Opinion: Standards of being ‘ladylike’ are outdated

Kadence Ly, Staff Writer

During dinner, I was sitting at my kitchen table, comfortably slouching in my chair with one leg propped up on the edge, the other swinging back and forth. As I swayed from side to side,  munching on my dinner, I was interrupted by the complaints of my mother saying how the way I was sitting was “unladylike” and I needed to be “polite.”

Apparently, manners are expected of people, even more so for women. Whether it be changing how you sit from a “manspread” to crossing your legs or acting a certain way, women are pressured to act more traditionally feminine. 

This made me wonder what people actually considered as “unladylike” behavior. So, I did what we all would obviously do: I Googled,  and I came across several lists of the things women shouldn’t do because they are “unladylike.” 

One thing I discovered was that normal things that men do frequently aren’t frowned upon the way they are when women do them. According to Kim Quindlen, staff writer from Thought Catalog, “Wearing sweatpants in public and not apologizing for it,” is, apparently, “unladylike” but women love to do it anyway. As if wearing sweatpants makes a woman any less feminine or respectable. Needless to say, for men, no such stigma is attached to the wearing of sweatpants.

Another article from Elite Daily stated, “Using a porta pottie,” is an “unladylike” thing every-girl can forgive herself for doing. The writer claimed that this idea, along with all the other “unladylike” things on the list, were nauseating and us women “should definitely not feel guilty.” 

Yes, although porta potties aren’t the cleanest, sitting down and using one when nature calls is better than the alternative.

Another instance where a woman’s action is deemed “unladylike” is if she is talking too loudly. Some men (and women) view women who tend to be more out-going as overbearing while if a man is loud they are seen as fun to be around and more well-liked. 

How you act and what you do shouldn’t determine how feminine or non-feminine you are.