First in Coffee
For anyone interested in gender issues and equality, 2014 was a very exciting year. There was the inspiring #HeForShe movement that UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson kicked-off. There was the #LikeAGirl video by Always that highlighted the stereotypes associated with being a girl. And there were a slew of other movements (e.g., CatCall video, Carry That Weight protest) that drew attention to some harsh realities so many women today continue to face. It is truly great to see all of the men and women who are speaking out on these issues. After all, that is the only way we are going to create change.
As a woman and founder of a dating company, I am certainly someone with a particular interest in gender issues, especially in the dating space. Every day, I analyze and observe gender differences in dating, and it continues to amuse me just how differently men and women behave in the game of courtship. Everything from how often we like someone, to what we say is important to us (vs. what actually is important to us), to the type of first dates we prefer — the list goes on. While most of these gender differences are harmless, there are some gender-based stereotypes and problems in dating that I believe need major adjustments. The most commonly discussed is how straight men often misbehave in dating websites/apps, treating women as sexual objects and acting entitled to a woman’s attention (and getting very upset when it’s not reciprocated), as wittily highlighted this year by the hilarious instagram account #ByeFelipe. However, straight women also perpetuate gender stereotypes. And the woman’s role in gender relations are not nearly as commonly talked about. I have been quite surprised by the extremely traditional roles that many smart, successful, and driven women assume when it comes to dating, and the extremely traditional expectations they place on their dates.