Wayback Advice: Ladies' Book of Etiquette

Wayback Advice - Ladies Etiquette.png

This. This is spectacular. There’s no other word for what we’re about to share with you, so friends, prepare yourself. We managed to find this beautiful gem, whose title is entirely too long, but too amazing not to list in full: Ladies' Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness. A Complete Hand Book for The Use of The Lady in Polite Society.

This beautiful book of outdated, horrible advice was written in 1860, and while it was written with the female reader in mind, its nonsense needs to apply to everyone, because it’s just that ridiculous. This is going to be a fun one, so go pop your popcorn and get ready to enjoy!

Here we go:

“Never stop to speak to a gentleman in the street. If you have anything important to say to him, allow him to join and walk with you, but do not stop. It is best to follow the same rule with regard to ladies, and either walk with them or invite them to walk with you, instead of stopping to talk.”

Ok, so you’re out and about, maybe enjoying your lunch break, or grabbing a quick coffee, and let’s say you see your Advisor walking down the street. He’s someone you really respect and admire, so you’d like to say hi and maybe fill him in on your progress on a Commitment. He’s starting to slow down because he sees you too…now here’s the dilemma, do you stop to say hi, or do you keep walking and expect him to join you?

Well, if it’s 1860 the answer is obvious, right (at least according to our dear author) but in 2018, we’ll make it easy for you. Of COURSE you stop! We don’t even understand the logistics of how you get someone to join you on a walk if you don’t stop to ask them to join you. There is no good reason why anyone can’t stop and chat while out and about, just please, for the love of all mankind, do not stop in the middle of the sidewalk, where undoubtedly people will bump into you. Other than that, feel free to talk to people on the street at will. It’s 2018!

“Avoid making any noise in eating, even if each meal is eaten in solitary state. It is a disgusting habit, and one not easily cured if once contracted, to make any noise with the lips when eating.”

You do you, boo, if you’re alone. Yes, there’s something to be said for not being an excessively loud eater in front of clients or business colleagues, but while you’re alone binge-watching Netflix, you’re on your own time, regardless of your gender. Do what you want, we give you carte blanche to openly ignore this advice! (To be fair, we’re giving you carte blanche to openly ignore all this advice, but we’re having too much fun with this one!)

To expand a little bit—sure, not having disgusting table manners or making loud sounds while you eat are probably for the best when out in a public setting, with or without work-related dining companions. So, in that regard, if you’re one of those people who have a hard time remembering when you’re eating potato chips on your couch; and when you’re out at a company dinner, you probably should consider this (and a lot of other advice, we’ll get in touch) but for everyone else. Ignore.

“It is wiser and safer for a young lady, in general, to observe the good, old-fashioned rule of being addressed first; but then she must receive the address readily, meeting it half way, repaying it by enlarging a little upon the topic thus selected, and not sinking into a dull silence, the moment after a reply is given.”

Lol. No. We don’t even want to address this. It’s so ridiculous. Ladies speak up. We encourage it. Embrace how far we’ve come. Good grief!

Look, we chose this one strictly for the #lolz because it’s objectively terrible. Rather than even try to scratch into this heaping pile to see if there’s a gem hidden, we selected this one to show how far we’ve come, collectively in society. No longer do you have to never stop to chat when outside the home, not slurp your ramen while you’re watching that 8th consecutive episode of Parks and Recreation while eating alone or wait to be spoken too to speak your mind. We’ve come a long way—now let’s go farther, together!