Being a Lady — by Dorothy Grant
To be a gentleman, you first need to be a man. You need to have the power and ability, the knowledge of yourself, before it can be tempered by restraint and courtesy. Otherwise, the traits of a gentleman are ill-fitting, easily donned and just as easily forgotten on the hat rack.
For more thoughts on that, see this excellent article on The Art of Manliness: https://www.artofmanliness.com/2015/06/29/youve-got-to-be-a-man-before-you-can-be-a-gentleman/
And to be a lady? It’s the other side of the same coin. The virtues of femininity include (but are not limited to) modesty, chastity, nurturing, peacemaking, mercy, and grace.
Because women are very sexual creatures – the ability to restrain ourselves from temptation, and from tempting others, as in modesty and chastity, is therefore laudable. Because we are naturally quite vicious, mercy and peacemaking are hard-won restraints. And grace? That is not merely the ability to move smoothly, but to set yourself and others at ease, and help them feel welcomed and able to be gentlemen and ladies in their own right.
On the one hand, we have ladies who can patiently encourage their children to explore the world, and entertain witty repartee and terrible puns. Who not only can rock out a corset or dress themselves, but also work to make sure children feel safe, welcome, and able to shine on the stage, in school, and in life. Whether they are discussing dinosaurs or compiling lists of exciting adventure books to entice boys to read, or discussing the particulars of entymology and rocket science, or making sure their husbands get food and to the next panel, keep everything in budget, on time, and on an even keel.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have harpies screaming in mindless outrage in the streets while wearing little but their badly knit pink hats, expecting men to clean up after them and fawn over their flesh, while holding the ability to accuse anyone of rape if they change their minds a year after fornicating… and having spent thousands to gather for their mindless orgy of rage, complaining about how dead broke they are and how they depend on their patreons to keep them fed, because their books that include all the correct screeds and all the art that was properly made to shock, offend, or instruct the audience aren’t selling.
Small wonder that they displayed complete outrage at Mike Resnick discussing “lady editors” of the past: they’ve rejected all the virtues of femininity, and are highly offended that the standards they don’t meet are celebrated by others.
To all the ladies out there: thank you, and bless you for making the world a better place. Like a light on a hill, you provide an example of what women can aspire to. Even when you don’t feel like it… no, especially when you don’t feel like it.