Skip to comments.A Last Bastion of Civility, the South, Sees Manners Decline
Posted on 11/03/2011 1:43:37 PM PDT by marshmallow
ATLANTA One August night, two men walked into a popular restaurant attached to this citys fanciest shopping mall. They sat at the bar, ordered drinks and pondered the menu. Two women stood behind them.
A bartender asked if they would mind offering their seats to the ladies. Yes, they would mind. Very much.
Angry words came next, then a federal court date and a claim for more than $3 million in damages.
The men, a former professional basketball player and a lawyer, also happen to be black. The women are white. The mens lawyers argued that the Tavern at Phipps used a policy wrapped in chivalry as a cloak for discriminatory racial practices.
After a weeks worth of testimony in September, a jury decided in favor of the bar.
Certainly, the owners conceded, filling the bar with women offers an economic advantage because it attracts more men. But in the South, they said, giving up a seat to a lady is also part of a culture of civility.
At least, it used to be. The Tavern at Phipps case, and a growing portfolio of examples of personal and political behavior that belies a traditional code of gentility, have scholars of Southern culture and Southerners themselves wondering if civility in the South is dead, or at least wounded.
Manners are one of many things that are central to a Southerners identity, but they are not primary anymore. Things have eroded, said Charles Reagan Wilson, a professor of history and Southern culture at the University of Mississippi.
To be sure, strict rules regarding courtesy and deference to others have historically been used as a way to enforce a social order in which women and blacks were considered less than full citizens.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
If you’re in line at the grocery store would you let the woman in line behind you go ahead of you? I think not.
Acutally, man or woman if they are behind me with a small amount intheir cart and I have a large amount, I always let them cut through.
But I often dont ask now, I just vacate the seat. I cant stay sitting while someone older than me is standing.
You have class and manners, that rare combination that causes days to be just a little more grace-filled.
PBC is full of transplanted YANKEES! South Florida is not the South in any way, shape or form.
When you travel North in Florida you actually go farther South!
My children are expected and required to say “please”, “thank you” “ma’am” and “sir”, stand when a guest enters the room and hold doors and give up their seats for older people, male and female, among other things.
If anyone tells me that’s demeaning to my kids, I’ll kick them in the teeth!
How’s that for a Southern lady? ;-)
As do I, but I was posting as all things being equal. A full cart for both.
You're an idiot. And you're a racist.
The picture at the article tickles me to death. I have a son currently going through ‘Cotillion’ in our area. It teaches manners and how to be ‘genteel’ (he hates it, of course....but has a lot of school mates in it). That’s how I was raised and want to pass the tradition down to my kids (though MY influence) and with extra help.
Our culture, here, is really challenged. I want to pass this on to my kids while I can.
Heh, you can tell I had four posts in a row...it hit a spot in me. The world is somewhat of a strange place now for interacting with people. Odd. This must be what it is like to get older, to feel a bit like a fish out of water in some ways.
It is funny, and yet comforting in s bizarre way, to think that my parents must have felt this way at my age...and their parents at that age, etc. Damn kids with their unpleasant music, strange hair, steel crap sticking out of their faces and all those tattoos, while they can’t take their thumbs off of the cell phones!
I work with a 25 year old guy, nice kid though a bit liberal, but thoughtful. He lamented that he didn’t grow up with the Internet, and I told him: “No...you DID have the Internet, only it was via a modem and THEN broadband...I didn’t grow up with the Internet!”
As we sat there and dwelled on it for a minute, it occurred to me that I DID grow up without the Internet and was without it for most of my adult life, and how codgery that must make me seem to young kids...I could just see them looking at me and saying in dumbfounded amazement: “You didn’t have the Internet? What did you DO at night?”
It just seems complicated, but I guess it isn’t...as long as I remember what Mom and Dad taught me...:)
Hah...I remember when I was a teenager, I was in a CYO band, and the organization had a Cotillion...it was like a prom, except the guys wore their band uniforms, and the girls wore nice ballroom-like dresses.
The girls had band uniforms too, but...none of them griped about having to wear dresses while we got to wear our uniforms. They liked it that way too.
It was very southern to me, and it was up here in Massachusetts. Funny. Like a kind of masquerade party to northerners of what the genteel south was like. Of course, I was the only one in the entire school with a southern accent, having just moved up a year or two before from the Virginia/Maryland area.
I loved it. I guess I did have a thing for wearing uniforms...:)
Hehehe! Love your story! Yes, there is NOTHING like a dude in uniform *wipes brow*. Whew!
I grew up in a small, southern town. My grandmother was such a HOOT! She went to ‘finishing school’ (basically to learn social graces and how to identify china patterns and silverware, LOL!) She was also taught elocution lessons. Words HAD to be ‘softened’ at the end. Such as ‘togethah’, ‘foevah’, etc. As a kid.......we used to take the p*ss out of her. But I must say....she was an incredibly strong woman and was the matriarch of our family when she was alive. Now our family is more fragmented. My how times have changed.
The young man on the left in picture 6 appears to be enjoying himself!
Yeah. I guess that is the cycle of things...my mother grew up in the Depression...I think a lot of women and men of that time were very strong.
We were more of a patriarchal family, and when my dad passed, the family grew apart.
Sigh. I sure do miss that man.
Hahaha, no kidding! That kid had a real grin on his face!
In the mid-twentieth century, Dayton was the port of entry for many Appalachians migrating from KY, TN, and VA looking for jobs as the coal mines were dwindling. After World War II, when factories such as General Motors were heavily recruiting, 7 million migrated north. The whites tended to settle in Ohio and Pittsburgh, while the blacks tended to settle in Detroit and Baltimore.
Did not know this.
Just as soon as you take back your southern cousins who have infested Ohio with their white trash ghettos.
Nope. Those are our rejects.
That’s funny, and yes, that’s small town life, and I miss it. I also miss when you are in TX (at least W. TX) and NM how people will pull onto the shoulder if you are driving faster than they are on country roads and let you pass them. It’s nice, they don’t think they have to make you drive slower just because they want to. It’s just nice. :)
Well, I think the story is silly, I was just commenting on how rude the general population here is. And there ARE some nice people. The most amazing thing to me when I first moved here was that some of the rudest men were the older ones. Of course, they are all from NY and NJ.
And don’t get me started on the drivers.... :)
My husband opens the car door for me. I can obviously open my own door, but I like that he does it. He was well brought up. :)