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Is Female More Polite Than Male? An Social Observation

Updated: Jun 22, 2020

After an intellectual and mind-opening conversation about Jazz and Gender Justice with Aja Burrell Wood, I spent another hour at Pavement Coffeehouse.

As I was reflecting on the previous conversation and new research directions, there has been four customers sitting down next to me in this cozy space, consisted of six chairs and couches that are centered around one short coffee table.

Afternoon at Pavement CoffeeHouse
Social Observation at Boston Pavement CoffeeHouse

What strikes me as I get ready to leave is that their politeness and the interaction with space seem to show a correlation with their gender.

The first two young females gave me eye contact and asked whether the other seats were occupied before they sat down. After they left, a middle-aged male sat down across me without any eye contact and pushed my coffee towards me without asking. He left immediately when he noticed an empty seat at a nearby table. Soon after he left, a young male sat down across me without making any eye contact and put one of his legs onto the sofa.

The word "entitlement" appeared in my mind. Why did these two males appear to be more entitled to the space comparing to the two females?

Is this my over-generalization or a microscope of our social expectations and construct around gender stereotypes?

I am curious about what this observation means to you, and if you have ever wondered the same way as I did today.

"As I am thinking back on it now, something is clear in my mind: When I decided to give them trouble, I thought I needed an excuse to misbehave. I was going to be a nice girl. I was not going to misbehave, even in that crazy place." --Eva Moses Kor, a holocaust survivor sharing her experience in Auschwitz

This is an interesting study I found as I was researching about gender and politeness.

Do you think female is more polite than male? Leave your opinion in the comment below!


Glasrud, Eva. “Need Proof That Women Are Taught to ‘Be Nice’ - Even When They're In Danger? Prepare to Be Horrified.” The Happy Talent, 19 Jan. 2016,

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