Running a Gentlemen’s Showcase on Campus
Guest Blog Post by Rachel
I am the president of the NeW chapter at the University of Akron, and during the month of March we ran a "March Madness" style Gentlemen's Showcase on our campus. The response was absolutely overwhelming! This year, I received almost double the amount of nominations that I needed for the initial “Sweet 16” – the top 16 gentlemen who would respond to questions such as “What does being a Gentleman mean to you,” and “If you believe yourself to be a Gentleman, what do you believe a Lady to be?” As we progressed through the rounds of the competition, including the “Elite 8” and the “Final Four,” the responses given by young men at UA to these questions left me speechless. In an increasingly liberal-minded society, and an even more liberal-minded campus, I had found so many respectful, caring, and gentlemanly young men!
One of the questions the gentlemen had to answer was, “Do you believe that Gentlemen are a dying breed? If so, what can be done to reverse this trend?” So many of them felt that gentlemen are out there, but are afraid to display gentlemanly acts because, according to them, women perceive them to be flirting, or insulting women’s ability to do things for ourselves. This is a mentality which has become pervasive on not only college campuses, but throughout our society.
The winner of The University of Akron Showcase this year happened to be my own boyfriend, John McGowan. When I was single before he and I met, I dated a variety of young men, and I am in no way trying to insinuate that all men out there are gentlemen! On the contrary, true Gentlemen are a rare and precious find. This is why, as women, we must encourage young men to treat women as ladies, with the respect we deserve. Many women still wish for a “knight in shining armor” to sweep them off their feet into a fairytale. How can this be possible, however, if we do not give young men the opportunity to become gentlemen and treat us as ladies?
I am calling for the young women in our nation to carry themselves with self-respect and class, so that the young men in our lives have a chance to step up and behave like Gentlemen. The real lesson learned from the Gentlemen’s Showcase at The University of Akron is simply this: ladies, never settle for less than a true gentleman-they just might be more prevalent than you think.
Rachel is the President of the NeW Chapter at the University of Akron.