What Does “Ladylike” Mean, Anyway?

I have a confession to make. I love hockey.

This always seems to surprise people, because apparently most people don’t love hockey AND the miniseries North and South. I can’t understand why, there’s violence and a touch of social commentary in both!

But seriously, it always makes me laugh a little bit when people find out I like hockey and are surprised. No, I don’t play hockey (mostly because I doubt my ability to stay upright on ice skates), but it is one of the funnest things to watch.

It’s also really amazing, because despite the fact that the guys are always fighting they are incredibly graceful. Skating is not easy, and they have to wear a ton of gear to prevent injur-, well, let’s say to prevent life-threatening injuries.

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The Hawaiian Chieftain Photo: Author’s Collection

 

I love romantic comedies, my favorite being The Decoy Bride, and I also love period dramas like North and South, musicals like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and White Christmas, and quietly reading. In addition to loving hockey, I also enjoy Game of Thrones, Supernatural, and the Walking Dead, Zombieland is one of my favorite movies, I’ve worked on a Tallship and I’m an archaeologist.

The former is what you would expect from a woman in her mid-to-late 20s, the later, not so much.

There is really a societal pressure, I think, on what being a lady is. There is an idea that either you like pink and chick flicks or you don’t like either. And frankly, that’s ridiculous. Why can’t I like blue and pink, Zombieland and North and South, Game of Thrones and The Mindy Project, and wearing jeans and wearing dresses (depending on the situation)?

I can. So take that, gender stereotypes! This may not be groundbreaking to other people, but I’ve been mulling over this for a while now.

So I have come to the conclusion that being ladylike is really just manners, and honestly, I like being a lady (but not while I’m watching hockey. That just doesn’t work). Being a lady shouldn’t be something that I find offensive or wince at, but something that I can smile at, because walking in heels is hard for me, and I practice it.

Though my grandmother calls me a lady, so I grew up hearing it as a compliment of the highest order.

I mean, do I know how to sit in a skirt? Yes. Can I walk in heels? Yes, if I have to. Can I sit quietly? Yes, if I have to (or it’s the right situation). If a gentlemen hold the door open for me, do I retort that I can open my own door? No, I say thank you. And I hold the door for other people too.

Being a lady doesn’t mean that I’m not a strong and independent woman. I like wearing skirts. Sometimes, I still twirl in them in my kitchen, while wearing Wonder Woman Socks that come with capes.

But that’s a whole other post.