The Scholar and the Gentleman: My dad’s favorite saying….

Athena
3 min readFeb 9, 2024

In the tapestry of familial expressions and wisdom, certain phrases stand out from my past. One such phrase, I parrot sometimes from my dad was “You are a scholar and a gentleman.” This compliment, rich in heritage, is not merely a comment on one’s intellect or manners but a recognition of a rare blend of qualities that elevate the individual in both character and knowledge. Though I do find myself today reflecting on the fact that it’s part of patriarchy. Everywhere we turn women are reminded of ‘their place’. Yet even seen and not heard sometimes results in objections.

The controversy surrounding Taylor Swift attending NFL games, particularly Kansas City Chiefs games, highlights a broader societal issue rooted in patriarchy. The backlash seems fueled by a toxic masculinity perspective, where a woman’s presence and the attention she garners at a traditionally male-dominated event like a football game become points of contention. This situation reflects deeply ingrained patriarchal attitudes that question the place of women in certain spaces, even when they are simply supporting someone they care about. The criticism Swift faced for “taking the focus off the game” underscores how patriarchal standards can still influence public perceptions and reactions, even in seemingly mundane scenarios.

Origins and Historical Context

The phrase “a scholar and a gentleman” has its roots in a bygone era, where the term “gentleman” was not only a marker of social standing but of conduct. To be a gentleman meant to embody the virtues of integrity, courtesy, and honor, irrespective of one’s societal rank. A “scholar,” on the other hand, was someone dedicated to learning, possessing both the intellect and the diligence to pursue knowledge. Together, these terms described an ideal: individuals who were not only learned but also conducted themselves with a moral compass that set them apart. (Should I also add a man)

Family Traditions and the Passing of Values

For me the act of “parroting” these words in our interactions, especially with younger generations, keeps this tradition alive but I think for me mainly just years of habit. When looking at parroting phrases and the ties to autism, it’s interesting. Exploring the phenomenon of mimicking phrases within the context of autism reveals a fascinating aspect known as echolalia. It’s intriguing to consider that this…

--

--

Athena

Mom of three boys. Computer programmer living in the country with my husband focusing on my hobbies and youngest son. https://ko-fi.com/athenaandrew