The Anti-gentleman: College Edition

by Danelle on March 21, 2011 · 9 comments

In what world is it OK to spit near a person walking by? Why would a man leave a girl to walk home alone in the dark? What type of person does not hold the door for someone who is walking right behind them?

Have you ever asked yourself these questions or others similar to them? If you have, you are familiar with: The anti-gentleman.

He can inhabit any environment, but he thrives on college campuses where the notorious hook-up culture prospers and people seem to endure his casual, discourteous, and sometimes very rude behavior.

Many of my friends and I exchange stories of our close encounters with the anti-gentleman, and I would like to share a few because maybe, just maybe, the anti-gentleman does not know of any other way to act.

*Names have been changed to protect identities


Amelia’s Log, 3/15/11: Got coffee at the campus café and headed towards the library ready to study for finals. A bunch of guys are standing outside the library, and I don’t pay much attention until…*splat* a wad of disgusting spit from one of the guys flies within 2 or 3 feet of me. Spit guy looks at me and my grossed-out face, says nothing, and goes back to talking with his buddies. The anti-gentleman made me nauseous.

Katie’s Diary, 3/07/11: I went out Friday night to see a movie and get ice cream with a few friends. I had arrived with my guy friend to ensure I would not be walking home alone in the dark on a busy Friday night. However, my friend ditched me last minute after my other friends had gone their separate ways and also after I told him I’d prefer walking with someone! My apartment was not that far away, so I decided to just suck it up and walk back alone. It was probably one of the scariest walks back with drunks all around, darkness, and being a girl, you can imagine guys shamelessly approaching me asking me why I walking all by myself and if I need somewhere to stay. I’m very sad to find out that my guy friend (and many other men on campus ) is an anti-gentleman.

Amanda’s Tweet, 3/02/11: Walking into Econ & guy ran up ahead to catch the closing door, but didn’t bother to hold it for others! How rude. #antigentleman

These true and all too common stories are often accepted as “the way things are in today’s world,” but I, along with many women, are not willing to settle. I hope that the anti-gentleman recognizes his very inconsiderate behavior towards others and feels a need to set a better example. Perhaps NeW’s efforts on campus through the Gentlemen’s Showcase will enlighten and help him become a gentleman, too!

Did you have an encounter with the anti-gentleman? Share it here!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth March 21, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Danelle! Great post! I’m with you on not settling. At times, it’s so rough because you seem to just be surrounded by these anti-gentlemen…you look for any kind of small gentlemenly quality on campus..and are often left looking.
My anti-gentlemen story: Met a nice guy in my freshman year and we went out a few times. I thought things were going really great-we were texting and hanging out a lot. Then, when it seemed like a turning point-either getting serious or going our separate ways, he had a talk with me about how it’s college…he just wants to hang out with a bunch of girls and hoped I’d be okay with that and would continue to hang out with him when he wanted to and had time to hang out with me. Needless to say, that was the last time I saw him. How anti-gentlemen!

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Matthew March 21, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Danelle,

Great post. I always read them with interest. NeW does terrific work, keep it up.

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Danelle March 21, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Elizabeth, I couldn’t agree more – it is rough looking for a gentleman on campus because there are so few. I had something similar to your story happen my freshman year. It’s a very good thing we didn’t put up with it!

Matthew, thank you and I’m glad to hear you enjoy the posts! It’s nice to have support from men, too!

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Chryselle March 31, 2011 at 10:03 pm

I really don’t think being being a decent human being should be addressed gendered issue. I’ve had doors slam in my face from women and men, been left to walk home alone across a dark campus by both women and men, etc, that I’m certain there’s a near even number of female “anti gentleman” out there.

Replace “he” with “she” in this blogs opening statement, and one would have an equally pressing argument.

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Danelle March 31, 2011 at 11:04 pm

Chryselle,
I agree, there are anti-ladies out there, too. Being a decent human being is not a gendered issue I agree as well. However, anti-ladies might have a different reason for their behavior, which is why I separate. Also, since NeW is focusing on the Gentleman’s Showcase this month, I chose to focus on men in particular. I don’t think this is a misstep in any way–even gender theorists in academia focus on separate groups. In fact, the university’s “women, gender, and sexuality studies”, supports the separate analysis of different groups – men, women, heterosexuals, bisexuals, homosexuals, etc. Combining them all at once would be far too complex because each are different in their own right. It’s not bad that they are different, one just has to analyze them separately in order to really get at the meat of the issue. This is pretty standard in modern academics, but I do agree I should also analyze anti-ladies. Perhaps I will do an edition soon!

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