The Corneilus Brothers and Sister Rose released a song in 1971 that served as a how-to about how a man can entice women to surround him for his own sexual satisfaction. While that may have been cool in 1971 – and still is to many men, I’m sure – I’m fortunate enough to have a male friend who has a different motive. He treats women like ladies because he knows they are worthy of his respect.
My buddy Tyler and I have been best friends for 11 years. In that time, we have watched each other deal with crappy relationships and watched others straight-up assassinate anything nice or respectable in their own relationships. Before Tyler found the girl who will soon be his wife, he dealt with girl after girl who stomped on his gentlemanly ways. But that didn’t stop him from being a gentleman. He didn’t pay for their dinners and open doors for them because he wanted a reward, of sorts, from them. He acted like a nice guy because he is a nice guy, and he was going to show respect, regardless, to the women he wooed.
Tyler told me on Monday that he babysat his fiancee’s 8-year-old sister on Saturday. Her parents told him to take her to Chuck E. Cheese (where a kid can be a kid). Tyler took the opportunity to treat the night like a date.
He opened the door for her. He kept his phone put away and focused his attention on her. He offered to pay for the meal. He listened to her. And he gave her tidbits of advice that a lot of girls don’t think about.
- The guy should always open the door for her.
- If the guy picks her up for a date and all he does is pull up and honk, don’t even go outside because he’s a chump.
- If he’s mean to his mama, he’s going to be mean to you.
Now, I know there are women out there in 2016 who scoff at any man who opens the door for them or treats them in a way they perceive to be condescending or infantilizing. However, these same women want to be treated as valuable human beings. Men like Tyler are doing their darndest to treat women like the valuable human beings they are. Their gestures don’t mean they think women are incapable of pulling out their own chair or too weak to open their own car door. Their gestures mean they think women command their respect simply by being women.
And what’s more feministic than that?
I think what my friend did was sweet and vital to his fiancee’s sister. In one night, amid skee-ball and pizza, he affirmed that little girl’s worth, beauty, strength and power. The sad reality is that, as she grows, she’ll likely cross paths with some jerks who will think they can put her down or only buy her dinner so they can get something out of it. But if or when those guys come around, I hope she remembers that date with her future brother-in-law. The night he showed her that she doesn’t have to put up with crap. The night he showed her that she should be treated like a lady.