Social Question

ChaosCross's avatar

And now for something completely different: Ladies and Gentlemen?

Asked by ChaosCross (2340points) February 16th, 2010

Do you think that life would be better if everyone acted like polite 1900’s English ladies and gentlemen? I think it would be a really nice change from all of this, impoliteness we have been suffering recently.

I mean really, who does not want to see a fine, well dressed gentlemen with a monocle and a cane say: “Good morning old chap!” and then get invited over to his place for tea? Or be respectably curtsied by a fancy and intelligent lady caring enough to say hello to everyone she meets?

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25 Answers

tragiclikebowie's avatar

I wish people still wore fancy hats.

DominicX's avatar

We would all be like Buzz Killington. “Who wants to a hear a story about a bridge?”

I would like it as long as I didn’t have to treat women like they were delicate flowers…

lillycoyote's avatar

Maybe that would be going a little too far in the other direction but it certainly would be wonderful if people were just a little more civil, just a little bit more courteous and decent and civilized when interacting with each other. Just a little more civility would go a long way, I think.

HTDC's avatar

Society changes for a reason, I wouldn’t want to go back to that time, seems a bit suffocating. But even in this day we still have politeness towards others and do invite others for tea, it isn’t in the same format and style but we still do it, just a little differently.

augustlan's avatar

Civility is never out of style. I try to practice it wherever I go, and usually find that it is returned to me. Usually.

davidbetterman's avatar

Look what it got them. They are all dead now.

Trillian's avatar

@ChaosCross I don’t know about the monocle. that would remind me of Colonel Klink. But I appreciate old fashioned values, I guess. At least, I don’t like to see a guy wearing his hat inside. It irritates me all out of proportion. I also like to see a man hold a chair out for a woman.

rasputin6xc's avatar

First: Monocle’s are awesome. Second: Where I grew up, while we weren’t Victorian English polite, we were taught to be courteous to other people. Of course, my whole state is kinda a big anachronism. Third: I agree with @HTDC. That is all.

TheLoneMonk's avatar

I urge you to visit Milwaukee. We’re all kind of like that. Except for the monical, fancy hats and tea. We’re more into bifocals, cheese hats and beer. And, though this is not typical of England in the 1900s, we are one of the most gay and lesbian friendly cities in the world. Come visit. Really.

cookieman's avatar

Christ…the peticoats would kill me!

and let’s not even discuss the girdles

ucme's avatar

But it would take an eternity to get into their fucking knickers they wear so many.Besides when I did i’m guessing her orgasm would sound something like,“Oh gosh,oh my word jolly good show,that really is spiffing old bean,yes,yes,yes,marvellous now relax & go make me a spot of tea would you sweetie.” That would rather put me off don’t you know.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I don’t know about the Victorian era, but Edwardian would suit me fine, as long as I could get a Jeeves to look after all the little things like visiting cards that I can’t be arsed with. I’m plenty polite as it is, frankly. Probably because I’m from Milwaukee. ;)

But curtsying in those huge old dresses where the hem would always get dirty? Wearing whalebone corsets? Innumerable pins holding some silly hat on my head? Shoes with buttons up to my knees? Pretending that I’m weak, unintelligent or that I don’t like sex so I could be considered a “proper” lady?

No, thank you. I quite like this era, if you please.

Harp's avatar

I don’t know…I’m reluctant to romanticize this stuff. That was an era of extreme social stratification. You could easily identify someone’s position in society by how well they knew and followed the scripts of behavior and speech, and how well they were attired. The dark side of having such overt signs of status was that one’s worth came to be defined by how well one played the part. All of that propriety overlaid some very ugly world views and a thorough disdain for the “lower” strata of society.

The dress wasn’t at all practical, and that was the point: the people wearing those clothes didn’t have to do real work in them and had other people to care for them and their clothes. And all the scripted codes of speech and behavior weren’t necessarily intended to make us all get along better; they served as social barriers to keep out the riffraff.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@cprevite LOLLLL,,, you’ve got THAT right! And it’d be us wearing the damn things! I like loosey-goosey, easy-breezy.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I curtsy to no one,and you can’t make me!I don’t mind good manners though;)

Judi's avatar

Would I still get to vote?

thriftymaid's avatar

I’m all for politeness, but no thanks.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

If you want to bring back Victorian and Edwardian manners, then don’t forget complete societal ostracism and the cut. Of course, you’d need to bring back the entire idea of “classes” that so many posters to this forum claim to disparage.

Not to mention the terms—and import of the terms—“lady” and “gentleman”, which are reviled now from coast to coast.

tragiclikebowie's avatar

@CyanoticWasp Is that where the term “make the cut” came from?

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@tragiclikebowie no, that’s pretty much reserved for sports analogies.

The “cut” (and the link has the definitions) has several forms:
the “cut indirect”
the “cut infernal”
the “cut sublime”
the “cut direct”—which we would these days consider to be almost akin to giving someone the finger (it’s essentially what it is, except without even acknowledging their presence)

These things were often ruinous to people of lower societal rank.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Greater civility would be delightful. It does not require either classist behaviour or stuffiness.
We do not have to readopt high maintenance costumes or start slaughtering beaver to make top hats.

We could put more effort into being cordial and respectful and giving some additional attention to how we present ourselves in public.

tinyfaery's avatar

I prefer people be rude to my face than talk about me behind my back.

monocle's avatar

While I like the look of the Victorian and Edwardian eras and I think it’s a lovely thought, it just wouldn’t be practical now. Or maybe it would with a few tweaks. As for politeness being perfectly acceptable… yes please?

CMaz's avatar

Nice and polite? Back then ladies were bruits slaving over the stove all day and men carried canes and derringers.

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