In every culture, there exists ways through which different genders relate with each other. Both the sexes adopt a given mode of behavior which is normally characterized by chastity, modesty and all the noble train of virtues which are essential in dating. In particular, the men are required to be at the forefront in initiating a courteous gesture towards the women. However, this natural human behavior have evolved throughout the centuries and today with the acceptance of same sex relationships, some of its universal character has been lost.
Among the men, there is marked difference between the heterosexuals and homosexuals with regard to etiquette. This could be as a result of how these two different groups perceive females. However, certain practices have stuck in various cultures even though the purpose have been lost. For instance, several cultures encourage certain practices towards women like holding the chair, opening the door and general positive gesture towards women. (Reskin, 1998 p. 64) It has often been claimed that etiquette results in men and women adopting an artificial mode of behavior because of this supposed necessity.
In the present transgender and same sex marriage world, one may be interested in finding the relevance of certain etiquettes. Among the heterosexual and homosexual males, there exists differences in perception with regard to etiquette. While to the heterosexuals, a woman may seem worthy of some special treatment because of the natural attraction or the natural feelings that he has towards her, the homosexual translates this feeling to their male counterparts.
As a show of regard and appreciation for the woman, heterosexual man may hold a chair, open the car door or address her in a manner which is likely to show approval and importance. This action of heterosexual man towards a woman in most cases is conditioned by the desire or need to gain recognition as a potential boyfriend or acquaintance. In contrast, a homosexual man may exhibit the same action towards a woman as a custom or as a mode of accepted practice towards women. (Snipes, 2007 p.
23) This action to open the car’s door has nothing to do with his desire to gain any form of recognition by the woman but rather, he might feel bound by culture to do this. For instance, it may be part of his culture to open the door for women of females in this case. In other words a “straight man” may be driven by some personal goals while the homosexual may do it as the natural and normal thing to do. If a natural order in the socializing influence to the code of etiquette is to be adopted, then there will be a distinct difference between the heterosexuals and the homosexuals.
If not for culture, a homosexual man may not see any special reason to open the car’s door for a lady. Even if he does, his action will not be driven by any clear sexual motive. Heterosexual men are more sensitive when handling females than their homosexual counterparts. They are greatly concerned about how the females will regard their actions and behavior and hence are more cautious when dealing with them. Homosexuals on the other hand are insensitive to the females’ thoughts about them.
However, they may show some form of interest in the ladies as much as this would further their aim of acquiring a new partner should this happen to be the lady’s friend. Still, this interest is not entirely directed to the lady but rather her acquaintance. With this regard, it may not be very clear if gendered etiquette are implicitly sexual since through the centuries, the human society has evolved so much and new ways of relationships have developed while some of the old ways have become irrelevant to the present society.
However, there are certain modes of gender relationships that are regarded natural. Males and females have a unique way of relating with each other whether “gay” or “straight”.
Reference Reskin, Barbara F. (1988) Gender and Society, Vol. 2, No. 1 (Mar. , 1988), pp. 58-81 Published by: Sage Publications, Inc. Retrieved 4/8/2008 Snipes, J. A. (May 31, 2008) Homosexuality Among Men and its Effect on Women. Everyday Journal, Issue 103
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Topic: Are Gendered Etiquette rules Implicitly Sexual?
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