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Headlines and Guidelines: How To Treat Women

With great power comes great responsibility.

Article contribution by Byron Tully

Picture: Sony Pictures

I rarely respond to headlines, trends, or hot topics on this blog. Most of what is posted here stands alone, immune to current events or the latest trends.

However, the recent headlines about sexual harassment–and a message from one of our readers, Chris, on Twitter–have prompted me to address the subject of the proper treatment of women. The recent scandals have developed a tsunami-like quality. They originated, perhaps long ago and far away, in unseen depths, but now they have built, crested, and crashed upon our shores. Reputations, marriages and careers are being destroyed and swept away. The landscape afterwards will be very different. And everyone will have to take some time, look around, and assess the damage.

Debates about the permanence of this ‘watershed moment’ fill the columns and airtime of media outlets at present, and probably will for some time to come. This is understandable. How men treat women is an issue as old as recorded time. The inequality and injustice of some of this treatment is, sadly, just as old, because men have traditionally held a position of power over women. Men are generally physically stronger. We have historically made more money and wielded more political clout. We have viewed and recorded history from our perspective, too often exclusively. We wrote marriage vows that included ‘to love, honor, and obey’.

Sociologists, psychologist, historians, and activists will pontificate, politicize, and debate the factors that contribute to men’s less than noble behavior toward women. They will propose legislation, regulation, and sensitivity training. Maybe some or all of these things will have a positive, constructive effect on men.

From my perspective, it is very simple: boys and young men will imitate and emulate what they see, not what they are told. Their first teachers are their parents. It starts at home. Whether it’s domestic violence and sexist attitudes, or a healthy, give-and-take, talk-and-listen relationship between parents–they’ll see and learn that first.

Second, it’s peer pressure at school. If older students cast a long shadow over younger students and instill a tradition of respectful actions and language toward and around young girls and women, that will shape behaviors large and small. If a senior informs a freshman that certain things just aren’t done to or around young women, the edict will be obeyed, even if the rationale behind it is not completely or immediately understood.

Finally, gentlemen, when you’re interacting with a woman, it is helpful to see them first as someone’s daughter, someone’s mother, someone’s sister, or someone’s wife. Start with that concept. Consider how you’d like another man to treat your daughter, your mother, your sister, your wife. Act accordingly.

It’s simple, and it’s the right thing to do, headlines or no.

About Byron Tully (right)

Grandson of a newspaper publisher and son of an oil industry executive, Byron Tully is an author who also writes for the entertainment industry. His nonfiction debut, "The Old Money Book," was published in April of 2013 to excellent reviews and enjoys consistently strong sales worldwide. His other works include "The Old Money Guide To Marriage", "Old Money, New Woman: How To Manage Your Money and Your Life", and "Old Money Style - The Gentleman's Edition".

Byron regularly contributes to its blog, www.theoldmoneybook.com, which has been visited by over 1 million readers since 2014.

In February of 2020, "Old Money Style - The Gentleman's Edition" was published by Acorn Street Press. This fourth book in the Old Money series reveals the fundamentals of dressing well in a classic and timeless style. In November of 2020, Byron published a 2nd Edition of "The Old Money Book", which expands on his original classic. This 2nd Edition includes vital information and insights for readers as they navigate a very different, post-pandemic world.

Byron speaks frequently about the culture and values of Old Money. He has been interviewed by KABC New York's Financial Quarterback Show, The Huffington Post, and The Simple Dollar, among others.

He lives in Paris and is happily married to an Old Money Gal from Boston.

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