‘Ladies, you are an utter disgrace’

Sixty years ago most adults and most organizations were insistent on teaching good manners to those coming after them. The teaching was direct and indirect. It was direct in the sense that parents and teachers instructed their charges on how to behave and corrected them if they did not. The teaching was complemented by pamphlets and books on general behaviour and on etiquette for particular situations, like parties, celebrations, dinner at a restaurant, and so on. It was indirect because one’s social environment would shame those transgressing the long established modes of behaviour. But rules or manners of behaviour (we are talking about good manners) were not pointless or inhibiting. To the contrary. Continue reading “‘Ladies, you are an utter disgrace’”