Summer: Dressing for the Heat

Editor’s note: As an etiquette guide, this article is based on opinion. It’s goal is to create a standard.

Summer is here, and it’s brought the heat with it. If you’re not dressed for it you end up baking like your grandma’s rhubarb pie. I’m going to help you dress comfortably in warm weather without looking like a cad.

Keep Your Shirt On

There’s a trend these days of guys taking their shirts off any time it gets warm. Often these guys are pretty out of shape too. I say, don’t. Unless at the beach or pool or maybe playing a pickup basketball game, keep your shirt on. Nobody wants to see that anyway. You’re a man, your intellect and character make you far more attractive than your body ever could.

Choosing Your Fabrics

Your choice of fabric can greatly influence your comfort level in any weather conditions. When choosing fabrics for warm weather, you’ll want to wear something light and breathable. Cotton is a good choice, as a certain synthetics. You want to be careful with the synthetics though, they can look excessively casual. Lighter colours are a waist choice as well, as darker colours will heat up more in the sun. 

Wear a Hat

In the heat, hats go from a wise fashion choice to a necessity. The right hat will protect your head from the harsh sun. A baseball cap would do the job, but there’s not much that’s less classy than a ball cap as an everyday hat. A gentleman white Panama hat is probably your best bet. It’s summery looking but still classy, and it goes with a wide variety of casual and informal outfits. On top of that, you’ll look a bit like Al Capone. 

Shorts

Shorts are far more comfortable in the heat than pants but can easily be worn wrong. It’s sad that I have to say this but, shorts are exclusively casual. In fact, you should probably limit them to your street clothes. A man’s shorts should be approximately knee length with a relaxed but not baggy fit. You have a little bit of leeway on the baggy side but otherwise they’ll almost instantly look ill-fitting. You also need to remember that simpler garments are more formal, so only pair cargo shirts with t-shirts. Personally, I would always go straight to pants after cargo shorts. Finally, never tuck your shirt into your shorts. 

Sandals

Sandals are an excellent choice to keep your feet cool in the heat, but there are rules here too. Most importantly, there are two garments that must never be worn with sandals; socks and pants, you’ll just end up looking like an old man, even if thirteen. Leather flip-flops or hiking sandals are a touch more formal so they’re a good choice with a polo or button-down shirt. Anything else is best kept in the realm of t-shirts. 

Be Prepared to Layer

Even the hottest days can get pretty cool in the evenings, so you’ll need to be ready for that too. If you expect to be out into the evening, be sure to bring along a sweater or coat that goes with your outfit. Fit is less of an issue since you’ll be most comfortable wearing only one layer anyway. If you’re going out on a date, a blanket is your best choice so you can cuddle up with that lovely lady when it gets cool. 

Suck It Up

Sometimes you may have no choice but to tap into your inner stoic, and suck it up. Men’s fashion gets inherently warm once you get up to the more formal end. It can even be enough to make you jealous of the fairer sex and their light airy dresses. Just carry a handkerchief and try to stay indoors. 

The Rightful Successor to Children Being “Seen and Not Heard”

Drawing of children reading.Whether we’ve read Anne of Green Gables or we’ve been told about it by our parents or grandparents, we’ve all heard about the old parenting philosophy that children should be seen and not heard. It’s certainly a bit stifling but with the newer ideas we’ve kind of thrown the baby out instead of the bathwater. Like all traditional ideas, it has its merit, even if it’s not the optimal approach.

The Virtues of “Seen and Not Heard”

Whenever you’re considering whether an abandoned idea should be readopted, adapted, or forgotten, you must consider why it was created in the first place. Anyone who’s spent time with children know that they can be quite rambunctious and noisy, which would be very disruptive to the adults who are trying to have a conversation. It’s also easy to become unconcerned with children’s happiness when you have ten of them and there’s a good chance several of them won’t live to adulthood. However its best point is that it teaches boys the stoicism and girls the poise they should have as adults. 

Our Current Ideas

We seem to have adopted the belief that children are some sort of miniature master race. We cater to them and even use disciplinary philosophies that can never be replaced by something more mature, like an honour system. So often parents refuse to punish their children or even deny their wishes. We coddle our children and risk them growing up to believe the world revolves around them, literally and metaphorically. We’ll even reject academic standards to protect their self esteem, something I may have found a solution to. We teach them etiquette that either puts them first or denies them the right to agency, rarely anywhere in between.

The Rightful Successor

So if the old ideas are wrong and the new ideas are wrong, then what should we do? We need to find the balance. We need to adapt adult etiquette to children’s nature. We should teach children to respect the use of all spaces at all times. They can make plenty of noise wherever they’re expected to play but seen and not heard stands where the adults are having a conversation. Every time we’re considering a parenting decision we should ask ourselves “would a child need to reject this lesson to become a healthy adult?” If they will, then it’s the wrong decision. We should adapt but never contradict adult etiquette, and put reality ahead of identity or self esteem. 

Drink Like a Man

Alcohol has become an ugly thing. Instead of nursing a glass of fine cognac or Sauvignon blanc while discussing the important affairs of the day, we go on pub crawls where we drink cheap beer and make complete asses of ourselves. Perhaps it’s an after effect of American prohibition but to so many now drinking is not seen as something classy but inherently boorish and irresponsible. I’m going to delve inside what it means to drink like a man. 

Keep Your Wits About You 

Stoicism and composure are among the most manly virtues but too much drink can destroy them both. Everyone has a limit when it comes to alcohol and it’s entirely your responsibility not to exceed it. Never drink to the point that your dignity is in danger. If you’re starting to act more boorish than is appropriate, it’s time to stop drinking.

Respect Your Responsibilities

Sometimes you’ll find yourself in the presence of adult refreshments but still have responsibilities, like hosting or driving. In those cases your responsibilities come first. You don’t have to completely abstain but you need to still be able to meet those responsibilities. 

Plan to Get Home Safe

You often hear about the need to plan a safe ride home when you drink, and I wholeheartedly agree with that assertion. Your choice as to whether or not you drink must never effect your chances of getting home safely. It doesn’t matter what your plan is, so long as it keeps you safe. Just don’t rely on anyone else unless you’re absolutely certain it won’t cause any problems. 

Drink for the Enjoyment of the Beverage

Most people now choose to drink for the intoxicant effect of alcohol, but that couldn’t be much less manly. A man drinks to enjoy the taste of the beverage and the camaraderie those around him. When someone drinks to get drunk they tend to drink the cheap stuff, that pretty much tastes like turpentine, but when you drink for the enjoyment of it you soon discover the bold and intricate flavours of quality libations. There’s only one way to find drinks you truly enjoy. 

Learn About It

What’s the difference between Canadian and Tennessee whiskey? What is a session ale? Where are the best wines made? These are the kinds of questions you can answer if you educate yourself a little. Even better, you’ll find yourself more appreciative of the qualities of your drink if you understand the intricacies that went into making it and will open up a new topic of conversation. 

Avoid Drinking Alone

If your wife greets you with a martini at the end of a hard day or you like to sit down with a cigar and a glass of scotch to reflect at the end of the week, that’s fine but drinking should be primarily social. Never be the only one drinking at a social function never go out to drink unless you’ll be with friends. 

It’s Fine to be a Teetotaler 

Whether it’s you or someone else who chooses not to drink, it’s a perfectly acceptable and manly choice. You must respect and even endorse their choice. Never push drinks on anyone, especially your date. If you choose not to drink and you have a considerate host, you’ll still have some delicious drink options.

Conclusion

Drinking like a man really comes down to two words, drink responsibly. If the only lasting effect of a night of drinking is the memory of a delightful evening, you drank like a man.

Head of the Household as a Head of State 

John F. Kennedy relaxing with his wife and children.
Many people these days hate the idea of the head of the household. It’s one of those destructive feminist ideas, that being in leadership is the same as being superior. The hypocrisy in that is how they only object to this exact form of leadership. I’m going to explain why the existence of the head of the household is beneficial and how it should be like the head of state. 

Leadership is Service

Something that people often forget is that leadership is a form of service. A good leader doesn’t exercise his authority to get his way but rather for the good of those he leads. He may not always abide by their will,  but he never ignores it. We’ve all heard of army officers claim that “nothing’s too good for the men” and that’s the epitome of a good leadership attitude. Army officers don’t see those under them as their servants but rather people who need guidance to achieve a common goal. The head of a household should hold a similar philosophy. He should lead with the goal of creating a healthy family culture and protecting the well-being of his wife and children. 

You Can’t Have a Democracy of Two

Nobody ever argues that children should have equal say, they are children after all, but that only leaves the two parents to make all the decisions. That works fine when they can come to an agreement, but what about the times they can’t. You can’t vote to settle a disagreement when there are only two voters, you’ll only ever get a tie. When a decision must be made but a consensus can’t be reached, it falls to a leader. 

A Leader Must be Chosen in Advance

If you try to choose a leader when a decision needs to be made then you’re actually still trying to make that decision. You always need to choose a leader when there’s no other decisions to be made. Governments schedule elections to try to avoid that very problem. For that concern, it doesn’t matter who the leader is, so long as the choice is made beforehand. It works well to assume the man will be this leader, but that’s not the important point. 

Head of Household, Head of State

A head of state has two primary roles; be the final authority and be the face of the government. It has never been common practice for a head of state to act entirely unilaterally. They always at least tried to get input, to fill in the gaps in their own knowledge of the situation. The head of a household should do the same, consulting with his wife and children when there’s a decision to be made. 

The identity of a family comes from two places; the family as a collective unit and the head of the household. When a family needs to choose a representative or ceremonial leader, the duty tends to fall to the husband and father. Whenever there’s a need to attach a single name or face to a family, it’s the husband and father. 

Conclusion

You can either be marginalised in your own home or the “king of your castle” and your family’s “head of state.” If you forego your place as the head of the household you lose your place in it, and simply become hanger on. 

Funerals: The Most Somber of Somber Occasions

Cemetery

Editor’s note: As an etiquette guide, this article is based on opinion. It’s goal is to create a standard.

Slave or King, rich or poor, good or evil, death eventually comes for us all. There’s no getting around it. Our families die. Our friends die. Our heroes die. We die. It’s not something we like to think about but it’s an inevitability. We will all face death. We will all lose those we love. Despite the inevitability of them, we rarely discuss funerals. 

Funerals are a part of every culture, although they may vary extensively. Death is an irrevocable change so we all must come to terms with it when it happens. A funeral may be chance to commiserate a loss or celebrate a life. 

Funerary Customs

Every culture, sub-culture, and religion has funerary customs, such as the black veils of Latin America, the twenty-one gun salute of military funerals, and the Jewish use of stones. Before attending a funeral you’ll want to familiarise yourself with those customs. A distant family member is usually the best place to start. They’ll likely be familiar with the customs but won’t be too busy or distraught to help you. You can also feel free to incorporate customs from your own culture so long as they don’t conflict in any way with the family’s. You’re also exempt from any customs that run contrary to your own beliefs and are under no obligation to sacrifice your own needs. 

From this point on I’ll be writing from a purely North American Christian perspective. If anything conflicts with your own customs, then your customs are right. 

How to Dress

Funerals are part of why you should have multiple suits. Funerals are best kept an informal affair, but custom certainly trumps that. Typically a man should wear black suit, preferably with a white shirt and black tie. Pocket are completely acceptable but be sure to leave all the cheery colours and flamboyant patterns at home. Also, be sure to remove your hat in the church and at the gravesite. 

Ladies should wear simple black outfits. Again, leave the cheery colours and flamboyant patterns at home. A funeral is also an excellent place to break out a hat with a veil. There’s no need for ladies to ever remove their hats. 

It’s only appropriate to wear uniforms at military, police, or firefighter funerals, and even then only if you are or once wear a part of such an organisation. There’s no need to remove uniform headdress at the gravesite but it should still be taken off in the church. 

Itinerary

Like many events, funerals have a traditional itinerary. They usually start with a viewing the night before. This is a casual service that’s open to the public but usually attended only by those who were particularly close to the deceased or their family. A second family viewing is often held immediately before the service. The former is typically at a funeral home and the latter is usually at the church. 

The main component of a funeral is the service. The service usually takes place at the deceased’ church or at the gravesite. If the main service is at a church then there’s usually a second shorter service at the grave. The deceased’ religious views are usually very appparent at the service and can even be a full church service. Regardless of the church, conduct yourself appropriately for a visitor there. When the gravesite is some distance from the church, mourners travel to the grave in a ceremonial procession. 

Funerals will commonly end with a simple meal. To many, it’s the beginning of life without the deceased. It’s a good time to catch up with friends and family, and share give your condolences to the family. It’s also the time when a funeral ceases to be somber. 

Procession

The typical funeral procession is led by the hearse and includes all the mourners driving at slow speeds. The vehicles generally have their hazard lights turned on so other motorists know that they’re part of a funeral procession. It used to be the norm to turn on the headlights but, with the prevalence of daytime running lights, this is no longer effective. 

Wakes

In some western cultures it’s common for funerals to celebrate the deceased’s life more than mourn their passing. This usually takes the form of a party. In those cases, the etiquette of a similar party held some other purpose applies. 

Sympathy Notes

If you can’t attend a funeral or don’t get a chance to speak with the family, then you may want to send them a sympathy note. Actually writing the note has plenty of its own etiquette but it should always be hand written and sent or delivered within a few days of the funeral. If you deliver it in person, don’t expect an invitation to come in. Grieving people often feel asocial and you need to respect that. 

Future Remembrance

Few people deserve to be forgotten. The good should be venerated forever and the evil should remain a cautionary tale. Consider attending an All Saints Day service and possibly visiting the grave periodically. 

How to Properly Address Others

Man tipping his hat.Editor’s note: As an etiquette guide, this article is based on opinion. It’s goal is to create a standard.

We don’t often think about how to properly address others, and as a result we tend to be quite rude. We often assume we should be on a first name basis as soon as we meet someone. We don’t even consider what we’re saying to people with how we address them. I’m hoping I can give you some useful guidance here.

Who you’re speaking to is, of course, of central importance. When you’re addressing VIPs, they often have special styles of address you need to know. Fortunately, most people are given the opportunity to ask about protocol before they meet these people, so you can easily find out how to address them. Everyone else is simple. 

Most people are to be addressed by a combination of their name and a salutation. If you don’t know a man’s name you can address him as “Sir” and if you don’t know a woman’s name you can address her as “Ma’am.” Some people will address young women as “Miss” but I would discourage it because it makes an assumption about her that she’s likely to interpret as negative. The best way to address someone before you know what would be appropriate is to use “Mr.”/”Mrs.”/”Miss”/”Ms.” followed by their last name. “Mr.” Is typical for men, “Mrs.” is for married women, “Miss” is for unmarried women, and “Ms.” is for women whose marital status is unknown. If you’d like to address young boys as “Master” that would be acceptable as well. 

People like armed forces members and police are best addressed by rank instead of using “Mr.”/”Mrs.”/”Miss”/”Ms.” Don’t use rank alone if you don’t know the relevant protocol. 

Clergy usually have other ways to be addressed. Protestant pastors are usually addressed with “Pastor” or “Reverend” in place of “Mr.” and Catholic clergy are typically addressed with “Father” for priests, “Brother” for monks, or “Sister” for nuns, both are sometimes addressed using these titles alone. “Professors,” “Doctors” and other academic figures use these titles to be addressed similarly to clergy. Choosing not to use these titles shows a lack of respect for the person or qualifications.

Until you are told otherwise, you should address others in the most formal way you can. Once they establish their preferences it becomes acceptable to address them as such when it isn’t too casual. For example, if your friend John Smith prefers to be called “John” then you should call him that around the poker table but you should still call him “Mr. Smith” when you meet him at a wedding. Later on in an event it always becomes appropriate to address others more casually. Formality really only applies to greeting and introductions. If someone is your superior in some way, such as age or rank, then you may want to consider addressing them formally regardless of their preference. 

Why a Man Can’t Be a “Feminist”

If you’ll recall, when I started this blog I defined a man, but I didn’t really discuss his position on women’s rights. He does support it, but not feminism, because modern feminism couldn’t be further from women’s rights.

Feminists Don’t Argue Logically 

They have a tendency to resort to logical fallacies like straw man arguments. I’ve actually heard of feminists claiming chivalry is sexist because a chivalrous man would open a door for a woman though he’s going a different way and not open a door for a man, when in reality he’d open the door for either when, and only when, he’s going through as well. The only exceptions are when special etiquette applies, such as when he’s on a date. 

In fact, feminists’ arguments are all predicated on their ideology being true, including patriarchy being inherently oppressive and responsible for all violence perpetrated by males against females. 

Feminists Are Misogynists

The feminist ideal is really to turn all women into men, which is the epitome of misogyny. Just take their fashion standards. They encourage women to wear jeans and shorts in place of skirts and pant suits, which should never be worn. They seem to think women shouldn’t even look like women.

Feminists Endorse Unhealthy Gender Dynamics

Without established gender roles couples inevitably struggle to establish the power dynamic of their relationship. The problem is, you can’t have a democracy of two. If you can’t come to unanimous decision you find yourself in a stalemate. That means someone must be in charge. If you don’t establish a leader in advance then whoever cries the loudest or is more Machiavellian ends up in charge. The feminist idea of universal gender equality tries to force democracy in a situation where it can never work. 

Feminists Deny the Relationship Between Rights and Responsibilities

All rights come with some form of responsibilities. The right to vote comes with the responsibility to educate oneself. The right to police protection comes with the responsibility to follow the law. The right to romantic love comes with the responsibility to love one’s significant other. The right to be a mother comes with the responsibility to be a mom. Feminists seem to think they have the right to get married and have kids and then emasculate their husbands and ignore their kids. 

Feminists Oppose Choice

I can’t even count the number of times I’ve heard of women hating feminism because it’s been responsible for being a housewife becoming a luxury. Feminists only fight for women to be able to live a man’s life, not to be able to choose the life they want. 

Feminism Causes Collateral Damage

I won’t try to list all the indirect harm feminism has done but it’s been blamed for everything from rising unemployment and falling standards of living to pollution and rising crime rates. Feminism clearly does more harm than good when you consider all its indirect effects. 

Feminism Has Fixed Nothing

None of the changes feminism has brought about have solved any of the world’s problems. Women had a political voice before they could vote, they used to have better options, and they used to have respect. Female feminists tend to play the victim for their own selfish gain, and no man can support that. It’s debatable whether or not any of the problems feminism supposedly addressed ever existed, and if they even would’ve been problems.

Feminists Don’t Understand Consent

Feminists seem to think that every time a woman has sex without explicitly saying yes, she’s been raped. That’s not how consent works. Consent is about deviation from the assumed. Whether it’s an established norm or the natural result of what’s currently happening, consent is required to do otherwise. Rape only occurs when she has the right to say no, which is pretty much always, and is denied the opportunity to or is ignored when she does. 

Feminists Oppose Morality

Feminists were central to the sexual revolution, and the main thing that came out of that is promiscuity. Sexual irresponsibility become acceptable and now STDs and unplanned pregnancy are rampant. It’s even to the point that people are encouraging children to get vaccinated against them, children who are still to young to even be considering sex. Parents are actually being encouraged to assume their children will be sluts. 

Feminism Creates Animosity

There’s no escaping the fact that feminists hate men. They even call manliness “toxic masculinity” and encourage us to be more feminine. They try to convince us that we should feel guilty because we’re justly treated differently because they don’t want to be. Virtually everything they say is about how evil men are and we hate them for it. Everyone who doesn’t agree with them hates them because you can’t love someone who insists on forcing their ideas on you without even putting a moment’s thought into them. Although, we might be more tolerant of them if they didn’t brand their opponents as “sexist,” “misogynistic,” or “chauvinistic” even when they have the utmost respect for women.

Feminists are Hypocrites

Virtually everything they claim to be sexist when it benefits men, they applaud when it benefits women. They say it’s wonderful when a woman’s gender is mentioned in a positive comment and sexist when it’s negative, even when they’re completely objective. They demonise men for refusing a romantic relationship with a physically unattractive woman but see it as a woman’s right to reject a poor man. They nearly always expect women to get their way while men have to fall in line, with the feminist agenda. They only time the don’t fight for women to get preferential treatment is when they don’t want to follow the feminist dogma. 

Equal Rights Are Not Same Rights

Equal rights is the belief that different groups equally deserve rights, same rights is the belief that they deserve the same rights. Equal rights is obviously valid, but same rights for women has no support. Men and women are different in some very significant ways, including physiology and personality, which means differ rights. 

Feminists seem to believe that rights only exist if feminists want them. They don’t even acknowledge that men should have different rights and most women want different rights. Feminists want everything positive  men have, even if they have to take everything away from everyone else.

Feminists Think Sexism Works Like Racism

There are two important differences between race and gender relations; races have fewer differences than genders do, and races don’t need to coexist. I’m by no means opposing the peaceful coexistence of races but no harm would come of it if we didn’t try. The sexes, on their other hand, must coexist. If we don’t, the human race will be extinct within a little more than a century. Coexistence means cooperation, cooperation mean finding our places, finding our places means roles, and roles mean different treatment. The different treatment that feminists brand as “sexism” isn’t in any way. In fact, actual sexism, that is discrimination on the basis of disdain for one sex, has been the almost exclusive domain of feminists and those that seek to avoid angering them.