Have you ever noticed how women are constantly held to a double standard?  From the time we are born society starts conditioning us to think and act certain ways.  Now—I’m completely in agreement that young ladies should act like—well—ladies.  When I was growing up my mother and grandmothers were constantly working on me to become the “young lady we know you can be”.   I’m not sure if they succeeded in finding the lady within me—but it wasn’t from lack of effort.  We’ve completely lost that effort in modern society. 

What does “act like a lady” really mean in today’s world?  In the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s that definition was easily answered.  You walk straight—don’t slouch—have class—style—and never raise your voice above the tone of a ‘whisper’.  Remember the popular commercial in the 70’s that’s catch phrase was “if you want to capture someone’s attention—whisper”. 

I remember learning how to walk properly in heels—how to sit up straight—and how to eat properly. 

The other day, I was watching a group of teenage girls eat lunch.  I’m not sure where they were raised, however, their table manners were that of people that had been stranded on an island and had just visualized food for the first time—ever.  While eating— the food was clearly visible — their tongues flopping out sporadically—and the noise—even worse.  It has apparently become ladylike to impersonate the eating habits of farm animals.

My first thought was—have their mothers or grandmothers never watched them eat?  How these eating habits could be condoned. Wow!

Later that night I was watching a group of young women heading out to a club for the night.  They had on short skirts that barely covered their bum—and super high heels.  Now I’m all for feeling and looking sexy.  However—just because you put sky high heels on your feet—does not define sexy.  If you can’t walk in heels—learn. 

Please allow me to digress—to walk in heels—your hips are not pushed backwards as if your back has been thrown out.  You should stand straight up and walk heel to toe in a straight line. Posture is key.

There is a fine line between trashy and sexy.  A lady can make house slippers sexy.

The next morning I was in a meeting with a female colleague.  She was barking orders at the men in the room and demanding they treat her as an equal.  Hmmm—I wonder if she wants to use the men’s room as well.  Remember the last time a dog barked at you?  How well did you respond to that?  Barking only annoys your audience.

Just as I was pondering about the attributes of a modern day “lady”—I stopped at a restaurant and noticed that reading material had been supplied—apparently numerous people eat here alone.  One of the books on the table was written by a man about how women are so clueless and ignorant —they can’t figure out when a man isn’t interested in them!

I wasn’t sure if I should be insulted or sad.  How is it that society has lowered to a point that a man can write a book completely disgracing women—and it hits best seller status.  Did you know this same arrogant man was given his very own talk show to discuss how ignorant women are?

As women, it is our challenge to balance being strong and yet still feminine.  We have redefined every other aspect of our gender.  Working mothers—independent career women—there is a laundry list of who we are today.  We refer to ourselves as “women”.   Where did the “lady” go?

Why can’t we be successful, strong and a lady at the same time?  Has the term “lady” gone into the archives with the pay phone—boom box and disc player?

Just as my grandmothers and mother took pride in molding me into a “lady”.  So should we take pride in molding the next generation.  The young ladies of today should know that having a career—being a mother—standing strong—having intelligence—are all great attributes.  But never lose contact with what differentiates us from the men and has given women power throughout time —the fact that we above all else—are ladies.