What to Do When You Meet a Lesbian, Per The 80s

You know what? No matter how much we may or may not have advanced as a society, basic manners never go out of style — and this gem called "When You Meet a Lesbian: Hints for the Heterosexual Woman," unearthed and tweeted out by New York Magazine pop music critic Jody Rosen, definitely proves that.

This delightful handout comes from a 1988 women’s studies class taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Rosen clarified in a second tweet after the first one had gone viral that it was a “priceless period piece unearthed yesterday by a friend packing for a move.” Some of the pointers ("If you must back away, do so slowly and with discretion"; "Do not expect her to be as excited about meeting a heterosexual as you may be about meeting a lesbian") give a fascinating window into just how far we've come in LGBT acceptance. Other pointers are actually quite sound advice for just existing as a human being among other human beings. Fully half of these pointers have to do with assumptions — namely, that you shouldn’t be making them about anyone with regards to anything — and a good deal of them have to do with checking your own ego.

My personal favorites? Number one is a biggie; “Do not run from the room. This is rude” is applicable no matter who just walked in (unless it’s, y’know, Hannibal Lecter and you’d like to avoid being eaten with some fava beans and a nice chianti). I’m also fond of number 10, “Do not ask her how she got this way. Ask yourself how you got that way.” In the words of the Huffington Post: Genius!

I think I’m going to print this out and pin it on the wall next to my desk. We could all use few reminders like it every now and then.