There's something about Doug Giles writing a column about "how to be a classy girl" that makes me think that it's got to be a list of "thou shalt nots" for women with self esteem. And that's true for both levels of how he means it---"classiness" as a way to be in the world, and especially as a way to attract men. The only appropriate mate someone like Giles can think of for a woman is a mega-watt Republican asshole, exactly the last person you'd want to attract. So if this is a list of what he, a mega-watt Republican asshole, likes, I'd recommend that women probably stay far the fuck away from it. Let's skip the ranting that indicates that Giles takes an unhealthy amount of interest in the sexuality of women far too young for him, legally and otherwise, and get right to the commandments.


Commandment 1: Don’t flaunt your advantages.

When I first read this, I was sure that by "advantages", he meant "tits and ass". After all, between purity balls and suggestions that fathers, not mothers, should take their daughters swimsuit shopping, it's widely believed in Wingnut Land that the only interest a father should take in his daughter is sexual, even if it's ostensibly to declare her sexuality under his control until he cedes it to a husband. But actually, he meant that girls should carry a small whip around with them at all times to flail themselves should anyone suspect that they shine in any way that could be threatening to the ever-fragile male ego.

The Classy Girl doesn’t show off who she is, where she went to school or her net worth....

A girl with class understands with all the external trappings of success and achievement she can still be a cultural pain in the butt and a horrible person. Therefore, focus not upon dusting up the transient trappings which dazzle the ubiquitous morons but rather pursue the hidden qualities of internal virtues which truly makes a girl great—at least in God’s eyes.

I'm not one to suggest that humility isn't a virtue, or at least charming under the right circumstances, but the fact that Giles thinks that "not bragging" is a feminine virtue, instead of just a virtue, demonstrates that he means more than just not being obnoxious. Women recede; men shine. And more to the point, "god' (read: easily frightened men) doesn't like women who have something, um, "god" doesn't have.

Commandment 2: Everyone deserves respect until they demonstrate they don’t deserve it.

Agreed. Which is why it's wrong to be like Doug Giles and assume that people are less worthy of respect because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, class status, ethnicity, or preference for one kind of coffee drink over another. Oh wait. Of course he doesn't mean that.

The Classy Girl believes that all people are created in the image of God and should be treated with respect until that person shows they don’t deserve it.

That means she doesn’t slap, spit or drop the F-bomb on her pastor, elders, teachers or parents.

What makes this worse is that Giles is a Christian minister, and the only respect he can imagine worth mentioning is the respect for authority figures. He doesn't even understand the basic idea of Christian respect and humility as actually described by Jesus, which is the much more in demand respect for people down the totem pole. You know, the lepers and whores. Even an infidel like me gets that; why can't a minister? This is a real perversion of the stated idea that "everyone" deserves respect. To be included in the group "everyone", you have to have power over others, apparently.

Commandment 3: Titles are important.

It's beginning to seem that there doesn't need to be ten commandments for girls. Just two: Know your place, and step back, bitch.

Commandment 4: Everyone else matters before you do.

The Classy Girl is here to serve, not be served. She does weird stuff like what needs to be done versus being some diva who expects everyone to wait on her.

Only boys and men get to be divas in Doug Giles' world. How he manages to get through the cognitive dissonance of that is beyond me.

Commandment 5: Be helpful.

The Classy Girl sees a need, and if she can assist then she helps. The other day I was out in front of a Publix Supermarket and watched a burglary in progress. The guy ran out of the store, cash in hand, with the clerk and security guards chasing him. It looked fun, so I joined in the chase. The clerk and the guard ran out of juice, and I (along with a cop) got to tackle the dude and jam his face into the cement (one of those little perks God drops in your lap every now and then). Bottom line with those raised as a Classy Girl is: whether it’s with tackling a punk or packing a trunk, The Classy Girl is programmed to H-E-L-P, not hinder.

I'm not sure why Giles is telling us this story when trying to describe the behavior of classy girls, because I doubt that he defines feminine classiness as chasing down robbers and curb-checking them. Maybe he does, but we'll never know. The entire point of putting this in is that you know that while Giles is a Diva with a capital D, he still is All Man and can totally join up with a gang of people taking out a solitary person. Not that I'm saying it's wrong for a group of people to nab a robber or anything, but it's hardly a sign of your ever-lasting manhood when you're like, "I had his arm while the other guy grabbed his knees."

Commandment 6: Be friendly.

The Classy Girl smiles. She’s not sullen or vexed. She’s not walking around like the psycho chicks and metrosexual males in Miami in a pout pretending to be the next angry supermodel. The Classy Girl says hello and starts friendly conversations.

Because women, not being humans, don't have feelings. The don't have the internal lives that produce feelings. Women are robotic creatures whose "feelings" are purely external, and for the consumption of others. You can't be frowning because you're actually sad. It must be because you're trying to affect others. You can't have a glazed look in your face in public because you're thinking about stuff and not really that concerned about making sure the egos of strange men around you are stroked properly. A smoothly functioning female machine performs at her male-pleasing duties at 100% capacity 100% of the time.

Commandment 7: Use the right words.

When asked a question, the Classy Girl doesn’t reply with “Huh?” “What?” or “Yeah.” It’s “Please,” “Thank you” or “Yes or no thank you.” She’s a girl who respectfully asks and doesn’t demand.

Gendering good manners as a woman's (sorry, girl's) duty and not a man's. Which I suppose he'd probably protest as a characterization, but that last sentence shows that's exactly what he means. He'd never say that a good man asks and doesn't demand. Most of his writing is about how men are emasculated by a pussified culture that requires men to adhere to the rules of civilization like, "Ask, don't demand."

Commandment 8: Don’t dress like a skank.

I give him credit for holding out until #8 to really get to what he cares about.

However, if she wants to avoid drooling male troglodytes and be taken seriously as both a human and a woman, then she must avoid wearing stripper heels to church. The Classy Girl will send a message to the men out there by the way she dresses that she’s sophisticated and eloquent, not sleazy and easy, capisce?

I don't know; being taken as "elegant" doesn't actually seem to improve the way that the troglodytes treat you. Turns out that merely being a woman disqualifies you, in troglodyte eyes, from being a human, which is why most of Giles' list is about how good girls erase tamp down and hopefully erase themselves as human beings worthy of respect.

Commandment 9: Don’t take nude photos of yourself or make sex tapes.

Since this would presumably go under the larger heading of "Don't have sex," I'm somewhat surprised that Giles got so specific. I mean, he rarely refrains from telling unmarried, young women simply not to have a sexuality at all, if they can help it, so why the specificity? I can only conclude that, between this and the skank commandment, Giles had some time by himself with some favorite non-Christian websites to clear his head and get some inspiration.

Commandment 10: Develop cell phone etiquette.

First off, put your cell phone on vibrate, alright? There’s enough noise pollution in our world without us having to hear your Razor blast out Nelly Furtado at ear-splitting decibels. Secondly, quit yelling on your phone. Just because you can’t hear yourself in your cell phone’s earpiece doesn’t mean the caller can’t hear you. In addition, by speaking softly we won’t know how shallow and crazy you really are. Thirdly, if you’re going to go nuts on the phone will you walk outside, huh? Fourthly, turn it off during church, okay Jezebel? Fifthly, if you won’t text while we’re eating dinner then I won’t fart at the supper table, deal?

Or, in other words, it's physically impossible for a woman to have anything worth saying, so he doesn't understand why they need to use their vocal cords at all. Who knew that Christian fundamentalism would get to the point where merely talking on the phone would be enough to get you slurred with the word "Jezebel"?