In fact, equality between the sexes is now considered the norm. Also in a partnership. At the same time, the departure from old-fashioned role models raises the question of how to deal with so-called etiquette guidelines, i.e. traditional manners, in a modern relationship. For instance, there are customs and traditions that are now outdated.
On Dealing with Women: Adolph Freiherr
When the namesake, Adolph Freiherr von Knigge, published his bestseller “About Dealing with People” in 1788, he also dedicated a chapter to women: “About Dealing with Women”. He didn’t cut a particularly good figure in it, though.
The chapter was “envious and prejudiced, one-sided and arrogant,” wrote the author Marion Poschmann in the afterword of an edition that was reprinted by the Insel Library in 2016. And that despite the fact that von Knigge tried to achieve balance at the time.
Man Always Walks to The Left Of The Lady: The Three Theories
Incidentally, there is nothing in the said etiquette chapter about the question of whether the gentleman walks to the right or left of the lady when walking. Still, there are some theories about this rule.
1. Sword And Dagger in The Past
One dates back to the days when men wore swords and daggers – on the left side for quick drawing of the weapon in an attack. If the woman had walked to his left, a sword or sword would have prevented her from walking or even injured her. In addition, the man could not have defended her or himself so well. Therefore, the Lord made sure that the lady always walked on his right side.
2. A Stronger Arm
A second theory is that the man has more strength in his right hand or arm. This makes it easier for him to offer the woman protection and help. When it rains, for example, he holds out the umbrella for her or gallantly offers her his arm if she wants to support herself. However, the prerequisite is that the man is right-handed.
3. The Safer Side of The Road
A third assumption refers to the second protection-and-help theory. So the gentleman never lets the lady walk on the sidewalk on the side facing the road, but always to his right – on the safe side of the sidewalk.
Speaking of protection: Adolph von Knigge was ultimately also convinced that women by nature “have the strength and determination enough to protect themselves”. He, therefore, did not share the conviction that only men are capable of conveying this feeling.
So, why do you think this behavior is still actively practiced? If you are a woman, what makes you walk to the right side of your man? We would love to know your thoughts.