Thursday, August 17, 2006

Why Does The Women's Equality Movement Come To A Screeching Halt When The Check Arrives?

I consider myself pretty openminded and progressive when it comes to modern women's issues. Although as a male my understanding of women will never rise above "foggy", I am all for women's equality socially, in the workpalce, equal pay, all that stuff. I read Salon's Broadsheet with interest and would recommend it to anyone, male or female. I also understand that it is muy expensive being a woman with all of the makeup, accessories, etc that must be bought, let alone $15 a pair nylons and $50 a set underwear, as compared to our $3 bottle of PERT Plus, $7 boxers and one nice pair of brown shoes.

After many 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th dates in SF over the last year, what I don't understand is this: why, for so many successful women, does the women's equality movement come to a screeching halt when the check comes? Let me explain because that sounds like I am Costanza-cheap and I am not. In fact, I'm rather liberal with paying for others, as my friends and exs would certainly attest.

If I go on a first date with a woman, then I expect to pay and I have no problem with that; I am enough of a gentleman to think that it would be rude fo me not to pay. No big deal, so I'm out $30 to $100 depending on if we meet for drinks or dinner or whatever. Again, no problems whatsoever. However, when we go out on our 2nd date and the woman does not even offer one time to buy a round of drinks or whatever, then I certainly notice and it starts to get on my nerves. I would expect a liberated successful career woman to at least offer to make a little effort after that point; I'm not even talking about dutch or even actually paying- I am talking about a simple offer to get the next round of drinks or what have you. Once we get to the 3rd of 4th date and I am out $200+ and not only have you not paid a dollar but you haven't even offered, then I start to get irritated and lose interest in you.

It's not even about the money, it's about the implicit message of not offering at all - that you are not all that considerate and expect the man to pay for everything. I understand the traditional romantic notion of a man courting a woman and the traditional value of the man paying for everything. However, if that is what you expect on every date then you are being hypocritical, for if your attitude is that the man should incur every and all cost associated with courtship then you should be consistent and advocate the back-in-the-day setup where women's equality takes a backseat to men earning way more than women for the same job, etc. After all, if you are expecting the man to pay for everything then isn't it only fair that you support the 1950s mentality that men deserve to make way more than women?

What would Gloria Steinem think?

I am NOT saying that I think that we should revert to 1955 and men should make way more money than women. I'm just trying to make a point about the hypocricy of a woman who acts the way I described.

But again, it's not about the money involved, but rather the attitude. I certainly am not the number crunching type who expects that if a bill is $62.80 that each person should pay $31.40; I am an "it all comes out in the wash" person. "I get this one, you get it next time, it all evens out" is my attitude with friends. With women I have no problem paying for the first date, but after that I would hope that a sliding scale of "I get this one, you get it next time, it all evens out" starts to happen where she starts to pick up something here and there and after a while it gets closer to a sharing of the financial side of our being together. Note - I am never asking for this ratio to fall below 50/50, and I certainly am not expecting a sugar mama. But I have been out with a number of girls who after I paid for everything on the first date do not even offer one time on the 2nd or even third date to pay for anything at all. It should also be noted that each of these women had at least as good a job as I did if not better. What the hell is up with this? It seems like an expecting and inconsiderate message to send to not even offer to buy a round of drinks if we go out and have 5 rounds of drinks after I took care of everything on the first date.

I had one girl I talked to about this say to me "well my grandmother always told me that a man should pay because he is paying for my company". What the fuck? Why is a woman's company so valuable but a man's not? If a woman is hanging out with a good looking ,well dressed, normal dude with his shit together (not necessarily me, given those set of attributes) then does that not have a value as well? Don't make no sense to me. Seems to me then your grandmother would also advocate that I make twice as much as you and rightfully so if I am to be paying for the privledge of hanging out with you.

What would legendary anchorman Ron Burgundy think?

I get that being a successful modern career woman is difficult and extremely challenging, especially given societal pressures, stereotypical roles, and whatnot. But it seems like some women are wanting to be Erin Brockovich in all areas of life (and rightfully so), but when it comes to dating they want to be Scarlett O'Hara and be swept off their feet and completely taken care of by Rhett Butler. Seems a bit unrealistic and hypocritical to me. There is a hell of a lot more to romance, chemistry, and connection than who pays for what. These women are sending a passive message that having your shit together, being charming, witty, intelligent, fun, and paying for the majority of things isn't enough, that I have to be all of those things and your sugar daddy too, when you are every bit as successful as me. Perhaps it is a Mars & Venus thing, and women don't view it this way at all, so they don't even realize that they are sending this message to me passively.

There is a scene in the movie A Bronx Tale where an older guy is explaining to the teenage boy character how to tell if a woman is a "keeper": when he opens the passenger door in his car to let her in, if she reaches over and unlocks his door while he is walking around the car then that shows some consideration and she passes the test so to speak. I am reminded of that when I am on dates now and women either offer to buy a round of drinks or pay for anything. The "keeper" part has nothing to do with money and everything to do with the attitude and consideration showed by simply offering once and a while. The women that offer make me think, this is the kind of person I would want to be with, a considerate woman is into sharing the joys as well as the challenges of being together.

Am I baked when I think it is fair for a man to pay for everything on date 1 but then expect at least an occasional offer after that? Or is there some rule where the dude is expected to pay for everything X amount of times before a woman even says something like "Let me get this round - you paid for everything last time and bought dinner tonight"?

Would Kanye say she IS a golddigger?

Again, please understand that this is not about the money it is about the attitude, because I am guessing that if you don't know me personally and you read this it will sound like I am bitching about money.

And I don't hate these women, I just don't understand where they are coming from. Which I suppose makes me no different than any other man who makes any attempt to logically understand women.

Now then, you are free to tell me what a moron I am.

***Update, 11.14 p.m. PST***

I just re-read this and there are 2 things that I want to make clear:

1) I am not insinuating that all women in SF or anywhere else are like this. I have just had multiple experiences with this in the last year or so. I would guess that for everytime I experience this with a woman there are 2 that seem to know what time it is so to speak, so it's seems to run at a rate of 1 in 3. Also, major props to the ladies who are considerate enough to offer. I actually just got in from a first date who offered to help out with the dinner bill, which actually makes 2 women in a row for me that have done so. I still paid the bill in both cases, but it was very cool of them to even offer to assist.

2) I am not a jaded bitterman about the whole thing; this just evolved from a converstaion that I had recently about this subject with a friend who had some similar experiences. Again, I don't have any hatred for women who act this way, I just don't understand where they are coming from.


The Hit said...

It really depends on how hot she is... damn, I mean how much she puts ooouuuuuu... What I'm trying to say is... oh, never mind.

Brain said...

If she is a DUCK at the Derby, then all bets are off pick up the check and smile. Otherwise, beaotch better pick the shite up. Help a holmes out. This may morph into she drives you pay for dinner or visa/versa. The hit can stuff it he hasn't "DATED" since the first Bush was in office. What the hell does that dude know!?!?!?!?

The Hit said...

Now now brain drain. I found a keepah. She happened to pay AND play.

OMAA said...

I had one girl I talked to about this say to me "well my grandmother always told me that a man should pay because he is paying for my company". Isn't that an escort, as in a step away from a prostitute?

I know Kanu and he is nowhere near being about the 50/50. I think I still owe him about 12 Chick-Fil-A lunches, but that is after give and take for about 2.5 years. The airman, well, let's just say I hope the ledger is lost.

I agree with your premise, but with a different take. For some reason, my hard head would rarely allow the chick to pay. Any they always had better jobs. Most that I dated did offer and do it often. That much was appreciated. I know ehre you are comimg from, my friend.

Kanu said...

She's actually a very nice woman and I'm happy to report that although things eventually did not work out we are actually good friends now.