Gynocentric etiquette for men (1929)

The following excerpts on the subject of male etiquette are from ‘Etiquette for men: A Book of Modern Manners and Customs’ published in 1929. – PW

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Everyday Etiquette

You may know that you are doing the right thing at all times when offering little courtesies to others, especially to ladies, whether you know them or not.

Raising your Hat

It is not necessary to raise your hat if you see a lady of your acquantance in a public vehicle in which you are also a passenger. A little nod or smile is sufficient. Otherwise, you should always raise your hat when meeting a lady whom you know. If the lady is a close friend, raise your hat immediately she gets near; but if you do not know her very well, you should wait until she acknowledges your presence before raising your hat.

Meeting a Lady

When you meet a lady whom you know, and you wish to speak to her, do not keep her standing still. You should walk with her in the direction in which she is going. You should not offer a lady your arm when walking with her, unless you are escorting her across a busy street. You should always take the outside of the pavement when walking with a lady. You should also take the outside when walking with two ladies, and should not walk between them.

introductions

When you are introduced to a lady, it depends upon her whether you shake hands. In all circumstances the matter rests with the lady, and you should make no movement to shake hands before the lady offers hers. Men usually shake hands at the best of times.

You should raise your hat when introduced to a lady out of doors, and your right-hand glove should be removed, in case a hand is offered you. Indoors, you should never remain seated when a lady is introduced, though you need not stand to be introduced to another man.

When introduced to a lady at a dance, party or other function, you must remember, if you see her again, that recognition must come from her. You should not raise your hat, or make any sign, until she either nods or smiles at you. At a party you need not wait for an introduction before speaking to any other man present, but you should not enter into general conversation with any of the ladies until an introduction has been given.

Should lady guests arrive during your visit, rise from your seat when they enter the room, and remain standing until introduced. If the ladies leave before you, you should stand while they are maxing their departure.

SOURCE: Etiquette for men: A Book of Modern Manners and Customs

Gynocentric etiquette for men (1897)

The following excerpts on the subject of male etiquette are from ‘Manners for Men: by Mrs Humpry the Madge of Truth’ published in 1897. – PW

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Walking with a Lady

“The rule of the road is a simple one, “Keep to the right.” Easy enough for women, it is complicated in the case of men by the necessity of always remaining on the kerb side of any lady they should be accompanying. Should the lady keep to the right in meeting or in passing other persons, her escort may either keep by her or go out into the road. He will be able to judge for himself which course will be advisable. His first duty is always to his companion, but that need not make him wanting in courtesy to other women. If remaining by the side of his companion should involve any inconvenience to the ladies of the other approaching party, then he must give up his position, and go out onto the roadway to let the latter pass. Should these be men, no consideration is necessary.

He keeps close by his lady’s side, but in crowded streets he may often have to fall behind, but he should never allow any one to interpose between her and him. Should the pressure from the crowd become extreme, his duty is to protect her from it as much as possible, but never by putting his arm around her waist. A hand on either side of the lady’s shoulders is usually sufficient.

Communicating with a Lady

“The well-mannered man never puts out his hand in greeting until a lady extends hers. This is a test of good breeding that is constantly applied. To those uninitiated in the ways of society, it would naturally appear the right thing to give as cordial a greeting as possible. Therefore the hand is held out, even on introduction to a perfect stranger. This is wrong. The first move in the direction of cordiality must come from the lady, the whole code of behaviour being based on the assumption that she is the social superior.

“It must always be borne in mind that the assumption of Woman’s social superiority lies at the root of these rules of conduct. It is bad manners to introduce people without permission. Nor must this permission be asked within the hearing of the second party. If Mr. A wishes to know Miss B., the lady’s leave must be obtained before he can be presented to her. The only exception to this rule is at a dance or ball, where introductions need not be regarded as leading to acquaintanceship. They are only for the dance, and may be ignored next day. Here, again, it is the lady’s privilege to ignore her partner, if she choose. But if she should bow to him he must raise his hat, whether he desires to follow up the acquaintanceship or not.

SOURCE: Manners for Men: by Mrs Humpry the Madge of Truth