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On Respecting Women

So I took my 1st grade son to a cub scout pack meeting last night.

The topic of the night was highlighting "Respect" which is one of the core 20 Boy Scout virtues.

I was initialliy optimistic, since my son could use some wisdom in that arena as less than a week previous at his kung fu belt test he had showed open distain for a panel of nine adult, multi-degree black belts who dared to slightly mispronounce his last name.

The first lesson on Respect was about the various holidays celebrated around the end of the year, explaining that not all people celebrate Christmas. I thought this was an excellent lesson, especially from such a notoriously Christian organization, it went a tad downhill at one point where the leader mentioned "So don't tell people that their holiday is weird or anything", which on one hand, he just implanted the idea that other holidays were weird in their heads and that we just shouldn't mention that, but on the other, they are a bunch of elementary boys who are prone to say nakedly disrespectful things.

The second lesson was on manners, and drawing pictures of people who were utilizing good manners, such as saying "thank you", or "raising a hand before answering a question". I had no problems with that.

The final lesson was on Introductions. How to introduce yourself and other people. Solid start. The next part was how to introduce others, and the lesson explicitly highlighted that when in a situation where you have to introduce more than one person you should start with introducing the females, and then the Elderly, and then everyone else.

I almost said something, both because that was actually weird advice I'd never heard before and seemed vaguely sexist, but I didn't, because I couldn't find anything *solidly* sexist in it.

It isn't exactly "wrong", but it really isn't likely to be "right", especially not in ten years where it might possibly be uncouth to make assumptions about another person's gender.

I rolled it around in my head trying to figure it out. I decided that if I saw someone do that at work (e.g. introducing a group of new employees in gendered/aged order). I would think that was odd behavior.

Overall, the entire lesson made the sin of being pretty boring, the logical consequence of which was the collected group of boys were displaying incredible amounts of disrespect to all of the pack leaders for pretty much the entire time. My son being one of them.

Normally this would horrify me and I'd have to sit back in impotent agony of watching my son misbehave and knowing there was absolutely no way for me to stop it.

But then, for a blissful moment I was able to detach myself, look around, and enjoy the ironic futility and chaos of it all (like I would have done before I was a father).

Now if I could only learn to do that at restaurants.

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