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Etiquette Past vs. Present: Men Walking on the Curb Side

I got an Emily Post's Etiquette book for Christmas this year — fitting, I know! — and while flipping through some of her old-school ideals, I thought it'd be fun to see how your real life behavior and expectations of others stand up to Miss Manners herself! One of her echoes of traditional etiquette is below.

"On the street, a man traditionally walks on the curb side — a custom born of the idea that women needed to be shielded from the potential hazards posed by the passing horse-and-buggy parade."

I've known men who religiously obey this unwritten rule and those that don't even know it exists. Since proper etiquette means something different to everyone, tell me, is this something you'd expect a man to do when he's with you?


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pointpoint10 pointpoint10 5 years
You call this an "unwritten rule." But it's obviously written in Ms. Post's book, right? And do you really think that proper etiquette means different things to everyone? Or do you think that there are some social expectations that every person is expected to follow? For instance, do you think that anyone believes it is acceptable to eat off another person's plate unannounced? Does anyone think it is polite to defecate in public? Is there anywhere in the world that encourages or even condones public fighting or harassment?
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
My boyfriend does this. He also sleeps on the "danger side". =)
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 8 years
My husband has been doing this since we were college sweethearts. I love it. Excuse me, while I'm stereotypically female, but it makes me feel protected.
javsmav javsmav 8 years
I don't have a problem with a guy opening a door for me. I would expect him to if he got to the door first (just like I hold the door for people who walk behind me--whether I know them or not, it's just polite to hold the door for the person behind you). I have a problem with women screaming about how they should be put on a freaking pedestal and have all these ridiculous things that men MUST do for them simply because they're women. Like Squeaks's facebook group. I find that so offensive.
khadeekiinsz khadeekiinsz 8 years
I dont see what, chivalry has to do with women's rights. I dont see how it makes you less independent either. If a guy holds the door, for me, Im not going to say "No, dont hold the door, bcus I'm allowed to vote, and I can do everything by myself." What is wrong with simple cute little things? I promise you will still be able to vote, and pay for dinner, while he walks on the other side of you. Nothing wrong with being independent, nothing wrong with appreciating simple little things that men do. That's all.
javsmav javsmav 8 years
I haven't missed the point at all. You can't have it both ways. You can't demand equality and demand to be treated like a delicate flower. I'm not saying at all that a guy should be rude or treat you with anything less than the utmost respect, but he should not have to do silly little antiquated rituals just to make you feel special. My boyfriend and I have mutual respect for each other. He treats me as an equal and that's what I love about him.
RaCheer RaCheer 8 years
I always walk on the curb side because I like being on his left side and he likes being on my feels more natural when we hold hands. It's what we're used to.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that chivalry is great in the right time, but i also think that it's not a deal breaker for me. if a guy doesn't do EVERYTHING then it's fine. i'm one to be considered an independent woman.
khadeekiinsz khadeekiinsz 8 years
It has nothing to do with "woman's rights". Dang, javsmav. All we're saying is that its cute when a guy wants to protect us, or just not want us to get hit by a car. Not saying woman shouldn't vote. You totally missed the point.
javsmav javsmav 8 years
Unlike many of you, I'm glad it's not 1865 anymore. I prefer to live in the present where I can vote, have a career, and walk on whatever side of the sidewalk I damn well please.
Squeaks26 Squeaks26 8 years
On Facebook I'm am a part of a group called "There Are Some Things Guys Should Always Do For Girls. Period." My Step Dad walks on the curb side, opens the door, never walks in front of a lady, doesn't use bad language or raise his voice around a lady, etc. I am an extremely self sufficient woman, but I think women today forgot what it feels like to be treated like a lady. I have settled for men with poor manners before, but never again.
Talldiva45 Talldiva45 8 years
Nice gesture but def. not a deal breaker. I am comfortable taking care of myself if necessary.
grammijo grammijo 8 years
My hubby always walks on the curb side. If we get out of sync, he claims he can feel his Dad's boot on his butt reminding him of the manners he was taught. He also opens doors, doesn't eat until I sit down at the table, always thanks me for a meal, but the one that tickles me the most.....if the man coughs in his sleep, he says "excuse me". For those of you who are offended, you will get exactly what you are entitled to. To be loved is the easy part, to earn and maintain his respect is worth it's weight in gold; to be cherished and protected the silver.
duckiesandie duckiesandie 8 years
Aw, the first time my guy and I went walking, he did this for me, completely unexpectedly. I remember having one of those girly butterfly moments, oioioi. :)
chow chow 8 years
my bf used to try to do it, but gave up because i like him to be on my right side and i will switch sides with him if he's on my left.
macchiatolove macchiatolove 8 years
Totally not a deal breaker, but very sweet. Being as how we have paved streets now, like some of the rest of you, I'd prefer him to stand between me and sketchy looking people. Generally speaking though, doesn't bother me in the slightest which side he walks on, although basic chivalry is always appreciated!
khadeekiinsz khadeekiinsz 8 years
My bf does this too. At first I didn't know what he was doing, then I kinda got the point. I thought it was absolutely sweet! He said if a man doesnt walk on the "street side" then he doesn't care about you. So I guess it was his way of saying that he cares about me. He also said something about guys who let women walk on the "street side", they are usually a chick who they are just screwing, or a whore. Not that I agree, but who doesn't want a guy that wants to protect you.
Pallas-Athena Pallas-Athena 8 years
My dad does this when I walk with him sometimes. He also just likes being on the outside. I do this a lot when I walk with my friends or my younger cousins. I do it in case something were to happen I could push them or protect them. I don't care if people do it for me or not. If I want to walk on the inside then I walk on the inside.
myystque myystque 8 years
My boyfriend does this sometimes, but he'll switch sides if there's something weird on the other side.
fleurfairy fleurfairy 8 years
I love chivalrous men....
delia delia 8 years
This reminds me of that episode of Flight of the Conchords where Brett can't figure out why a date went wrong, and Jermaine asks, "Did you walk on the outside of her?" Brett says yes, and then they're both stumped, as if that should have sealed the deal. Hilarious!
momma-tikita momma-tikita 8 years
Hubby does it ALL the time! He jokes around sometimes when I walk on the outside saying "HEY! know your place woman." With a really funny face...I think its real cute and I love the fact he does this!
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