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10 February 2011

Gender and Speed Dating

I caught a brief piece on speed dating on one of the morning shows this morning, and something caught my eye. In the clip, the women remained seated and the men rotated among the women. I've never been speed dating, but I am guessing that this is the standard format--but why? Why don't the men remain seated while the women rotate among them? I think this reflects some deeply rooted cultural expectations that we have regarding gender. Men are the aggressors, the pursuers; women are the passive objects. Does anyone know of examples of courtship rituals that challenge this dichotomy? How do the online dating sites work? Do women play a more active role in choosing their potential suitors?


  1. I think that this is more likely a situation of looking for gender bias where there isn't necessarily any. For example, if men stayed in one space and the women rotated you could view that as women making the rounds so that the men didn't have to, just like they should do all of the work at home without men having to lift a finger. Either way can be seen as bad but that doesn't mean that either way is actually bad.

  2. slac, if we can find a significant number of instances where it happens the other way around, I will totally agree with you, but I suspect that there is a pattern, and while we COULD interpret to the contrary, all other evidence would point to this being in line with previous conclusions.