Sensitivity is one basic feature in mixed societies. To the growing individual at the secondary school level or the youth at the tertiary level, a turn down must have occured during occassions where the male prompts a handshake to a female. This, in our society is largely premised on the religious and traditional inclination of the persons in question.
Some cultures govern the idea that men should be not shake hands with women to maintain the masculine status quo. Others restrict the handshakes to daughters below marriageable ages while some are binding, on the female folk to resist any handshake (especially the islamic religious background)
I believe as a person that handshakes are a form of greeting. In formal settings for example, it is the most acceptable form of greeting. Although, it is largely believed that it is a white man’s system, adopted after we were willed into existence from Lord Lugard’s and Shaw’s colonial laboratory of artificial insemination. But then, the question is not the refusal of handshakes but the subsequent embarrassment it carries, especially in public. What way leads out?
The bargain leads that in any formal setting, a business setting for example, it is proper for a lady to shake hands with a man whether it was initiated by him or her. However, if you do not feel comfortable
shaking the hands of a lady, I suggest you should not initiate the handshake. However, you should respond if the lady initiates the handshake to avert any embarrassment that may ensue. Also, if you know
the religious or cultural inclination of the opposite sex by virtue of
prior information or “readable information” (e.g a muslim lady’s hijab) at that moment, it is advised you do not initiate the handshake unless she does. Also, the nominal reference such as “Aishat” or names in that order should make you refrain from handshakes unless she initiates it.
There are situations where the male could find substitutes in informal
settings. I personally employ the “chop knuckle” (the exchange of
folded fists by either party) idea in cases like this.
The world is a 21st Century one. We choose to flow with trends or
refuse them. What do you think about the subject of shaking hands?
(Please note that this post is not targeted at any individual or sect- religious or traditional. Any misconception as to nominals is not deliberate.)
This post was first published via