“Ohhhhh…you snow white bitches love white womens (sic) books.” So began a diatribe from a Just Read It viewer. I was amused, having suffered greater abuse growing up as a Latina in Los Angeles during the 40s and 50s. Certainly, I’ve heard worse.
Which brings me to the subject of Emily Post, that bastion of good manners in any age. Her latest book, the 19th edition, introduced by her great-great grandchildren, is one which tries to “promote best practices of current society.” (“Pride and Protocol,” by Jillian Goodman, Bloomberg Businessweek, March 22-28, 2017, pg. 63.) One new rule of thumb would apply to the Just Read It viewer. “Intentionally making disparaging remarks has no place in personal communications, and it has no place on-line, either.” (Ibid pg. 63.)
I have no idea what Emily would say to the hate mail the atheist organization, Freedom from Religion (FFR) receives and prints in its monthly publication — virulent stuff which taken in aggregate makes for amusing reading. Nonetheless, I accept the backside of her point. It’s not nice to revel in the lunacy of others.
Jillian Goodman, who wrote the review for the etiquette book, takes umbrage at some of the new protocols. Identifying herself as a millennial, she chides Emily for attempting to codify social rituals. “Our world requires some flexibility – less prescribing, more generalizing.” (Ibid pg. 63.) Furthermore, an occasional typo is no great sin, she avows. And I say “hurrahhh” to that.
Sense and sensibility is difficult to codify in a world as diverse as ours. Patience is a good rule of thumb in most situations. Then, if you’re truly offended, “whack ‘em across the head.” Verbally, of course.