I have had a lot of reasons to think about respect lately and how some people don’t understand the importance of treating people with respect. There are two parts to this thought, the first being how you carry yourself and respond to people in general. The second has to do with being treated less respectfully simply because I am a woman. I am well aware that respect cannot be demanded and must be earned, and I certainly don’t expect to be treated with more respect than anyone else simply because I am a woman. But to think less of me simply because I am a woman and then treat me accordingly is going to cause some problems.
I consider myself a relatively intelligent person with a good sense of humor, a creative side, good communication skills, a good imagination, and more. I am also a very giving person who is always willing to help other people and feel best when I know I am making a positive difference somehow or have done something from which many people will benefit. But if you look at me and only see a collection of body parts to ogle or if you say something to me like, “Why would any guy want to be friends with you unless they are physically attracted to you?” then you don’t know me at all and you have a very narrow view of women. When you can’t figure something out and then make the assumption that there’s no possible way that I could either, or you feel threatened by the fact that I might know more about something than you do or am better at something than you are, simply because I’m a woman, then you clearly don’t respect women. When you constantly interrupt and talk over me and refuse to let me speak or turn your body away from me when I am talking to you so that I am talking to the back of your head, especially when I am trying to say something very important, then you clearly have some control issues. Perhaps you don’t think women should be allowed to be in control or that we could possibly have any valid points that would be worth listening to. And why is it that it might be so challenging for you to admit that I had a good idea? Perhaps it is because I am a woman, and you have been raised to believe women are inferior? Unfortunately, I have experienced all that I have described from my spouse, and that’s a problem.
If I don’t have as much respect for someone, it has nothing to do with their sex, race, sexual preference, socioeconomic status, or anything along those lines that are not things they can necessarily choose or control. However, I might lose respect for someone because of things they CAN control, like the way they treat me or other people around me. In my opinion, everyone should be treated with respect unless they have given you plenty of reasons not to, due to their behavior or attitude.
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