The Ground Rules: Interacting with Women on a day-to-day basis (Part 1)

22 Jan

            Yale is about 51% percent female: this means that you will be seeing women on a daily basis. Try not to get too excited (because that just makes it awkward for the rest of us). So while you might have gone to an all-boys school in the hills of Montana, you will now be surrounded by women and (gasp, scream, cry and horror!) living in quite close proximity to them. Your entryway will be co-ed freshman year, and you might even be sharing a bathroom with a girl down the road. This means that there are some basic ways to treat women that you should keep in mind.

1. Be respectful! – Although we may be living in the 21st century, chivalry is sure as hell not dead; it’s just been updated. However, there are a couple of things that girls will notice that you do that they will appreciate. For instance, opening a door for a woman is always nice and takes almost no effort. For your part, you will be forever marked as gallant (this is a good thing). Furthermore, if there is only one seat left in a lecture hall and a woman is standing there, offer her the seat before taking it yourself. She does not have to accept, but she will appreciate the offer.

Since you will most likely be living with women, there are other ways to help out your female companions in the entry-way. If there is a bug, and she asks you to kill it, it is polite of you to comply with the request (although though in this day and age, a girl should really be able to squash said insect by herself, but if you hear her scream in the bathroom, it might be nice of you to come to her rescue). Once you have used your superhuman hunting powers on the pathetic, innocent and quite harmless cockroach, pick it up and throw it out. You kill it, you clean it up. It may seem unfair of you to be saddled with this difficulty and nuisance, but you are a Yale Man and should therefore be unafraid of bugs. It is polite and she will be grateful to you for at least a period of two months. If you’re sharing a bathroom with women, do not show yourself to be discomforted by feminine items in the bathroom, such as tampons. Tampons are not weapons of mass destruction. We promise, they will not hurt you, so try not to freak out if you see one. If you’re sharing a bathroom with a girl, she will inevitably have her period. It happens, it’s hormones, now get over it. Also, if the soap runs out of the dispenser, resist the urge to snag a bit of her face wash, which she has so nicely stored in the bathroom shelve as a replacement. She will notice if face wash goes missing and she will not be pleased. One last note on bathrooms: if you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweet and clean the seat.

In terms of language, let’s be real – we’re living in modern times, not the Yale of the 1920’s. People curse, a lot. However, when meeting a woman for the first time, it is best to use more polite language. You do not want her to think that you don’t know anything other than four letter words. Use of gratuitous language is, well, gratuitous, so until you’ve become friends, hold off on the swearing. On that note, never should you ever use a certain four-letter word beginning with C that generally refers to a part of female anatomy. We repeat, NEVER. This word, while commonly used in Britain as slang, has not quite transitioned in America and is off-limits. It’s employment in day-to-day conversation will raise eyebrows and probably make everyone uncomfortable.

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