Respect Earned, Not Granted
Many people believe that certain groups of people should be automatically respected for what they are instead of who they are. By this I mean respecting people just because they are women, old, soldiers, CEOs, or of certain races or creeds. Just because someone falls into a certain category does not mean that they should automatically be respected. This is what leads to phrases which the most mindless of people use, like:
"Real men don't talk like that to women": however, it seems to be totally OK for a woman to talk down to men and belittle them. If a man does the same back to a woman then it is considered emotional "abuse". If men and women are supposedly equal, men should be able to speak to women as if they were speaking to men during arguments without be labelled a "woman hater" or some other blanket term that Oprah or the deep thinking women on The View like to throw around.
"Respect the elderly": Well, again, if they deserve it then fine. I have met my fair share of very rude old people who are just that way because of their personality. Just because someone has white hair, wrinkles and walks hunched over does not automatically make them "good" people. If this were the case then none of the very old Nazi's still alive would be prosecuted because they are old. Your age does not excuse your temperament. Everyone is different, and age should not go against or for people because of this.
Respecting people with money: Many Americans tend to think that rich people are all rich because they worked hard and "deserve" what they have. This is just an offshoot of the myth of the greatly over-hyped American Dream. People picking themselves up by the bootstraps, working long hours and being committed to their jobs is how most people think the rich have become rich, and are wrongly respectful of this. There are plenty of people out there who have become rich by swindling, lying, deceit, through connections or any other number of ways they have nothing to do with blood, sweat and tears. Just look at Wall Street, Hollywood, Capitol Hill or any state capitol for that matter. Money in itself does not deserve respect. However, in America the dollar is king. If you don't have enough of it you are looked down on as being lazy, stupid, irresponsible. We are force fed the myth that you can become anything you want to become in the US with hard work and dedication, and unfortunately many people still buy into this propaganda which is very far from the truth. It may have been true 30-100 years ago, but not anymore.
Religious people: People who go to church every Sunday and take part in church activities must be good people, right? Unfortunately, they are just people too, with prejudices, hatreds, jealousies etc. In fact, being a gung-ho church goer should actually make people even more suspicious, as they might actually be trying to make up for their "evil" ways or thoughts. Church leaders are not God or saints, they are just people. Their title or position should not automatically entitle them to a mindless following of people who respect them for the perceived "goodness" that their titles bestow upon them.
These are just some of the groups that are granted automatic respect by people partly because of the way Americans are raised in school and partly by the media. Unfortunately most parents don't question these beliefs themselves and just pass it on down to future generations.