From Front Porch to Back Seat: Courtship in Twentieth-century America - Chapter 3, The Worth of a Date Summary & Analysis

Beth L. Bailey
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Chapter 3, The Worth of a Date Summary and Analysis

Bailey notes that contemporary women are sexually objectified based on their appearance. Men are objectified as well as human wallets. America's culture of consumption sees paired acts as opportunities for mutual gain. American dating emerged as money became central to courtship, as 'going somewhere' became the thing to do. Spending time with the other sex was not seen as dating. A date meant that the boy pays for the girl. Boys who wanted to date in fact wanted to be seen with a date. Simply having the date indicated success, though some dates were more valuable than others.

The first daters complained about new courtship costs. The costs of special dates were astronomical, like prom. Extravagance purchased what was essential to the experience. Girls often paid for these dates as well...

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This section contains 402 words
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Buy the From Front Porch to Back Seat: Courtship in Twentieth-century America Study Guide
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