Sunday, March 8, 2015

Is Politeness Manly?

I cycle along a bike track behind where I live (you can see a three part series on it by clicking here). In many parts it is too narrow for two bikes approaching each other to pass. Most of the cyclists are male and 95% of them are not quick to pull off to let you get around them. They will slow down and try to squeeze past, but that just won't be enough. I usually take the initiative and pull off in narrower sections and call them through.

What kind of response do I get? Serious off road cyclists rarely acknowledge me as they past, their egos reflected in their stern faces. More casual riders often smile or say "Hi'. Perhaps 5% of men say "Thanks". As for women, some look surprised when I pull off the track and 95% would say a very appreciative "Thank you".

So why the difference? Is it the pseudo-macho Kiwi male trying to be the tough guy and thinks it isn't suitable? Women have no problem so I wonder if it is a mixture of testosterone and insecurity. Lack of politeness certainly isn't manly. I have so much more respect for women when it comes to how they treat others.
Now that doesn't hurt the ego, does it? 

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