The topic of respect is one that I've blogged about for pretty much every blog I've ever written (and by the way, this includes a blog about an animal clinic--animals want respect too!) That's probably because it's one of the basic tenets of society and civilization in general. Everyone wants it, everyone needs it, and everyone deserves it.
Last week, while sitting in spin class at seven AM, my mind wandered to the business trip I had returned from the previous evening. A male coworker had accompanied me on the trip and we'd traveled together to and from NYC. During our entire time together, I couldn't get over how polite he was. In the taxi, he scooted in first since I was wearing a dress. At the airport, he offered to carry my luggage up and down the stairs. He held doors and always offered to pay even though I could have just as easily paid and expensed the same meal or cab ride.
A few months ago, I took a trip with my boss-same deal. He's one of the most gentlemanly, chivalrous individuals I've ever met. He refused to walk through a door until every woman in his company had gone through first.
Even when I hang out with my best friend who's male, he treats me with tremendous respect and in fact, gets upset when I tell him about situations where he feels I was treated with anything less than.
On the other hand, when it comes to my dating experiences (and based on conversations with many of my friends, theirs as well) men on dating sites have reached a ridiculous state of disrespect. Just last night, I had a date scheduled with a man who I've been talking to for months though we'd never actually met up. Schedules can be tough. I get it.
We finally had agreed to get together on Friday night. We hadn't made specific plans so when I texted, trying to get him to commit to a time so I could plan my night accordingly, seven was apparently too early. And when I proposed nine? That was too late-he was scheduled to meet with his friends at that time. We'd have to reschedule. This completely boggled my mind especially considering I'd been fairly apathetic about the meeting to begin with and he had been pushing it. Why would you make plans when you have a date scheduled? Is my time that inconsequential to you?
Another prospective date told me he'd googled me before we met up, had found this very blog, declared it a turnoff and said he was no longer interested in meeting (having an opinion is apparently unattractive these days!) I would never say something like this to a close friend, much less a complete stranger. At the very least, I would pose it far more delicately than this person seemed to think was necessary.
Last night over drinks with my cousin, she told me about a prospective tinder date she'd been chatting with. Over the course of their texts, he'd taken their conversation down a progressively dirtier and dirtier path, making ridiculous requests and posing inappropriate questions, to the point where she said thanks but no thanks.
I could go on and on for pages about other quite honestly horrifying situations, but the point is, when and more importantly, how did this happen? Why do my coworkers and friends feel a desire or even an obligation to respect me more than someone I'm potentially going to share myself romantically with?
I'm not saying treat us like princesses-each woman requires a different dose of chivalry and I won't speak for all of us. But at the very least, treat us like you would your friends. Think about the disgusting request you are about to make from a complete stranger before you make it. Would you ask a female friend to do something like that? If the answer is no, probably best to hold off on hitting send.