In the Pursuit of Being a Lady.

Since I recently discovered, much to my chagrin, how extremely unladylike I am, I thought it was about time I did some research and tidy myself up a bit.

Naturally, as anybody does when seeking answers, my first step was to Google “How to be Ladylike”. I wasn’t committed enough to open more than two links, but needless to say I learnt SO MUCH and I hope all you learn something here today as well.

Step One: Practice healthy habits and hygiene.

I’m really unsure why this is directly related to being ladylike, because frankly this should not be a sexist issue. Sure, I don’t wash my hair very often, but I do floss AND shower every day (form an orderly line, fellas). I am mostly healthy in the way that I don’t overeat (much) and I workout on a semi-regular basis (very semi).

Again, this is not gender exclusive. Men, please if you aren’t showering every day please don’t assume that doing so in some way threatens your masculinity, because I really need you to do it too. I would include flossing in that, but I’m not your dentist. I’m just super terrified of losing my teeth and I shouldn’t push my fears onto others. All I’m saying is teeth aren’t permanent, OK, and if there’s one thing that repulses me (there’s more than one), it’s any person of any sex without teeth.

Step Two: Be Mature.

As a contributing adult member of society who pays taxes and still says “that’s what she said”, I’m offended by the idea that I need to be more mature in order to be considered a lady.

I also question what classes as maturity when it comes to being a lady and how that differs from being a man. My experience with men is that if anything, they simply get less mature as they get older – maybe they just stop trying to hide it as much.

At the end of the day, being mature is boring anyway. If you’re a contributing, active member of society with plans and goals, then you go ahead and make those childish sex jokes.

Step Three: Be Charming.

The advice here is to engage with people, carry stimulating conversations, and be a subtle flirt. Firm emphasis on subtle because you don’t want to give off the impression that you’re too easy, or intimidate the other ladies around you with your flirty ways. You also shouldn’t interrupt or talk over others, use profanity, brag or lie.

Got that? Be engaging, but don’t speak, be flirty, but not a slut, and definitely under no circumstances ever speak about something you might be proud of or allow anything but the Queen’s Purest English to pass your lips. I don’t give a shit if ‘shit’ is in the dictionary, don’t you dare say it.

I’ll let the “don’t lie” thing pass, mostly because I happen to think that honesty is possibly the most important thing in any relationship, and also like hygiene, not gender exclusive.

If you’re in anyway actively lying to people on a regular basis, then you’re not an adult, you’re not a lady and I’m going to go right ahead and say you aren’t a man either. As a general rule, if you feel compelled to hide your behaviour from someone who is supposed to be important to you, than I’m going to have to label you a liar. Now with that not-at-all bitter assessment of what constitutes lying, I’ll now return you to your regular blog viewing.

With the conclusion of my very extensive research into this issue, I myself have come to the conclusion that the idea of being “ladylike” is not only outdated and sexist (and a very thinly veiled attempt to promote passive behaviour), but it involves a lot of things that are less about being a lady and more about just being a decent human being.

As a compromise I propose the following: we (as a collective society) stop emphasising the importance of passive behaviour in women, and using the outdated term “ladylike” as an excuse. Instead, we (as a collective society) expect the same behaviours from women and from men. That means everybody practices good hygiene and good manners, everybody swears as much as they like, everybody keeps their knees together when on public transport, and everybody flirts and boasts as much as they like! (As long as no one’s getting hurt.)

We’ll call it decentlike. You’re welcome, society

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Photo: Death to Stock

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