I would value your opinion on a point of etiquette/respect. I’m in my mid-30s, but it has usually been my practice to rise when women enter or leave the room, or arrive at or leave the table during meals. The only real exception to this has been for very close friends and family who would be embarrassed by the gesture. How should I respond when a woman insists that this gesture of respect for their sex is unnecessary, that I remain seated? Also, should one dispense with the practice when the woman is constantly moving to and from the table or the room, while serving dinner or otherwise going about her hostess duties? – Aron

Dear Aron,

The custom of a gentleman standing every time a woman enters the room and/or stands at the table is rarely practised in today’s modern world, but does remain common in formal social situations. Remember that etiquette is all about making others feel comfortable in social situations.

Therefore if a woman asks you to please stop standing for her, I would respect her request. It also is neither necessary nor appropriate to keep standing for a hostess who has to come and go from the table while she is serving her guests. Bravo for being a gentleman, and one thing I am absolutely sure about is that chivalry is not dead!

 

• Have a question? Email charles at askcharlesthebutler@metronews.ca.

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