Guys, Let’s Grow Up This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

March 29, 2010
Recently I have noticed a steep decline in gentlemanly behavior in the high school environment. I see this every day, with boys teasing, harassing, and even “playfully” hitting girls. Just the other day I was sitting in the hall working on a project with a female classmate. As we worked, she was greeted by three boys. Now, when I say greet, I don't mean saying “Hello” or “How are you?” They greeted her by kicking or hitting her in a playful matter, but I heard her say “Ow” more than once. I had to ask, “Why do you let them do that to you? Don't you want to be treated with respect?” It seems that nowadays boys forget that being a gentleman is still the proper way to treat girls.

If you look back to the roaring 1920s, you see entirely different manners between men and women. Wo-men were treated with the respect and dignity they deserve. Men would open doors, pull out chairs, and generally act like gentlemen. Over time, however, those customs have become myths. Nowadays, men treat women like dirt. We can't let good manners slip from our memory.

So, for the average teenage boy, here are some qualities you need in order to be a gentleman.

Educated: So you won't appear stupid when you try to have an intelligent conversation on a date or in an everyday environment.

Compassionate: Girls like it when you're there not only for them but others around you.

Humble: It's okay to be proud of what you have worked hard for, but don't overdo it. Otherwise you'll look like a jerk.

Reliable: If you tell someone you will do something, follow through. Be reliable not only for the girl in your life but your friends too.

Patient: Relationships take time to develop. Remember, not everything is given to you on a silver platter.

Gentle: The root of “gentleman” is gentle, and that's how you should be with girls.

Respectful: Girls deserve guys who open the door for them and let them go first. If you don't respect them, they won't respect you.

Not only does gentlemanly behavior pertain to being around girls, but guys too. We should treat our fellow gentlemen with respect and support them, because we need to help each other. Does this mean that you start pulling the chair out for your buddies? No, but you can help them by supporting them when life stinks (as it often does). Also you can set an example for how to be a gentleman by acting like one around them.

There is another thing that guys need to help us become better gentlemen. We need girls to have higher expectations of us. We need them to demand respect and remind us that they are important. Most of all, they shouldn't put up with being harassed or smacked around.

In conclusion, there are times for fun and roughhousing with girl friends, but mainly we need to grow up, be men, and start acting like the gentlemen girls deserve. Too often we forget that a girl we may treat horribly is somebody's daughter and (this is a scary one) will one day be someone's wife.

“A gentleman has his eyes on all those present; he is tender toward the bashful, gentle toward the distant, and merciful toward the absent.”

– Lawrence G. Lovasik

Guys, it's time to grow up.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 25 comments. Post your own now!

aela97 said...
Jul. 25, 2015 at 7:58 am
This is a beautiful article. I would like to share this in my English class. Is this considered as a speech? :)
cassia_b said...
Apr. 22, 2012 at 7:57 pm
Yes! Thank you for writing this I have been wondering-where had all the gentlemen gone? Looks like they haven't died out completely-I hope lots of people read your article, it's very well written.
rockyraccoon said...
Jun. 26, 2011 at 3:26 am
okay i agree men and woman should respecte each other but alot of what your talking about sounds awfully unwise pulling out chairs for instance i know would annoy many women my mother and sister have even talked about that. Also in the 1920s women had no rights and a gentlemen today would probably be beaten by todays woman. to be fair though i have seen this one girl playfully punched by a guy but only once and she didn't look allthat upset.
Skeezics said...
Dec. 22, 2010 at 12:01 am
It is completly true that guys need to show these things towards women, however its not always the men who are the real jerks. sometimes us girls can be pretty harsh. even without meaning to. i guess that both us girls and you guys need to grow up some in some aspects.  i love this article.
END1492 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 22, 2010 at 1:12 am
I completely agree. Guys cannot do it alone. I was actually considering re writing this piece to include more information as well as making it a more mature real as this text is...brash. As a reader, what do you think?
theweirdworder This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 21, 2010 at 3:22 pm


Wow! A guy with courtesy. Rare to come by in my school. You are completely right. Where are all the other guys like you?

Jake Ayala said...
Dec. 15, 2010 at 9:26 pm
I disagree I try my best to be polite and im 15 years old still. I mean yeah some girls are gonna be complete dou**es, and so are some guys, but that doesent mean all of them are :\ i respect girls and i have a lot of friends who are girls, and a girl recently was sad because guys at our school kept touching her innaproprietly.And you know what i did? i comferted her cause me and alot of my guy friends are very nice guys.
Cindy X. said...
Dec. 13, 2010 at 11:00 pm
This describes everything in perspective. I have a pretty amazing boyfriend right now. but one  of my friends doesn't. I hope he treats her better, he should read this article and get the gentleman thing in his mind. 
HannahBanana23 said...
Dec. 6, 2010 at 2:05 pm

I agree, men need to treat women with respect


deathward22 said...
Dec. 5, 2010 at 10:16 pm
i agree, we cant let the old ways just slip away
SoulxFinder said...
Dec. 5, 2010 at 7:37 pm
Excellent work! I really love this article. There's this guy who always feels he should shove me around. While I feel it's wrong to smack around girls, it's equally wrong for girl's to disrespect guys and then say " I'm a girl, you can't hurt me!".
I think I'll write something about that. Thankyou!
renegade said...
Dec. 5, 2010 at 9:56 am
well, jF23boi, you hate it because it's so true, you just don't want to admit it. grow up , how old are you anyway? b/c this is coming from a 13 year old
GiselleD. said...
Dec. 5, 2010 at 12:00 am
I think I've fallen in love with your writing. You are so helpful and give so much good advice. You actually know girls and how they are and that is proven in your writing and how you seem to treat girls. These guys should follow your example like an idol. Well, maybe not a total idol, but you know what I mean. They should follow your example and act as directed. There would be so many happy relationships and caring would be enhanced by so much. The risk of abusive relationships would be decreas... (more »)
VLythia said...
Dec. 4, 2010 at 1:08 pm

This was a beautifully written article about what the world and the people on it these days has become. I'm sure it took a lot of guts to publish this seeing as the fact that you are a guy and some other teenage boys may call this being a wuss. 

But I'm glad you wrote it because I've seen it, too: Men treating women like dirt because we're supposedly weaker and more vulnerable than them. Thank you and please don't ever change your attitude and view towards this subject.

livconnor7 said...
Dec. 3, 2010 at 4:54 pm
Wow, finally a teenage boy who actually knows how to treat a women. You were completely right and I know this because I'm a girl. Great work!
jF23boi said...
Dec. 3, 2010 at 9:36 am
I HATE IT this article should be burned all around the world.
aphilly replied...
Dec. 3, 2010 at 3:40 pm
well thats just rude. this article is so true and if you can't see that, I sure hope that the people around you can see how disrespectful you are
ThatClarinetPerson replied...
Dec. 4, 2010 at 3:52 pm
If you don't agree, say why.
aphilly replied...
Dec. 4, 2010 at 4:20 pm
I disagree with that comment because this article is completely true. Women are being treated like objects and guys need to act mature. When guys aren't respectful to girls, it just shows that they have a lot of growing up to do before they are a real man.
ThatClarinetPerson replied...
Dec. 4, 2010 at 8:17 pm
Oh, sorry. I should have made that clearer. I was talking to jF23boi.
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