Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Simple "Protocol" or Sexist Etiquette?

We have obtained a memo, which was sent to the Wendt Scholars in preparation for their "Annual Wendt Character Scholars Award Reception," which we have posted on our download site.

The document contains "a few matters of protocol," which are quite interesting, including:

  • "A man is always introduced to a woman. No woman is ever introduced to a man..." (emphasis added).
  • "A younger person should never call an older person by his/her first name unless asked to do so" (emphasis in original).
  • "When a man is introduced to a woman it is her decision whether or not to offer her hand, but if he puts out his hand, she must give him hers" (emphasis added).

Of course, we acknowledge that there is something to be said for keeping up decorum and being polite, but we would urge people to consider whether such sexist etiquette is really befitting of a Christian college. Does not our faith require us to be strongly egalitarian? Do we really want to send this sort of message about how men and women should interact socially?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read the Wendt "instructions" given to Wendt Scholars and was amazed at the language...right out of Emily Post's 1960's Etiquette guidelines.

The good news is that Emily Post's books have been revised and the 21 century Etiquette guides clearly present females and males in an equal manner. As a male, I find the 21 century perspective refreshing. It is too bad UD is training it's students in the Etiquette rules in place over 40 years ago.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006 7:48:00 PM  

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