The Ultimate Guide to Dating Love + Sex Love Advice

What should our gold standard for dating really be?

Every morning I wake up to a feed full of videos of people bowing down to men who are doing the absolute bare minimum. Or at least it’s what I consider to be the bare minimum. I guess personal standards are all subjective anyway. But what should our golden standard for straight males really be?

An influx of teenage boys on TikTok making videos about not having sex with a woman when she’s uncomfortable paired with a comment section of young women worshipping him for not sexually assaulting women is a recipe for a disaster in our society. We’ve reached a point where the bar is ridiculously low for everyone except for straight males.

Basically anyone who is not a cis straight male is held to a ridiculously high standard. Whereas straight males are praised if they are eligible to “hold our drinks” or “not be a sexual predator.”

Why is this?

Obviously, everyone’s standard is different, but there is a universal line that we should adhere to, to teach young women their worth, because we are clearly failing miserably. Morally, ethically, emotionally, and sexually, straight males can basically do anything and get away with it, but at the cost of women’s self-esteem, worth, and self-image.

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When I was younger, I had a crush, and he used to be mean to me. My mother used to tell me, “Get used to it sweetie! All men are like this.”

As I’ve grown up, I often think, why do we have to get used to this?

If I acted the way straight men acted towards me in a relationship, I would be burnt at the stake, called a rude bitch, and would lose men on the spot. For some odd reason, we’ve allowed straight men to just do whatever the hell they want. The double standards are off the charts.

By allowing men to get away with abusive tendencies and then furthering it by praising them when they aren’t abusive, we both teach men that they don’t have to treat women like human beings with a heart and that women don’t have the right to be treated kindly. Therefore, we have created a perpetual cycle where women end up with awful men and aren’t able to leave their relationship because they are taught that what they are enduring isn’t wrong; it’s just the norm. 

Part of this is the phrase, “boys will be boys,” which is just not fair.

As women, we are taught to be mature and always take the high road. We are taught to fight fire with kindness and to always put others before ourselves. We are taught to be caring and be the epitome of human kindness.

However, when a man repeatedly ghosts a woman in a relationship, yells at her, calls her names, or anything in between, the societal response is typical, “Well, that’s just men.” A little laugh, then: “Men suck!” That’s true; I’ll definitely agree with that one. Men can absolutely do suck, there is no question about that.

But if they suck, they should be reminded that that’s not acceptable, and women should raise their standards.

So what should the golden standard really be?

I personally think it’s not about forcing women to remind men to stop being awful, but rather making men accountable for their own actions and each other.

If we see men on social media creating content that affects our standards, that is clearly being praised when it should be the bare minimum; we should be aware of that and call it out.

Remember, this is not something else for women to take on, but only something for them to be aware of.

It isn’t our fault.

Men need to be accountable for their own unacceptable behavior.

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By Aliza Schuler

Aliza Schuler is a sophomore student at American University studying Film and Media Arts and Creative Writing. When she's not adapting her personality to be more like Jess from New Girl, she's advocating for women's rights, swimming in the ocean, doing yoga, skiing, or working on a craft kit from Etsy. Your favorite in-house comic, Aliza specializes in making jokes at all the wrong times. Apart from school, she advocates for people in period poverty and writes satire for her university newspaper. No matter the circumstances, you can always find her biking around Northern California in her ridiculously kiddish watermelon helmet.