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What Happened to Men's Manners?

August 14, 2018 4 Minutes

How men have lost their way with basic courtesy and respect, and how it’s evolving into toxic and hostile behaviours amongst men. 
Men don’t become criminals because of toy guns or violent video games. The science is done, and there is nothing to back up those claims, no matter how many times we have it rammed down our throats. Just today (July 5), articles and news reports are coming out in Australia calling for a ban on toy guns for kids, and every week I see another report on video games such as Fortnite, being called out for encouraging violence. However, being the politically correct race we are growing in to, we are ignoring the basics of what actually could be making a difference in the long-term behaviour of men around the world: manners. 
Somewhere along the way, we lost our way. When did it become acceptable to leave our garbage around a food court table for someone else to toss away, instead of making the 5 foot walk to the nearest bin? When did it become okay to wear sunglasses indoors in the presence of others, and when did it become acceptable to let a douche rant about not having a seat in the cinema with no one standing up to him and telling him to sit his pasty ass down? -
My theory is that a large part of it stems from the fundamental softening of societal norms and the politically correct movement, resulting in manners and basic courtesy and respect not being instilled in young men, which then snowballs into grown men who now not only lack the basic decency to hold a door open for someone, but potentially partake in anti-social behaviours. I mean, if we have two young boys where one is taught to stand when a lady enters a room, to make his bed, to make eye contact when shaking someones hand and to be respectful of someone else’s time and not be tardy, compared to a young man who doesn’t have these manners instilled in him (such as the young men sitting opposite me right now, in a library of all places, talking loudly and swearing in the presence of others including children, with no respect for anyone around them), then it can be argued that the first young man will grow up far more likely to be a gentleman in the classic sense, whilst the other will be more likely to snowball in a bad pattern of behaviour.

Speaking of the young men sitting opposite me, this seems to happen a lot, and each day it does, I restrain myself from grabbing two of them by the scruff of the collar and banging their fragile domes together in the hope that, like a cheap tv, it will reset the signal to start functioning again. Alas, I can’t do that as it would be assault, they would be the victim of barbaric behaviour on my part, and of course, they will likely grow up to be useless members of society. This is a part of life I wish we had back, not the violence of course, but the fact that these men have no hesitation in acting like twats, is a testament to the society they live in, where such behaviour goes completely unpunished and unchecked. 

So how did we end up this, as opposed to how things were let's say, in the 1950's and the immediate aftermath of 9/11? Well, a lot of people and studies point to a surge in a "me" focused society, resulting from an increase in technology and perhaps some less than desirable parenting tactics, and a society that is noncommunicative. We don't need to talk with one another as we can now just email or text someone, potentially leading to a reduction in basic social skills and reading of visual and verbal cues that another person gives off.

With social media also, there is a massive problem with trolling, where a person who is behind a keyboard, will have no qualms launching a tirade on someone in the comment thread of a news post, for example, but would never dream to repeat that face to face. We are being conditioned to be jerks, in a lot of ways.
A survey was carried out across 2500 men and women by Men’s Health magazine, reporting that 60 per cent of women ranked good manners as one of the most attractive traits in a man, and yet they were hard pressed to find a man with decent manners. Why is it so hard to be generally good mannered? 
Now it’s becoming increasingly an intense issue regarding toxic masculinity, rape culture and poor male behaviour, evident in the news in Australia almost on a daily basis. Whilst I believe it’s such a small margin of men making everyone else look bad, it seems that the majority still aren’t living up to basic standards of what being a gentleman is. If we strive to instil back basic manners and good gestures, the trickle effect can be tremendous. A man who is accustomed to standing when a lady enters the room or make his bed and throw away his own trash simply has to be less likely to engage in anti-social behaviour when given the opportunity. 
Here are some basics we can bring back today…
  1. Don’t be late
  2. Clean up after yourself at food courts
  3. Take off your hat and glasses when entering a room
  4. Stand when a lady enters a room
  5. Offer your seat to just about anyone standing when on public transport
  6. Hold open doors for men or women if reasonable to do so
  7. If someone drops something and you’re closer, pick it up for them
  8. Never swear in public
  9. End phone conversations in quiet places, such as a lift, waiting room - and especially whilst talking to cashiers
  10. When at a meal with someone, place your phone face down and don’t check it even if it rings, whilst in mid-conversation, just silence it
  11. Walk curbside when with your partner, mother or kids
  12. Keep secrets and be trustworthy 
  13. Ask for her hand in marriage

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