Respect: Is It For Everyone?

I’ve been kicking around the idea of a post about respect for a while, but recent comments left in another post of mine have finally forced me to finish this long overdue draft.

In my post “10 Traits Everyone Should Have”, I wrote this;
Respectful – understanding that someone is important and should be treated appropriately I will probably have numerous readers tell me I’m foolish for believing so, but I think just about everyone is worthy of respect. Humans are social animals first and foremost, with very few true exceptions. Having a basic level of respect for your fellow man and woman is the grease that turns the cogs of daily interactions…without it, we would become very selfish and unpleasant indeed. Yes, a higher level of respect must be earned through word and deed, but a minimal amount of respect should be accorded to everyone.

My Childhood Lessons
It’s how I truly feel about the issue of respect, as my grandmothers raised me to be respectful and courteous to men and women alike (though especially so to anyone significantly older than me). I’m beginning to think I had a very different childhood than most people of my generation…

Adult friends of the family were not just referred to by first name, they were “aunt” Lorraine or “uncle” Emmanuel. Underage family friends you could call by first name, but when referring to them you named them as your “cousins”. Elderly adult strangers were “grandmother” or “grandfather” if you needed to get their attention.

If you reached a door first, you held it open for the person behind you, regardless of your sex. You should strive to always wear a smile, and shine it brighter for someone who looks sad. Say “please”, “thank you”, and “you’re welcome” to people you meet, especially those in the service/retail industry. If someone needs help, you should give it to them or find an authority figure capable of doing so. Stick up for people who are being bullied, even if this makes you the new target.

Everyone is deserving of basic respect, because everyone is a thinking and feeling being. You should respect other religions, beliefs, opinions, and cultures as equal to yours unless they are harmful in some way. Men and women deserve equal amounts of respect, although some (like soldiers) should be called “ma’am” or “sir” while in uniform. One cannot demand respect, it has to be given…and if a man or woman is disrespectful, they are no longer owed basic respect and must earn it back.

These are just a few of the rules I grew up with till I was 7. My grandmother and great-grandmother were wonderful people, and each day was an opportunity to learn new things and show that I took their lessons to heart. Even though they’ve both been gone for many years, I still do my best to remain the granddaughter they taught to treat everyone respectfully and kindly.

But Should I Not?
As I’ve grown older, and most especially these past 3 or so years reading blogs on the manosphere, the idea that ALL respect must be earned keeps cropping up. I read articles that seem contradictory, where men complain that women are no longer automatically respectful…but then talk about how they don’t respect women because it must be gained through merit. I see online magazines directed towards women telling them to demand respect from men, but never telling them to demand respect from other women. Others seem to equate “respect” with “chivalry”, and bemoan the fact that men no longer seem capable of respecting women, either individually or as a whole. Is respect not something that should be accorded to everyone upon meeting them?

A Telling Conversation
Take for example, this discussion that occurred between myself, a woman, and a man on a blog I used to follow:

Woman: “Women would be much better off learning how to properly submit to and respect men instead of making them feel inferior all the time.”

Me: “I disagree. Everybody is deserving of kindness, polite manners and respect, of course…and if a husband and wife agree to the Captain/First Officer model, that’s up to them. But just because I happen to have been born female doesn’t mean I should “submit” to anyone who happens to have been born male. I’m never getting married, and would never submit to or act inferior to a random man.”

Man: “Congratulations, woman. With that humble attitude, you are far more likely to attract a REAL man, and not just one of these sappy Betas that would settle for the kind of shit they’d get from Tarnishedsophia there. Women with that sour, shitty, “I ain’t havin’ no man rule over ME! I ain’t submittin’ to NOBODY!”-type attitude are the ones that end up old, fat, and alone with ten cats, wondering why no quality man ever realized what a unique “catch” they were.”

So, in other words, it’s good when women are automatically respectful to men, but if a woman doesn’t want to act submissive and wants to be respected as her own person, they have a “shitty” attitude? To be fair, I’ve seen the reverse being said on various advice sites for women but I haven’t been a part of those conversations.

Am I Missing Something?
On and on it goes in a weird circle…each sex feeling they should get more respect than they receive. And the more I read, the more it sounds like a perversion of the type of respect that my grandmothers instilled in me years ago. When did people start thinking that respect was a one-way street or that there’s a limited supply of it in the world, so only men or women are “entitled” to it? Has society as a whole forgotten that in order to receive, you must also be willing to give…that if you want basic respect you need to send it out ahead of yourself? That by demanding people give you respect, you actually prove yourself unworthy of it?

Perhaps this is yet another example of how I’m naive, or that the morals I was taught at the feet of my grandmothers is no longer viable in this brave new world. Maybe I’m stuck in an “Old World” mentality of politeness and care for others that has no place in modern-day America. Or my coworkers could be right, and I’m just too nice. Well, whatever it is, I have to say I’m not in any rush to “fix” myself. I will keep being respectful to other men and women and give them the benefit of the doubt that they deserve it until they give me a reason not to.

If anyone wants to explain or clarify what respect means to them, or who they feel is worthy of it, feel free to do so in the comments.

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36 thoughts on “Respect: Is It For Everyone?

  1. Double standards are crazy, Wherever you find them.
    I think everyone automatically deserves respect until they prove otherwise. But even then that doesn’t mean we should disrespect them. Just avoid them.

  2. To me, civility, tolerance, and courtesy are freely given. And that’s how I interact with others. However, true respect and trust are earned over time. I don’t give those away.

  3. What? It’s got so bad that we’re going to have to reteach the Golden Rule from first principles?
    “Always treat others the way that you would have them treat you. That is the Law and the Prophets…”

  4. I think you are conflating courtesy with respect. Everyone is entitled to courtesy, not respect. Respect has to be earned.
    And, although I consider myself to be a submissive spouse, that is my relationship dynamic with my spouse. I’m not a submissive person in general, and I don’t have deference for all men, just because they are men. Nor do I consider myself inferior.

  5. One first has to answer just what is true respect:
    For instance if one is in the woods and comes upon a rattle snake and in response slowly backs away so not to be bitten – that isn’t respect it is fear.
    On the other hand if one has a gun and chooses to kill the rattle snake and justify it out of self defense in spite of the fact that the rattle snake had not attacked but merely warned of its presence. Is outright disrespect.
    But even if one is armed and capable of killing the rattle snake but chooses instead to heed the vipers warning by slowly backing away and leaving it alone. Now that is true respect towards another creature in its own environment who has warned an invader of its presence.
    Politeness is a double edged sword for it is wield by both those who truly respect the rights of others to remain unharmed. As well as by those who deliberately – with both malice and forethought – use it to deceive those they wish to harm.
    Hence as deadly as they are a Rattle Snake shows more respect by its warning then those who use politeness to conceal their intention to harm those they look upon as prey.

  6. Just to add: But I am always courteous, unless and until they give me a reason not to be. Sometimes, I treat them respectfully even after that, even though inwardly I don’t respect them. Depends….if a person completely loses his/her shite arguing with me and makes it apparent he or she is a moron, there’s little to be gained responding in kind (unless it’s a stab at levity).
    One can treat a person courteously even if they do not have respect for them.

  7. “You are confusing true respect with admiration.”
    Is this addressed to me?
    Definition of respect:
    To feel or show deferential regard for; esteem. So respect is essentially admiration…or very close.

  8. Liz true respect is the belief that others – whether or not we like them or hate them – have the right to exist and pass through our life without being harmed by us.
    “I’m not a submissive person in general, and I don’t have deference for all men, just because they are men. Nor do I consider myself inferior.”
    Contempt on the other hand – a hallmark of sociopaths who believe they have the right to harm others – is the elevation of one’s self as superior to others.
    Courtesy never has been nor will it ever be genuine – true – respect. For courtesy is the BEHAVIOR one engages in to demonstrate TRUE RESPECT and/or TO INTENTIONALLY DECEIVE those one doesn’t respect into thinking otherwise.

  9. I’m with Liz on this one.
    I reserve respect for those speaking objective truth (or at least attempting to. A good head is best, but a good heart can suffice in non-leadership positions).
    I have no respect for those (for example) who claim never to have heard of misandry as word, deed or indeed as a concept worthy of a name. Such people are not being honest and/or are utterly incompetent. Such people are not to be respected, they should be laughed at until they start acting honestly and/or competently.
    Respect is (should be) earned.
    Courtesy to those who are courteous to me is just good manners that help civil society. There’s nothing wrong with being discourteous to those who attempt to abuse any good will shown to them. They are damaging society’s ability to operate in an honest way.
    a slight, but related, aside
    Interestingly the wheels seem to be coming off the PC brigade in the UK. Many more people speaking up against the propaganda in the press. The latest example being UKIP. It is the subject of MSM inquisition just for suggesting that the public should be able to talk about issues deemed closed by the cathedral (notable, but not exclusively, membership of the EU). The outcast party is currently leading the polls for the European elections in three weeks time. Around 11% lead over the ‘lefties’, around double the support of the ‘righties’, the ‘middlies’ are even lower. The smearing across all media is…thorough, but the response of the public is to increase support for the target of the smears. Interesting times. (google UKIP / Nigel Farage)

  10. @eddardmulligan
    Agreed. Everyone gets the basic respect accorded to sentient beings, but anything beyond that needs to be earned.

  11. @alcockell

    It would appear so. I’ve often thought that schools should have a non-religious ethics course attached to the curriculum…

  12. @Da Poet

    Interesting analogy. I personally detest those who use false respect and courtesy to manipulate others. Girls are good at this, especially in middle and high school…one has to be absurdly cautious when attempting to have female friends at these ages.

  13. @Liz

    I can appreciate having deference towards a spouse rather than everyone of a spouse’s sex…honestly, though I wouldn’t want/offer complete deference to a spouse, I never understood the idea of public deference in particular.

    I don’t believe I’m conflating courtesy and respect, though they are related. Respect is what you feel toward someone…courtesy is how you show those feelings in the physical world. At least, that’s what I was taught growing up.

    Again though, there’s different levels of respect: the “basic” level that everyone is entitled to as a thinking/feeling being, and the “upgraded” level that must be earned. I never give the “upgraded” form of respect (which includes trusting that person) automatically…that would be foolish. But everyone gets the “basic” for free, unless their first interaction with me is a negative one. Then they must earn the “basic” back, if it’s at all possible.

    I agree that you can act courteous toward someone you have no respect for…I do it for snarky/horrible customers sometimes. However, I will not go out of my way to help them like I would a typical/nice customer.

  14. @Spawny

    Good to see you again! See what I said to Liz about “basic” vs “upgraded” respect…This is how I live my life. I agree that people who are consciously acting in a dishonest or manipulative manner should be shunned or called out until they act like adults. To me, courtesy is simply how one shows feelings of “basic” respect. Slight deference is what one uses to show “upgraded” respect. I personally can’t think of any living being worthy of complete deference, so slight deference is as far as I’d go.

    Huh, interesting changes going on over by you. I’ll have to check it out.

  15. @Tarn
    I believe that we’re sympatico on what we mean…which is nice (though not much of a shock TBH)
    Been on a blog commenting break but have been looking in…
    ~~~
    UKIP
    Farage is the leader. Most people would have reservations about him as Prime Minister (he hasn’t exactly got the gravitas of Churchill), BUT as a method of delivering a two fingered salute (‘the bird’ to you colonial types) to the establishment he has no equal. And for that reason (and probably that reason alone) his party is getting 38% in the polls (vs La27%/Co18%/Li11% (approx)). People are just sick of the political ‘leaders’ and their lies and evasions. I suspect this something like the US tea party movement (n.b. me no yankee), but from a broader base. He’s taking votes from right across the spectrum.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/ukip/10799714/Nigel-Farage-was-indecisive-over-whether-to-fight-the-Tories-over-Newark-says-one-of-his-ex-MEPs.html
    take a gander at the comments. the specifics of the attack are unimportant beyond what you can easily gather from the comments.
    ‘liblabcon’ = the three party names run into one to signal that they are all the same (same shite, different gravy) Liberal (‘middle’), Labour (‘left’) and Conservative (‘right’). (c.f. Repubucrats / Demoblicans?)
    If you look across the UK media, the vast majority of it is attempting to smear him and his party. It is so utterly blatant, it is actually stunning to see. It appears that the whole political class and the MSM is scared of him because he brings up subjects that should not be spoken of in front of the peasants…

  16. @ Sophia
    Contrary to the popular misconception currently promoted by MHRA’s – especially those involved with AVfM – boys/men aren’t any better then the girls/women/feminists they take to task nor are they somehow more moral or worthy of trust.
    It just so happens that I work with men all day most of whom cannot be trusted simply because they are just as willing as the girls you mentioned to stab each other in the back whenever it suits them and they can profit in some way.
    Men and women have the same basic self centered human nature in common and unsurprisingly act in similar ways – hence dare to disagree or to criticize an MHRA and you will get the exact same type of disrespectful and bullying response as one gets from a feminist.
    Neither Liz nor Spawny truly understand what respect is and insist on judging others by the way they see themselves and hold all those who do not conform to their self imposed standard in CONTEMPT.
    True respect is the belief that others have the right to exist without being intentionally harmed – a belief very few individuals truly believe in anymore.
    Contempt is the belief that one is superior to others who are little better than prey. A belief that is held and acted upon by the vast majority of today’s modern day age individuals.

  17. @Da Poet

    I will agree with a lot of what you’ve stated, except for the parts about Liz and Spawny. Both of them have been commenters here for a significant amount of time, and I often see them on other blogs, sharing their opinions and experiences. I do tend to agree with Spawny more than Liz, but don’t believe either one holds everyone who disagrees with them in contempt. Indeed, there’s been numerous times where we’ve agreed to disagree about topics. The only commenter here I believe may hold contempt for those who are of different opinions is KC Sunbeam (see his comments on my recent posts about female-on-male rape and misconceptions about pagans).

  18. Dearest DaPoet,
    the irony is strong with you…

    Neither Liz nor Spawny truly understand what respect is and insist on judging others by the way they see themselves and hold all those who do not conform to their self imposed standard in CONTEMPT.

    No. You can honestly disagree with me all you want. (For the record, I do not doubt your honesty here). From my point of view if you points are not valid then you will be wrong (and vice versa). I will be courteous to you, but how could I respect your views if I think that you’re wrong?
    What you are attempting to do is rob ‘respect’ of any real meaning, you are demanding that everybody has a valid point of view. Objectively speaking, that is not true. Some wrong opinions are held in good faith, but they are still wrong. They should still be opposed if they are likely to cause harm to others. Surely you agree with that?
    When you spout things like “Neither Liz nor Spawny truly understand what respect is”, how exactly are you respecting me? LMAO
    You are clearly demonstrating that you “hold all those who do not conform to their self imposed standard in CONTEMPT.”
    Irony at its finest…
    Am I supposed to ‘respect’ your self-contradicting statement? Nope…not going to happen. Put up a decent argument and we might discuss it courteously. But you’re going to have to do better than that if you want respect.
    Why is it that demands for equal respect for every point of view always seem to come from those with the weakest arguments? There’s (at least one) a very good reason why we don’t allow children to vote. It’s because sane people realise that not all opinions are equally deserving of respect. We try not to be rude to children (we show courtesy) while assigning their thoughts on weighty methods the respect they deserve….notalot
    love’n’hugs
    your bestest mate
    Spawny
    xxx
    p.s.

    “True respect is the belief that others have the right to exist without being intentionally harmed”

    Now that I 100%, whole heartedly agree with. Well said. But that is not the same thing as automatic equivalent respect for their views.
    Do you see what I’m getting at?

  19. bah!
    I meant to say ‘weighty matters’, not ‘weighty methods’
    curses! foiled agin!

  20. @ Sophia
    Spawmy wrote: “I have no respect for those (for example) who claim never to have heard of misandry as word, deed or indeed as a concept worthy of a name. Such people are not being honest and/or are utterly incompetent. Such people are not to be respected, they should be laughed at until they start acting honestly and/or competently.
    Respect is (should be) earned.”
    Spawmy condemns himself with his own words and confuses – once again – respect with admiration. Misandry is not a common word that is widely used throughout our society and indeed I remained unaware of its existence until I began researching men’s rights issues well over a quarter of a century ago. Not only does Spawmy engage in dishonest arguments but holds all those who disagree with him in utter contempt.
    Respect is a right that all are entitled too while admiration isn’t and does indeed have to be earned.
    BTW Contempt of others – a total absence of respect – and not low self esteem is at the heart of sociopathic behavior such as bullying.

  21. Re Misandry; Wasn’t talking about you DaPoey, HTH. Do you teach about social ‘issues’ and then claim not to have heard of the word? or MGTOW?
    According to my Oxford dictionary
    respect n. admiration felt towards a person or thing that has good qualities or achievements; politeness arising from this.
    no good qualities or achievements? then no respect earned.
    As you’re taking this discussion down to definitions…you lose. Feel free to blame my English privilege (for all I care).
    “Utter contempt”! Where did that come from? Remember what I said about ‘honest’ debate?
    tsk tsk
    you go around making up shit, then demand respect? sounds sociopathic to me…

  22. Hey Tarn,
    Coverage of the Padstow ‘Obby ‘Oss Festival on the news reminds me to wish you a happy May Day / Beltane.
    This year they have a fine Green Man made from the downed trees from the winter storms.
    Wikipedia has a page on the festival ans its potential origins. Songs and myths and dancing…have a good one

  23. I’d heard of it, but can’t claim to have known when it was (I cannot lie to you)
    Saw the Green Man on the yokel telly and then they moved on to show the festivities at Padstow…looked it up on the web to find a link to share with you. Came across the wiki link first. Hence finding out May Day was linked to Beltane. If I get a minute tomorrow I’ll have a look round for some more links.
    Got a film recommendation for you ‘Byzantium’. It’s a British film about a couple of vampire women in modern Scarborough (links to Bram Stoker’s Dracula). All your blog readers should like it (yeah, really!). Watched it tonight on Amazon Prime UK. I thought it was pretty good, I think you and your lot will like it more…a guess
    G’night

  24. @Spawny

    I suggest that you go back and reread my comment. I have been researching men’s rights issues for a quarter of a century and long before there was a Mens News Daily – MND, AVfM and MGTOW; I was already recommending to the single men I knew and came across to avoid both marriage and intimate relationships with modern day women unless they wanted to risk being FINANCIALLY RAPED.

    As I told Sophia your own words condemn you and your utter contempt for those – such as myself – who dare to disagree with you is crystal clear. For years I have thought very deeply on the issue of RESPECT and the definition Liz quotes from the dictionary is not only extreme shallow but clearly defines ADMIRATION. It is quite possible to RESPECT someone without ADMIRING them. Just as it is possible to ADMIRE someone without RESPECTING their right to exist if they choose to harm ones self or others.

    You remind me of the feminists who falsely accuse those who don’t agree with them of hating women in general. I don’t and just because I have absolutely no respect whatsoever for the ideology of feminism – meaning that I don’t believe that it has a right to exist simply because harming the male gender is at the very core of its agenda. That doesn’t mean that I don’t respect the rights of those who espouse it to exist without being harmed by myself or anyone else. It doesn’t stop me from opposing feminism nor does it stop me from being polite in public and offering to help a woman or a man either if she/him is in need of my help – simply because I respect their right to exist without being harmed by myself or others.

    America has survived as long as it has as a Democratic Republic simply because the Founding Fathers accepted the fact that the nature of mankind – meaning both men and women – is self centered and corrupt; and created a government with checks and balances that have made it extremely difficult for it to be perverted. It isn’t foolproof by any means – indeed the existence of liberals and conservatives are living proof that it isn’t – but it is the best system of government mankind has ever created.

    Communism on the other hand being created by those who believed in Atheism and Humanism failed because it denied the self centered and fallen nature of mankind only to end up imposing tyranny on the very ones it claimed to be liberating.

    Feminism is failing because it not only elevates the feminine – fallen nature of women over the masculine – fallen nature of men – but actively holds the male gender in contempt and inferior and therefore not worthy of respect.

    The modern day men’s movement – having been invaded by atheists and humanists – by mirroring the intolerance of feminism is well on its way to ending up as a tyranny just as communism did and will ultimately end up harming the very men it professes to be helping.

  25. You remind me of a child throwing a tantrum who needs to stop making shit up about people and their views.
    You clearly have no idea of who I am or what I believe.
    Should I commend your bravery for ‘daring to disagree’ with me’? Exactly what ‘threats’ did I make? Exactly what threats could I make in your mind?
    Should I respect your ‘thinking’ on issues when clearly your reading comprehension is woeful?
    Do you think I should respect someone’s arguments when they lose emotional control and accuse me of ‘bullying’ just because I disagree?
    Get a grip, you’re embarrassing yourself.

  26. @ Sophia
    It is a paradox and quite ironic that in real life people use the appearance of respect and their words to deceive others; yet on the internet it is their tone, style of writing and the verbal tactics they chose to employ that reveals their inner nature far better than their words alone. 🙂

  27. @ Sophia
    In answer to your original question: “Respect: Is It For Everyone? I’m of the opinion that the answer is yes while on the other hand Admiration is not for everyone since is reserved for those who have earned it. 🙂

  28. Sometimes I think we tend to talk about respect in absolutes without context. I can respect a person but not their opinion on certain topics. Respect is a dynamic things that waxes and wanes. for me I give everyone a modicum of respect. Some select few get more from em than the basic

  29. @MrMary

    Yes, perhaps it’s that very few things can be discussed in terms of absolutes. I think that’s part of the issue here, certainly.

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