Beth L. Bailey is the renowned historian of the contemporary America. She has done specialization in gender and sexuality history as well as history of United States society and military. Her career has been remarkable as she has rendered services as the Director of Undergraduate Studies for Temple University. She has also served as Director of History Honours and interim chair for the same university. Presently, she is teaching Sociology (Women’s Studies Program) at the University of Mexico.
Bailey highlights how people of older generation find it really hard to accept the contemporary courtship styles. In the present times, people go to restaurants, parks, malls, cinemas, and other public places on dates to have private meetings and conversations. Unlike the past, it is now considered necessary for a man to possess lots of money before courting a woman. A majority of people think that the capability of a man to provide for the future does not make a girl attract towards him. Instead, girls go on dates with men whom they like and admire. On the other hand, a lot of people also believe that it is excessively important for a man to be affluent in his life. This is because practical girls like men who are financially and socially stable. Bailey asserts that if dating is successful; it may lead a couple to marry and then start a family. In short, she explains how people changed ways of dating by switching from confined private acts to showing affection in public places within few decades.
Regardless of the fact that dating has emerged as a modern form of courtship, it is equally important for the young generation to consider the reasonable norms and ideals of the past. Men are required to consider the women’s family instead of focusing on her beauty and adorning her with expensive gifts and lavish vacations. In the similar fashion, it is extremely necessary for women to not focus on a men’s wealth. They must consult and court the men’s family to understand his background and upbringing. In the earlier times, it was considered a significant thing to check the man’s breed, life’s accomplishments, and the principles he follows. Likewise, men made sure to check the women’s background before proposing them. In this manner, they were able to make better decisions for choosing an appropriate partner for courting.
All things considered, it is the high time for the contemporary people to ignore the money and affluence as the centrality of courtship. This is because money does not guarantee the successfulness of a marriage. Instead, what matters most is the manner with which the relationship is handled. Bailey tries to make her readers understand the criticality of courtship. The author has been successful in demonstrating how today’s society is centered on sex and associated activities. She has stressed her readers to differentiate between the rights and wrongs while selecting partners. In short, Bailey’s book is an eye-opening and attention-grabbing read that allows readers to get an insight on various changes and transformations in courtship and dating manners.
Bailey, B. (1989). Dating. A History of American Courtship. University of New Mexico. Mexico. Print.