I did say please. After all, a handshake is meant to be polite and I am a lady. But for crying out loud, whether you choose to call me a lady, lady-like, female, woman or whatever, we're in the 21st century dudes. Don't insult me...or yourself.
Sorry if I'm coming off a bit strong. Let me backtrack here, and apologize to all you women out there who prefer a feeble handshake from a man., and I'm all for a guy (or anyone) being gentle if they know someone's hands are fragile for whatever reason. I'm talking about the average modern woman though. I do understand that in certain cotillion circles, guys are taught to shake a woman's hand by barely holding the tips of her fingers. They're taught that this is respectful, and I can see where that comes from, but...
I hate that with a passion. Call it a pet peeve. I like me a firm handshake. Not bone crushing or overpowering, but one that indicates equality. To me, a solid handshake in this day and age tells me that the man respects me. Sees me as an equal. Will do business with me on equal footing. I don't care if I'm about to contract someone for work at the house, meeting a business person, a friend of a friend, nothing emasculates a man in my eyes more than when he gives me the limp, finger tip shake. The shake that says:
"I don't really want to touch your hand, but I'm supposed to, so I'll do it half-assed."
"You might have cooties. Gotta run and wash...as soon as you're not looking."
"I'm a king and you're my subject. Poo on you."
"May I have this dance?" (Followed by a bow of course. Where's the ballroom?)
Seriously, I do understand that a woman is supposed to extend her hand first. That's empowering. A man doesn't get to shake her hand unless she grants him the opportunity. But beyond that, I think a man's handshake says a lot about him. Of course, you can't really tell what's under all that muscle (or lack of) based on mere hand contact, but you know how first impressions go. I want the handshake of a hero. A man's man. I even pay attention to handshake descriptions in novels. The fingertip shake is perfect in a historical novel, but in a contemporary it turns me off like a sloppy kiss.
Women of the world unite. Spread word and teach our men and sons how to execute the 'hero's handshake'.