A teacher somewhere in your neighborhood today is grading and preparing lessons to teach your children. In the minute it takes you to read this, teachers all over the world are using their “free time,” and often investing their own money, for your child’s literacy, prosperity, and future. Re-blog if you are a teacher, love a teacher, or appreciate our teachers.
“Boys are told from a young age that whatever they do will be excused under the “boys will be boys” mantra, and that “boys will be boys” mentality leads to what I call the “boiling frog” problem of women’s sexual boundaries. I call it that because if you put a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will jump right out, but if you put a frog into a pot of room-temperature water and slowly heat it to a boil, the frog will acclimate as it heats and never jump out, eventually boiling to death. Similarly, when we learn as young girls to tolerate “low-level” boundary violations like the ones we often are forced to suffer in silence at school, at home and on the street – bra-snapping, boob-grabbing, ass pinching, catcalling, dick flashing “all in good fun” relentless violations that adults and authorities routinely ignore – it makes it harder for us to notice when even greater boundaries are being violated, eventually leading to the reality that many women who are raped just freeze and fall silent, because that’s what they’ve been taught to do over and over since day one. You tell me what’s more infantilizing: repeatedly letting boys (and grown men) off the hook for their behavior because “boys will be boys” and we can’t ever expect any differently, or creating a consent standard in which all partners take active responsibility for their partner’s safety, and which acknowledges the truly diseased sexual culture we’re soaking in every day.”—
“Enthusiastic consent is an ongoing state, not a yes/no lightswitch. It requires sexual partners to be in ongoing communication with each other. It does not mean that you have to get a signed contract to touch my right breast. It does mean that you have to pay attention to whether or not I’m into it as you move your hand toward my right breast, and that if you can’t tell, you have to ask.”
There are a lot of elements of traditional etiquette that are, shall we say, a bit outdated. Primarily, the elements associated with the gender of the person being polite, such as where a man walks on the sidewalk in relation to a woman, the woman cannot pay for a date, a lady being “ladylike.” However, that doesn’t mean that all polite behaviour is entirely anachronous. There are certain things that one should just do—not because it’s the “right” thing to do, but because it’s the nice thing to do. Things like:
Opening a door for someone.
Any time that one is going into someplace and there is someone else—part of their group or not—who is going to be coming in afterward, one should stop and hold the door for the person.
2. Helping someone when they need help.
Granted, this is a broad one: it can apply to someone who is obviously having trouble walking, someone who has dropped something, someone who accidentally left their change / wallet behind on the counter, or any of a myriad of other situations. This is, like number one, just a very basic issue of being a good person.
3. Calling anyone that you’re not familiar with—especially if said person is older than yourself—sir or ma’am.
This is a very small and easy habit to get into and it’s well worth the effort just to see the person’s face light up. Elderly folks, especially, are absolutely tickled when you do this. And, let’s be honest, that is one of the major rewards of being polite: the smallest things can just make a person’s whole fucking day.
4. When getting on public transportation, if you are paying in cash rather than with a transfer, bus pass, token, metro card, or the like, get on the bus after the folks with the passes.
This one is kind of a pain in the ass, granted, but think about it: if you have to rummage around and put multiple pieces in the machine, then the folks behind you that can just flash a piece a paper and get through are getting held up and are going to be at least slightly irritated. You end up holding up everyone and you should be thinking about the other folks involved in the transaction—in which case you already do this, because it feels awkward as all hell with all those folks behind you.
5. If you are eating in a restaurant—or inside at all—take off your hat before beginning the meal.
I know, I know, this is an old-school one. There is really no logical reason that I can think of behind this behaviour, but it’s just a polite and nice thing to do. Now, if you’re eating crabs on a pier in Maryland, or you’re at a family/work picnic, then no-one gives a shit.
6. If you’re driving on the highway, and there’s someone who needs to merge, move the fuck over into the other lane so they can get in without having to stop in the goddamn merge lane.
Okay, granted, I’m mainly so pissed about this one because I live in Pennsylvania, but I’ll bet if you live in Maryland or *shudder* New Jersey, you are equally pissed. This is such a stupid little thing, but if you don’t let someone in because of some misplaced feeling of “one fucking car will slow me down and I’LL BE LATE!!” then you can fuck up an entire row of cars waiting to get on the highway. There is an element to merging that is up to the individual who is trying to merge and said individual being a confident driver, but there’s just as much of an element to the folks who aren’t letting them the fuck in.
This is just a small list, and it’s all I can think of off the top of my head right now, but I’m sure that I’ll be making additions in the future when I think of them. As for right now, perhaps you should be thinking of making some new habits.