's a different take on the overall situation, but it's not about the actual division of labour. Sure, it's cultural, but it's also personal. I've known people who insisted that anyone they drove somewhere sat in the front seat, so that the driver didn't feel like a chauffeur, and I've known people who preferred to have the front seat to themselves, so people were welcome to ride in the back. But, again - not about the division of labour.

 

Who takes the first bite of food at a table? When I was a girl, I was taught "Wait for your hostess to take the first bite before you start."   Now I live in a place where in a formal or semi-formal setting I need to wait for the "most senior" (usually age) or based on who is the "guest", or "senior guest".

 

Oh, yeah - I've heard people talk about the hostess thing. I don't know anybody who does that. We have a "wait until everybody's at the table" rule, but that's it. There are no rules about who takes the first bite. Those rules usually seem like pure control crap to me, to be honest. (On a related note, I've been reading the Little House books to dd1, and came across Almanzo having to wait until last to get Christmas dinner, because he's the youngest. It was so weird to me, because we do it exactly the other way around, and serve special meals and desserts from youngest to oldest, with the sole exception that, if it's a birthday, the birthday child gets the first piece.)

 

In my eyes, "door opening", "walk on the traffic side of the street"  "Yes Ma'am" "Yes Sir" etiquette is part-and-parcel of gender-based  & age-based theories of what men, women, and children are like and what sort of work they do, and should do. 

 

Of course it is. But, there's a difference between the etiquette itself, and the underlying culture.

 

To me, etiquette (normative, acceptable social behavior) it is a reflection of people and their cultures' beliefs about power & social personhood.  That's why in this thread we see so many disagreements about what constitutes polite behavior.

 

I agree. I just don't give a crap about etiquette, as such. I think etiquette is a cop out, and is often a way to avoid actually treating people with respect and courtesy. Someone here once expressed that she hates it when adults undermine her attempts to teach her children proper manners, by requesting that her children call the adults by their first name. She's instructed her children to always use "Mr. LastName" or "Miss/Mrs. LastName", not matter what the adult in question wanted. This is exactly the kind of thinking that makes me nuts. She wants her children to learn :"manners" so badly that she's deliberately and specifically teaching them to be disrespectful and discourteous.

 

i think there's a baseline of etiquette/manners that's fairly universal, at least within North American (maybe overall Western) culture. It's rude to push and shove. It's rude to fail to acknowledge a gift or help from someone. It's rude to interrupt. It's rude to disregard clear information that you're causing trouble for someone (eg. the loud hockey fans who kept my kids awake until 11:30 the other night, and responded to dh's request to move along, because they were keeping litlte kids awake with "they can sleep in 2012" and calling dh a Boston fan...because obviously, only a Boston fan would object to Canucks fans keeping his children awake, right?). It's rude to disregard what someone says about how they prefer to be addressed/treated. And, a person is unlikely to go wrong by saying "please", "thank you" and using the formal "Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms./Dr. Last Name" as a default when they first meet someone. (It does occur to me that I don't hear "please" a lot around here, and I don't tend to say it myself very much, although I'm not sure why.)

 

Where I think people get into all kinds of etiquette and manners tangles is putting "rules" above courtesy. When we have people saying, "it's important that my kids have good manners, so I'm teaching them to call people what I want them to call people, not what people want to be called" and "I want my boys to meet girls who want to have the door held for them, not some hoochie woman", I think the whole point is being completely missed.


 


And, after all that, I'll also say something else that may be unpopular. I've been hearing about women doing the lion's share of the housework, even though they're in the work force, for over two decades. BTDT, even - I did all the housework, cooking, and 95%+ of the childcare in the last couple years with my ex, even though I was the one earning the money we lived on. However, I also chose to stay in a marriage that was failing on every possible level for that period of time, which means I chose to be an unpaid servant in my own home. IME, the majority of cases where the woman is doing the lion's share of the work fall into one of two categories. Category one is women like me, who choose, for whatever reason, to stay with guys who are borderline (or not so borderline) emotionally abusive and have serious issues with mental health, often including addiction and/or are all around abusive in every way. In those cases, the housework isn't really the biggest issue, yk? Category two is women who want their partners to be equal partners in sharing the load...but don't want to give up their authority in the house. He has to do his share, but he has to do it the way she wants it done, not the way he wants it done. It's very clearn in these homes that she's the boss, and it's her house, but he's still supposed to do half the work. I'm not sure I'd do my share under those conditions, either.

 

Mind you, if a guy is expecting his wife to wait on him hand and foot, I think he's a jerk. I wouldn't stay with someone like that again (although that wasn't exactly my ex's issue, anyway - he just didn't give a crap if we lived in a pigsty, or if we ate real meals, or if ds1 went to school, so he didn't feel he should have to do anything about those things). At some point, if women are still doing the lion's share of the housework, and earning the money, it's because we're choosing to do it.
 

 


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#126 of 145 Old 06-09-2011, 02:31 PM
 
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For me, ma'am and sir was something that was shoved down my throat from the time I was litttle to indicate that I was a lesser person than the adult I was talking to. I dont think I am any better than my child, nor do I feel like adults need a "title" to show respect. There are so many other ways to show respect. I will teach Miss first name, Miss Last name, or first name, depending on how comfortable the adult is with it. I want her to realize that you have to talk to different people in different ways. For example, if you are being pulled over, its more likely that you would say "sir" to a cop to "show respect" and hopefully not get a ticket. If you are going to church with grandma (yeah right) you should call people by "Mrs. Lastname" because all of those people are in their 70's and they were raised to think that was what manners were. If you call one of those women by their first name, they arent going to think its cute if you are over 4.

 

I was never taught to say ma'am and sir, myself, but I did live in Alabama for a while so I saw it in action.  And it always felt to me like what you're saying.  I found it pretty creepy and belittling of the child.  And to be required to call your parents ma'am and sir is just over the top.  To me, that implies a very formal relationship where "politeness" is valued over closeness.  It's putting up barriers and highlighting differences, rather than valuing togetherness.

 

As for please and than you and all that stuff, I encourage it especially outside the house.  At home, I am more concerned with teaching them to be considerate and to refrain from being overly demanding and/or rude.
 

 


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#127 of 145 Old 06-09-2011, 07:34 PM
 
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And I thought the days of opening doors for women, waiting for women to go through a door first, walking closest to the road, had gone the way of the dodo. I also thought that people could understand the difference between "etiquette" and "unequal division of labour in the home"... But apparently, neither of those things are true.
 

 


They have gone the way of the dodo, and I certainly understand that you are rude.  I do understand the difference between division of labor and etiquette, but there isn't always a dividing line and conversations go on to encompass broader things.  Like when we have discussions about pet peeves and people list things that clearly aren't peeves because one thing follows from another.  You're on here complaining about why men are never pampers, how it never works the other way, of course people are going to bring up other things than what you narrowly define as etiquette as opposed to cultural practices.  Giving up a seat on a bus and serving your husband at dinner are both more in the line of etiquette than labor to me, but they both involve labor.

 

The idea behind why a woman might be expected to do one thing and a man the other are rooted in some of the same beliefs.  And you can't look at etiquette in some complete vacuum without considering how class/race/gender inequities help to define these things.

 

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#128 of 145 Old 06-09-2011, 09:59 PM
 
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They have gone the way of the dodo, and I certainly understand that you are rude.

 

But they haven't gone the way of the dodo, there are people in this very thread who feel it is important to teach their son's to treat women like children in that very manner. You are right that they are rooted in the same inequities as other issues that discriminate against women. I am thinking (hoping?) that you and I are actually on the same page here. It seems so. I'm simply arguing that there are certain "rules" that I won't teach my children (like men need to walk closest to the road, open car doors for a woman, etc) simply because of the inequalities that they represent.

 

This seems to be the part that your missing:

 

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Originally Posted by mtiger View Post

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MommaBirdie View Post

We also will expect our son to stand when greeting people, and when women leave a table.
Open doors, push in seats, make eye contact, etc.

 

Oh yes, I forgot these. Also, opening car doors for ladies, walking on the street side of a lady, no hats indoors.

 

One thing I do wish is that more people would acknowledge the behavior. For example, both of my kids open/hold doors for others. I can't begin to tell you how many people just walk on through w/o a word. It's somewhat discouraging, ya know? 

 

 

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#129 of 145 Old 06-11-2011, 12:05 PM
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I have trouble with that whole category of manners, though. I don't get how letting me go first, just because I'm female, has anything to do with respecting other people. I also agree with MusicianDad. There are "rules" that involve doing special things for women, but except for the built-in assumption that men are at the top of the social hierarchy, the rules of "courtesy" don't seem to include any special treatment for men.

 


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Originally Posted by treeoflife3 View Post

I agree that if you get to a door first, you open it and hold it for everyone else behind you.  that IS polite and expected.


 


It's polite to a point. If you are more than ten feet ahead of me, please just go through the door and let it shut. Especially if my hands aren't full. I absolutely  hate it when someone waaaay ahead of me holds the door for me, forcing me to feel like I have to run to catch up to him so he can go on his way.

 



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They have gone the way of the dodo, and I certainly understand that you are rude. 


 

How so?

 

With regards to "Greet a  male visitor at the door, take coat, offer food and drink, serve, do not partake, and leave men to their conversation or visit...."  I wouldn't associate with people who expect that sort of treatment, and I'm sure the reverse is true, as well.

 

 

 

 

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#130 of 145 Old 06-11-2011, 05:32 PM
 
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Sir and Ma'am.... If I ever said "Yes Ma'am" to my mother it would have been in a heated, teenager-slamming-doors, kind of argument. We were never forced to say it, so it was definitely a way to say "ok, fine, you're the boss, but I don't have to like it!" It really is all about tone, and underlying meaning!

 

There are so many different cultures, even within the US and not all regional, that it is really hard translating from one to the other. In the Air Force, it was very common to address anyone else as Sir/Ma'am, regardless of their rank relative to you, and regardless of their enlisted or commissioned status. This was especially true in my job, which had a strong customer-support element. I did a joint services assignment and let me tell you, when I called an enlisted person of any other service Sir or Ma'am, I would get me rump handed back to me! They would say it showed extreme lack of respect for enlisted people. It didn't stop me, though, because it was so ingrained into my military training that it was like telling me not to breathe! It also didn't mean that reciprocally they would call USAF people Sir/Ma'am, and unless they were willing to bend their habits to fit us, why would we do it to fit them?
 

Will I teach my kids to use Sir/Ma'am? Absolutely not. They will learn to navigate a variety of different cultures in their lives. Sometimes it is appropriate to change your speech to fit another person's culture, and sometimes you will decide to hold onto your own culture in the face of differences. 


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#131 of 145 Old 06-11-2011, 05:35 PM
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In the Air Force, it was very common to address anyone else as Sir/Ma'am, regardless of their rank relative to you, and regardless of their enlisted or commissioned status. This was especially true in my job, which had a strong customer-support element. I did a joint services assignment and let me tell you, when I called an enlisted person of any other service Sir or Ma'am, I would get me rump handed back to me! They would say it showed extreme lack of respect for enlisted people.

 

"Don't call me Ma'am....I work for a living."  winky.gif

 

I never knew that about the AF....it's the one branch of service I haven't spent much time around.
 

 

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"Don't call me Ma'am....I work for a living."  winky.gif

 

I never knew that about the AF....it's the one branch of service I haven't spent much time around.
 

 


It is true. We generally go with the idea that as long as you are speaking respectfully in tone, then you are being respectful, and that all ranks deserve respect until it is shown otherwise. When any rank came to my office to get their password reset, I would say yes Sir/Ma'am, and they would say thank you Ma'am. This held true from the shiny new Airman Basic, right up to the Colonel.

 

 


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#133 of 145 Old 06-11-2011, 06:05 PM
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It is true. We generally go with the idea that as long as you are speaking respectfully in tone, then you are being respectful, and that all ranks deserve respect until it is shown otherwise. When any rank came to my office to get their password reset, I would say yes Sir/Ma'am, and they would say thank you Ma'am. This held true from the shiny new Airman Basic, right up to the Colonel.

 


 

Well, I was enlisted in the Navy and wasn't ever called Ma'am by a higher ranking person. But that's okay....at least they didn't force me to go to church. winky.gif

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#134 of 145 Old 06-11-2011, 06:12 PM
 
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touché  ;)


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#135 of 145 Old 06-11-2011, 06:13 PM
 
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i notice different 'cultures' have different etiquette rules.

 

for instance in non formal settings i have never used sir or ma'am. however in the business and working environment, with higher ups and strangers - absolutely i used sir and ma'am esp. when i didnt know names (whew TG for sir/ma'am since i am quite bad with names). esp. in hospitality industry. i've seen the recruitment officer that hangs out in our school talk to students using sir/ma'am. 


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#136 of 145 Old 06-12-2011, 12:30 PM
 
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It's polite to a point. If you are more than ten feet ahead of me, please just go through the door and let it shut. Especially if my hands aren't full. I absolutely  hate it when someone waaaay ahead of me holds the door for me, forcing me to feel like I have to run to catch up to him so he can go on his way.

 


This, exactly. I totally agree that it's rude to just let a door swing shut into someone's face. But, I can remember walking down a flight of stairs after an ultrasound or physio appoinkment. There was a door to the outside at the bottom and a man went through it while I was still 6-8 stairs up (at the bottom, there was a stretch of about four or five feet to the door itself). He just stood there holding it and looking at me, as if he was wondering why I was taking so long, and obviously wishing I'd hurry up. When one is doing someone else a courtesy and that "courtesy" is causing the other person extra hassle (ie. hurrying for the door), then something is out of whack.

 

I think door holding makes sense if someone is right behind you and is going to get hit. I think it makes sense if the person has their hands full (I certainly never argued with someone holding the door while I was wrestling a stroller and some shopping bags, and I certainly hold the door when I see someone loaded down with bags or walking with a cane or crutches or anything like that. I just don't get the whole "holding the door from 10 feet away" thing!


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#137 of 145 Old 06-14-2011, 07:50 AM
 
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We're in NJ and sir and ma'am are not the norm here.  Please and thank you for sure!  Something that is more than manners is just cultivating an open and friendly disposition--and we struggle with that with DD.  She's not always friendly and sometimes she is shy, but sometimes it does verge on rudeness. So, we're working on at that.  (She's 6.)  I think a friendly hello with a smile is just as acceptable as a Hello Ma'am or Hello Miss Ellen, in general.

 

That said, we live in NJ and my family moved to South Carolina about ten years ago, and the expectations are very different down there.  They like sir and ma'am and to be called Miss or Mister XYZ.  Now that she's big enough to understand and speak for herself we usually just have a quick talk about it before we go visit and I let her know that those kind of manners would be appreciated.  Sometimes she remembers, sometimes not so much, but I appreciate that she tries.  We also deal with a lot of older people down there, when we are visiting, and it truly does matter to them, so we make an effort.  I think making an effort is polite.

 

Here in NJ, I usually introduce grownups to DD with Mr/Mrs/Miss Lastname and then the adult laughs and says "Call me First Name!" and that's it.  People in NJ don't seem particularly worked up over being "respected" by children or adults.  I will say, I see positives in both places. It's nice to feel like things in NJ are more egalitarian, and care less about trivial things like honorifics.  But for sure, people here can be insanely rude and the bar is set so low that just going to the supermarket here can be a crappy ordeal where I feel like I am dealing with Cashier Snooki's bad attitude...I love SC and think there is a certain pleasantness everywhere there--whether it's a family gathering or going to the supermarket--that just removes a layer of stress. At the same time, since I wasn't raised that way it takes me a tremendous amount of conscious effort to be reciprocate!

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#138 of 145 Old 06-30-2011, 02:36 AM
 
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Good God...don't teach your kids to say sir and ma'am! Especially ma'am. It's not a polite way of addressing someone in casual situations in today's world, it's just annoying and weird. It can also be insulting to a lot of women, and can be viewed as being intentionally insulting..either by calling the woman old or addressing the woman in a sexist way (there's no alternative to ma'am for younger men, and the term is meant for addressing married women). Also, in most parts of the country, the use of ma'am and sir is seen as low class (except maybe when it's used in the military).

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#139 of 145 Old 06-30-2011, 04:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by CheeChee View Post

Good God...don't teach your kids to say sir and ma'am! Especially ma'am. It's not a polite way of addressing someone in casual situations in today's world, it's just annoying and weird. It can also be insulting to a lot of women, and can be viewed as being intentionally insulting..either by calling the woman old or addressing the woman in a sexist way (there's no alternative to ma'am for younger men, and the term is meant for addressing married women). Also, in most parts of the country, the use of ma'am and sir is seen as low class (except maybe when it's used in the military).



Really?

WE say Ma'am aand Sir, and my kids still say Miss or Mr first name most of the time. They also hold doors, say pardon me instead of What? or Wha?, they shake hands and DS has started saying "after you" while letting someone in font of him.

But we're just a bunch of low class, offensive, sexist weirdos. eyesroll.gif

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#140 of 145 Old 06-30-2011, 06:35 AM
 
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We have moved around regions a lot but I consistently have the kids call grown ups by "miss first name". It seems to me to be polite but not overly formal. When I was little in the northeast the only American grownups I was ever around were my teachers and other kids' parents and they were all called "Ms. Lastname". We encourage ma'am and sir, but not to us - but they do have to say yes mommy, no daddy.

As far as door opening, I think it's natural that a man would open a building door for a woman if they're walking together. Car doors are another thing, though. I think it's stilted to wait there awkwardly and have the guy run around and such. I just don't feel comfortable with it. But I expect the door to a building to be held for me if a man is a couple of steps ahead of me. I certainly wouldn't expect him to pass me to open the door ahead of me. I also feel weird if a strange man who's with his wife, for example, is ahead of me, opens the door for his wife, and then expects me to step through as well before he enters. I feel like I'm getting in between him and his wife and that's odd. I'd rather in that case that he step through and hold the door for me that way. lol, convoluted, isn't it? There are so many intricacies of etiquette... I find it fascinating to read etiquette books from 35, 50, 100 years ago and see how people did things then and the sheer amount of things people were expected to keep in mind to be polite.

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#141 of 145 Old 07-05-2011, 01:11 AM
 
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Phew, I thought I was the only "unmannerly" person on here, haha.

 

I am deeply opposed to sir/ma'am.

 

I hate titles. My nieces call me by my first names, my nanny kid's friends call me by my first name and I will someday insist my children's friends call me by my first name. 

 

I really think that simply living is the best way to instill manners. For instance, my nanny kid is 7. He sees me hold doors open for people all the time. A few weeks ago, he ran ahead of me and opened a door for a lady and her small child. Kids like to mimic and model. Most of them will pick up the basics. If you tell your toddler "please hand me the ball," "thank you for handing me the ball, " and so on, they'll probably get the picture. Of course there will always be kids who need a little extra help, but most will be fine. 

 

I also really think that most "manners" are pure habit. When someone holds the door open for me, I say "thank you" out of habit. I'm not actually pondering my state of thankfulness. 


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#142 of 145 Old 07-05-2011, 07:13 AM
 
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It was funny to see this thread pop up again now. I didn't read or respond when it was first posted and didn't follow it. However, I was thinking about manners and etiquette yesterday. After spending some time and putting some thought into a fairly lengthy response to a request, the OP did not post a "thank you" or any acknowledgement of my offering. Instead, she asked for more. There was no "thanks in advance" in her first post and none in her later response. And funny enough, no one else has responded. I understand that she may be rushed or distracted and simply forgot. I understand that she may assume that her gratitude is implied. I understand we may have cultural differences and that she may think that saying thanks isn't important. It took me a minute to remind myself of all of this though. I'm extending the benefit of the doubt, but my initial gut response when I read her second post was not favourable.

 

I think manners and etiquette lubricate the social machinery and help make everything run just a little smoother. They provide positive reinforcement to act well towards each other. Most times, manners are a really just an expression of thoughtfulness toward another person. Life in the 21st century is pretty stressful. Using good manners extends a little grace into another's life for a brief moment. And that's something worthwhile to nurture. 

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#143 of 145 Old 07-05-2011, 07:50 AM
 
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I'm only up to page 3, so this may be edited after I finish the thread.  The phrase "Bless your heart" makes me go: splat.gif In my experience this phrase is usually used in a sarcastic, "I'm being a witch but you have to suck it up and take it because I said it in a nice way" thing.  It makes me so angry that I want to spit nails and punch people in the face.  If you want to be rude to me, just be freakin rude to me.  Stop acting like you are special because you can be nasty in a two faced way.

 

*ahem*  That said, my daughter says Sir and Ma'am and please and thank you, etc.  She does these things because I model them.  When she asks me a question I respond with, "Yes, Ma'am." 2whistle.gif  I know it is only supposed to be for older people, but I like it.  So I use it.  I also answer my husband with "Yes, Sir."  And we aren't military or southern.  I'm a weird California hippy freak and I just think they sound nice. joy.gif

 

Edit!  After reading this whole long thread the main thing I am compelled to add is that the only time in my life I have dealt with a man who wanted to hold my car door for me it was in an established D/s (Dominant/submissive) bdsm relationship.  I think that if anyone else ever did it to me I would freak out because I have not agreed to be your submissive! nono.gif


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#144 of 145 Old 07-05-2011, 07:57 AM
 
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What about masochists? Should they treat others the way they'd like to be treated?

 



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#145 of 145 Old 07-05-2011, 10:08 AM
 
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I was just thinking this - We model and now expect (age 7) please and thank you/excuse me - but not ma'am or sir  - One thing I've noticed as a regional difference is people here (WV) say "I don't care" when they mean 'I don't mind" but when my dd says this it sounds rude to me (although she really hasn't it meant it that way) We are trying to get her to say 'mind' instead

 

I think manners is a matter of respect and your attitude and tone convey that far more than acutal words and I try to keep that our focus - Sorry can sound extremely rude and be worse than nothing at all -

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