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  1. 1. RELATIONSHIPS Samantha Pingitore
  2. 2. RELATIONSHIPS: TABLE OF CONTENTS  Relationship Statistics  Study  Marriage, maybe?  Independent Partnerships  Older and Happier  Changing attitudes about marriage  Interracial Marriages  Teen Dating Violence  Discussion Questions  Introduction : Women learning from other Women  Participant responses & Personal feedback  Facebook Discussion Question
  3. 3. MARRIAGE, MAYBE? Ages 21-34 want to marry do not want to marry unsure Ages 35-44 want to marry do not want to marry unsure A 2011 study of single men and women
  4. 4. INDEPENDENT PARTNERSHIPS Statistics show that women, in all age groups, now want more personal space in committed relationships  More nights out with girlfriends!  Keeping a separate bank account  Increase in solo getaway trips
  5. 5. OLDER AND HAPPIER: SINGLES OVER 65  Report the highest level of happiness over the past 12 months  Lead less stressful lives  Sex is still important
  6. 6. INTERRACIAL MARRIAGE Adult Interracial Marriages in 2008 White Black Hispanic Aisian * 3.8 million Americans Gender Patterns  22% black males v. 9% black females Would marry interracially  40% Asian females v. 20% Asian Males  There were no found gender differences among white and Hispanic Americans
  7. 7. CHANGING ATTITUDES ABOUT MARRIAGE OVER TIME 1960 68% people in their twenties were married 2005 Unmarried households became the majority of all U.S. households 2007 more than a million unmarried partners were living together
  8. 8. TEEN DATING VIOLENCE  1 in 3 teenagers report knowing a friend that has been physically hurt by a partner  1 in 4 teenage girls in relationships reported being pressured to have intercourse (including oral)  26% teenage girls reported enduring repeated verbal abuse  73% teens would turn to a friend for help if ever in an abusive relationship; only 33% of those who were actually told someone
  9. 9. SINGLISM Society and our families often pressure us to believe that we need to be involved in a long time relationship that will one day lead to marriage. This common assumption leaves many people to become targets of Singlism Singlism is… Prejudice Stereotyping Interpersonal exclusion Discrimination Targeting all those who are single Stereotypes: Singles are miserable and lonely; They are only interested in finding a partner; Often excluded from social events which are usually organized around couples
  10. 10. WOMEN LEARNING FROM OTHER WOMEN Chapter 5 of Our Bodies, Ourselves follows a group of women discussing their lives with one another through an online conversation. These women represent different identities, sexual experiences , and age groups. The women discuss what they enjoy most about their sexuality and their experience in relationships. In addition, the group reflects upon the media, it’s images and representations of popular culture, and how it has influenced their views on relationships.
  11. 11. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS  What are you looking for in a relationship?  How do you define and express intimacy?  What do you enjoy about being sexual?  What role has love played, or not played, in your relationships?  What is it like to be in a relationship when you don’t like some or all of your body?  How do media images and portrayals of relationships affect your idea of an “ideal" relationship?  How does it affect your relationships when you are with someone whom the world gives more or less power than you have, because of race, income, gender, or disability?  What are your experiences in relationships that span racial differences?  Have you or your partner discussed having children? If you had differing opinions, how did it affect your relationship?  What effect do children have on dating or staying in a relationship?  When did you realize that a relationship you intended to stay in was going to be work, and what are some obstacles that can get in the way of relationships?  How has sexual abuse and/or physical violence affected your relationships?  What has helped the process of healing from sexual or other abuse?  How has growing older affected your relationships or what you look for in a relationship?  Do you feel affected by relationship time lines?
  12. 12. “love Courageo usly”  Mutual respect  Trust; loyalty  Sexual compatibility  Confidence  “Love courageously,” having the courage to love someone and be loved in return  Equal responsibility  Ambition  Fun and funny  Patience: “relationships are one of the hardest things we do”  Unconditional love  Being with a partner that it supportive, and brings out your best  Independence: maintaining other relationships  Co-conspirator; partner in crime; work together toward common goals What Are You Looking for in a Relationship? (A Women’s Common Response)
  13. 13. “love courageously”: Personal Response Just like one of the women in this discussion, I also believe that you must “love courageously;” it is the key to having a relationship. To be able to have a relationship consisting of mutual respect and responsibility where you share secrets, goals, and inside jokes you first have to overcome the fear of loving someone and being loved in return.
  14. 14. HOW DO YOU DEFINE INTIMACY? A WOMEN'S COMMON RESPONSE “Laughter, li ke any emotional expression, r equires the safety to express that joy”  Knowing what the other one is about to say and how they are feeling just by looking at them  Having the feeling of safety; being able to sleep soundly next to the other every night  Close physically and emotionally; emotional honesty  Sharing secrets  Vulnerability and trust: “knowledge of each other grounded in spirit”  Sharing true laughter with someone: “laughter, like an emotional expression, requires the safety to express that joy”  No boundaries
  15. 15. “laughter, like any emotional expression, requires the safety to express that joy”: personal Response “Laughter ,like any emotional expression, requires the safety to express that joy” This quote, taken from the discussion, made a lot of sense to me. To truly be able to laugh with someone, no matter what its about, is a way of expressing comfort with that person. You shouldn’t have to worry about judgment and feeling insecure around the one you are intimate with. Its about being yourself, as well being comfortable with yourself. You should feel safe to emotionally express yourself to your partner, especially to truly laugh with them.
  16. 16. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING SEXUAL? (A WOMEN’S COMMON RESPONSE)  Sexual intimacy preserves nonverbal expression  It’s a way to explore each other physically  Appreciating the time and effort involved  It’s a way to develop a positive relationship with your own body; You discover that sex is better when you feel better about yourself  Brings “clearheaded focus” and calmness  Even with no partner (masturbation) it is a way to nurture yourself, it relieves tension
  17. 17. WHAT ROLE HAS LOVE PLAYED OR NOT PLAYED IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS? A WOMEN’S COMMON RESPONSE “i don’t want to think of love as a solid, assumed foundation, but rather as a praxis, as the place where ideas, emotions verbalizations meet practice and action.”  Love doesn’t need to play a role in sex, it is about being in the moment;  Different experiences allows you to learn more about your sexuality, with out having to be in love  When it come to "making love,” you usually make love with someone you had some form of love for  Love enhances the sex  “Love as action”
  18. 18. WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE IN A RELATIONSHIP WHEN YOU DON’T LIKE SOME OR ALL YOUR OWN BODY? A WOMEN’S COMMON RESPONSE You Need to reject the shame and guilt you internalize and begin to feel more comfortable with your own sexuality and sexual desire  Not liking your own body affects the intimacy in the relationship as well as other aspects of life  Media images decide on what body type is acceptable and attractive  Reassurance from partner helps you find enjoyment in your own body; telling you, you are beautiful, attractive, sexy, and desirable  You need to start unlearning cultural stereotypes and socialized messages  Double standard: women’s bodies are more scrutinized than men’s; When you are jealous of your partner’s body it hard to feel comfortable naked with them  Fear of rejection  Sex is about appreciating one another’s bodies and feeling truly comfortable in your own  When your partner takes some active role in helping you overcome things that make you feel insecure it helps you gain more confidence in yourself
  19. 19. You Need to reject the shame and guilt you internalize and begin to feel more comfortable with your own sexuality and sexual desire: Personal Response For me, being in a relationship has helped me become more comfortable with myself. You do need to reject the shame you feel towards who you are and ignore the images of “beauty” that appear in the media. Being in the relationship I am in now helps me overcome my insecurities because he is constantly reminding me of the qualities that he loves about me, which in turn helps me build my self esteem.
  20. 20. HOW DO MEDIA IMAGES AND PORTRAYALS OF RELATIONSHIPS AFFECT YOUR IDEA OF AN “IDEAL” RELATIONSHIP? A WOMEN’S COMMON RESPONSE The “beautiful” women of the media are mostly thinner and prettier than ourselves  Sitcom couples (good looking woman, corky husband); doesn’t display a positive, lasting relationship  The media doesn’t represent non-monogamy, non- binary trans people, single mothers, asexual, the disabled, or “bigger” girls; makes those who are feel “erased” from society  Internet and books offer more options: feminist blogs where they often talk about relationships; only place, in media, that you see the variety of different kinds of relationships  Ideal relationships are shaped by individual beliefs  Television and Disney movies influence you towards a heteronormative ideal of relationships, it depicts the “typical middle-class white-picket-fence life  TV emphasizes sexuality and “hookup culture” making asexuality abnormal  Double standard between men and women  Lack of interracial relationships in the media may deters people from accepting it  Media often depicts trans women as a sexual fetish or deviancy; creates stereotypes, seen as something threatening, immoral, dangerous to both themselves and others  Music sometimes depicts women in a bad way; lyrics are
  21. 21. Media & Relationships: Personal Response Media has a huge roll in how women view relationships. We are constantly judging and being judge based on how similar, or dissimilar, we are to the relationships we see on TV. I think that the media needs to be open to all forms of relationships that span all the differences that exist in our society. If people had a better understanding of the different relationships that exist maybe there would be less judgment towards them; people will no longer consider their relations as straying from the norm.
  22. 22. HOW DOES IT AFFECT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WHEN YOU ARE WITH SOMEONE WHOM THE WORLD GIVES MORE OR LESS POWER THAN YOU HAVE, BECAUSE OF RACE, INCOME, GENDER, OR DISABILITY? A WOMEN’S COMMON RESPONSE  Stay at home dads may lead to power struggles as they take on the opposite parental role ( the doctor usually talks directly to the mother; the child is naturally more attached to mother because of breast feeding)  Many books of advice are geared toward the mother and baby which may cause the father to feel left out and mother to feel like she’s not being a good parent  Women tend to have more doubts about their capabilities because of being a woman especially when it comes to applying for jobs, don’t feel as confident  Relationship are harder when you and your partner have different financial incomes or different levels of education  Open communication makes it easier to deal with differences  Support from partner is important
  23. 23. WHAT ARE YOUR EXPERIENCES IN RELATIONSHIPS THAT SPAN RACIAL DIFFERENCES? A WOMEN’S COMMON RESPONSE “when you have two cultures that do not understand each other, it is definitely an uphill battle  Having to overcome stereotypes ,especially those that are believed by partner’s parents or family  Makes you feel like you should be defensive - while in public you feel you have to try not to appear attractive to one another to avoid being judged by others  Have to adjust because of different cultures also means different dating cultures;
  24. 24. HAVE YOU OR YOUR PARTNER DUSCUSSED HAVING CHILDREN? IF YOU HAD DIFFEREING OPINONS, HOW DID IT AFFECT YOUR RELATIONSHIPS? (A WOMEN’S COMMON RESPONSE)  Choosing not to have a child because the other partner doesn’t want one may cause regret  Often feel pressure from your culture or family to have children  The decision to have children is easier when you feel open with a lack of pressure from your partner  Discussion about children is a “tool for fantasizing” and testing the future  Stability in income and living situations impacts the decision of having a child  Age between partnerships can play a role in the decision to have a child or not
  25. 25. WHAT EFFECT DO CHILDREN HAVE ON DATING OR STAYING IN A RELATIONSHIP? (A WOMEN’S RESPONSE) Date men that have children and is an active parent because they are more understan ding about balancing dating with parenting  Women often feel they need to protect their children especially from having people in and out of their lives  Single mothers may feel lonely without another adult around, no one to vent too  Children can make it hard to fit anyone else in your life  Dating and relationships are more of a challenge when you are younger because others your age aren’t at that point in their lives to have children  Having children with someone might cause you to try to make a relationship work even if its not going well  Mothers often want to model proper dating behaviors for children: “I wont date a person I wouldn’t want my children to date someday”  Not being able to afford a babysitter makes it difficult to have a life outside the home and to meet new people  Partners have to work together on dealing with conflicts so children learn from it and not impact their views on relationships negatively  Divorce may cause your child to think its okay to “cut and run”
  26. 26. Children & Dating: Personal Response This discussion question caught my attention because I have a friend who has a four year old son. Due to the fact that she is still young, she still wants to go out and meet new people but now she has a new responsibility. I see her struggle with being a single mother, although she is a great one! She wants to protect her child from having people coming in and out of her life and its hard to find someone in their twenties ready to help her be a parent.
  27. 27. WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT A RELATIONSHIP YOU INTENDED TO STAY IN WAS GOING TO BE WORK? WHAT ARE SOME OBSTACLES THAT CAN GET IN THE WAY OF RELATIONSHIPS? (A WOMEN’S COMMON RESPONSE) “it only makes sense that its twice as difficult when two or more people decide to combine their experiences, fina nces, living space, food choices, and whatever else to coexist without undoing everything they’ve done to become distinct individuals who are trying to establish some identity away from their families and particular upbringing. Compromise, uncon ditional love, and acceptance are the hardest things to realize and exercise in relationships.”  It is important to have good communication: explaining what is being said between each other and what it means to the both of you  Major obstacle can be issues over money (especially if you have differences in income)  Issues on maintaining the task of housekeeping; how you were socialized in understanding gender roles  Work often takes up most of your time and energy; not enough time together  Its sometimes hard to remember that you are partners not just roommates  Sometimes partners have a different view or understanding on important social issues
  28. 28. Personal Response Relationships are one of the harder things in life, and at time can be a lot of work. From my experience, the key to overcoming these obstacles is communication. Being able to talk with my partner and hearing each other out completely helps the both us to compromise and talk through what is burdening us.
  29. 29. HOW HAS SEXUAL ABUSE AND/OR PHYISICAL VIOLENCE AFFECTED YOUR RELATIONSHIPS? (A WOMEN’S COMMON RESPONSE)  It can make you feel like you need to hide part of yourself in your relationship therefore, you can’t really invest on an emotional level  No one to talk with without feeling judged or asked a bunch of questions  You’re constantly trying to forget  Seeking help from a therapist can help you recover  Time can heal; with age you become less vulnerable and more able to enjoy you relationships and sex again  Makes you constantly scared and nervous; always afraid that they will come back to hurt you again  People make you feel like it was you fault; asked questions concerned with what they were wearing that night or why they were walking alone.  Causes you to have trouble trusting people  You feel disgusting and violated afterward  Trouble being intimate with partners
  30. 30. WHAT HAS HELPED THE PROCESS OF HEALING FROM SEXUAL OR OTHER ABUSE? A WOMEN’S COMMON RESPONSE  Learning to love yourself and who you are  Reading or listening to other people who experienced similar problems and how they have coped  Listening to positive music  Therapy; helps hearing an outside perspective  Having positive relationships  Self-defense classes, boosts self confidence  Easier to confide in the internet (feminist sites), anonymity makes it easier; don’t feel so alone  Time  Being open with people that you are close with
  31. 31. HOW HAS GROWING OLDER AFFECTED YOUR RELATIONSHIPS OR WHAT YOU LOOK FOR IN A RELATIONSHIP? A WOMEN’S COMMON RESPONSE  Age brought with it a better job of valuing oneself  You begin to not feel so bad when you have to say no; “it is better to be single and look carefully for a good partner than to just have any partner at all.”  More interested in making intimate connections that have nothing to do with sex  Start to care less about what people think, and won’t make compromises for anyone  More choosy about partnerships  You grow into yourself more the older you get. You feel more comfortable with being alone, it’s better than not being happy  With age you are not so afraid to explore outside the norm when it comes to relationships  As you grow old with your partner you rediscover each other in different ways
  32. 32. DO YOU FEEL AFFECTED BY RELATIONSHIP TIME LINES? (A WOMEN’S COMMON RESPONSE)  Its all up to the individual to determine what their time line is; when to marry or when to have children not culture or family pressure  Recently there has been a change from traditional dating, now it more like “hanging out ”  Sexual time line is usually in you teens and relationship time lines fall in you twenties
  33. 33. Relation- ship Time Lines: Personal response Like another women stated in this chapter’s discussion, it is up to the individual to choose their relationship time line. I find that the hard part, however, is not listening and accepting what other people want or think you should do. You shouldn’t always have to feel like you need to do what everyone else is doing, its our own relationships and therefore we should determine our time line: whether its sex, dating, marriage, or children.
  34. 34. FACEBOOK DISCUSSION QUESTION: Discuss some of the opinions that you shared with the women of this chapter and how it has impacted your views on relationships.