‘Gentleman’ builder puts manners first while taking selfie with Will & Kate (PHOTO)

Sam Wayne, the royal watcher who is getting a lot of attention for his polite selfie with Kate and William, helps to bust the stereotype of the ‘cat-calling’ construction worker.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge share a joke with construction workers as they visit Nansledan, a 218-hectare site that will provide future business and housing for the local area on September 1, 2016. Chris Jackson | WPA Pool | Getty Images

The stereotype of the jeering construction worker has plagued cartoons and women’s personal lives alike. The fear of hearing a particularly vulgar “compliment” often forces women to speed-walk past construction sites or even cross to the other side of the street. Given the Duchess of Cambridge’s widely accepted status as one of the most beautiful women in the world, she probably endures unwanted male attention on the regular. I remember the first time I walked past a construction site and was catcalled—I remember it vividly because I was just a little girl. It prepared me for the reality that there are some men who will always think of women’s bodies as something available for commentary.

That’s why it’s so refreshing to hear Sam Wayne, the rugged construction worker who snapped a selfie with Prince William and a very giggly Kate yesterday, say he would never catcall the Duchess of Cambridge. The Royal couple was visiting Cornwall, and apparently some of the other construction workers wolf whistled when the Royal couple passed the construction site—but Wayne claims he wasn’t among them.

Two years ago, Wayne also dared to stage a selfie with Prince Charles, who happily posed alongside the builder. (He brazenly decided to go for Royal Selfie, Part II this year.) Wayne also kept his distance from Kate and William, politely snapping the photo from several feet away. He also took care to note that he was not one of the catcallers.

“I never wolf whistled. I’m a married man. Only took a selfie,” he wrote on the Daily Mail comments section.

Good for him for behaving like a gentleman and treating the elegant Kate with respect, but why aren’t all men held to this same standard? Wayne’s chivalry should be the norm, whether the woman in question is the Duchess of Cambridge or not, and whether the would-be catcaller is married or not.

One thing wolf-whistlers don’t always realize is how distressing and denigrating catcalling can be for us.

“No one said or did anything bad to Kate and William and my wife certainly has nothing to worry about,” Wayne told the Daily Mail, though he added he did have some explaining to do to his wife when she heard about the other men’s light flirting. “I know I can be cheeky at times—but I don’t think I was at that time.”

While it would be preferable for Wayne not to catcall regardless of his marital status, the fact that he’s married has probably somewhat changed his perspective on women. My husband, who is an all-around polite and kind fellow, still had to unlearn a select few disrespectful behaviors toward women. Marriage seems to teach men (men who don’t grow up with sisters, in particular) a lot about how to treat women, and one thing wolf-whistlers don’t always realize is how distressing and denigrating catcalling can be for us.

“I don’t think what I say will put the stereotype of builders and scaffolders to rest and I’m not saying [catcalling] does not happen around there,” Wayne told the Daily Mail. “But in this case everyone was very respectful.”

Bravo! Respectful! Now that’s a word woman love to hear—and see put into action with good manners to match.

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