Will Corporate America Please Stand Up?

"You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today." ~ Abraham Lincoln With the voices of women echoing from the ranks of the entertainment industry and the chambers of Congress about the evils of sexual harassment, the jaw-dropping numbers of powerful men toppling from their pedestals and promises of severe consequences to perpetrators … Continue reading Will Corporate America Please Stand Up?

Holiday Season 2015 – “Politically Correct” = Decency and Respect

Some people find it impossible to accept
That all people are deserving of respect
Fairness and decorum they will reject
And scorn it as politically correct.

Two Decembers ago Fox News' Megyn Kelly declared on her show that, "...by the way for all you kids watching at home Santa just is white…” That statement caused quite a stir, but as the persona of Santa/Saint Nicholas/Father Christmas/Kris Kringle has progressed through several centuries and many countries, it's quite possible that this jolly man might have at some time been darker complexioned than the current version. There is even some historical indication that women might have taken turns during the progression of the Santa concept (although some children in the U.K. who were recently asked if Santa could be a woman had some interesting answers that proved we still have a way to go on the gender bias thing - hmmm).

Holiday Season 2015 – Making Things Better, Not Worse

Open Clipart.Org

 “…you can prove that you’re a Christian.
You can’t prove it, then, you know, you err on the side of caution.”

“…calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States…”

“…I don’t think orphans under five…should be admitted into the United States at this point.”

The news is not good these days for those of us who teach etiquette to students and professionals. You can't pick up a newspaper, watch the news on TV or go online without reading or hearing the maelstrom of incivility aimed at certain ethnic and religious groups.

Chivalry – The “Benevolent Sexism”

Queen Guinevere by dashinvaine
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"I lament that women are systematically degraded
by receiving the trivial attentions
which men think it manly to pay to the sex,
when, in fact, men are insultingly supporting their own superiority.
~ Mary Wollstonecraft,
from her 1792 book,
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
with Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects

Those are strong words from British author and philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft, who launched feminism in the 19th Century. Back then she and other women were bristling over the practice of on the one hand  men bowing to women, picking up their dropped handkerchiefs and opening doors for them while on the other hand denying them independence, education, careers and even the right to own their own property or control their own finances. Women did not even have legal custody of their own children and were considered property of their fathers and later their husbands. While the former treatment of women was viewed by some as "chivalry," the latter was considered by many to be a denial of rights.

Feminists (Do) (Don’t) Have a Sense of Humor


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Women should be tough, tender, laugh as much as possible,
and live long lives. The struggle for equality continues unabated,
and the woman warrior who is armed with wit and courage
will be among the first to celebrate victory. ~ Maya Angelou


Feminism: noun
The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. ~ Merriam-Webster.com

Feminist: noun
A person who supports feminism, adjective - of, relating to, or supporting feminism; "feminist literature" - Google

College Campus “Etiquette”: Yes Means Yes, No Means No

 Bing Images - Women Against Campus Rape

"Enough is enough.
It’s time to stop sexual assaults on our college campuses."
Whoopi Goldberg

To continue my series this month on women's issues to commemorate National Women's History Month in the U.S. and International Women's Day on March 8, I am focusing on a situation that young women are facing on today's college campuses: rape and sexual assault.


Kwanzaa Etiquette

 "The seven principles of Kwanzaa -- unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith -- teach us that when we come together to strengthen our families and communities and honor the lesson of the past, we can face the future with joy and optimism." ~ President Bill Clinton

Out of the turbulent 1960s and the ashes of conflict emerged the celebration of Kwanzaa. The brainchild of activist Maulana Karenga, Kwanzaa was established in 1966 to heal, unify and revolutionize the Black community in the wake of the Watts Riot in 1965. The focus of the holiday is the celebration of African-American cultural roots, focusing in large part on the African Continent's agricultural history. The name Kwanzaa is drawn from the Swahili phrase, “matunda ya kwanza,” which means "first fruits of the harvest." Kwanzaa is celebrated during the last week of the year, beginning on December 26 and ending on January 1.


Hanukkah Etiquette



The "Festival of Lights," is a celebration of victory over oppression.

As my recent blog entries -- as well as those of past years -- have addressed the diversity of celebrations during the month of December, I'd like to devote this entry to the celebration of Hanukkah, which begins tonight and will be observed by millions of people worldwide. The first night of Hanukkah typically falls on the 25th day of the Jewish calendar month of Kislev and lasts for eight days and nights. Because my husband was raised Jewish and I was raised Christian, since our marriage we have celebrated both Hanukkah and Christmas. If you work with, are related to or will be visiting those who celebrate Hanukkah, I hope this entry will provide you with some insight to, as well as the etiquette of, this holiday.


Holiday Etiquette Reminders


What we have to do... is to find a way to celebrate our diversity
and debate our differences without fracturing our communities.
~ Hillary Clinton

To make it through the holidays with your professionalism and dignity intact, there are some etiquette rules and concepts to keep in mind. I've elaborated on them in the past, so the following are reminders of these best practices in business and social etiquette, with links to my previous entries on the topics and the holiday etiquette involved: