Friday, January 2, 2015

Etiquette and "Pink Teas"

Many times, suffragettes who were protesting for the right to vote, were arrested, but not always. Photographs were compiled on those women to watch out for, so that they could be spied upon by the police.

What were "Pink Teas"?

Gatherings called "Pink Teas" were held by women at the turn of the century when they needed to meet secretly for discussions of any radical issues, such as womens voting rights. In the event of any possible, potential confrontations they were able to swiftly turn their conversations to polite discussions about non-controversial and somewhat tame issues, like complimenting one another’s hats, or calmly sipping tea or nibbling on tea sandwiches. Besides, any men who planned to disrupt women’s political meetings were very hesitant to attend an event called "A Pink Tea," so these were just one of many popular strategies.

Miss Manners on Civil Disobedience and Politely Protesting

Protest, like every other human activity, requires etiquette. 

The saddest thing about using rude tactics is that they damage the causes for which they are used. Rather than the targets thinking that they are being shown a way in which the world would be improved, they focus on the immediate way in which they are being mistreated. These people may claim to want to make the world better, their victims conclude, but are actively making it worse.

Miss Manners would think it obvious that in order to persuade people about an issue of justice they had not considered, you must open their minds to your arguments. People who are humiliated shut down and turn defensive.

But when they see orderly picket lines or sit-ins, or hear speeches or read leaflets and articles by people who seem to be well-intentioned and reasonable, they just might stop to think.

"Miss Manners" is Judith Martin of the Washington Post

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Moderator for Etiquipedia Etiquette Encyclopedia