Should ladies and gentlemen kiss?
Is anyone else troubled by the tendency nowadays, among business acquaintances, for men and women to kiss rather than shake hands? I don’t think it’s right.
Men and women kiss in a social context quite normally, and without it involving any social discomfort. (The only problem is: do you kiss on the cheek once, twice or three times?) In a business context however, why would one expect men and women to kiss, when men and men would shake hands. To my mind it’s inappropriate. I haven’t heard any woman in business say that she finds it uncomfortable, but I certainly would were I a woman. I think kissing is fine in a social context, but not in a business context, particularly when one considers that most men and women know each other as mere acquaintances in business.
I appreciate that this gives rise to a problem in cases where men and women meet both in a business and in a social context, but is there any real problem there? Surely they can shake hands in a business context, and kiss in a social context. The same principle seems to me to apply within a firm: when going through a door, colleagues tend to pass through in order of seniority but, in the evening, it’s ladies first.