Who Should Pay the Bill? Let’s Discuss

Here we go again.

The strong independent white woman in me says:

Why should the man pay?? Doesn’t that just reinforce the idea of gender inequality?!

But the girl who was raised on Disney movies says:

Fuck it–the man should pay. Preferably whilst mounting his white horse.

For some reason, my instinct says the man should pay, but my intellect can’t reconcile that. Do I feel that way because it really is some inborn sense I have, or because I was raised in a patriarchal society, and if I had been raised under a different societal construct I would believe a different thing?

On the one hand, our culture no doubt promotes a male-dominated gender dynamic, so surely that plays a role in any woman’s desire for the man to foot the bill. But maybe there’s some validity to that? I mean, just from a biological standpoint, on the whole men are inherently stronger. So if that translates into social norms, it makes sense that men are the ‘support beams,’ if you will.

But has that been taken too far? At what point does it stop being biology and start being conscious, intentional choice? Sure, a guy can theoretically fend off an attacker with greater physical ease than I can (although I wouldn’t count me out so fast–I have been known to be called “sturdy”), but I’m just as capable of paying for coffee. Although, I’m not really, because women STILL don’t earn as much money as men. So theoretically we have equal ability to foot the bill, but don’t always in actuality.

And then there’s just the issue of manners, regardless of gender. It’s polite to treat someone and cover their portion of the check (which is also a sociocultural norm, but arguably a much more neutral one that’s not easily disputed). I don’t know about you, but I feel grateful and special and taken care of when someone pays for me, even if it’s just a friend, but especially if it’s a guy I’m dating. So maybe that has more to do with the plain old etiquette of it all than the gendered implications. However, in that case, it would make just as much sense for the girl to pick up the bill, if it’s just about being polite.

But the issue with manners is that you have to have a reason for them–why is it one person’s duty to be more polite, or polite more often, than the other’s? And then you inevitably end back up where you started, trying to figure out if that duty befalls the guy or girl. And I suppose then that the best, most logical answer, is for the guy and girl to split everything evenly, so they’re equal on both the gender and social etiquette planes.

But I’m not satisfied with that–I’m really not. And maybe there’s no good reason why. But I keep coming back to that pull in me that says, “The man should pay–at least more often than me.” I’m happy to pay sometimes, and certainly to offer to pay every time, but if I’m being honest, those are more gestures on my part than intentions. Which probably just makes me an asshole–I should just be straight up, and only offer to pay if I intend to and honestly believe I should and want to.

So, in sum, once again, I have no fucking clue. But what I do know, is that if I’m dating a guy and he EVER asks me to split the cost of condoms with him, I will kick his ass to the curb, but not before dropping a 30-60 minute lecture on him regarding women’s reproductive health and the immense costs that go into keeping his subpar, frankly kind of pathetic sperm way the fuck away from my precious golden radiant eggs.

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17 thoughts on “Who Should Pay the Bill? Let’s Discuss

  1. bensbitterblog says:

    I was always taught to pay growing up, and I always went into a date, especially one that I asked, that I would pay. If they offered, I would at least pay for my side. But it’s a different world know, so I guess I’m glad I don’t really deal with it anymore. But now I’m gonna have to talk with my wife and 10 year old and see what they think. I’m so confused right now.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. DoesItEvenMatterWhoIAm? says:

    LMFAO! Ok, so being the super aggressive chick that I am, I kicked all rules to the curb when I was dating. I did the asking out. RARELY did I go on a date with a guy who asked me out. I liked to pick my prey. Then yeah, I pretty much took full advantage of a free meal or drinks and then usually a healthy romp in the sack, and then I decided whether or not to call them back for round two. That being said, with the man I am married to now, he beat me to the punch on the asking out process, only because he managed to get my number before I got his! It is a funny story how we met. He paid on the first date. I paid for all subsequent dates when I discovered that he still lived at home *yikes* and I was an independent woman, and I made 2.5 times the amount of money that he did. In all fairness, we both agreed that when the time came, he would be the breadwinner and I would be the kid raiser because we felt it would be in the best interest of our children (well child since I could only have the one) for ME to stay at home and do the rearing of said child. Once I am working again, my husband will get to kick back and be a “kept man.”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Mindy says:

    Good question. I feel as though I never got asked out in high school and then my world exploded when I got to college. I was always willing to pay for my own coffee/meal if I got asked out but I don’t think I ever asked anyone out? Currently realizing that I’m pathetic. If I did go out with a person, I was always willing to alternate on paying for things. I’m a strong, independent woman (honestly wrote “man” first) who don’t need no man to buy her things, but he better buy his own damn condoms.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Fannie Frankfurter says:

    I have mixed feelings about this too.
    I dated a guy for over five years and footed the bill at least half the time because I felt like it was the courteous thing to do. Turns out he was cheating on me almost the entire time, so after that I was pretty jaded and bitter about having wasted so much money on him. The guy I dated after him was always broke so we never ate out, except for the rare trip to Taco Bell. Even then I paid for my own.
    The last guy I was in a relationship (or something like one) with made at least twice my salary and insisted on paying when we went out. I didn’t argue with him.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. George says:

    I think, for the most part, this is really a generational thing. But I also think it extends beyond paying for a meal. When my wife and I were dating, I paid for everything when we out. I opened doors, let her walk in first, pulled out her chair at dinner and walked on the curb side of a sidewalk. We’re married 43 years and I still do the same thing today. For me, it was always about respect, then and now. Much has changed over the years and I realize that things are very different. I think people should do what they feel is right for them, whatever that might be. That may change from date to date, person to person.
    Yes, men are physically stronger than women, but in all ways that matter most, women are universally much stronger than men.
    Interesting post.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Bufula says:

    I believe in always paying, Be I a Guy or a Girl. It shows a sort of respect if you brush them aside. Like “Hey, I can handle this. Thank you for coming.” And Either can be stronger. I met a tiny girl who K.O.ed a big guy in one punch. Alternativlely, I’ve seen girls beat up by guys. And as for intelligence, If I am a guy, I prove that guys are not pure stupidity. And be I a girl, I prove that Girls are really stupid.
    However, you can just agree to pay your food while your larger pays for theirs.

    Liked by 1 person

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