Writing at Essence, Nathan Hale Williams says he was “raised right,” but he can’t say the same for the men he encounters in his daily life.
When my mother walks up to a door in the presence of a man, she waits. It was the way I was trained to always open a door for a woman. It is one of the myriads of things my mother taught me about being a true gentleman. Unfortunately, it seems today that such chivalry is dead. You see, so many women seem pleasantly surprised by my gentlemanly behavior. Thankfully, I was “raised right,” but this type of treatment should be the norm, not the exception …
The problem is a two-sided one. Women need to understand that they deserve to be treated with respect. Opening doors and using polite language are just the beginning. The underlying problem is a lack of respect. Men, as well, need to learn how to treat women and how to act around a lady. Most of the time, the best person to teach a man how to treat a woman is another man. But, if that’s not an option, the responsibility falls on single mothers who are raising boys to be men. They must instill certain levels of respect in their sons at a young age.
I started this column with an essay called I Love Black Women, because I do. And, the best way to show my love is by showing respect to all women, on all levels. As a community, we need to do something about the way Black men treat Black women. It’s a mutual problem, so let’s do the work and get chivalry off of life support. Shall we?
Read Nathan Hale Williams’ entire piece at Essence.
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