I’ve been thinking hard about the whole News of the World debacle this week. It’s hard to avoid! Everyone’s up in arms, shocked, horrified, disgusted, appalled etc etc. But,
Q: What made it such a huge successful paper in the first place?
A: The public’s enjoyment at reading about the antics of people in the public eye – with no respect for their private lives. Relishing their humiliation.
It’s a supply and demand thing. If the public hadn’t demanded it, they wouldn’t have supplied it. We may not personally have hacked into people’s phones and e-mail, but the people didn’t stop reading, did they?
And in the midst of all this, I read a post on ThinkingFox entitled “Lacking Respect”. It outlines the writers’ concerns about his son’s behaviour and respectfulness to his mother. It’s worth a read – it’s on my blog list.
All I can think is: what’s wrong with society today, where’s the respect?
Can’t we all just stop for a minute? Stop the fighting, bitching and criticism.
Men and women; children and parents; employees and employers should all respect each other. It’s a two-way street.
But they don’t do they? It’s all gone horribly, horribly wrong. And whilst we are all so busy fighting about what we want and promoting our views, society is crumbling around our ears.
Speaking from the perspective of a woman (because I am one!) I want to know why people assume that if a man has good manners (gives up his seat on the tube, holds doors open etc), that he is automatically a male chauvinist pig? How does having good manners translate into regarding women as second class citizens?
I hold doors open for people and have given up my seat on the tube. I think it’s just good manners. Treating others as we would like to be treated.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I had encounters with two very different types of men. Firstly, a young man sat staring at my eight months pregnant bump, purposely making eye contact whilst I struggled to stay standing on a tube train. Eventually, I couldn’t help snapping at him and pointed out that he was sitting in a seat with a sign above it, which said it was reserved for people with a greater need to sit down! As he left the train his parting shot was “good luck finding the father”. What a misogynistic, nasty little shit.
My other encounter was with a man who was standing at the far end of the carriage from me. Seeing I was pregnant, but not having a seat to give me himself, his voice rang down the carriage: “Excuse me Madam, would you like someone to give you their seat?”. Half a dozen embarrassed people then stood up. It made my day! What a lovely man.
What type of person would you rather encounter, or be?
We need to stop jumping to conclusions and taking offence at other people’s good behaviour. And wouldn’t it be better for everyone if we didn’t just accept that we’re all different, but embraced it – “Vive la difference”, as the French would say!
You don’t have to agree with everyone’s views, you don’t even have to like them. But for goodness sake, have some respect.