Sunday, 10 April 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen

    It seems slightly old-fashioned these days, but there's something I still aspire to in my scruffy day-to-day persona: to be a gentleman. My ever-handy dictionary describes a gentleman as "a chivalrous, courteous, or honourable man", and I'd render it into a more down-to-earth "do the right thing mate, don't be an arsehole".
    It goes without saying that this is not an aspiration confined to blokes. The dictionary definition for lady made me laugh: "a courteous, decorous, or genteel woman", I never knew it would be OK to be decorous but I wouldn't need to be honorable when in Jenny mode. But it still works in the vernacular: "do the right thing love, don't be an arsehole".
    This week I have been disappointed in some of what I have read on our little corner of the blogosphere. Views that contradict mine I have no problem with, I welcome the cut-and-thrust of debate. Rants are fine too, even unfocused ones. Hell, they can even be entertaining. Where I felt a line had been crossed was the point at which I started reading personal attacks based on people's appearance. Just as we can't help whatever weird and wonderful brain structures have been bestowed upon us, we can't help our genetics and the ravaging effects of years of the wrong hormonal mix on our bone structures. I won't post links, but some of you will know where I've been reading.
    Medical science has been wonderful for those of us suffering from GD. It can never erase a male history but it can now deliver as good a facsimile of womanhood as we could possibly hope for. However I've learned this week that there is one thing it can not do. It does not matter where on his scale Dr. Benjamin would have put you, how many surgeries you have had or how many years practice you have under your belt: the doctors can make you into a woman but they can't make you into a lady.


  1. I think that this is true in life for so many things.

    It's along the same lines as money doesn't mean you have class (just look at cribs and Donald Trumps apartment or listen to Jay Leno talking about melting some poor unfortunate persons car on his jet bike and laughing about leaving before the guy knew)


  2. Yikes... yes, that's way, way across the line. I wonder how those who belittle others based on their appearance feel about their own. Likely not so good.

  3. How very true that we have to be born 'gentlemen or ladies'. Those who speak too much about how others dress speak too much! It isn't the clothes that make the person as some might suggest (clothes maketh the man). It shows just how much value people put on 'appearance'. Remember 'Keeping up appearances' with Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced bouquet)? All fur coat an no knickers as my parents used to say!

    Shirley Anne xxx

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  5. @ Teagan

    I'm not so sure. A lack of self-esteem is rarely the problem with people who belittle others. It's usually exactly the inflated sense of self.

    Melissa XX

  6. I'm glad I don't read all the blogs that you do, Jenny! I'm sure Melissa is right, and people who belittle others doubtless have their own problems, but such writings sadden me and I quickly delete them from my blog list.

    So I reckon I'm left with a nice group of genteel ladies, and long may it continue.

    Angie xx

  7. A very well composed posting Jenny. And it seems that all of those commenting agree with what you have said so well.

    Hugs, Elly

  8. I wonder where ladylike behaviour comes from. Inborn or taught? Some have it and some don't but we maybe need to remember that we can all behave in an out of caracter way when hit on a spot that has been hurting much.
    All I know for very sure is that I do my best not to allow myself to get angry because I lack the vocabulary to express my anger in a ladylike fashion.

  9. It's crossing the line but reveals more about the person making the disparaging remarks than it does their intended victims.

  10. Morning all.
    I ain't no lady. "The rine in Spine stays minely on the Pline" (With apologies to Shaw) :)

    No, it's a behaviour thing. I may not do right all the time, but it's best to try.

    Is it learned or inborn? I would hope it was a product of upbringing and therefore learned, but sadly it's probably a product of both. Heavens, I'm in danger of using words like "gels" (hard G), I'd better stop.