Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Gender Bias in Dating ... Does it still exist?

Written by Lauren K. and Lindsay K. of the Love Kudos

Do girls just want to have fun?  We are second guessing the lyrics to Cyndi Lauper's 1983 hit sound "Girls Just Want to Have Fun."  When it comes to online dating, it seems like most of the guys out there are just trying to have some fun by dating around, and have no intention of settling down with one girl.  Why do these men play around? Because they can without major consequences. 

After you get past the first "winks" or "flirts," then come the email questions.  The type of questions which are appropriate depends on who's asking them.

Lindsay met a guy on line that asked her some very personal "relationship questions." It was the first time a guy had actually asked questions like that, as compared to the typical questions like ,"Where do you like to hang out in Austin?"  However, when she asked these same questions to another guy, it backfired on her. 
Lindsay said, "I learned that this 38 year old had never been in a relationship longer than a year.  When I expressed my concerns, he decided that the wasn't interested in continuing, because it wasn't 'fun and exciting' anymore."
When you first start communicating with a person or go on that first date, it is important to keep things light, simple, positive, and appropriate.  Try to find your mutual interests, hobbies, and activities.  Ask questions to see if this person is honest, respectful, and able to make someone else a priority in their life. If they tell you they are a workaholic, you should take their word for it until proven otherwise. Is this something you can deal with? Ask yourself, "Do I see this person first and foremost as a friend?"

We don't recommend talking in great length about past relationships until at least the third or fourth date. If a person does ask about your past, keep it low key. It also depends on the person too, but from past experience and inquiries made to Love Kudos, it's not something to open with when you are first getting to know someone. Bad mouthing an ex, rapid fire questioning, and engaging in heated topics in politics and religion are all considered taboo at the beginning of dating.

Lauren does think it is beneficial to disclose if you have been married before and / or engaged by the second date.
If you meet through online dating, hopefully you have already been given a head's up if they are divorced and whether or not they have children. Don't blindside your date by waiting a couple of weeks and then dropping the bomb on them that you have two kids and are separated. I was duped by a guy who had a kid on the way, and failed to mention his upcoming child until the baby was born. He lived in another city and we did not meet online. Hence, why I was completely in the dark about the other woman and the pregnancy.
Lauren says, "Of course there are always exceptions, but I do not want to be put on the defensive on a first date. I remember one particular date where I spent half of it justifying why I felt Hillary Clinton would make a better president than Obama. We did not go out again. I was exhausted."

Even before the feminist movements in the 1960's, women have wanted to be treated as an equal to their male counterparts. We've burned our bras, fought for rights to vote, break the glass ceiling, equal pay, and to run for Vice President.  However, in dating, we are still comfortable with a lot of the old fashioned norms. Men are still expected to initiate the first date, open doors, and pay for a first date, while women also have a different set of expectations for first date behavior. We should dress up to look our best, have the man initiate the first kiss, and wait for him to follow up after the date.  This is the double standard or gender bias in dating. Women have to spend more time and money on outfits, makeup, and hair, so it seems only right that the man makes this up by shelling out the cash on a date. I know some of you men may bawk at that. However, it's the same adage or notion that a guy is a stud if he sleeps around, while a girl is a slut if she partakes in these very same activities. 

According to Linda Lowen, in About.com Guide to Women's Issues, she states that gender bias is seen in politics, the media, and at work.  She writes, "As media coverage of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin has proved, gender bias has crossed the aisle and challenged both the Democrats and Republicans in addition to nominees chosen by President Obama for Supreme Court Justice and Surgeon General."  She also commented in regards to media coverage, "Do women see themselves accurately reflected on television, in film, in advertising, and in print and broadcast news? (Probably not) Maybe that's because only 3% of media decision-makers - those with enough clout to determine content - are female."

And in the workplace, according to Hilary Lips' data, a psychologist from Radford University, women on average still only earn 78.9 cents for every dollar men earn (2001). Lowen continues, "It's due to gender bias in the workplace, and it affects us all." It's no wonder that this gender bias trascends into our romantic relationships. 

What to do? Love Kudos does not quite have the solution set to resolve dating within double standards or a way to conquer the pay gap issue. For now, we can only guide you with what is appropriate dating etiquette in today's society. Be a rebel if you want in the dating arena. Many of us have broken down and called or written men after the first date, but how many of us can say it worked out? Like they say in He's Just Not That Into You, "You are not the exception. You are the rule." So guys, if you like someone, don't wait for her to make the first move. Be the hunter and initiate the first date or phone call. Take a risk on love this Valentine's week.

*burning bra picture from insider.com

If you have any comments or suggestions, please write in or call us.
We want to hear from you!

1 comment:

JG said...

"Do women see themselves accurately reflected on television, in film, in advertising, and in print and broadcast news? (Probably not) Maybe that's because only 3% of media decision-makers - those with enough clout to determine content - are female."

That's a BS reason. The true reason is that sex sells.
Believe, me, most men don't see themselves accurately reflected by the hunky leading men in television, film, etc. either.

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