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Samantha Olson
John Kubler
English 115
16 October 2014
Society and Relationships: Couples in Todays World
In our world today, society has a strong influence on how we view the people surrounding
us. From a young age we are taught what is characteristic of certain genders and how they are
supposedly expected to act, especially when it comes to serious dating relationships. Men are
portrayed as the strong dominant figure who is supposed to sweep the women off of their feet,
while women are portrayed as the care giver and emotional partner in the relationship. Although
this idea has been around for quite some time now, its not necessarily always the case. After
doing my research interviewing and observing couples, I now know that every relationship is
unique and has certain elements that make it thrive with todays views and influences.
While doing my research I noticed that most couples were alike in the ways that they
answered the interview questions, but unique in the ways that they behaved around each other.
The first couple I interviewed happened to have been married for over twenty years. I watched
them for quite a long time because I really loved the way they acted together. I could see the way
they looked at each other and humorously goofed off and laughed. I really couldnt tell who was
more dominant. They seemed to be equal and balanced with everything that they did. The man
would pinch her arm lovingly, and she would scrunch her nose at him and laugh. When asking
them the interview questions, it was entertaining to watch them argue, laugh, and then answer. The
woman stood up for her answers and the man would come up with some witty humorous response.
During the interview the man believed that he was more dominant because he was the one who
always planned events, or made dinner, but the woman believed that they were equal. When

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comparing women to men in sports or in the armed forces, they both agreed that women could do
anything men could do, if not better. Being a little older than our generation, the couple had some
really great answers and views to the questions. When asked about Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj,
they made a really good point that their displays of sexuality in their performances are
unnecessary to prove that they are talented. When presented with the ad, both agreed right away
that the female was more dominant. They described her as a spoiled and privileged woman who
was making this local man, who seemed to be confused, take her across a river or lake. The man
actually made a joke saying that the little old man was taking out the trash which made his wife
give him a disapproving glance, then burst out laughing. It was refreshing to see a couple that had
been together for such a long period of time. To conclude the interview, they said that
communication, honesty, caring, and humor make true love possible for them every day of their
The other five couples that I interviewed were all different in their own ways but had a lot
of similar answers. Most were together on average about five or six hours a day and longer on the
weekends. The couples were all a little bit different. One consisted of two really quiet partners,
while another couple was very blunt and upfront. One was together almost all of the time, while
another couple was mostly long distance, but together when they got the slightest amount of time.
When I asked questions in attempt to figure out who was more dominant in the relationship, about
sixty percent of the couples said that the female decided where to go out for dates, but at the
beginning of the relationship seventy five percent of the couples reported that the male made the
first move. When asked directly who they thought was more dominant in their relationship, sixty
percent claimed that the woman was the power figure. With disapproving glares from their
girlfriends, most of the men disagreed with women being allowed on the mens collegiate track
team, but did agree to women fighting side by side with men in the infantry combat forces. Close

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to one hundred percent of the couples thought that Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj were taking their
sexuality in performances way too far and that it was disturbing and irrelevant to their vocal
talents. Most couples also agreed that prostitution should be legalized in Los Angeles because, in
that case, it could be regulated. They believed that cut off shorts were acceptable as long as certain
private areas were covered up enough. The mini-skirts had interesting viewpoints. While on a
date, couples perceived the girl as trying to be formal and mature; however, at a college party they
perceived her as drawing sexual attention to herself. Finally, when presented with the ad, one
hundred percent of the couples interviewed claimed, without any hesitation, that the female was
most definitely more dominant than the male.
After all my research and observations, there are many more things that I have learned
about the relationships between todays couples. I do not think that there is a linkage between each
persons individual empowerment within their relationship and their opinion of who is dominant
in the ad shown to them. There are many elements within the ad that obviously show the woman
as being the one in control. For example, she is staring intensely at the camera. She is posing and
relaxing as a man serves her and takes her through the water. The scene is set up to focus on her.
In a relationship, the opinion of dominance depends on each of the partners personalities,
behaviors, and environments. It did not matter who was in control of the relationship, every couple
knew without pause that the female had the power in the ad.
When it came to feminism and female empowerment, I found that a lot of the women were
strongly for women competing with or against men. They all believed that women are equal to
men and could do anything that they wanted to. However, some of the men disagreed and said that
women and men should stay separate. Most of the couples would start to fight or debate about the
subject, the women with strong feminist views and the men who didnt understand the point of
mixing males and females. I found it odd that the men were all for women fighting next to them in

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the armed forces, yet they didnt see the need for women to be involved with mens sports.
Something that caught my ear was when one of the men was frustrated and said, Women have
their own team and men have theirs. If women want to play with men, then make a co-ed team.
He also claimed that it was a double standard because women would most likely disagree to
having a man join their team.
Overall, every couple seemed to be making their relationship enjoyable and long lasting.
They said some of the ways they keep true love strong within their relationships are dedication,
caring, giving, equality, privacy and sacrifice. Just from being around them, I felt refreshed. There
is such a variety of couples and all of them have special ways to make their relationships possible
and beautiful. I really enjoyed getting to see the way couples viewed themselves and the way they
reacted to their partners answers. Seeing men and women still look and joke with each other with
so much love and affection in todays highly influential fascinates me and gives me a hopeful,
warm feeling for the future of our social world.