10 Ways Dating Has Changed Forever Now that Men Won the Battle of the Sexes
If there was ever a true “battle of the sexes,” men would have to be deemed the winners. This sentiment may confound many, as women’s right has been at the forefront of the media and progress has led women to positions of power that had been unreachable 40 years ago, and more and more women being touted at the “breadwinners” of their households.
In Hanna Rosin’s The End of Men, Rosin makes the argument that women have actually conquered the gender war due to more women getting advanced degrees than men, more women becoming managers and taking on the lion’s share of income, dismantling any type of patriarchy existing in American society, and thus taking over.
In reality, the advancement of women has done nothing but serve as additional victories for men. Men no longer are expected to pay on a first date, to court women exhaustively and subsequently drain their bank accounts and marital pressures that were status quo in the past now feel archaic. Furthermore, the liberation of women has brought an advent of a “hookup culture” where women are now accepting of no frills relationships, and online dating and apps have allowed men access to a bevy of gorgeous, educated women that they can encounter simply by “swiping right.”
On a disconcerting note, as women enjoy their financial gains and successes, they are still—overall—making less than men of the same profession and experience.
Below are the top 10 ways dating has changed since men won the war of the sexes.
10. Women are expected to pay for the first date (and split the cost thereafter or pick up the check every other time)
Progress has taken women from being relegated to roles as wives and mothers to a place of power where suddenly women run businesses and are toted as their household’s “breadwinner”. With changing times comes changing expectations. Traditionally, men were always expected to pay on the first date…and the second date…and the sixth date…and the—well, you get the picture.
Now that women are paralleling men in the work and financial department, it has come time for women to also pay for the first date along with others. If this comment makes you scoff, I’d like to point out that Hollywood sweetheart and feminist Emma Watson agrees with me.
During an interview on Facebook where Watson was speaking out on gender equality for her HeForShe campaign, the actress and UN Goodwill Ambassador recounted a time when a man she was on a date with became “tetchy” when she offered to pay for dinner.
“It was really awkward and uncomfortable. It was not going down well. I’m sure he would say he was a feminist but he was just like, ooh, I’m not really sure about this, it’s making him feel a bit tetchy,” she said. “The cool thing was that we were both willing to have the conversation about why it was awkward, or why it was uncomfortable. We were able to have this dialogue. I chose the restaurant because it’s my favorite restaurant. I would love to pay, but next time, you choose the place and you pay, or whatever it is.”
Watson concluded, ”The key is chivalry should be consensual, both parties should be feeling good about that. I think it’s a problem when people expect things to be a certain way, to follow a certain status quo.”
There you have it, ladies. No, chivalry isn’t dead, we’d just like to see it reciprocated. Isn’t that what equality is all about?
9. Women now compete against each other not just on looks but money too (must have a job equal to or better than the man)
In the days when women were expected to forego any thoughts of career in favor of finding a man to marry and make babies with, women competed against each other on things like beauty and physique in order to win the best male specimen. Today, astronomical expectations in regard to appearance are still placed on women, with things like airbrushing and photoshop making cosmetic appeal that much more challenging and the fight that much more tenacious.
However, the self-sufficient woman of today must also compete against their sex and the opposite sex for money and career. Women want to have a job that is equal to or better than a man’s and while this certainly is of benefit to women as far as success and income goes, their professional ascent is actually a victory for men as well—even when a woman beats out said man for a certain position.
Hanna Rosin infamously pointed out this and other facets that reflect changing times for gender equality in her work The End of Men. Rosin attempts to make the argument that men are “doomed” due to the fact that fewer and fewer men are getting advanced degrees while women are.
I respectfully disagree. The success of women is merely a cost-shift from men to women. Women want to date someone, but they don’t feel the obligation to commit as they did decades ago. This means that well-educated, gorgeous women will pursue—or even compete against each other—for lesser educated men, without layering on frills and wishes of commitment that can make the average man balk.
Stephanie Coontz also offered a counterpoint to Rosin’s piece with her article, The Rise of Women Does Not Equal the End of Men, noting that the increased opportunities for women does not mean a dismantling of men’s success and income. She states, “The fact is that although women do earn more college degrees than men and some have moved into the highest echelons of the political and economic hierarchy, on average women still earn less than men with comparable levels of education, even accounting for seniority and total time at work. This is true of young, childless women too, who come closer to parity with their male peers than any other group.”
8. Online dating has made women a commodity
The advent of online dating has gone from something sad sacks would turn to after many a failed approach to our culture’s first choice in making connecting with someone romantically. Responsibility to approach and impress used to fall exclusively on the man. Today, with popular dating apps like Tinder, a simple swipe to the right can tell you when a woman is interested based on your picture alone.
Online dating also seems to be more a reflection of the hookup culture that has percolated through our society over recent years. Men who prefer casual sex over commitment has been relatively commonplace for as long as anyone can remember, but the liberation of women (not to mention shows like Sex and the City and Girls) has brought many females the desire to be on par with men in that department as well.
“Anything a man can do, so can I,” a woman of today will think, and this isn’t just relative to career and income. Women are now able to be open about their sexuality and are no longer being labeled as “easy” for “giving it up” on the first date.
This is another win for men who are not interested in monogamy. Casual encounters can now occur without one party (mostly female) teeming with regret and racing thoughts of whether or not they can still have a relationship with the man they just slept with, while the other party (the male) is subject to calls and questions from someone they weren’t interested in past a one night stand.
7. Beautiful Women are Dating Less Attractive Men
It’s true, and you’ve probably seen at least a few couples walking down the street that spurred the question, “How did he land her?” Beautiful women are no longer as enchanted by the best looking males today, or even the richest.
In an article posted to Elite Daily, Lauren Martin writes, “As the divorce rate increases, boys continue to let us down, and sexual trysts with hot men only ever turn into one-night stands; maybe we no longer want to waste our time looking for the love our parents never found.” Martin goes on to cite studies showing that women who were married to less attractive men were happier, due to the adoration they tended to receive due to the imbalance of physical appeal.
How is this a win for men? Basically, as noted before, plenty of women are partaking in “hookups” or “one night stands” with dashingly handsome suitors who, in turn, do not feel the need to pursue a monogamous relationship. Conversely, women are choosing less attractive men who want relationships, due to the care they receive, regardless of whether this average joe is rich, successful, what have you.
Attractive men who do not want relationships enjoy the release and adventure of casual trysts, while nice guys are actually finishing last by ending up with a beautiful woman.
6. Being Kinky is Considered the Norm
Remember the days (not too long ago) when the plot line to every “chick flick” was fraught with longing looks, monogamy and a “happy ending” that almost exclusively led to wedding bells (ugh).
Today, the top grossing “chick flick” is Fifty Shades of Grey. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’re probably familiar with the international bestseller that was recently turned into a film that broke records as the “…highest grossing R-rated release.” Sure, there’s some “romance” and “love” within the thread of the film, but the driving force behind this mediocrely written trilogy was the explicit sex scenes and themes of BDSM (bondage, discipline, domination, submission, sadism and masochism).
Women have openly expressed their fanaticism over the books and movie, which also lends itself to the fact that women are willing—and proud—to experiment more in the bedroom. Men have always been labeled as “sexual beings” and have not received the flack that women often do for being promiscuous. One can argue that men are being better fulfilled in the bedroom thanks to this progress and liberation among their female counterparts.
Even pole dancing has become a favored recreational activity of women across the globe. This fact made for a notable quote in the 2011 blockbuster Crazy Stupid Love when Ryan Gosling’s character, Jacob, said, “The war between the sexes is over. We won the second women started doing pole dancing for exercise.”
5. Women Still Pick Up the Slack at Home
What happens when your live-in girlfriend is the breadwinner and you are suffering a layoff, in between jobs, or—perhaps—don’t even need to work because your lady is taking care of all the bills? Does a man suddenly become responsible for upkeep in the home, a responsibility that was classically relegated to women?
The short answer is, “no” and that’s not in any way fair, but it creates just one more bullet point on the list of reasons why men have won the war of the sexes. According to data collected from Josh Katz which utilized the annual American Time Use Survey, it was found that, “…even when they don’t have an outside job to take up their time and energy, men still manage to do way less housework and child care than women.”
“Over all, women are far more likely than men to devote a significant portion of their time to housework,” Katz wrote. “Housework combined with our next category (caring for others) occupied almost six hours of the average woman’s day in our sample, compared with less than three hours for that of the average man.”
Amanda Marcotte of Slate pondered the reasons for this and concluded that reasons for women continuing to accept the brunt of household and childcare duties is due to an expectation by society that—in spite of feminist progression and increased career opportunities for women—remains an unspoken mainstay.
4. Less Talk, More Action
It isn’t just online dating that has made things better for men today. Almost all conversation has transferred from actually talking over the phone to texting. It is a known fact that men tend to be less for dialogue than women, and with women happily accepting the use of texting as well, men no longer need to become frustrated with late night talks, and attempts to navigate through the various nuances and hidden meetings that can lace the conversations with female partners.
In fact, men no longer even need to write actual words to entice a woman. According to a survey from Match, those that practiced frequent emoji (small digital images or icons used to express an idea or emotion) use had more sex. The use of emojis appealed to women because they felt it gave texts “more personality” and offered a way to flirt or be appealing without having to actually talk to their potential male suitor.
3. Men are Still Earning More Income Overall
Despite all that we’ve mentioned about women’s continual success with career and that several are turning into “breadwinners” for their household, men are still making more than women overall. According to a report from The Huffington Post, “[Women] earned only 77 cents for every dollar that men earned in 2012, according to new data from the U.S. Census bureau.”
These statistics confounded many and sparked various dialogues on the economical and political implications that could be at hand.
Moreover, the outrage over these statistics sparked new legislation known as The Paycheck Fairness Act, which was introduced in January 2013 as a way to, “Strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and close some of the loopholes employers use to pay women less than men for the same work, along with bills to raise the minimum wage, expand affordable child care and mandate paid sick and family leave.”
Republican lawmakers were by vast majority opposed to this type of legislation, to which Democratic representative Nancy Pelosi gave the following response in June 2013:
“A majority of Republicans voted against the Violence Against Women Act, and they only brought it to the floor this year with great reluctance because we made it too hot to handle out there…That may be what we have to do with these issues — paycheck fairness, child care, sick leave. As President Lincoln said, ‘Public sentiment is everything,’ and that’s where we have to take our fight.”
Men are still making more money overall, but now that money isn’t being spent on lavish dates, as women have begun footing the bill.
Is this fair? No. Is it fact? Yes.
2. Older Men are Dating Younger Women More and More, and Younger Men Have a Bevy of “Cougars” at Their Disposal
Middle-aged? Divorced? Middle-aged and divorced? That’s not an issue when you’re a man! It has long been established that women are often attracted to older men, but according to an article from YourTango, this attraction has never been as prevalent as it is today. YourTango’s Matt Fuller writes:
“Many young and modern women shun the thought of adopting the role as a mother figure and household provider. Having said that, instinct, be it maternal or a call by mother nature, plays a significant role in eventually gravitating a woman toward finding a husband or companion to be.”
Fuller goes on to note that as women complete the sewing of their proverbial oats, a lingering “voice” in their head tells them that they should find a more stable figure as their childbearing years become numbered.
“When a young woman starts entertaining these thoughts, seldom will she find a man her own age who hears the same little voice as she does. Men are wired differently—as if you didn’t already know. And this is why single older guys are an appealing proposition—they too hear that same little voice inside their head. His days of partying have come to a close, he’s experienced with women and has been around the block enough times to know what most woman want.”
Older men are not the only ones that have a broad selection of female companions at their disposal. As we mentioned before, younger men are able to simply “swipe right” for a bevy of beautiful, educated women. Along with having various options when it comes to women their own age, the advent of “cougars” has brought younger men the option of dating women 15 years their senior or more.
KarenLee Porter describes herself as a “card-carrying cougar” and in an article she contributed to YourTango, she dismantled several myths surrounding cougars and described how cougars are benefiting men in the dating world. She made mention of the fact that cougars take strides to keep themselves “physically fit” and provide stability in relationships with their younger suitors due to their tendency to be independent, established in their careers and too confident to toil their boyfriends with emotional baggage.
1. Less Pressure for Marriage
The classic scenario of a woman nagging and nagging a man to place a blinding rock on her finger—and subsequently drain one month of his salary—seems archaic by today’s standards. With women becoming more self-sufficient and established, the marital pressures placed on men have declined drastically. Couples are waiting longer than every before to get married (if they even decide to get married at all), and those that actually make the decision to take a trip down the aisle are no longer cursed by an economic imbalance where men take on the lion’s share of household expenses and the like.
A report from Vox notes that changing times have led to a shift in marriage responsibilities where, “…[Couples] have gone from shared production to shared consumption and formed more egalitarian partnerships based on common preferences rather than a swap of housework for rent money.” Also, Vox notes that the empowerment of women has caused females to become more selective, leading to a greater pool of single women and a “…higher quality of relationship for the non-single.”