Women-first dating app, Bumble, has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the “Romance Gap” – the discrepancy in behaviour expected from men/masculine presenting and women/feminine presenting people when dating and in relationships.
The dating app found that although 88 per cent of Australians surveyed said equality is important in dating and relationships, the overwhelming majority (80 per cent) believe that when it comes to romantic relationships, there are different expectations and expected behaviours based on gender identity.
This creates a “Romance Gap” in the way we see behaviours between men and women when it comes to dating and romantic relationships.
The campaign was created by 72andSunny Amsterdam and centres on a 90-second film showcasing a rousing speech delivered by women from across the world with collective observations on the inequalities in dating and relationships.
One woman states: “If romance was equal, why does he still have to ask me out, go in for the kiss and buy the ring?” Another asks: “Why do I feel feisty when I am honest and tense when I want commitment and slutty when I don’t?” The speech ends with: “Let’s drop the script and just be one thing – ourselves. It’s about time isn’t it?”, followed by the directive, “#MakeRomanceEqual.”
Despite positive strides towards equality, traditional gender roles and expectations remain entrenched in dating culture and romantic customs.
Research conducted by YouGov found such gender roles and expectations are so ingrained in society that nearly two thirds of Australians (65 per cent) believe it leads us to behave in a way that is less true to who we are. A further 63 per cent said gender roles make it more difficult to build equal relationships, while 60 per cent said gender roles make dating more difficult and, or stressful.The campaign launched yesterday in the UK, Ireland, France, The Netherlands, Sweden, Australia and New Zealand. The digital campaign includes social media and influencers and will be complemented with media partnerships and print ads.
The campaign speaks to Bumble’s mission to empower women to challenge gender expectations by making the first move, in love and life. Along with the film, Bumble has published dedicated microsites in both English and French with the research as well as editorial content and tips on how to have conversations about the “Romance Gap” with future and current partners.
“The Romance Gap is a new term, but many of us will know the feeling,” said Bumble’s APAC communications director, Lucille McCart.
“By not questioning or critiquing the “Romance Gap”, we leave ourselves locked into gender roles that nearly two thirds of us say make it more difficult to build equal relationships, with almost as many saying it makes dating more difficult and stressful.
“The only way to close the “Romance Gap” is to make ourselves aware of it, acknowledge it exists, and then challenge yourself and each other when you notice that you are slipping into gendered expectations. Equality is something that should be addressed early and openly in dating. Now more than ever is the time to start dating on your own terms and making your own first moves.”
Executive creative director of 72andSunny, Laura Visco, added, “The ‘Gender Pay Gap’ is widely known, but there is much less awareness and action around the “Romance Gap”. Somehow equality goes out the window when it comes to romance. This campaign aims to challenge unequal dating norms and empower women to find ways of talking about the issue with those they’re dating.”
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