3. A Gentleman and his Daughter
Gone are the days of the typical Victorian Father figure and his characteristics attributed to defining Victorian male masculinity. Little attention was directed to the role of the Father by Victorian society, child nurturing was considered within the private realm away from public observation and interference. Fatherhood held a vague situation in the philosophy and practice of Victorian family life. If the public and private domains were defined by sex, then child-rearing fell under the domain of the wife.
The barren Gentleman (he without child) suffered a loss in masculine status. What was the determination of continuing to be in business if there was no one to whom he could pass it on to? There was also the impartiality towards the bearing of sons who would continue the family name.
Imagine if you will Mr George Banks in Mary Poppins, he accepts as true that his family should be run like a bank, making the family well-organized, but also making him a distant husband and father. He’s not really considered to be a malevolent person, but he is a strict, practical man, and initially believes that his children should be prepared for adult life in their youth, rather than allowed to have fun.
We arrive at today’s date with the question, how a Man can be a Father and a Gentlemen? For this we again speak to our Gentleman’s Guide, James McLeod. “A most wonderful and overwhelming experience happens to a chosen few, the day a little beaming face looks up at you and calls you Father. Being a Gentleman Father is very easy, there is no tricks or ideals you just have to ask yourself one thing… Would I be happy if my Son or Daughter brought someone like me home as a perspective suitor?
The Modern Gentleman Father is not a distant, hard faced person who does not show love. He shows love and affection as being emotional is not a sign of weakness. I often look into my daughters eyes and become overpowered with pride, a longing to protect and love to the point of outpouring. Be a Father. Don’t be ‘Mother’s assistant, you may run a business or be successful in your work environment, you surely can dress and feed a two year-old? Being covered in your child’s certified organic, celebrity mother endorsed yogurt is a badge of honour not an offence. Spend time with your children and have your own ideas about what they need. Don’t make sacrifices for your children, because ‘sacrifice’ infers that there was something better to do than being with your children. I love bedtime stories with my daughter and at the moment we are reading Peter Rabbit. I read and she runs around her bedroom screaming with excitment. Its fun and its time I get with her after a long day at the office.
So, sing the Wiggles, dance to Frozen and dress as the princess when she wants to be the Big Bad Wolf.
“It does not matter what kind of person you are, if a little girl pours you an imaginary cup of tea, you drink it with your pinky in the air”.
With Thanks, James McLeod
What are the signs of a true Gentleman? Is chivalry dead? In a modern world where functionality outweighs beauty and the time to stop and appreciate our environment is a lost art, do we know what it means to be a Gentleman? Many etiquette rules came to be established in Victorian England (1837-1901) to protect or shield a lady from impairment or embarrassment. But over time, these rules have evolved to apply to all people. In today’s world, being a gentleman is about understanding the context in which you interact with others, not just ladies. Remember being a gentleman can be misconstrued as flirting.
Remember you’re a Gentleman not a Cad
1. A Gentleman stands when the person walks in the room
In days past, men stood out of respect when a lady, dignitary, or senior person walked in the room. It was a sign of respect and modesty and still should be followed today. Gentlemen stand out of politeness when a guest visits an assembly. A gentleman will stand from his seat when introduced to a guest. Standing shows you are attentive and respectful, but most important shows the person is perceived.
2. A Gentleman opens the door
A gentleman should always open the door and let your audience enter first, there are problems with this etiquette. The tradition of men opening doors for ladies dates from the period when ladies used to wear dresses with skirts so extremely long and wide, that it was difficult for them to squeeze through the doorway, not to mention opening the door for themselves as they were tremendously heavy. In today’s modern world it can be perceived as sexiest, suggesting a lady to be too feeble to open the door. As a Gentleman we need to understand this and respect this, so how do we ensure we do not make our companions feel uncomfortable. Our Gentleman’s guide James McLeod says “on approach to the door (about 5 meters), a gentleman should quicken his step slightly to ensure he reaches the door first and therefore it is natural he would open the door. Make no fuss or parade as a gentleman require no thanks, remember you have only opened a door”
A Gentleman and the car door
This is an area where etiquette is changing. Gone are the days when men drove the cars and women rode in the passenger seat, when few roads were paved and stepping out of a car could land you in a huge puddle. If you’re a Gentleman who as the pressure of courting a member of the fairer sex then heed these wise word from our Gentleman’s guild James McLeod. “You can make your partner feel extra special on those occasions when you get the opportunity to woo her. Remember when opening a door never to look down. Position yourself so to shield her form wondering eyes of these must distrusted cad’s”.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting Ben Mayer, a Tailor from Tom James of London. I was introduced to Ben by the wonderful staff at the Brisbane Polo Club after fulfilling the very British tradition of complaining about the lack of quality tailoring. (We wonder why we get called Whinging Poms) Ben has brought Savile Row Tailoring to Brisbane! At last we exclaim with glee!!!!!!! Ben offers the highest quality suits, shirts, sports coats, blazers, chinos and dinner jackets. His company weaves the wool in England from their flocks of sheep in Snowy River, Swan Hill, Cloudy Bay, South America, North England and Scotland they also make the garments in their own workshops in England and North America. Bens company owns the royal cloth merchant Holland and Sherry est 1836 and supplies this to the likes of Burberry, Paul Smith, Corneliani, Canali, Brioni, Tom Ford and all of the tailors of Savile Row of London. So if you have ever had suits from any of these brands, it is likely it was made from Holland and Sherry Cloth. Now for my experience. Ben came to my office with his bag of many tricks that would almost give Mary Poppins a run for her money or for our younger readers Hermione Granger. We spoke about styles, fabric, design, fit and use. In the end there was only one option I could go for. One of the most famous James Bond suits is the three-piece grey suit worn by Sean Connery in the film Goldfinger (1964), recently even chosen as the second greatest suit in film history by Esquire (just after Cary Grant’s suit in North by Northwest). I decided to get my own bespoke Goldfinger suit for a very special expierience. Now your all wondering cost. Believe me, the Scottish blood pulsating through my veins would not let me over spend but at the same time how long does a off the shelf suit last? My experience is about 3 years. Ben assures me if treated correctly this will last a lifetime, so I do believe I’ve saved money. Suits start at $750.00 and reach $10,000 but for this you really are getting into a unique spectrum of quality and refinery. There was one major problem, the suits are so good I bought two. Stay Safe James McLeod