As the world continues to evolve and give rights to women, the dating game has changed. What exactly is the bare minimum? And why does it exist? I think for everyone, there can be a multitude of different ideas on the bare minimum. For example, if you were raised surrounded by respectful men who lifted you, you might expect more respect from males. While the other way around, you may be used to men overlooking you or invalidating you, therefore seeking those traits in others. However, this can’t determine everything, so we can also look to cultural ideas and social norms set in place by the media.
Back in the day, men would court a woman, following a set of rules or guidelines almost to properly gain her affection and time. They practically bent over backward for women, but why has that changed? While those days had their fair share of problems and injustices, we seem to be facing them again. Why is it that the idea of picking up a girl for a first date, which was seen as romantic and chivalrous, eventually changed into honking their car for a woman to come to them? Instead of getting out to meet the parents, they act as if they’re in a hurry and don’t have time to come and ring a doorbell. Why have we allowed for these things to happen, and how influential is society’s influence in our world today?
For example, nowadays, when a man holds the door open for a woman, we automatically see him as a gentleman. A common phrase nowadays is “the bar is ....” followed by a dramatic example showing how low our standards are. Things such as not asking for nudes, asking for consent, or just having an ounce of respect can make the individual seem like a godsent. Instead, we are almost shocked when someone shows us even an ounce of respect, and when did that become such a rare thing? When in reality, we shouldn’t have to praise men for not disrespecting us; it should be the norm.
As women have begun to demand and reclaim their rights within society, it’s almost as if feminism has become an idea of us not wanting to be treated with respect by men. In our fight for equality, we have been seen as loud “masculine” members of society. Has this led to males seeing us as less deserving now that we’re not the “ideal” woman anymore? If so, why does a woman’s femininity come from her desire to speak out over issues? The standard of women’s beauty has been a constantly changing standard in our society, but one thing has stayed constant, the “femininity” or grace a woman must seem to have.
As the world continues to evolve and society changes, so do relationships and standards. As we’ve seen a decline in expectations, we’ve also seen a decline in respect. Will these norms and expectations continue to be lowered? How will the idea of the “bare minimum” change as the subject of equality continues to be fought over? So many of these things can’t be explained, but we can know as women that for us to have the best expectations within ourselves, we must be fully in love with ourselves. We should never be accepting the “bare minimum” once we know our true value and worth.