Good afternoon! This Monday doesn’t quite seem as Monday-ish as other Mondays for me. Funny, isn’t it? Anyways, I had another thought about dating that I wanted to bring back for further discussion. Hopefully you all have read some of my different discussions about dating etiquette. Guys pay, etc, and how some of these aspects can cause for unfair expectations on women to reciprocate feelings.
That being said, I do want to talk about the other side for a little bit. Which is that a guy paying is technically sexist to some extent. Now, it’s super easy to say “that’s not sexist, it’s simply a nice thing and it’s customary for guys to do.” To which I would say, yes, that’s true. It is indeed a nice thing to do, and it is a customary part of being an American male courting a female. That being said, it also was customary for men to expect women to put out for them whenever they wanted it once they were married, regardless of how the woman felt that night. So you know, not all customs are good, even if those of the time with a voice don’t see a problem with them.
Here me out. I agree that men should pay based on the societal standards we live with now. At the same time, this baseline is engrained in the societal standards that a woman inherently is incapable of taking care of herself. Which is not a good thing. Men pay because they have their lives more together—at least, this is the thought.
Or maybe it isn’t that. Let’s take another look at it. Let’s take the position that a man should pay because any man would want to treat his woman special. This is one that I hear a lot. Men should treat their woman as though they were a princess. Where did we get this idea? Disney? First of all, what does that statement mean? Well, it means that a man should put his woman first. Which is probably true. But it also means that there is no expectation for the woman to do the same. Seriously, I’m all for treating women equally, but that means equal, not unequal. How many women you know would say “treat your man like a prince.” The number probably hovers around zero, because what kind of woman would want to take orders from a man?
I’m not saying this is entirely a bad thing—I mean it pressures men to respect women more, which is something that our society has struggled with for literally thousands of years. But usurping the idea of men being dominant with the idea that women should be the gender that is held up on a pedestal is not the proper way to implement equality.
I don’t have the answer either. It seems like a bad idea to say that men should always pay for dinner. But it also sounds like a bad idea to say that everyone should always pay for their own food. At the same time, maybe this is the only way to move toward more equal treatment and respect between the two most prominent genders in society. What do you think? Am I being unrealistic about the gender roles and what they imply? Let me know in the comments!