I was raised to be a gentleman.
And before any of you raises an eyebrow, no that had nothing to do with my sex or gender, or my pronouns or whatever.
My being a woman of …. odd disposition, I think my parents decided I’d never marry when I was around 3, maybe 4. (They weren’t entirely wrong for that place and time. Any of you women who want to hold forth on the unbearable patriarchy in the US, let’s find a quiet corner where I can slowly beat you to death with a wet sock. Because you have NO idea. NONE.)
So, my parents decided early on that I’d most likely have to earn a living. Which is why dad trained me to be a gentleman. In business. In private life, I could be — and was — as feminine as I wished. Okay, most of the time I wasn’t because I fell in the broad category of “women who do carpentry” and “women who play with gears” so, stereotypically speaking, and in every other way as well I was …. odd. Not to say strange. But I loved (still do, though alas my hips disagree) pretty high heels, and I do crochet and embroidery. So stereotype by stereotype it kind of cancels out.
OTOH I sucked at the non-stereotypical parts of being a woman. The ones the culture doesn’t talk about. The politics of the serraglio: undermine the rival. Kick them while they’re down. Start character-tearing campaigns. Sleep your way to the top. Emotionally manipulate everyone.
I don’t know if I suck at it because my instincts are broken, or because I was raised to be a gentleman.
What I do know is this: “gentleman” mode is the mode to keep society functioning. Every company and institution that gets taken over by the politics of the serraglio subverts its own purpose and ends up unable to function. Because women in that mode don’t care about the shared purpose, and can’t be depended on. They do what AT THE MOMENT seems to help them. And they have no loyalty or honor.
Most of our society has gone that way. Even men operate in serraglio mode now, because it’s all they’re taught.
I have absolutely nothing against women working for a living, be it as janitors or as managers. But women need to be taught that in the realm of business they have to be gentlemen: keep your word. Pay back kindness and favors. Be generous to rivals. Be honorable. And above all, work for what you’re supposed to do/were hired to do. (Which falls under “keep your word.”
Teach yours sons, and especially yours daughters to be gentlemen. It’s inconvenient and troublesome, but it’s the only way civilization gets to come back.