Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Respect: My Unofficial Research Study

As many of you know, one of my biggest pet peeves is the lack of respect. Call it respect or call it manners, to me it means the same thing. As I entered into my Autumnal years, I began taking notice of how we, those of us in our advancing years, are treated by those who are young enough to be our children and even our grandchildren.  And, now, since I walk with a cane, I take even more notice of how we are treated by the younger generation.  Oh, I definitely do get offered a seat about 90 percent of the time, but I think it's more because of my (what I hate to call) my handicap than my age.  And, I realize, as well, that not everyone will show respect...even to someone who is handicapped. I especially love those who are getting off at the next stop which is about three minutes away, but will NOT get up until we pull into the station, and then only when the train pulls to a stop.  Makes one shake their heads.

So, I decided I was going to engage in my own little unofficial research project.  And that is why, during  the past month, I have been taking not of who  will stand and give up their seat to an older woman with a cane and who just can't be bothered.  I found the results fairly interesting. The following is what I found:

Teen-age girls, either alone or with their peers, will NOT get up and give you a seat. They'll glance at you and quickly turn away.  My intuition tells me that each would LIKE to offer a seat, but fear being ridiculed by their friends.  For some reason, it is not considered 'cool' to show any respect for matter how old they may be. 

Teen-age boys will RARELY, and I do mean rarely, get up and ONLY if they are alone. One should never expect a seat when they are with their peers...or when they are playing a video game.  Only one during the entire month got up and offered me his seat.

It varies with young women in their early to late twenties. Oddly, it is those who appear to be on their way to or from work, those who are dressed  professional attire, who will usually hop up the minute you get on the phone. Those who are casually dressed and appear to be headed  nowhere pressing, will NOT get up and offer you a seat.

Men in their early to late twenties will very RARELY get up, whether dressed in a suit or in casual wear.

Women in their 30's, 40's, and early 50's will give you a seat 85 percent of the time.

Men in their 30's, 40's and early 50's RARELY will get up and give you a seat. 

Women in their 50's and older will offer seats.

Men in the 50's and older RARELY will.

And, don't be a male with a cane.  They have it even rougher than we females do.

So, there you have it.  The ladies of all ages win out, except for teens, and believe me, the ones I see are not ladies.  It goes to show that we women are more sensitive and more caring than our male counterparts, at least here in New York City.* As for our youngsters, I find it very sad that society has lost its ability to train these young men and women to be courteous, respectful, and polite.  Simple courtesies like opening doors for women and giving up your seat when a woman, the disabled or the elderly can't find one should be a no-brainer. Aren't these the kind of courtesies one wants to see extended to their own mom or grandmother?  So, why not extend them to someone else's mom?  Isn't it the right thing to do?  Or, doesn't that matter anymore?

*The above are statistics I see on the subway traveling to and from work. This has nothing to do with men, in general.  No offense intended. 


  1. WOW! I'm thinking that those stats would be different in the South. Hoping so, as I felt like I was in a different USA when I was in TN in just being greeted. That Southern Charm still exists. :0)

  2. Interesting personal survey. And it helped add some interest to the daily subway ride. Which can not be the most fun part of your day. -sigh-


  3. I think what this means is that Boomers were the last generation to be taught manners and even then, it didn't stick with Boomer men. And if young people don't know manners, it's because their Boomer parents didn't teach them. So it's our own damn fault!

  4. You've pushed one of my buttons. Manners, or lack there of. Before you write off the young - look at their parents! Have you invited folks into your home recently, prepared a wonderful meal and sat down to eat only to have one (or more) grab their phones and start perusing the face of it more than the ones gathered to enjoy a meal with them? Some don't even wait for the damn thing to make a noise - it's just a habit to look at it, like putting a napkin in your lap. *sigh* I worry for a society that doesn't take care or notice of others around them.

  5. I don't even want to get started on this's much to volatile!

    Very interesting your study Mary...

    Of course I've been disrespected too, as I am disabled, but I've learned to let it roll off me or I'd be a mental case.

    Here's wishing for you always a seat on the subway, bus, or any other form of transportation!
    Love and Blessings,

  6. Manners must be taught. I am a hospital security officer, and I can't count the number of times I've had to ask parents to stop their children from running around the waiting rooms, climbing on the furniture, running in and out the automatic door, while the parents sit talking to friends or texting someone. And then many of those same parents get all huffy when I do say something to them. Manners must not only be taught, but modeled, and it seems people are just too self-absorbed to do that nowadays.